Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Harley-Davidson and American Symbols and Icons
There are quite a few things that can instantly be recognized as American when you see them. Harley-Davidson is one of them. Can you find two other things in this photo that are symbolically and iconically American?
This Harley-Davidson motorbike belongs to a member of the Bandung branch of the Harley-Davidson Club Indonesia (HDCI). The Harley-Davidson Club Indonesia (HDCI) was established in Bandung, on May 26, 1990, and currently has 24 branches throughout Indonesia.
A legendary motorbike, Harley-Davidson actually had quite a humble begining. It began with a design that William S. Harley drew in 1901 of an engine for a regular pedal-bicycle frame. To realize the design Harley worked together with his friend Arthur Davidson and together produced their first engine in 1903. Although this first engine was considered rather unsuccessful (the engine could not overcome Milwaukee's modest hills without pedal assistance), their first experience was proven to be very valuable in in their future ventures in motorbike engine designs.
The first functional prototype Harley-Davidson engine was produced in 1904 and was successfully tested by Edward Hildebrand (the first rider) at a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park on September 8 of that year. The motorbike placed fouth in the race. This is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorbike.