Harley Davidson started in a wooden backyard shack in 1903 and is now one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world. The brand was founded by William Harley, William Davidson, Arthur Davidson, and Walter Davidson with the mission of creating motorized bicycles that went fast and were easy to handle. Today, their bikes have a unique sound, style, and status that appeal to Americans and people around the world.

Think you know about Harley Davidson? Check out our list of 10 things you probably don’t know about the brand.

10 Facts About Harley Davidson


1. The first racer sponsored by Harley Davidson won a race riding a Harley in 1914. It was the first time in history that a motorcycle averaged 100 MPH.

2. Evel Knievel made his record-breaking jump in 1975 riding a Harley XR-750.

Harley Davidson motorcycle
3. The first Harley club formed in 1928 at a wedding in the Czech Republic.

4. Harley Davidson became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in 1920. The brand grew to 2,000 dealers across 67 countries.

5. Harley Davidson engineered the first 45 degree V-twin engine. The 45-degree engine creates the roaring growl of Harley bikes.

6. The bikes got their nickname “hogs” in the 1920’s from a group of farm boys who would race motorcycles in their spare time. Their mascot was a live pig, or a hog.

7. Harley Davidson riders are superstitious and won’t ride a green bike. There are many stories about why that is. Three of the most common are:

  • After WW2 ended, motorcycles that were supplied for the war efforts were refurbished for civilian use. The bikes were poorly refurbished and broke down often. Riders would avoid these green military bikes because they didn’t want to get stuck with an expensive repair bill!
  • A soldier might have been killed on the bike and it would bring bad luck to ride his motorcycle.
  • The third theory is that because the British rode green bikes and would often beat Americans in races, no true American would ride a green Harley.

8. Harley Davidson pledged to an environmental warranty in the early 2000’s That warranty ensures that parts that do not meet regulations would be replaced for free.

9. The first Harley Davidson ads boasted about how quiet the bike’s engine was. In fact, the ads showed cleat cut men and women in an effort to give the bikes a classy look.

10. During the Great Depression, it was too expensive to export the motorcycles. But, Harley Davidson was in high demand in Japan so they had to figure out how to meet the demand. The company decided to temporarily manufacture their motorcycles abroad. Today, Harleys are only manufactured in America.

Harley Davidson has a rich history. The shield and badge logo is instantly recognized and stands for premium quality. They are an international symbol of American ingenuity and a classic staple of Americana.

Are you looking to ride a hog into the upcoming Spring season? Our March Mid-Month Day 1 auction include a 2017 Harley Davidson FXDB Street Bob Cruiser and a 2014 Harley Davidson Road King Cruiser. Pre-bidding for the auction is open now! The auction begins to close on March 15th @ 10am ET. If you have any questions about the Harleys, or any other items in the catalog, call 800-729-6466 or email info@soldoncompass.com.


Compass Auctions and Real Estate hosts monthly auctions featuring heavy equipment, firearms and ammo, industrial equipment, vehicles, jewelry and collectibles, and restaurant equipment. Our team is here to help! If you have questions about any of the items for auction, call 800-729-6466 or send an email to info@soldoncompass.com.

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