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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.


1950

Larry Headrick wins the AMA Grand National Championship for Harley-Davidson in dirt track racing.


Harley-Davidson riders win 18 of 24 National Championships and set six new racing records

1952

The side-valve K model is introduced with an integrated engine & transmission to compete with smaller, sportier motorcycles coming mainly from Great Britain. The K will eventually evolve into the Sportster.

1953

Harley-Davidson celebrates its 50th Anniversary in style. An attractive logo is created, depicting a "V" in honor of the engine which had brought the Company so far, with a bar overlaid reading "Harley-Davidson" and the words, above and below, "50 years--American made." A medallion version of this logo is placed on the front fenders of the 1954 models.


Hendee Manufacturing, the creator of the Indian motorcycle, goes out of business. Harley-Davidson would be the sole U.S. motorcycle manufacturer for the next 46 years.

1954

Dirt track racer Joe Leonard wins the AMA Grand National Championship. Over the next eight years, the Grand National Championship will be won by Harley-Davidson racers.

1955

This year begins a seven-year consecutive run of victories at the Daytona 200. The victories will be shared by racers Brad Andres, Johnny Gibson, Joe Leonard and Roger Reiman. All ride Harley-Davidson KR models. Reiman's victory in 1961 is on the new speedway course.

1956

The new young star Elvis Presley poses for the cover of the May Enthusiast sitting on a 1956 model KH.

1957

The motorcycling public met a new motorcycle called the Sportster®. It premiers as a 55 cubic inch overhead valve engine, and within one year of its debut, becomes known as the first of the "Superbikes." Another Harley-Davidson tradition and legend is born.

1958

The first hydraulic rear brake and new rear suspension appear on Big Twin Models on the new Duo-Glide.


Racer Carroll Resweber wins the first of four AMA Grand National Championships.