Did You Say Harly? If you are looking for a special ride and you see a motorcycle with Harly painted on the side do not buy it no matter how good the deal seems to be. Harley-Davidson is a registered trademark and only real Harleys can bear the logo. Notice that is Harley, not Harly. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company was established in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was co-founded by William Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, and William Davidson. The three Davidsons were brothers, and William Harley was Arthur's friend. They named the company Harley-Davidson with the hyphen in the middle to tell people there was more than one founder. Rumors for the reason Harley's name is first range from because it sounded better, to because he came up with the design for the first engine. The hyphen is often left out, especially on websites and when searching online. If you search for Harly on the Internet you will come up with results, even though it is not the proper spelling of the name. This happens either due to typos, or cleverly designed search engine optimization of ads. Whatever the reason, most of these sites are still legitimate. Do not be afraid to order from them or follow their advice. Any products for sale with the word Harly however, are not legitimate. They are either cheap knockoffs or out right scams. Don't waste your money. Legitimate Harley-Davidson dealers are located all over the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe. Most dealerships sell not only motorcycles, but also Harley Davidson clothing and accessories as well. The very first Harley dealer was C.H. Lang. He opened for business in Chicago, Illinois in 1904 and sold one of the first 3 production Harley Davidson motorcycles ever sold. Once you have purchased a Harley-Davidson you might decide to customize it. Once again if the parts say Harly Davidson look elsewhere. If the guy selling you the parts is named Harly, well that's just a heck of a coincidence. There are many kits available to help you customize your bike yourself, or you can take it to the shop. If you can afford it you may even want to have your own customized bike designed and built just for you. Some people choose to customize to increase functionality. This may include installing luggage racks. Some people customize to fit their riding style. This is where chrome comes in. Chrome fenders are just the beginning. Chrome hardware such as polished screws and bolt covers can actually be matched to your other accessories. A chrome master cylinder cover and chrome hand levers complete the look. Custom paint is another way to establish your own style. You will probably want to have this done unless you are an artist yourself. Any bike can be custom painted whether it is a touring bike, a cruising bike, or a racing bike. Just make sure the artist paints Harley-Davidson, not Harly-Davidson. The paint job should reflect the riders personality. 100 Years Of HD The Harley-Davidson Company or HD has been around for just over 100 years. It all began with two friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. William S. Harley stands for the H in HD. Arthur Davidson is one of three D's. The other two D's being his brothers, Walter and William Davidson. William Harley and Arthur Davidson began working on the prototype and eventually sought the help of Walter and William. Walter was a skilled mechanic. William was an experienced toolmaker. Together the group formed the HD Company, which was later incorporated. During 1903 HD turned out a grand total of 3 motorcycles. All were bought and paid for before completion. Gray was the standard color of the first HD motorcycles, which were often referred to as the "Silent Gray Fellows". By the end of 1905 the HD Company was not only selling motorcycles, but also motorcycle motors, marine motors, reversible propellers and float feed carburetors. The price of the motorcycle was $200. The popularity of the HD motorcycle continued to grow through out the following decade. By 1914, nine departments of the federal government of the United States used HD's. The U.S. Postal service alone used more than 4,800 Harley Davidson motorcycles for rural mail delivery. In 1916 the military began using HD's in border skirmishes with Pancho Villa. The motorcycles were equipped with machine guns. HD motorcycles were also used in World War I with half of all models produced being shipped overseas. The war also was responsible for the establishment of the first Harley-Davidson Service School. The HD Company saw a need and met it. The 1920's brought an end to the war and a beginning to the world of racing. HD made quite an impact. Harley-Davidson suffered, but managed to survive the Great Depression and continued to prosper through the 1930's. Unfortunately World War II came in the 1940's and HD was pressed into service once again. The 1950's brought about new, more aggressive marketing strategies and expansion for this great company. Once again war broke out, this time in Korea. Motorcycles were replaced in popularity with the military with the Jeep. HD was free to concentrate on its civilian consumers. The 1960's brought about as much change for HD as everyone else in the United States. This was also when the company began to branch out into an unrelated field of leisure product with the production of 3-wheeled golf carts. By the end of the decade these carts cornered about one third of the United States market, and were even used oversees. HD also began marketing an extensive line of motorcycle accessories. The 1970's saw continuing success in the racing venue. Great advancements were made in the racing bikes that were produced by HD. In late 1970 the company also unveiled its brand new snowmobile. Perhaps the biggest change was the merger between HD and the AMF. The 1980's began with a buyback, and the HD Company returned to private ownership. The company seemed to show a renewed interest in building better machines So much so that they won the contract with the California Highway Patrol in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989. The 1990's were ushered in with the appearance of HD's most customized factory custom motorcycle to date, the FLSTF Fat Boy. This bike was reminiscent of the past while still being up to date with the times. The Twenty first century has come and HD remains strong. Its current line of bikes includes the Sporster, the Dyna, the Softail, the VRSC, and a Touring line. Each line includes several models. Bikes now sell from between $6,000 and $25,000. HOG -- Harley Owners Group As the owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, you have the opportunity to become a member of an elite group. This group is known as HOG -- Harley Owners Group. Currently, there are more than 1 million HOG members around the globe who have united to display their passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Members of HOG attend activities presented by local hog chapters. Activities fall into three categories: - Closed events -- conducted primarily for the benefit of HOG chapter members. Some closed events allow members to bring one guest. - Member events -- only open to HOG members. - Open events -- chapter events open to HOG members and other guests. There are three types of HOG membership: - Full membership -- Entitles members to all the benefits and services of the Harley Owners Group organization. - Associate membership -- Designed for passengers and family members of full HOG members. Associate members must be sponsored by a full member in order to participate in HOG events. - Life membership -- Available as a full life membership or as an associate life membership. Special benefits and recognitions are available to life members. Members of HOG receive many benefits besides the camaraderie of fellow Harley enthusiasts. HOG members receive: - Subscription to Enthusiast magazine; the oldest continually published motorcycle magazine in the world. - Subscription to Hog Tales; the official publication of the Harley Owners Group that keeps members up-to-date on hog happenings around the world. - HOG Fly and Ride membership. This program allows hog members to fly to locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia; pick up a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from a local dealership; and tour in style without any hassle or delay. - HOG membership manual to help members get the most out of their hog membership. - Access to the HOG "Members Only" website. - Copy of the official HOG Touring Handbook; a guide filled with maps, dealer location, riding laws, and much more. Women who own Harley Davidson motorcycles are privy to the Ladies of Harley (LOH) membership. LOH is the group of female Harley Davidson enthusiasts who promote activities and adventures from within a local HOG chapter. The members of LOH run their own meetings and sponsor activities that both women and men can participate in. HOG events include national and international rallies, state rallies, touring rallies, open houses, pit stops and pin stops where members can pick up HOG pins and other memorabilia. Every hog chapter reflects the passions and personalities of its members. No matter where in the world you go, HOG members can always feel at home when they attend hog meetings and events. While each chapter offers a variety of events, each being unique to the chapter, the focus is to have fun and share your passion for HOG and the Harley-Davidson lifestyle. HOG chapters include a variety of fun and "good deed" events including dinner rides, parades, observation runs, toy runs to provide toys to sick or needy children, charity events, safe rider programs and more. Becoming a HOG member will open up the doors to life with a Harley and present you with many opportunities to make good friends and be part of an exceptional group of fun-loving, kind and caring individuals. How Choppers Evolved Choppers came into being in the 1960's and 1970's. They were the next step in motorcycle evolution after the "bobber". The