Walter Davidson, an avid motorcyclist, began racing motorcycles as early as 1905 when the Chicago Motorcycle Club awarded him a first prize trophy for its “Ten Mile Open. ” In 1907, he won at least three competitions in southwest Wisconsin and in 1908 he won the 7th Annual Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) Endurance and Reliability Run. Held in New York State, he earned 1,000 points, a perfect score. The photo shows him after this victory.
Walter Davidson’s passion for racing was shared by his nephew, William H. Davidson, who earned a near-perfect score in the 1930 Jack Pine National Reliability Tour. Their accomplishments, along with those of other racers, helped bring national attention to the Harley-Davidson brand and solidify their reputation as powerful, reliable machines.