Facts and Trivia 1-2017

A TIMELINE OF LESSER KNOWN HARLEY-DAVIDSON HISTORY

“PART 3 of 3”

Most of you are familiar with the Harley-Davidson story, a timeline that dates back over 113 years.

This is Part 3 of a compilation of interesting lesser known facts that were pivotal to the Harley-Davidson story. (See the November and December issues of Full Throttle Magazine for Parts 1 and 2)

September 10th 1956, The first time the name “Sportster” was ever used is featured in the magazine “The Enthusiast” when Harley-Davidson announces the revolutionary new model 55ci OHV Sportster to soon be released in 1957. Also earlier that year in May, “The Enthusiast” features Elvis Presley sitting on a Model KH, the predecessor to the Sportster.

January 1st 1969, Little is known about the correlation with the buyout of the motor company by AMF and the impact on the sons and grandsons of H-Ds founding fathers. Nevertheless during this year, history shows us that before the year 1969 ends, Walter G. Davidson decided to retire. Within the next two years Walter Davidson, Executive Vice President resigns his position and William J. Harley, Engineering Vice President passes away.

September 15th 1977, Many of us used to watch the TV show “CHiPs,” you remember, it was about two cops who rode around California all day on their motorcycles looking for the bad guys. Not all of you may have realized that those weren’t Harley’s and neither were the motorcycles that the real California Highway Patrol rode, they were Kawasaki’s. That’s because during the AMF years “1975” to be exact Harley lost the CHP motorcycle contract. The AMF era ended in 1981 and Harley won back the CHP motorcycle contract in 1984, that year CHP ordered 155 Harley Davidson motorcycles to replace their Kawasaki’s.

The year 2000, and the new millennium. The 1936 Knucklehead is widely considered the father of the modern motorcycle, 1965 saw “electric start,” but I have always considered the year 2000 as the start of today’s modern motorcycle, with the introduction of the counter balanced Twin Cam B and the beginning of modern electronics. In fact the year 2000 H-D sold over 200,000 motorcycles for the first time in its history.

In the 1970s I wondered what a Harley Davidson would look like in the year 2000, I envisioned all sorts of futuristic looking motorcycles and to be honest I wasn’t very happy about that. Today I own a 2000 FLSTC and I love the fact that H-D has stayed true to its classic styling to this day.

There are many Harley haters out there, who would say H-Ds are obsolete, or a second rate motorcycle, but guess what I’m writing this column and to them I say “don’t worry about what I ride and I won’t worry about what you ride.”

Maybe I went a little too far with that last paragraph, but it is what it is, many of you have been reading my column’s for years, and for that I thank you.

Trivia Question of the Month:

Question:  The Black Hills Rally is a very popular motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, SD. What motorcycle club started this great rally?

Answer to last month’s trivia question:

Question: The first Heritage Softail in 1986 was not the first Harley to be named Heritage, what Harley claimed the name Heritage before 1986?

Answer: In 1981 H-D produced a special edition retro style FLH called the “Heritage Electra Glide.” Production run was 1981 and 1982 only.

Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

I know more than I say, I think more than I speak, I see more than you realize!

UNTIL NEXT MONTH
“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo
“The Hog Shoppe Inc.”