PCL’s People with Passion
A New Series
Today we wanted to celebrate the history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Just as William Harley and the Davidson brothers had a passion for “motor-bicycles”, PCL has a passion for tires and the safety of anyone who rides, not just HD lovers!
The history of Harley-Davidson:
“After drawing up plans for a small engine designed to fit on a regular bike frame, William S. Harley worked with Arthur and Walter Davidson to build this “motor-bicycle.” They finished the first model in 1903. While the test was mostly successful, the bike was unable to climb hills without the rider providing pedaling assistance.
But Harley and the Davidson brothers did not give up. They immediately began working on a new and improved machine. They created a bigger engine and loop-frame design. After completing the prototype in 1904, they entered the bike into a local motorcycle race at the State Fair Park, where it placed fourth.
Now that they had a working model, bare Harley-Davidson engines were listed in the January 1905 Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal. Just four months later, the motorcycles were in production. That first year, five bikes were produced – three of which were sold by the first Harley-Davidson dealer, Carl H. Lang of Chicago.
By 1906, Harley and the Davidson brothers were moving out of their shed and into their first factory, which was located at the current site of Harley-Davidson headquarters (Milwaukee, WI). They produced 50 motorcycles during their first year in the factory – ten times more than the year before.
Within one year of building their first factory, they were already preparing to expand it with a second floor. In September, Harley-Davidson officially incorporated. They produced 150 motorcycles in 1907 and began selling them to police departments.
The company continued to grow and improve year after year. New features and designs were constantly being introduced. The factory was expanded several times to keep up with the ever-growing demand for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson has played an important role in American history as well. The company produced over 20,000 motorcycles for the US military during World War I. And as one of only two American motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression, Harley-Davidson also played an important part in World War II. The company produced over 90,000 motorcycles for use in the war. Harley-Davidson was awarded two Army-Navy “E” Awards for Excellence in Production, in honor of their efforts during the war.”1
Much like Harley-Davidson, PCL continues to grow and innovate, building upon successful designs to make them better for our customers! We love the passion that drives innovators, we love the communities that bring us closer together, and we love the road that we all share which brings us endless smiles and memories!
To all the fans and riders worldwide, Harley-Davidson is an incredible story embraced by many of us, but we know there are more! Are you a Harley rider? Share your pics and stories with us on Instagram @pcltireinflation and use the hashtag #PCLlove! Questions? Need your own PCL products? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the next in our series!