bobber came about after American soldiers returned home from World War II. While they remained loyal to the Harley Davidson company, riders that had served oversees just weren't quite satisfied with the machines the company was producing. These riders remembered the motorcycles they had seen in Europe that were more lightweight and more exciting. Most hade been trained to work on motorcycles and automobiles in the service. They began to get together and talk about improvements. To make the bike lighter, riders began removing or shortening the fenders. The front fender was usually removed completely, while the back fender was made short enough to just protect the passenger from mud and water thrown up by the rear tire. This is where the term bobber came from. Riders continued to make changes or customizing their bikes and eventually the "chopper" was born. Their original purpose was for dirt track racing. The term chopper comes from the process of chopping. Riders began chopping off any part they felt was unnecessary. This included windshields, front fenders, big headlights, crash bars and big seats. The standard large footrests were replaced with forward-mounted foot pegs. The fuel tank was made smaller. This made the bike lighter. Next, riders began raking the front end of their choppers so that the angle of the fork to the ground decreased allowing for an increase in the wheelbase. They also raised the handlebars and called them ape hangers. Anything that was thought too big or unnecessary was either made smaller or removed. The front tire was made small; the rear tire was made fat. Each rider created the bike he wanted to ride. As always, as soon as this rage caught on, enterprising individuals began designing and creating custom bikes to sell to other riders so they didn't have to do the work themselves. Choppers began to be built, not just chopped. While this trend slowed for a few years, it seems to have made a comeback. Custom built choppers created by top designers are greatly prized and sought after. The Shovelhead FX Super Glide was one such Harley Davidson model to come out of the chopper evolution. Choppers became especially popular after the film Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, was released in 1969. How Buell Became Part of Harley Davidson The Buell Motorcycle Company is an American motorcycle manufacturer that is based in East Troy, Wisconsin. It was founded by Erik Buell, who was once employed by the Harley Davidson Company as an engineer. The Buell Motorcycle Company is the only significant manufacturer of sporting motorcycles in the United States. Eric F. Buell was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1950. He was raised on a farm, learning to work on machinery at a young age. As a teen-ager, Buell took up motorcycling. His first bike was an Italian-made Parilla 90cc moped, his second a 74ci basket-case Harley Davidson. He began racing motorcross and also became interested in road racing in his early 20's. Buell was also employed as a motorcycle mechanic during the day, while taking classes in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh at night. He received his engineering degree in 1979 and soon began working for Harley Davidson in Milwaukee. This is where he began designing concept motorcycles and was involved with the Porsche-designed "Nova" V-four program. He was also responsible for a lot of the improvement in stability made to the chassis design of the FXR series of cruisers. Buell's loyalty to the Harley Davidson Company prevented him from racing Japanese or Italian made motorcycles in the 1980'2. This led to his purchase of a bike produced by a company in Great Britain. The Barton Company produced a limited production racer that was powered by a water-cooled 750cc Square Four two-stoke engine. The bike however, was poorly made and Buell began using his engineering talents and own designs to remake it as the parts failed. Buell raced this prototype bike, which was still using the mostly-stock Barton engine, in 1982 at AMA National on the Pocono Speedway. He called this bike the RW750 with the RW standing for Road Warrior. During testing the RW750 reached speeds of up to 178 miles per hour. When the Barton Company shut down in 1982, Buell purchased the entire stock of spare engines and parts, all drawings and the rights to produce and sell the engine. The shipment was delayed causing him to miss out on the opportunity of using this equipment for the 1983-racing season. The lack of reliability of the Barton engine also caused Harley Davidson to decline giving engineering and financial support to Buell when he asked. He then left the company to devote more time to his racing effort. Luckily the split was amicable. Buell offered his RW750s for sale in 1984 with much success. The American Machinist's Union Racing Team bought, tested and raced the first publicly sold RW750. Unfortunately by the spring of 1985 the AMA announced that the Formula One class was being discontinued for the 1986 season leaving no market for