Short for Harley Davidson, a marque of American made motorcycle. Manufactured since 1903, the Harley Davidson's most recognizable features are it's 45-degree V Twin engine and distinct exhaust sound.
Harley Davidson dominated the American motorcycle market until the mid-1960's when Honda introduced a line of smaller-displacement less intimidating lightweight bikes. The smaller Japanese bikes could not match the performance of the then ing-of-the-hill Sportster, a bona fide street racer and land-speed record holder and still the best selling middleweight motorcycle in history.
But, the less-intimidating Japanese machines became top-sellers, and changing times hurt Harley Davidson sales.
Harley Davidson was acquired by AMF in the 1960s and quality, along with sales, plummeted. The "AMF Years" almost dealt a death-blow to Harley-Davidson and saddled the motorcycles with a bad reputation which has, unfortunately, been hard to shake, even though the current production bikes have a reputation among motorcyclists as having almost bulletproof reliability.
In the 1980s, Harley was bought back from AMF and completely re-vamped. Quality was back, and customers flocked to dealers, and still do.
Rode my Harley to Sturgis last year
Prices shown in USD.
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