updated 7/12/2008 1:43:51 AM ET 2008-07-12T05:43:51

Harley-Davidson is opening a museum that takes a look at the company's history and culture — from Knuckleheads to Sportsters to Fat Boys.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Some Harley highlights in history:

1903: William S. Harley, 23, and Arthur Davidson, 22, offer the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The pair built it in a 10-by-15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" scrawled on the door.

1904: The first Harley-Davidson dealer opens in Chicago.

1906: The first Harley factory is built in Milwaukee.

1907: Harley-Davidson Motor Co. is incorporated.

1909: The company introduces its first V-Twin powered motorcycle, built with two cylinders in a 45-degree angle.

1913: The company enters motorcycle racing.

1915: Harley offers motorcycles with three-speed transmissions.

1918: Harley helps out the World War I effort with 20,000 motorcycles. The first American to enter Germany after the Armistice is signed is Cpl. Roy Holtz of Chippewa Falls, Wis., who rides a Harley across the border.

1925: The motorcycles now have gas tanks with a distinct teardrop shape. The basic appearance of Harleys will remain virtually the same through the present.

1936: Harley introduces the EL, which earns the nickname "Knucklehead" because of the shape of its rocker boxes, which cover the valves that control the fuel and the exhaust.

1942-45: Harley makes almost 90,000 motorcycles for the military during World War II.

1949: Hydraulic front forks first appear on the new Hydra-Glide models.

1952: The K model is introduced, eventually evolving into the Sportster.

1957: The Sportster debuts, the first of the "Superbikes."

1962: The company establishes the Tomahawk Division.

1964: The three-wheeled Servi-car becomes the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle with an electric starter.

1969: Harley-Davidson merges with the American Machine and Foundry Co.

1971: Harley introduces the FX 1200 Super Glide, which starts a new class of motorcycle, the cruiser.

1973: Harley moves its motorcycle assembly operation to York, Pa.

1981: Harley executives buy back company from American Machine and Foundry Co.

1983: Harley Owners Group, called HOG, is founded.

1986: Company returns to public ownership.

1990: Harley introduces the FLSTF Fat Boy.

1993: Harley-Davidson buys a minority interest in Buell Motorcycle Co. of East Troy, Wis.

1995: The 30th Anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide becomes the first production Harley with fuel injection.

1998: A new assembly facility opens in Manaus, Brazil, the first operations outside the U.S. Harley-Davidson buys a remaining 49 percent interest in Buell Motorcycle Co.

2001: The V-Rod is introduced for the 2002 model year, the company's first motorcycle to combine fuel injection, overhead cams and liquid cooling. Harley-Davidson announces expansions at plants in Milwaukee, Tomahawk, Wis., and York, Pa.

2003: More than 250,000 celebrate Harley-Davidson's 100th anniversary in Milwaukee.

2005: Jim Ziemer takes over as CEO from retiring Jeff Bleustein

2006: The first of the 6-speed transmissions are available on 2006 model year Dyna motorcycles. Harley introduces the new Twin Cam 96 to improve the trademark sound. Harley-Davidson appoints Beijing Feng Huo Lun as the first authorized Harley-Davidson dealer on mainland China.

2008: The new Harley museum opens July 12 before its 105th celebration from Aug. 28-31.

Source: Harley-Davidson Inc. Web site

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments