Beautiful RARE Specimen Proof certificate from Harley - Davidson, Inc
dated 1996. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man holding a sledge hammer. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s officers, and is over 26 years old. This working proof certificate came from the archives of the American Bank Note Company and is in a holder provided by the company.
American Bank Note Company Holder
ABM Logo on Holder
Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HOG) is an American manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The company emphasizes heavyweight (over 750 cc) bikes designed for cruising on the highway and known for their distinctive exhaust note.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles (popularly known as "Harleys") are distinctive in design and sound, attracting a loyal following (in marketing terms, the owners form a brand community).
The Motor Company supplies many American police forces with their motorcycle fleets. Harleys are especially noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper-style of motorcycle. Licensing of the Harley-Davidson logo accounts for almost 5% of the company's net revenue ($41 million in 2004).
Since 1998, the Buell Motorcycle Company has been a 98% subsidiary of Harley-Davidson.
The Harley-Davidson engines
V-twin in a HD Road KingThe classic Harley-Davidson engines are two-cylinder, V-twin engines with the pistons mounted in a 45° "V". The crankshaft has a single pin, and both pistons are connected to this pin through their connecting rods.
This design causes the pistons to fire at uneven intervals, the consequence of an engineering tradeoff to create a large, powerful engine in a small space. This design choice is entirely vestigial from an engineering standpoint, but has been sustained because of the strong connection between the distinctive sound and the Harley-Davidson brand. This design, which is covered under several United States patents, gives the Harley-Davidson V-twin its unique choppy "potato-potato" sound. To simplify the engine and reduce costs, the V-twin ignition was designed to operate with a single set of points and no distributor, which is known as a dual fire ignition system, causing both spark plugs to fire regardless of which cylinder was on its compression stroke, with the other spark plug firing on its cylinder's exhaust stroke, effectively "wasting a spark." The exhaust note is basically a throaty growling sound with some popping.
The 45 degree design of the engine thus creates a plug firing sequencing as such: The first cylinder fires, the second (rear) cylinder fires 315° later, then there is a 405° gap until the first cylinder fires again, giving the engine its unique sound.
Harley Davidson has used various ignition systems throughout its history - be it the early points/condenser system, (Big Twin up to 1978 and Sportsters 1970 to 1978), magneto ignition system used on 1958 to 1969 Sportsters, early electronic with centrifugal mechanical advance weights, (all models 1978 and a half to 1979), or the late electronic with transistorized ignition control module, more familiarly known as the black box or the brain, (all models 1980 to present).
With the implementation of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), Harley Davidson uses a single fire ignition system on the models equipped with EFI, which now includes 100% of their product line with the introduction of the 2007 models.
In 1991, Harley-Davidson began to participate in the Sound Quality Working Group, founded by Orfield Labs, Bruel and Kjaer, TEAC, Yamaha, Sennheiser, SMS and Cortex. This was the nation's first group to share research on psychological acoustics. Later that year, Harley-Davidson participated in a series of sound quality studies at Orfield Labs, based on recordings taken at the Talladega Superspeedway, with the objective to lower the sound level for EU standards while analytically capturing the "Harley Sound." This research resulted in the bikes that were introduced in compliance with EU standards for 1998.
On 1 February 1994, the company filed a trademark application for the distinctive sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine: "The mark consists of the exhaust sound of applicant's motorcycles, produced by V-twin, common crankpin motorcycle engines when the goods are in use". Nine of Harley-Davidson's competitors filed comments opposing the application, arguing that cruiser-style motorcycles of various brands use a single-crankpin V-twin engine which produce a similar sound. These objections were followed by litigation. After six years, Harley-Davidson withdrew their trademark application.
Interestingly, when Honda first began making a motorcycle with a 45° V-2 design, the Honda Shadow, it used a more advanced engineering approach with an offset crank design which allows for even firing pulses and higher horsepower because of the reduced vibrational stresses on the engine. However, because potential buyers complained that the Shadow did not 'sound like a Harley,' Honda in 1995 introduced the Shadow American Classic Edition (or ACE) which had a single crank-pin design, reduced horsepower and a much more Harley-like sound.
Electra Glide "Ultra Classic" in BristolF-head, also known as JD, pocket valve and IOE (intake over exhaust), 1914-29 (1,000 ccm), and 1922-29 (1,200 ccm)
Flathead, 1930-1948 (1,200 ccm) and 1935-41 (1,300 ccm).
Knucklehead, 1936-47 61 cubic inches (1,000 ccm), and 1941-47 74 cubic inches (1,200 ccm)
Panhead, 1948-52 61 cubic inches (1,000 ccm), and 1948-65, 74 cubic inches (1,200 ccm)
Shovelhead, 1966-85, 74 cubic inches (1,200 ccm) and 82 cubic inches (1,345 ccm) since late 1978
Evolution (aka "Evo" and "Blockhead"), 1984-99, 82 cubic inches (1,345 ccm)
Twin Cam 88 (aka "Fathead") 1999-2006, 88 cubic inches (1,443 ccm)
Twin Cam 88B (counter balanced version of the Twin Cam 88) 2000-2006, 88 cubic inches (1,443 ccm)
Twin Cam 96, 2007-present, 96 cubic inches (1,584 ccm)
All Big Twins are air-cooled 45-degree V-Twins.
Evolution Sportster cruising around downtown Buenos Aires
The Small V-Twins
D Model, 1929-31, 750 cc
R Model, 1932-36, 750 cc
W Model, 1937-52, 750 cc, solo (2 wheel) frame only)
G (Servi-Car) Model, 1932-73, 750 cc
K Model, 1952-53, 750 cc
KH Model, 1954-56, 900 cc
Ironhead, 1957-1971 (900 cc), 1971-85 (1000 cc)
Evolution, 1986-present, 883, 1,100 and 1,200 cc
All Sportster engines are air-cooled 45-degree V-Twins.
The Revolution engine
Revolution, Jointly designed and developed with Porsche in Germany and based on the VR1000 Harley-Davidson Super Bike engine, 2002-present, 69 cubic inches (1,131 cc), 60 degree V-twin, liquid cooled.
Used in VRSC (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) models. At first it was used in a single model called V-Rod. By 2006, the line had been expanded to five consumer model V-Rods, including the standard V-Rod, the "roadster-styled" Street Rod, the long and low Night Rod, and the VRSCSE² Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod with 1,250 cc big bore kit. 2007 saw the addition of further models like the VRSCDX "Night Rod Special" and the VRSCA being replaced by the VRSCAW with a 240 wide rear tire (up from the 180 rear tire on the "A")
There is also a non-street variant: the VRXSE Destroyer. The Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer is a 165+hp, professional-level drag racing motorcycle designed exclusively for competition by Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations; it comes stock with larger 79 cui engine, air shifter and wheelie bar, among other features. The Destroyer is tuned to make sub 10-second quarter mile runs in the hands of an experienced rider.
Harley model designations are a sequence of letters and numbers, combined in limited ways. The sequences can be long, as in the 2006 model designation FLHTCUSE.
The first letter may be one of the following:
E, J, K ('50s small twin), F, U, V (Big Twin), D, G, R, W (Small Twin), X (Sportster), or V (VRSC)
Letters are appended singly or in pairs, as follows:
B (Belt Drive), C (Classic or Custom), D (Dyna Glide), DG (Disk Glide), E (Electric start), F (Fat Boy (1990-present) or Foot-shift (1972 and prior)), H (High compression), L (Hydra Glide forks), LR (Low Rider), P (Police), R (Race or Rubber-mount), S (Sport, Springer, or Standard), SB (Single belt final drive), ST (Softail), T (Touring), WG (Wide Glide), I (Fuel injection), SE (Screamin’ Eagle), U (Ultra)
Custom Vehicle Operations models can also have a number (2,3,4) added.
Note that these conventions for model designations are broken regularly by the company.
Current model designations
2001 883 Sportster HuggerSportster With the exception of the street-going XR1000 of the 1980s, all Sportsters made for street use have the prefix XL in their model designation. For the Sportster Evolution engines used since the mid 1980s, there have been two sizes of Sportster Evolution engine. Motorcycles with the smaller engine are designated XL883, while those with the larger engine were initially designated XL1100. When the size of the larger engine was increased from 1,100 cc to 1,200 cc, the designation was changed from XL1100 to XL1200. Subsequent letters in the designation refer to model variations within the sportster range, eg. the XL883C refers to an 883 cc Sportster with cruiser or custom styling, while the XL1200S designates the now-discontinued 1200 Sportster Sport.
Dyna models utilize the big-twin engine (F), small-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the Sportster (X), and the Dyna chassis (D). Therefore, all Dyna models have designations that begin with FXD, eg. FXDWG (Wide Glide) and FXDL (Low Rider).
Softail models utilize the big-twin engine (F) and the Softail chassis (ST).
Softail models that use small-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the Sportster (X) have designations that begin with FXST, eg. FXSTB (Night Train), FXSTD (Deuce) and FXSTS (Standard).
Softail models that use large-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the touring bikes (L) have designations beginning with FLST, e.g. FLSTF (Fat Boy) and FLSTC (Heritage Softail Classic).
Softail models that use Springer forks with a 21-inch wheel have designations that begin with FXSTS eg. FXSTS (Springer Softail) and FXSTSB (Bad Boy).
Softail models that use Springer forks with a 16-inch wheel have designations that begin with FLSTS eg.FLSTSC (Springer Classic)
Touring models use Big-Twin engines and large-diameter telescopic forks. All Touring designations begin with the letters FL, eg. FLHR (Road King) and FLTR (Road Glide)
Revolution models utilize the Revolution engine (VR), and the street versions are designated Street Custom (SC). After the VRSC- prefix common to all street Revolution bikes, the next letter denotes the model, either A (base V-Rod), B (discontinued), D (Night Rod), R (Street Rod), SE (CVO Special Edition), or X. Further differentiation within models are made with an additional letter, e.g. VRSCDX denotes the Night Rod Special.
The factory drag bike, the VRXSE Destroyer, uses X instead of SC to denote a non-street bike and SE to denote a CVO Special Edition
Modern Harley-branded motorcycles fall into one of five model families: Touring, Softail, Dyna, Sportster and VRSC. Model families are distinguished by the frame, engine, suspension, and other characteristics.
Hamburg Police Electra Glide.See also: Harley-Davidson FL
The touring family, also known as "dressers", includes three Road King models, and five Glide models offered in various trim. The Road Kings have a "retro cruiser" appearance and most models are equipped with a large clear windshield. Road Kings are reminiscent of big-twin models from the 1940s and '50s. Glides can be identified by their full front fairings. Most Glides sport a unique fairing referred to as the "Batwing" due to its unmistakable shape. The Road Glide has a different front end, referred to as the "Sharknose". The Sharknose includes a unique, dual front headlight. Touring models are distinguishable by their large luggage, rear coil-over air suspension and are the only models to offer full fairings with Radios/CBs. All touring models use the same frame, first introduced with a Shovelhead motor in 1980, and carried forward with only modest upgrades to this day. The frame is distinguished by the location of the steering head in front of the forks and was the first H-D frame to rubber mount the drivetrain to isolate the rider from the vibration of the big V-twin. Although all touring models weigh in excess of 800 lbs., they are remarkably easy to handle at low speeds and high, and give the most comfortable and relaxing ride of any Harley. The frame was modified for the 1994 model year when the oil tank went under the transmission and the battery was moved inboard from under the right saddlebag to under the seat. In 1997, the frame was again modified to allow for a larger battery under the seat and to lower seat height.
In 2006, Harley introduced the FLHX, a bike designed by Willie G. Davidson to be his personal ride, to its touring line.
In 2008, Harley added anti-lock braking systems as a factory installed option on all touring models.
2002 Softail Heritage Classic.
2005 Dyna Super Glide Custom.
These big-twin motorcycles capitalize on Harley's strong value on tradition. With the rear-wheel suspension invisible on the bottom of the frame, they are visibly similar to the "hardtail" choppers popular in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as from their own earlier history. In keeping with that tradition, Harley offers Softail models with "springer" front ends and "heritage" styling that incorporate design cues from throughout their history.
Dyna motorcycles feature big-twin engines and traditional styling. They can be distinguished from the Softail by the traditional coil-over suspension that connects the swingarm to the frame, and from the Sportster by their larger engines. On these models, the transmission also houses the engine's oil reservoir.
In 2007, Harley-Davidson released a line-up of five Dyna models: Super Glide, Super Glide Custom, Street Bob, Low Rider, and Wide Glide.
In 2008, the "Fat Bob" was re-introduced to the Dyna line-up featuring aggressive styling, including a new 2-1-2 exhaust, twin headlamps, a 180 mm rear tire and a 130 mm front tire.
Introduced in 1957, the Sportster is the longest-running model family in the Harley-Davidson lineup. They were conceived as racing motorcycles, and were popular on dirt and flat-track race courses through the 1960s and '70s. Smaller and lighter than the other Harley models, contemporary Sportsters make use of 883 or 1,200 cc Evolution engines and, though often modified, remain similar in appearance to their racing ancestors.
Up until the 2003 model year, the engine on the Sportster was rigidly mounted to the frame. The 2004 Sportster had a new frame accommodating a rubber-mounted engine. Although this made the bike heavier and reduced the available lean angle, it reduced the amount of vibration transmitted to the frame and the rider. The rubber mounted engine provides a significantly smoother ride for rider and passenger. For a bike which isn't really thought of for long rides or trips, the smoother ride allows for this opportunity.
In the 2007 model year, Harley Davidson celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Sportster and produced a collectors' edition called the XL50 1200 Custom, of which only 2000 were made for sale world wide. Each motorcycle was individually numbered and came in one of two colours, Mirage Pearl Orange or Vivid Black. Also in 2007, electronic fuel injection was introduced to the Sportster family.
V-Rod in a gravel driveway.Introduced in 2001, the VRSC family bears little resemblance to Harley's more traditional lineup. Competing against Japanese and American muscle bikes and seeking to expand its market appeal, the "V-Rod" makes use of an engine developed jointly with Porsche that, for the first time in Harley history, incorporates fuel injection, overhead cams, and liquid cooling. The V-Rod is visually distinctive, easily identified by the 60-degree V-Twin engine, the radiator and the hydroformed frame members that support the round-topped air cleaner cover. Based on the VR-1000 racing motorcycle, it continues to be a platform around which Harley-Davidson builds drag-racing competition machines. The V-Rod has gathered an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Europe and Australia, and an annual Rally at the Kansas City production facility has been organized by Max Millender and the members of an 18,000 strong internet discussion forum www.1130cc.com. Bill Davidson has presented Mr Millender with a signed airbox cover to recognize the contribution the forum has made to the VRSC platform which continues to evolve with models like the Night Rod Special, or VRSCDX.
In 2008, Harley added anti-lock braking systems as a factory installed option on all VRSC models. Harley also increased the displacement of the engine from 1130cc's to 1250cc's.
The company considers 1903 to be its year of founding, though the Harley-Davidson enterprise could be considered to have started in 1901 when William S. Harley, age 21, drew up plans for a small engine that displaced 7.07 cubic inches (116 cc) and had four-inch flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame.
Over the next two years Harley and his boyhood friend Arthur Davidson labored on their motor-bicycle using the northside machine shop of their friend Henry Melk. It was finished in 1903 with the help of Arthur's brother, Walter Davidson. Upon completion the boys found their power-cycle unable to conquer Milwaukee's modest hills without pedal assistance. Will Harley and the Davidsons quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment.
Work was immediately begun on a new and improved machine. This first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches (405 cc) with 9-3/4 inch flywheels weighing 28 pounds. The machine's advanced loop-frame was similar to the 1903 Milwaukee Merkel motorcycle. They also got help with their new engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude. Elder brother William A. Davidson also lent a hand.
The prototype of the new improved loop-frame model was assembled in a 10 by 15-foot (3 by 5 meter) shed in the Davidson family backyard. The machine was functional by 8 September 1904 when it was entered in a Milwaukee motorcycle race, the first known appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
In January 1905 small advertisements were placed in the "Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal" that offered bare Harley-Davidson engines to the do-it-yourself trade. By April, complete motorcycles were in production on a very limited basis. In 1905 no more than a dozen machines were built in the backyard shed. (Some years later the original shed was taken to the Juneau Avenue factory where it would stand for many decades as a tribute to the Motor Company's humble origins. Unfortunately, the first shed was accidentally destroyed by contractors in the early 1970s during a clean-up of the factory yard.)
In 1906 Harley and the Davidsons built their first factory on Chestnut Street (later Juneau Avenue). This location remains the Motor Company's corporate headquarters today. The first Juneau Avenue plant was a modest 40 by 60-foot single-story wooden structure. That year around 50 motorcycles were produced.
In 1907 William S. Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in mechanical engineering. That year additional factory expansion came with a second floor and later with facings and additions of Milwaukee pale yellow ("cream") brick. With the new facilities production increased to 150 motorcycles in 1907. That September a milestone was reached when the fledgling company was officially incorporated. They also began selling their motorcycles to police departments around this time, a tradition that continues today.
Production in 1905 and 1906 were all single-cylinder models with 26.84 cubic inch (440 cc) engines but as early as February of 1907 a prototype model with a 45-degree V-Twin engine was displayed at the Chicago Automobile Show. Although shown and advertised, very few dual cylinder V-Twin models were built between 1907 and 1910. These first V-Twins displaced 53.68 cubic inches (880 cc) and produced about 7 horsepower (5 kW). This gave about double the hill-climbing power of the first singles. Top speed was about 60 mph (97 km/h). Production jumped from 450 motorcycles in 1908 to 1,149 machines in 1909.
The success of Harley-Davidson (along with Indian's success) had attracted many imitators. By 1911 some 150 makes of motorcycles had already been built in the United States -- although just a handful would survive the 1910s.
In 1911 an improved V-Twin model with mechanically operated intake valves was introduced. (Earlier V-Twins had used "automatic" intake valves that opened by engine vacuum). Displacing 49.48 cubic inches (810 cc), the 1911 V-Twin was actually smaller than earlier twins, but gave better performance. After 1913 the majority of bikes produced by Harley-Davidson would be V-Twin models.
By 1913 the yellow brick factory had been demolished and on the site a new 5-story structure of reinforced concrete and red brick had been built. Begun in 1910, the red brick factory with its many additions would take up two blocks along Juneau Avenue and around the corner on 38th Street. Despite the competition, Harley-Davidson was already pulling ahead of Indian and would dominate motorcycle racing after 1914. Production that year swelled to 16,284 machines.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I and the military demanded motorcycles for the war effort. Harleys had already been used by the military in border skirmishes with Pancho Villa but World War I was the first time the motorcycle had been adopted for combat service. Harley-Davidson provided over 20,000 machines to the military forces during World War I.
By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Their motorcycles were sold by dealers in 67 countries. Production was 28,189 machines.
In 1921, a milestone was reached in motorcycle racing. A Harley-Davidson machine was the very first to win a race at an average speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h).
During the 1920s, several improvements were put in place, such as a new 74 cubic inch (1.2 L) V-Twin, introduced in 1922, and the gas tank still seen today, called a "Teardrop" tank, in 1925. A front brake was added in 1928.
In the late summer of 1929, Harley-Davidson introduced its 45 cubic inch flathead V-Twin model to compete with the Indian 101 Scout and the Excelsior Super X.
The Great Depression began a few months after the introduction of their 45 cubic inch model. Harley-Davidson's sales plummeted from 21,000 in 1929 to less than 4,000 in 1933. In order to survive, the company manufactured industrial powerplants based on their motorcycle engines. They also designed and built a three-wheeled delivery vehicle called the Servi-Car, which remained in production until 1973.
An 80 cubic inch flathead engine was added to the line in 1935, by which time the single cylinder motorcycles had been discontinued.
By 1937, all the flathead engines were equipped with the dry-sump oil recirculation system that had been introduced with the 61E and 61EL "Knucklehead" OHV models. This caused the 74 cubic inch V and VL models to be renamed U and UL, the 80 cubic inch VH and VLH to be renamed UL and ULH, and the 45 cubic inch RL to be renamed WL.
