Let’s be honest – you don’t have to be a diehard fan of motorcycles to be impressed by an epic Harley Davidson. In fact, you really only have to hear the mention of the name to immediately get a headful of enticing…if slightly cliché…images of burning down highways and byways with the wind in your hair. You may have no intention of ever getting on anything with two wheels and an engine, but it’s still an enjoyable daydream!
One of the best things about Harley Davidson motorcycles these days is the way in which you don’t have to hand over a king’s ransom in order to own one. You’ll find plenty of high quality yet affordable used Harleys here, for example. Indeed, it’s becoming easier to own a piece of true motorcycle history all the time – which is of course something we’d happily advise anyone to do!
So to whet the proverbial whistle just that little bit further, here’s a quick rundown of a few semi-interesting facts about Harley Davidson you probably didn’t know:
Harley Made Bicycles
First of all, prior to making any kind of machine with an engine attached to it, the legendary Harley Davidson motorcycle company actually made standard pushbikes. Just like the motor bikes that would eventually follow, they weren’t exactly what you’d call cheap and catered exclusively to an upmarket clientele. Suffice to say, track one of these babies down right now and you’re probably looking at an eye-watering price tag.
It was back in the year 1904 the Harley Davidson motorcycles was officially founded, as a partnership venture between William S Harvey and Arthur Davidson. Their initial efforts were somewhat on the remedial side by today’s standards – the first Harley Davidson motorcycle being a standard pushbike with an engine subsequently bolted onto the frame.
Harley Wasn’t Always the Market Leader
The biggest problem the company faced when it first emerged was the way in which they immediately found themselves up against more than 100 established motorcycle manufacturers. Given the fact that so many premium motorcycles had already been coming out of India for more than five years before Harley Davidson even existed, it was inevitable that they would go largely unnoticed for quite some time. Or at least, a couple of decades – Harley Davidson going on to successfully become the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world by 1920.
Harleys Were Once Powered By Porsche
Certain examples of them anyway, as back in the 1970s the company created a touring bike that went by the name of the Nova. One of the things that made this particular bike special was the way in which it featured a compact liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-4 engine displacing 800cc, designed by Porsche. The project was eventually abandoned and this was the last time these engines appeared in Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Evel Knievel Doesn’t Hold the Distance Record for Jumping a Harley
Last up, you may believe (or at least have presumed) that the longest-ever jump carried out using a Harley Davidson motorcycle would have been the work of Evel Knievel. Which was true for some time, but the 133-foot jump he achieved back in 1975 was smashed by Seth Enslow in 2010, who managed to fly an incredible 183.7 feet on a Harley Davidson. Watch the video of Seth Enslow Harley jump here: