Thursday, October 3, 2019

Harley Davidson History Essay Example for Free

Harley Davidson History Essay Actually, the history of the Harley-Davidson Company began in 1903, when two brothers, Bill Harley and Walter Davidson, invented their first motorcycle in Milwaukee (Gannon, 2002, p. 8). At that period of time other companies produced motorcycles in the North-American states and one of them, the Indian Motorcycle Company, became the main competitor of Harley-Davidson for many years. In fact, it was a bicycle, equipped with a one-cylinder motor. All details of that motorcycle were produced manually. Later, the second version of that bike was produced with more powerful motor and it became the first motorcycle for sale (p. 10). Three bikes were assembled that year and the Harley-Davidson Company opened the first page of its history. In 1904, the brothers produced 8 motorcycles and in 1906 it were 50. The company developed very quickly and by that period of time it included about 20 employees hired. Harley-Davidson constantly aspired to create a high speed bike and as a result the new model known as V-twin was introduced in 1909. The specially designed vacuum valves and a belt transmission were the main features of that model (Oliver, 1957, p. 26). In 1910, the legendary Bar and Shield logo was developed. It continues to be the main defining symbol of Harley-Davidson bikes today (p. 28). The significant progress of the Harley-Davidson Company took place in 1912. A new 6-story factory was built and first overseas sales were made in Japan. That year Harley-Davidson presented its first version of gear box. The mechanism of chain gear was designed in 1913 and a three-speed sliding-gear transmission was developed in 1915 (p. 32). It should be emphasized that the First World War played a big role in the development of the Harley-Davidson Company. So, about 20,000 motorcycles were sold to the U. S. military forces by the end of 1918 (Walker, 2000, p. 67). The given order significantly improved the reputation of Harley-Davidson and having 2,000 additional dealerships worldwide the company managed to become the biggest motorcycle factory in the world (Oliver, 1957, p. 34). Improving the construction of V-twin motors, company’s constructors couldn’t get rid of the main problems, typical for the given class of motors. The opened valves often clogged up and had a lot of maintenance problems. At that time, Indian Motorcycle Company used another construction of V-motors. Though, theoretically that construction was less effective the engineers managed to bring it to perfection and got the maximal power and maintenance simplicity. For that reason, the administration of the Harley-Davidson Company took decision to create its own class of V-motors with longitudinal placement. The first pattern of that bike appeared in the last days of the second decade (p. 35). The new model, equipped with the Flathead V-twin engine was invented in 1929 (Walker, 2000, p. 72). The motors of the given model were equipped with side-valves and the classical Flathead could successfully compete with the production of the Indian Motorcycle Company. Unfortunately, Flathead appeared two months earlier the moment when the Great Depression began. The number of sales decreased in several times, but the company managed to survive when others went bankrupt. However, having survived the depression time the company managed to stabilize its economy and was in very advantageous position – huge demand and the absence of supply. In 1932, the three-wheel Servi-Car was developed (Oliver, 1957, p. 38). Together with the change, called as the eagle design, which was painted on all Harley-Davidson gas tanks, there were a lot of changes made in the engine’ s construction. Afterwards, the given model made a good impression on the U. S. police, as a result, Servi-Car managed to become police vehicle (p. 38). In 1936, the Knucklehead motorbike was invented and managed to become the victory over the Indian (p. 39). The given model took place on the market for 12 years and had a huge influence on the further developments. The engineers continued working on Knucklehead model even during the Second World War. Having changed the motor’s configuration and added the hydraulic device intended for pushing valves, the constructors managed to get rid of adjusting gaps. Due to the aluminum body of engine the motor’s heat emission was increased. Afterwards, bikers called that model – Penhead. The main event which took place in 1953, it was the collapse of the main competitor of Harley Davidson Indian Motorcycle Company (Walker, 2000, p. 88). Nevertheless, the company faced a lot of problems in the marketing field due to the fast development of Japanese and European motorbike companies. Thus, having sold the part of its stocks, Harley Davidson was involved in the cruel fight against foreign producers. In 1969, American Machine and Foundry Company bought the control packet of shares of Harley Davidson and became its actual owner (Oliver, 1957, p. 40). The new motorcycles had a negative impact on the company’s reputation and Harley Davidson began to lose the market of Big-twin and Sportster models. In 1971, FX Super Glide model was produced (p. 43). Although the given model wasn’t popular, Harley Davidson developed its further unique motorcycles on the basis of FX Super Glide. By the middle of 70-s the given models couldn’t cope with the production of Japanese competitors. As a result, in 1981 senior members of Harley-Davidson bought back Harley-Davidson Motor Company from AMF (Walker, 2000, p. 90). In 1983 the group H. O. G was founded and became the largest factory-sponsored motorcycle club in the world. By the year 2000, the club had over 500,000 members (Gannon, 2002, p. 15). In 1984, the new Evolution V2 model with an aluminum head was presented to public (Oliver, 1957, p. 42). At the end of this revolutionary decade for Harley-Davidson, the FXSTS Springer Softail model was introduced into the lineup. It was made on the basis of motorcycles of the 1940-s and equipped with the modern 1340 cc motor (Walker, 2000, p. 92). The appearance of the given engine allowed the Harley Davidson Company to produce many motorcycles by individual orders. So, introduction of such model as FLSTF Fat-Boy in the early 1990-s can be considered as a good evidence of that fact. In 2001, the new model of Harley-Davidson was presented for the 2002 model year. The main feature of the given model was suggested to be the modern engine, equipped with a liquid-cooled system. It should be pointed out that today the Harley Davidson Company takes the leading position in the business World, when demand exceeds supply, that allows to increase the prices of production and stock. References Gannon E. , Veno A. (2002). Brotherhoods: Inside the Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs. Crows Nest: Allen Unwin Oliver S. H. (1957). Automobiles and Motorcycles in the U. S. National Museum. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Walker S. M. (2000). Bikers: Culture, Politics and Power. New York: Berg

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