Harley-Davidson: Quick Pics, Quick Facts

Harley-Davidson: Quick Pics, Quick Facts


In preparation for the upcoming Harley-Davidson exhibit at World of Speed, we unpacked and processed a collection of items donated by a past local Harley dealer as well as items on loan from our friends in Washington. Some will make it into the gallery display cases, other will be showcased in the Archive Room, while even more will be available in our online collection catalog.

But for now, here’s a teaser of some quick pics along with some quick facts about Harley-Davidson, its engines, racers and a few other surprising facts for Hog lovers, motorcycle fans, and Americana hobbyists.


Throughout the decades, Harley-Davidson has shared its milestones, achievements and cultural connections through its advertisements, publications and merchandise, as seen in these glossies.


Harley Owners Group (HOG): Established in 1983 by Harley-Davidson to build on the loyalty of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts as a means to promote a lifestyle alongside its products. The HOG also opened new revenue streams for the company, with the production of tie-in merchandise offered to club members, numbering more than one million.

HOG Racing: Beginning in 1920, a team of farm boys, including Ray Weishaar, became known as the "hog boys", consistently winning races riding Harleys. Weishaar was a Class A Racing Champion in the 1910s and 1920s. He rode for H-D’s “Wrecking Crew,“ and helped to popularize the nickname 'hog' in reference to Harley-Davidson by carrying the team's mascot, a small pig, around on victory laps.

Harley Police Bikes: Beginning in 1908, Harley-Davidson started selling motorcycles to Police squads throughout the country. With a focus on speed, endurance, and stability, Harley not only created bikes that fit these needs but kept up with technology to create features specific to the needs of motorcycle cops from patrol lights to sirens.


You can wear your pride on your sleeves or use the whole shirt.


Willie G.: William Godfrey Davidson, grandson of founder William Davidson, was Harley-Davidson’s senior vice president and chief styling officer who was generally responsible for approving Harley-Davidson motorcycle designs. He also personally designed several motorcycles for Harley-Davidson, including the Low Rider.

HD #1: Designed in honor of the Harley-Davidson race team’s Grand National Championship one year previous, the logo was designed by an employee to promote the racing team. Later that same year, Willie G. Davidson had it incorporated into the dashboard of the 1971 FX Super Glide motorcycle.

100 Years: In 2003, Harley-Davidson celebrated its 100 years and to commemorate the occasion, Harley-Davidson held events throughout the country and the world, with tons of commemorative merchandise, including the book “100 Years of Harley-Davidson” by William G. Davidson, aka Willie G.


And don’t forget to support those H-D racers.


Andrew Hines (born May 25, 1983) is a five-time National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. He rides the flagship Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-rod. Andrew follows in the footsteps of his brother and crew chief, Matt Hines (NHRA Champion 1996, 97, 98).

Scott Parker rode for Harley-Davidson’s flat track team most of his career and was considered the undisputed “King of the Mile”, totaling nine titles and 94 national wins which made him the all-time leader in championships and wins in AMA Grand National history when he retired in 2000.


Check out the exhibit display cases with more about Harley-Davidson drag racer and land speed record holder Steve Huff.


First Time on a Drag Bike: Steve Huff with his blue jeans and leather jacket took his first ride on a drag bike, sealing the deal and love for Harley drag racing.

An Idol’s Ride: When Huff took on drag racing, he needed a serious ride and he had to look no further than his idol Jim McClure who would become a lifelong friend.

Switch to Land: After making it big in the world of Pro Drag racing, Huff made another career shift and took on land speed racing, keeping with Harley-Davidson and Buell.


Huff’s idol and the person who sold him his first Harley dragster, Jim McClure. The tire commemorates his record speed of 226.01 mph in 6.42 seconds; available for viewing in the Archive Room.



In 1995, Jim McClure became the first person to ride a motorcycle over 200 mph while racing a nitro Harley-Davidson drag bike.

McClure amassed a total of 104 Top Fuel Harley records and earned nineteen #1 plates in the Top Fuel Harley class of racing while competing within various racing sanctions like the NMRA, IDBA, AHDRA, HDRA and DRAGBIKE! He won 19 national championships during his career.


Take a look at these engine models and magnets, also on display in the Archive Room, and come check out the real things at our Harley-Davidson exhibit.

Set of three: (left to right) Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead

Set of six: (top L2R) ‘48-’65 Panhead, ‘66-69 Shovelhead, ‘70-’83 Shovelhead, (bottom L2R) ‘36-47 Knucklehead, ‘29-’52 Flathead, ‘84- Evolution


Harley-Davidson Engines

1909 Atmospheric V-Twin: Fitted to 27 experimental motorcycles, the 811cc 45° V-Twin made 7bhp and set the pace and the line of Harley Davidson motors for future generations.

1911-1929 F-Head (IOE Engine): The intake/inlet over exhaust, or "IOE", four-stroke internal combustion engine motor had a waterproof ignition system, and was designed for street, police & commercial applications.

1929-1976 Flathead: The flathead engine is an internal combustion engine with its poppet valves contained within the engine block, instead of in the cylinder head, as in an overhead valve engine, and provided easily removable heads for servicing.

1936-1947 Knucklehead: Named because of the distinct shape of the rocker boxes which are said to resemble a clenched fist in the first H-D twin to have overhead valves. This architecture has carried forward to today.

1948-1965 Panhead: Nicknamed due to the rocker covers resembling cooking pans, engine is a two-cylinder, two-valve-per-cylinder, pushrod V-twin with aluminium cylinder heads, hydraulic valve lifters, improved oil circulation and crankpin roller bearings all added to the durability.

1966-1984 Shovelhead: Named after the ‘shovelled-out’ rocker covers. the Shovelhead had a shallower combustion chamber, larger valve drop for both intake and exhaust, better porting, and stronger valves and pistons, a new carb and easily adjustable timing, giving it an extra 10 horsepowers.

1984-1999 Evolution: Harley’s first engine created using Computer-Aided Design. It ran better, used less fuel, and made more power and torque than before. Both the heads and cylinders of the Evolution engine are made from aluminum to reduce weight compared to a cast iron design. 

1999-2016 Twin Cam: The second twin-cam motor got bigger displacement, more power, better cooling and a more rigid engine/transmission connection. Although these engines differed significantly from the Evolution engine, which in turn was derived from the series of single camshaft, overhead valve motors that were first released in 1936, they share a number of characteristics with nearly all previous Harley-Davidson engines.

2017 Milwaukee-Eight: the ninth generation of "big twin" engines , but only Harley's third all-new Big Twin in 80 years. These engines differ from the traditional Harley Big Twin engines in that there are four valves per cylinder, totaling eight valves, hence the name.


Others choose to create models in appreciation, some with precision detail and others as artistic impressions.

even a very cool and very handy radio in the shape of a Harley dash.