Hi, and welcome to the Iron Warriors Bike Club website. My name's Strong Bear (The Bear), and I
live in Eastern Kentucky. This site is for like-minded Motor Cycle owners.
This site is currently under construction, and when finished there will be something here for all
bike enthusiasts. It is my hope that - in getting this club going - that we build up a friendly and sociable motorbike club
catering for all breeds and speeds of bikes.
So cruise on through these pages - and happy biking.
Whole libraries could be built to house all the information that has been gathered regarding the
Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The following is a short potpourri of information about Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Use it to
satisfy yourself that you know plenty now or as a stepping stone to acquiring more knowledge on the subject. Harley-Davidson
is a survivor. The Motor Company,as it is affectionately known, was founded in Milwaukee in 1903 by William Harley and the
Davidson brothers, Arthur and Walter. Shortly thereafter, William Davidson joined the group. The first motorcycle that Harley
sold was the so-called Silent Gray Fellow that had a single cylinder DeDion-Bouton engine. The Harley and Davidson families
continued to be a part of the growing success of the company. Even today, the grandson of William Davidson, "Willie G." Davidson,
is Vice President of Styling. There have been numerous engines used by Harley-Davidson and each seems to have received a popular
name to distinguish it from all the others. The first popular engine was the Flathead introduced in 1936 that was a side-valve
engine. At the same time Harley introduced the Knucklehead, an overhead-valve design. The popular engine names are derived
from the look of the top of the engine. The Panhead, introduced in 1948, was actually a new top end to the Knucklehead engine.
The Shovelhead engine, introduced in 1966, was again a new top end to the previous Panhead design. Most recently, the Motor
Company has produced the Evolution engine (Blockhead), the Twin Cam 88 and the Twin Cam 88B that is counterbalanced. The Twin
Cam engines are being called the Fat Head engines. Many Harley riders cringe when they talk about the AMF years. Harley was
forced to merge with American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1969. AMF was best known as a manufacturer of bowling balls and
sports equipment. These were the years that reliability of the H-D machine suffered most and Harleys "marked their territory"
with oil spots. There were bright spots from the alliance though in that at least Harley-Davidson was able to stay afloat
financially and grow. In 1981 the company was bought back by a group of H-D executives including Willie G. Davidson.
The Harley models have gone through a dizzying array of letter and number designations over the
years. One almost needs a scorecard to figure out what someone means by FXRS, FLHTCUI, or FXSTSB. The ever popular Sportster
model always begins with an X such as XLH. Sportsters were first built in 1957 making them the longest production run for
a model currently being sold by H-D. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are part and parcel of the American fabric. They have appeared
in numerous movies. Who can forget the thrilling ride of Arnold Schwarzenegger on a Fat Boy in Terminator 2? What a ride!
However, Marlon Brando in The Wild One did not ride a Harley. He was on a Triumph. Harleys are known for their distinctive
"potato-potato" sound and their characteristic shake. Rubber mounted engines have helped to dampen some of this shake but
it took a new engine design to practically eliminate it. In 1999 Harley-Davidson introduced the Twin Cam 88 engine. This engine
replaced the Evolution engine. In 2000, Harley introduced the Twin Cam 88B engine that effectively eliminated the shake by
using counterbalancing. It was introduced in the Softail models while all other Harley-Davidson models except the Sportster
retained the Twin Cam 88 engines. Even though new engines are being introduced, Harley-Davidson engineers still make sure
that the "potato-potato" sound is still there so you know you're on a Harley. For 2001 Harley did not add the 88B engine to
any other models. It did, however, do something that added to the value of a Harley. Harley-Davidson provided an optional
electronic alarm system that disables the starting circuit and fuel supply. You could even get a siren attached. The future
looks bright for Harley-Davidson. In 2004, Harley-Davidson really unshook things by introducing a rubber-mounted engine for
its Sportster series. Things will keep changing as more and more people want to ride a Harley. The EPA requirements will probably
force Harley-Davidson to refine their air-cooled engines. Perhaps they will eventually sell more liquid-cooled machines based
on the V-Rod design. One thing is sure. Harley-Davidson is a survivor and their mark has been made on the American rider as
well as riders around the world. What other company can boast that they have permanent advertising on the bodies of thousands
of their customers in the form of tattoos?
Copyright (c) 2005 Strong Bear and Jasper