Statistics & History On Harley Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are without a doubt the most recognizable name in motorcycle culture today; even those who aren’t riders themselves are familiar with the brand. Harley-Davidson hasn’t always been so popular; though, most fans of the motorcycle agree Harley-Davidson has indeed come quite a long way.

Early History

The history of Harley motorcycles can be traced all the way back to the year 1901, when 21-year-old William S. Harley designed the first blueprint of an engine designed to be put into a bike. Two years later, in 1903, Harley teamed up with Arthur Davidson and began marketing their motorcycles to the general public.

The First Harley-Davidson Dealer

In 1904, C.H. Lang opened the first Harley-Davidson dealership in Chicago, Illinois. His inventory was comprised of one of the first three original production models.


Harley-Davidson Motor Company was official incorporated in September of 1907. The business continued to expand at a rapid rate.

World War II Production

Like many other industries, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company began focusing their production almost entirely on military use during the 1940s. They would produce over 90,000 motorcycles for the military and wouldn’t resume production for the general public until late 1945.

Harley-Davidson Today

Today, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company earns over $4 billion on an annual basis with a customer base that consists of nearly 90 percent male customers.