Harley-Davidson founder: William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, William A. Davidson
Harley-Davidson headquarters: Milwaukee, USA
Official website: www.harley-davidson.com
One of the two oldest and largest US motorcycle manufacturers, Harley-Davidson is famous for its heavyweight, air-cooled cruiser motorcycles. In the 2000s it broadened its product line and included more modern VRSC and Street platforms.
Harley-Davidson sells its motorcycles in many countries. In addition to several production sites in the US (in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri), Harley-Davidson has factories in Brazil and India.
Harley-Davidson Logo Meaning and History
The brand’s name has been the core of its symbol ever since its creation. The original version was introduced in 1909. There were a lot of alterations since then. The 1930 badge included only this inscription. Red letters with a yellow outline were typed on white background. The 1933 version used the same lettering, but with a black background, which made words “Harley-Davidson” stand out. This logo was surrounded with a bird-like scroll.
This scroll, however, stayed not more than a year – probably, company’s design team decided to look for an image that better reflects its identity. This image – “flying” motif – was found in 1934.
Two years later, with the creation of the new Knucklehead engine, a new version of Harley-Davidson logo was designed. It was used until 1940 only, but similar ideas can be noticed in some recent models. In 1940 the first metal logo was created. Simple, minimalistic lettering was surrounded with a metal “drop,” representing the concept of speed.
The design used in 1947-1950 was rather simplistic. The name of the brand (in red) was placed on a metal badge. Introduction of this version coincided with the introduction of the motorcycle engine Panhead.
In 1951, just a year before the introduction of Hydra-Glide’s transmission standard, a very successful version of Harley-Davidson logo was created. The script became more elegant and refined; the letters became smaller. There was a metal line under company’s name.
Four years later a large letter “V” appeared in the background. The arrowhead logo of 1959 was replaced by the “gun sight” version in 1961, and in 1972 letters “AMF” appeared, reminding of Harley-Davidson’s association with this sporting-goods manufacturer.
In 1982 Sturgis wore the famous “Bar and Shield” logo. New versions were introduced in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1998. However, “Bar and Shield” has been the most popular symbol.
“Bar and Shield” logo is recognized all over the world. Harley-Davidson symbol is designed in the shape of a black shield with a horizontal black bar in the middle. “Harley Davidson” written in white is placed on the bar, while “Motorcycles” written in orange is placed inside the shield.
The choice of colors represents cheerfulness, energy, activity (orange), as well as excellence and elegance (black).
So, what are the most popular Harley Davidson emblems?
- The “Bar & Shield” logo (1908).
- The logo created by Willie G. Davidson for the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy (it can be seen on every Fat Boy manufactured from 1990 to now).
- The “eagle” design that can be seen on all gas tanks. The emblem, performed in art-deco style, was introduced in the 1930s. In fact, one of the main reasons for its creation was that sales dropped dramatically during the Great Depression. The company’s CEOs decided that the introduction of new Harley Davidson gas tank emblems could boost sales.
- In 1953, Harley Davidson celebrated its 50th anniversary and created a Golden Anniversary medallion installed on all the models made in 1954.
Harley Davidson logo colors
The first version of the “Bar & Shield” logo was presented in black and white. It wasn’t until 1922 that the orange, white and black coloring was added. At that time, it was viewed only as part of a packaging redesign for parts and accessories. However, today, Harley Davidson logo colors are an indispensable part of the company’s image. The orange color symbolizes energy, black stands for elegance, while white helps to create a strong contrast.
Who made Harley Davidson?
The renowned US motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has a history of over 100 years. It was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903, and is still based in the same town. Harley has gone through several subsidiary arrangements, but today it is neither a subsidiary nor the property of any other company. Harley is a public company, whose President and CEO is Matthew Levatich.
Where are Harley Davidsons made?
Although Harley Davidson is an essentially American brand and it is based in the US, in fact, it would be not really fair to claim that the motorcycles are completely made within the country. The real answer isn’t that easy. In fact, Harley uses production plants in several countries, from Germany and Italy to Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, India, and Mexico, to order components for its motorcycles. The good news is that those components are then shipped to the US, and here’s where the bikes are actually assembled. Some of the essential components are also manufactured domestically.
Harley Davidson manufacturing
So, as we have pointed out above, Harley Davidson manufacturing plants are located all around the globe. And what about the plants in the US?
The company lists the following locations:
- Menominee Falls, Wisconsin
- Tomahawk, Wisconsin
- Kansas City, Missouri
- York, Pennsylvania
Some of the components produced at the US plants include powertrains and windshields.