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100 Years Of HD

100 Years Of HD

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Published by alexander113

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Published by: alexander113 on Jun 07, 2011
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100 Years Of HD The Harley-Davidson Company or HD has been around for just over 100 years. It allbegan with two friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. William S. Harley standsfor the H in HD. Arthur Davidson is one of three D's. The other two D's being hisbrothers, Walter and William Davidson. William Harley and Arthur Davidson beganworking on the prototype and eventually sought the help of Walter and William.Walter was a skilled mechanic. William was an experienced toolmaker. Together thegroup formed the HD Company, which was later incorporated. During 1903 HD turned out a grand total of 3 motorcycles. All were bought and paidfor before completion. Gray was the standard color of the first HD motorcycles,which were often referred to as the "Silent Gray Fellows".By the end of 1905 the HD Company was not only selling motorcycles, but alsomotorcycle motors, marine motors, reversible propellers and float feed carburetors.The price of the motorcycle was $200. The popularity of the HD motorcycle continued to grow through out the followingdecade. By 1914, nine departments of the federal government of the United Statesused HD's. The U.S. Postal service alone used more than 4,800 Harley Davidsonmotorcycles for rural mail delivery. In 1916 the military began using HD's in border skirmishes with Pancho Villa. Themotorcycles were equipped with machine guns. HD motorcycles were also used inWorld War I with half of all models produced being shipped overseas. The war alsowas responsible for the establishment of the first Harley-Davidson Service School.The HD Company saw a need and met it. The 1920's brought an end to the war and a beginning to the world of racing. HDmade quite an impact. Harley-Davidson suffered, but managed to survive the GreatDepression and continued to prosper through the 1930's. Unfortunately World War II came in the 1940's and HD was pressed into service onceagain. The 1950's brought about new, more aggressive marketing strategies and expansionfor this great company. Once again war broke out, this time in Korea. Motorcycleswere replaced in popularity with the military with the Jeep. HD was free toconcentrate on its civilian consumers. The 1960's brought about as much change for HD as everyone else in the UnitedStates. This was also when the company began to branch out into an unrelated field of leisure product with the production of 3-wheeled golf carts. By the end of the decadethese carts cornered about one third of the United States market, and were even usedoversees. HD also began marketing an extensive line of motorcycle accessories. The 1970's saw continuing success in the racing venue. Great advancements weremade in the racing bikes that were produced by HD. In late 1970 the company alsounveiled its brand new snowmobile. Perhaps the biggest change was the mergerbetween HD and the AMF. The 1980's began with a buyback, and the HD Company returned to privateownership. The company seemed to show a renewed interest in building bettermachines So much so that they won the contract with the California Highway Patrolin 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989. The 1990's were ushered in with the appearance of HD's most customized factory

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