The oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world!
That one, simple statement shows that Harley-Davidson® deserves its unique and iconic position as an American and world-wide legendary brand… but behind the simplicity is a great and complex history… it’s a legendary story too, beginning in 1903. Harley-Davidson’s history encompasses the entire history of motorcycling itself, and the Company’s ups, downs and detours follow the road-map of the 20th century. From the literally hundreds of American motorcycle companies existing in the early decades of the 20th century, only Harley-Davidson® exists today. Now, in the 21st century… and anywhere in the world… it’s easy to see that the Motor Company has done plenty more than just survive, it’s a thriving, world-wide success… a business phenomenon. In 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the first Harley-Davidson® motorcycle was hand-built in a tiny backyard shed. Incredibly, that very first, original Harley has been found. In the late 1990′s, as Factory restoration proceeded on an obviously very early model Harley, suspicions began to mount amongst H-D staff that the bike may be one of the three-only 1903 models which were hand-built. During painstaking searches and checks, it became a possibility that the bike being restored might even be the very first of the 1903′s. As the Motor Company’s astonishment and disbelief slowly became certainty, they found that through Company records and other information, it could be demonstrated conclusively that the old-timer in the Archives and Restoration area was, in fact, “Serial Number #1″. This fully-restored Harley-Davidson®… of inestimable value and surely the most priceless vehicle of any kind in the world… now resides in glass-enclosed splendour in the front-foyer of the famous Harley-Davidson® red brick factory on Juneau Ave, Milwaukee. Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle production has been unceasing through good times and bad… two world wars… the hedonistic burst of the Roaring 20′s… the great depression… oil shortages in the 1970′s… the Cold War… the 60′s from its “Swinging” beginning to the protests, war and social unrest which closed the decade… the atomic age and the atomic bomb… and the global brotherhood parties which celebrated the ends of a century and a millennium. It’s a unique story, based around a unique product. The big V-Twin powered motorcycles rumble on, reliable, inspiring, and above all… desirable.