It began in 1903, in a 10'x 15' wooden shed in the backyard of the Davidson family home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was a time in history when a bicycle was a necessary but crude vehicle, used mainly for transportation on unpaved roads; a time in history when the horseless carriage - the automobile - had just come into being, and was considered by most to be a wacky, noisy, loud, smelly way to travel. Certainly, a car would never take the place of the horse. But to Arthur Davidson and William Harley, it was only logical that if the horse and carriage were being replaced by a self-propelled four-wheeled vehicle, the common bicycle should progress in the same way. .
Soon after they started work on creating a motorized bicycle, Arthur's two brothers, Walter and William, joined the pair. In two years, they produced three motorcycles, and the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Co. was born. In 1904, the first Harley-Davidson dealer, C.H. Lang of Chicago, opens for business. By 1909, Harley-Davidson had introduced the V-twin: an engine that has double the power of its predecessors, and could go sixty miles an hour, resulting in the engine that has become the company's standard to this day. By 1910, Harley-Davidson is producing twenty three thousand motorcycles a year, and is the second largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the U.S., behind American made Indian Motorcycles. .
Arthur Davidson and William Harley's invention of the motorized bicycle, fueled a revolution in the transportation industry, and by 1911, Harley-Davidson has one hundred fifty other brands of motorcycles competing with them on the American roadway. No one at the time had any idea of what the "birth " of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Co. would turn into. No one could have ever imagined, just how beloved their creation would become to countless numbers of Harley loyalists the world over. Modernized and brought up to today's emission standards, much of the design and styling created over the past one hundred years remains to this day, as what make a Harley, a Harley.