In 1941, the 74 cubic inch "Knucklehead" was introduced as the F and the FL, replacing the 80 cubic inch flathead UH and ULH models.
Harley copied the BMW R71 to produce its XA model.
World War II
One of only two American cycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, Harley-Davidson again produced large numbers of motorcycles for the US Army in World War II and resumed civilian production afterwards, producing a range of large V-twin motorcycles that were successful both on racetracks and for private buyers.
Harley Davidson, on the eve World War II, was already supplying the Army with a military-specific version of its 45" WLD line, called the WLA. (The A in this case stood for "Army".) Upon the outbreak of war, the company, along with other manufacturing enterprises, shifted to war work. Over 90,000 military motorcycles, mostly WLAs and WLCs (the Canadian version) would be produced, many to be provided to allies. Shipments to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program numbered at least 30,000. The WLAs produced during all years of war production would, unusually, have 1942 serial numbers. Production of the WLA stopped at the end of the war, though it would resume production from 1949 to 1952 due to the Korean War.
The U.S. Army also asked Harley-Davidson to produce a new motorcycle with many of the features of BMW's side-valve and shaft-driven R71. Harley largely copied the BMW engine and drive train and produced the shaft-driven 750 cc 1942 Harley-Davidson XA. Due to the superior cooling of an opposed twin, Harley's XA cylinder heads ran 100 °F (55 °C) cooler than its V-twins. The XA never entered full production: the motorcycle by that time had been eclipsed by the Jeep as the Army's general purpose vehicle, and the WLA—already in production—was sufficient for its limited police, escort, and courier roles. Only 1,000 were made and the XA never went into full production. It remains the only shaft-driven Harley Davidson ever made.
Aermacchi-built AMF H-D single-cylinder bikeSee also: Harley-Davidson Hummer
See also: Harley-Davidson Topper
As part of war reparations, Harley-Davidson acquired the design of a small German motorcycle, the DKW RT125 which they adapted, manufactured, and sold from 1947 to 1966. Various models were made, including the Hummer from 1955 to 1959, but they are all colloquially referred to as "Hummers" at present. BSA in the United Kingdom took the same design as the foundation of their BSA Bantam.
In 1960, Harley-Davidson consolidated the Model 165 and Hummer lines into the Super-10, introduced the Topper scooter, and bought fifty percent of Aeronautica Macchi's motorcycle division. Importation of Aermacchi's 250 cc horizontal single began the following year. The bike bore Harley-Davidson badges and was marketed as the Harley-Davidson Sprint.
After the Pacer and Scat models were discontinued at the end of 1965, the Bobcat became the last of Harley-Davidson's American-made two-stroke motorcycles. The Bobcat was manufactured only in the 1966 model year.
Harley-Davidson's entry in the lightweight two-stroke market for 1967 was the M-65, built by Aermacchi and offered in base form with a normal tank and as the M-65S with a smaller peanut tank.
The company re-entered the 125 cc two-stroke market in 1968 with the introduction of the Aermacchi-built Rapido, a 125 cc bike to replace the American-made 2-stroke bikes.
The engine of the Sprint was increased to 350 cc in 1969 and would remain that size until 1974, when it was replaced by the 250 cc two-stroke SX.
Harley-Davidson purchased full control of Aermacchi's motorcycle production in 1974 and continued making two-stroke motorcycles there until 1978, when they sold the facility to Cagiva.
In 1952, following their application to the US Tariff Commission for a 40% tax on imported motorcycles, Harley-Davidson was charged with restrictive practices. Hollywood also damaged Harley's image with the many outlaw biker gang films produced from the 1950s through the 1970s, following the 1947 Hollister, CA biker riot on July 4th. "Harley-Davidson" for a long time was synonymous with "Hells Angels" and troublemakers in general who "beat up old ladies with chains".
In 1969, American Machinery and Foundry (AMF) bought the company, streamlined production, and slashed the workforce. This tactic resulted in a labor strike and a lower quality of bikes. The bikes were expensive and inferior in performance, handling, and quality to Japanese motorcycles. Sales declined, quality plummeted, and the company almost went bankrupt. The venerable name of "Harley-Davidson" was mocked as "Hardly Ableson", and the nickname "Hog" became pejorative.
1998 Harley-Davidson FXSTCIn 1981, AMF sold the company to a group of thirteen investors led by Vaughn Beals and Willie G. Davidson for $80 million. Inventory was strictly controlled using the Just In Time system.
Rather than trying to match the Japanese, this new management deliberately exploited the "retro" appeal of the machines, building motorcycles that deliberately adopted the look and feel of their earlier machines and the subsequent customizations of owners of that era. Many components such as brakes, forks, shocks, carburetors, electrics and wheels were outsourced from foreign manufacturers and quality increased, technical improvements were made, and buyers slowly returned. To remain profitable Harley continues to increase the amount of overseas made parts it uses, while being careful not to harm its valuable "American Made" image.
The "Sturgis" model, boasting a dual belt-drive, was introduced. By 1990, with the introduction of the "Fat Boy", Harley once again became the sales leader in the heavyweight (over 750 cc) market. There was a controversy that the Fat Boy model was allegedly inspired by the name of the bombs (Fat Man and Little Boy) that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The company vehemently denies this and claims it is coincidence.
Ford F-150 crew cab
Harley Davidson edition1994 saw the replacement of the FXR frame with the Dyna, though it was revived briefly in 1999 and 2000 for special limited editions.
In 1999, Ford Motor Company added a Harley-Davidson edition to the Ford F-Series F-150 line, complete with the Harley-Davidson logo. This truck was an extended-cab for model year 1999. In 2000, Ford changed the truck to a crew cab and in 2002 added a super-charged engine (5.4L) which continued until 2003. In 2004, the Ford/Harley was changed to a Super-Duty, which continues through 2006. Ford again produced a Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 for their 2006 model-year, as well.
Building started on $75 million 130,000 square-foot (12,000 m²) Harley-Davidson Museum in the Menomonee River Valley on June 1, 2006. It is expected to open in 2008 and will house the company's vast collection of historic motorcycles and corporate archives, along with a restaurant, café and meeting space.
Claims of stock price manipulation
During its period of peak demand, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Harley-Davidson embarked on a program of expanding the number of dealerships throughout the country. At the same time, its current dealers typically had waiting lists that extended up to a year for some of the most popular models. Harley-Davidson, like the auto manufacturers, records a sale not when a consumer buys their product, but rather when it is delivered to a dealer. Therefore, it is possible for the manufacturer to inflate sales numbers by requiring dealers to accept more inventory than desired in a practice called channel stuffing. When demand softened following the unique 2003 model year, this news lead to a dramatic decline in the stock price. In April 2004 alone, the price of HOG shares dropped from over $60 to under $40. Immediately prior to this decline, retiring CEO Jeffrey Bleustein profited $42 million on the exercise of employee stock options. Harley-Davidson was named as a defendant in numerous class action suits filed by investors who claimed they were intentionally defrauded by Harley-Davidson's management and directors. By January 2007, the price of Harley-Davidson shares reached $70.
 2007 workers' strike
On February 2, 2007, upon the expiration of their union contract, about 2,700 employees at Harley-Davidson Inc.'s largest manufacturing plant in York, PA went on strike after failing to agree on wages and health benefits. During the pendency of the strike, the company refused to pay for any portion of the striking employees' health care.
The day before the strike, after the union voted against the proposed contract and to authorize the strike, the company shut down all production at the plant. The York facility employs more than 3,200 workers, both union and non-union.
Harley-Davidson announced on February 16, 2007, that it had reached a labor agreement with union workers at its largest manufacturing plant, a breakthrough in the two-week-old strike. The strike disrupted Harley-Davidson’s national production and had ripple effects as far away as Wisconsin, where 440 employees were laid off, and many Harley suppliers also laid off workers because of the strike.
Agreement in India
In a landmark agreement reached during discussions between the US Trade Representative, Ms Susan Schwab and the Minister for Commerce and Industry of India, Mr Kamal Nath on April 12th, 2007 at New Delhi, Harley Davidson motorcycles will be allowed access to the Indian market in exchange for the export of Indian mangoes. India has relaxed their strict emissions standards to allow Harley Davidsons to be imported.
In 2003, Harley-Davidson Company celebrated its 100th birthday. On Labor Day weekend the city of Milwaukee hosted the largest Harley-Davidson event, and possibly the largest motorcycle event, in history.
Origin of Hog nickname
Beginning in 1920, a team of farm boys, including Ray Weishaar, who became known as the "hog boys," consistently won races. The group had a hog, or pig as their mascot. Following a win, they would put the pig (a real one) on the back of their Harley and take a victory lap. In 1983, an organization was formed, taking advantage of the long-standing nickname by turning "hog" into the acronym H.O.G., for Harley Owners Group. Many Harley-Davidson enthusiasts capitalize the word to make "Hog" and consider this term the sole property of H-D.
Harley-Davidson attempted to trademark "hog," but in 1999 ultimately lost the case, with the appellate panel ruling that "hog" had become a generic term for large motorcycles, and is therefore unprotectable as a trademark.
On August 15, 2006, Harley Davidson Inc. had its NYSE ticker symbol changed from HDI to HOG.
The Harley-Davidson Riders Club of Gt Britain & H.O.G.
Harley-Davidson 2004 HeritageThe Harley-Davidson Riders Club of Gt Britain (est 1949) was the first British riders club (as opposed to motorcycle club) and organised national rallies and ride-outs from the outset. The 1982 rally began a popular run of events, probably due to the good fortune of having William G. Davidson attending his first rally outside the USA, in Great Britain. He is thought to have been more than curious to discover how the secret "Evolution Motor" had found its world exclusive on the cover of the spring edition of the HDRCGB magazine, the "Harleyquin", but having a forgiving nature, Willie G. returned in 1984, along with Vaughn Beals and Len Thomson to officially show off the Evolution engine by bringing a test ride fleet to the second Brighton International Super Rally run by H.D.R.C.G.B.. The demonstration rides were the first at any European Rally.
Harley-Davidson established the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) in 1983 in response to a growing desire by a new breed of Harley riders for an organized way to share their passion and show their pride. By 1985, 49 local chapters existed, with a membership of 60,000.
Rapid growth continued into the 1990s, and in 1991 H.O.G. officially went international, with the first official European H.O.G. Rally in Cheltenham, England. Worldwide membership numbered 151,600, with 685 local chapters.
As the 90s continued, H.O.G. spread into Asia, including new chapters in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. By 1999, worldwide membership had reached half a million, and the number of local chapters totaled 1,157. Today, more than one million members make H.O.G. the largest factory-sponsored motorcycle organization in the world.
H.O.G. benefits include organized group rides, exclusive products and product discounts, insurance premium discounts, and the Hog Tales newsletter.
Famous owners of Harley-Davidsons include singer Elvis Presley, comedian Jay Leno, multiple Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, and professional wrestler The Undertaker, amongst many others.
The Average Harley-Davidson Rider
According to a recent Harley-Davidson study, in 1987 half of all Harley riders were under age 35. Now, only 15% of Harley buyers are under 35. and as of 2005, the median age had risen to 46.7
The income of the average Harley-Davidson rider has risen, as well. In 1987 the median household income of a Harley-Davidson rider was $38,000. By 1997, the median household income for those riders had more than doubled, to $83,000.
Replica of the "Captain America" bike from the film Easy RiderThe Norwegian hard rock band TNT has a song called "Harley Davidson" specifically about the motorcycle. The band inserts the distinctive sound of a Harley's motor to the musical score. Their current drummer, Morten "Diesel" Dahl, was a member of the Hells Angels.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles has long been associated with the sub-cultures of the:
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are a theme in the 2007 film Wild Hogs.
It is seldom that Harley-Davidson motorcycles appear in Japanese animation, or anime. One of these appearances was in the series Boys Be. Chiharu Reicha is using her ride, a Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage Classic, in going to places in Hokkaidô. Another appearance was in the series Hikaru no Go, in which a character rides a motorcycle bearing a striking resemblance to a Dyna. (Note: most chopper-type bikes in anime and manga are those of Japanese manufacturers.)
History from Wikipedia and
stock certificate research service).
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.