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Even Harley-Davidson can’t fit one hundred-plus years of history into a single museum. Experience more here – including an interactive timeline.


1930

Bill Davidson, Jr. wins the Jack Pine endurance contest with 997 points of 1,000. All individual class winners are riding Harley-Davidson® motorcycles.

1931

All of Harley-Davidson's remaining American competition is now gone except Indian (Hendee Manufacturing). Indian and Harley-Davidson are the only two American motorcycle manufacturers until 1953.

1932

The 45 cubic inch-driven, three-wheeled Servi-car begins its 41 year run as a popular commercial and police vehicle.


In dirt track racing, Harley-Davidson racer Joe Petrali begins a five-year consecutive streak of winning the AMA Grand National Championship. Petrali also wins the National Hill-Climb Championships for 1932 to 1935.

1933

An art-deco "eagle" design is painted on all gas tanks. This marks the beginning of graphic designs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles (with the exception of previously special order-only paint schemes). This styling decision was made in part to stimulate the low sales numbers caused by the Great Depression.

1935

The Japanese motorcycle industry is founded as a result of Harley-Davidson licensing blueprints, tools, dies and machinery to the Sankyo Company of Japan. The result is the Rikuo motorcycle.


Joe Petrali and his Harley-Davidson peashooter win all thirteen of the American Motorcycle Association National Championship dirt track races. Petrali breaks four records in the process.

1936

Harley-Davidson introduces the EL, an overhead valve, 61 cubic inch powered bike. With increased horsepower and bold styling changes, the motorcycle quickly earns the nickname of "Knucklehead," due to the shape of its rocker boxes. The same year, the Motor Company introduces a 80 cubic inch side valve engine.

1937

The first WL models are produced. Joe Petrali sets a new land speed record of 136.183 mph on a modified Harley-Davidson 61 cubic inch overhead valve-driven motorcycle. The same day, he also breaks the record for 45 cubic inch engine motorcycles.

1938

The Jack Pine Gypsies Motorcycle Club holds the first Black Hills Rally in Sturgis, SD.


On the 3.2 mile beach course at Daytona, FL, Ben Campanale wins the first of two consecutive victories at the Daytona 200 on a Harley-Davidson WLDR.