Buell's machine. Buell continued to design and improve his bikes with great success, all the time studying Harley Davidson's concepts and maintaining a close relationship with the company. This success and partnership benefited both companies and in the 1990's Harley Davidson invested a 51 percent interest in the newly reformed Buell Motorcycle Company. By 2003 Harley Davidson bought complete control of Buell Motorcycle Company, and currently distributes their bikes through select Harley Davidson dealerships. Eric Buell is still responsible for the engineering and design of Buell motorcycles. How to Travel Across America on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Imagine hopping on a big fat Harley Davidson motorcycle. As you turn the key, the motorcycle begins to rumble and your adrenaline starts to flow. With the wind on your face and pavement under your feet, you hit the road for an adventure of a lifetime. Before heading out and exploring, you'll want to pick up a copy of Harley Davidson's Ride Atlas. This must-have guide has a durable rubber-like cover and contains well-designed and easy-to-read pages of scenic routes complete with detailed descriptions and maps. You'll also want to pick up a copy of "Riding the World" by Gregory Frazier. This unique book offers expert traveling advice to motorcycle riders and includes color photos, with sections on routes, motorcycle preparation, sleeping, eating, what to take, and whether to go it alone. You don't need to own a Harley Davidson motorcycle to embark on a journey across America. There are many companies that allow riders to rent nearly any model of Harley Davidson motorcycle. Most offer travel packages that include hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and meals. Riders can rent a motorcycle daily, weekly, or monthly. Ride Free Motorcycle Tours are designed to deliver life altering travel experiences. Ride Free offers a variety of tours including a cruise from L.A. to Vegas; a weekend ride along the California coastline; the Route 66 to Grand Canyon ride; and the ever-popular Sturgis Rally. The Sturgis Rally began in 1938 and has grown to be a worldwide motorcycle event that attracts more than 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts each year. Bikers from all walks of life join together to celebrate their love of motorcycles and the freedom they provide. EagleRider Motorcycle Rental has a nationwide network of locations where you can choose from the world's largest rental inventory of Harley Davidson motorcycles. While EagleRider specializes in motorcycle tours of San Francisco and Northern California, they also offer tours to destinations across the United States. Riders can escape for a weekend or participate in a month-long cross country tour. When traveling on a motorcycle, the first thing you must realize is you will have to pack lightly and include only the basic essentials. Pack a small travel bag for personal items and include travel size bottles of everything needed. Choose items that have multiple uses such as an Army knife. Saddle bags are one of the best options when it comes to storing food, clothing and personal gear. Take clothing that is versatile, easy to care for, and requires little space. Bring along sealable storage bags or plastic grocery bags to store dirty clothes or dispose of any trash. If you will be camping out, you can use the luggage rack or passenger seat to hold camping equipment. Look for lightweight gear and compact equipment that can be tightly folded or rolled up. Cooking equipment should be limited to one pot and eating utensils. If you're riding your own motorcycle, take it in for a thorough check-up before heading out on an extended trip. If you're renting a motorcycle, ask the representative to show you the written maintenance record on the motorcycle before taking it out on the road. Always chart your route so that you know where gas stations, restaurants and camping facilities are located. Leave a copy of your route with a friend or family member and keep a map and compass handy so you don't get lost on the road or while camping. Harley Davidson motorcycles are one-of-a-kind bikes, designed for the ultimate driving experience. Isn't it time you threw your cares to the wind and ventured out for a weekend getaway or a month long hiatus? How to Become a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Service Technician If you love Harley Davidson motorcycles and enjoy working with your hands, you can earn a good living as a motorcycle service technician. There are several trade schools across the U.S. that specialize in motorcycle service and repair. Programs take between 12 and 18 months to complete and classes can be attended at the institutes or through correspondence and online. One of the most recognized motorcycle service technician programs is offered at WyoTech. Students are taught to diagnose, service and repair modern motorcycles, and given the option to choose the motorcycle manufacturer of their choice. Wyotech offers motorcycle service and repair classes in Daytona Beach, Florida and Fremont, California. At the Baran Institute of Technology, you'll receive hands-on training with various brands of motorcycles. As a student, you'll get up close and personal with the intricacies of motorcycle service and repair. From the engine to the exhaust system, and clutches to electrical systems, this 75.5 quarter credit hour program is designed to prepare you to enter the world of motorcycle service and repair. Class size is limited to 20 students and the program can be completed within one year. Motorcycle Mechanics Institute offers a unique program to Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. MMI's Motorcycle Technician program addresses the basics of motorcycle repair and service on a full range of motorcycles. Students learn in a classroom environment and through hands-on training. After completion of the prerequisite training, students choose 12 weeks or more of elective course training. Harley Davidson course electives include: - Harley Davidson Early Model Technology -- focuses on repair and restoration of motorcycles dating back to 1936. - Harley Davidson Late Model Technology -- Training to become an entry level Harley-Davidson motorcycle technician. - Screamin' Eagle -- Focuses on the Screamin' Eagle performance motorcycle. - V-Rod Motorcyle -- Focuses on the award-winning VRSCA (V-Rod) motorcycle. - Buell -- Focuses on design, technology and engineering of Buell motorcycles. Motorcycle Mechanics Institute offers the only certificate course in the nation that's officially sponsored by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Classes are offered in Orlando, Florida. Penn Foster Career School offers distance learning classes, which are conducted online and through print publications. Students have access to instructors and a toll-free instructional support hotline. If necessary, Penn Foster can help potential students earn their GED. Motorcycle technician training can be completed in nine months and financial assistance is available. Professional Career Development Institute is a nationally accredited correspondence school founded in 1987. PCDI does not require any educational prerequisites to get started as a motorcycle service and repair technician. Students learn about each part, each system and how the entire motorcycle works. Courses can be completed in a matter of months. Upon completion of training, graduates receive a nationally accredited diploma. With the ever-rising cost of gasoline, motorcycles are quickly becoming a favorite mode of transportation. Over the course of the next decade, more and more people will be riding motorcycles so the need for service technicians will increase. Additionally, there is an ever-growing need for motorcycle mechanics in the field of motorcycle racing. Regardless of your choice of learning institution, becoming a certified motorcycle repair and service technician can provide you with an exciting and rewarding career. Contact Information: Wyotech -- www.wyotech.com 888-577-7559 Baran Institute -- www.baraninstitute.com 800-243-4242 Motorcycle Mechanics Institute -- www.uticorp.com 800-859-7249 Penn Foster Career School -- www.pennfoster.edu 800-275-4410 Professional Career Development Institute -- www.pcdi.com 800-417-2407 The History of Buell Motorcycles It has been said that Erik Buell, founder of Buell Motorcycles, was born on a motorcycle. While that story is a bit enhanced, Erik Buell did begin riding motorcycles at the tender age of 12. His intense passion of the machine led him create a line of extreme and supreme motorcycles. In the late 70s, Erik Buell worked his way through school by taking a part-time job at a local motorcycle dealership. He had considerable knowledge of the workings of motorcycles and quickly advanced from trainee mechanic to service manager. During this time Buell also began racing motorcycles at the amateur level. After graduation, Buell went to work as a chassis engineer for Harley-Davidson. In 1978, Erik Buell recorded the fastest newcomer qualifying time for the Daytona 200 motorcycle race. Four years later he left Harley-Davidson to pursue his dream of designing his own race bike. In 1983, he did just that when he designed and built the RW750 motorcycle specifically to compete in the AMA Formula One road racing class. Buell tested the RW750 motorcycle throughout 1983 and clocked a top speed of 178 mph during testing at Talladega, Alabama. The first production of the Buell RW750 was released in the fall of 1984. The following year, the American Machinists Racing Team announced that 1985 would be the last year for Formula One racing. Buell's type of motorcycle would be eliminated from the racing circuit. If he wanted to continue in racing, he would have to go back to the drawing board and begin his design from scratch. Buell began working on building a world-class sportsbike, powered by the Harley-Davidson XR1000 engine. A total of fifty Buell RR1000 motorcycles were produced during 1987-88. In 1988 the Harley-Davidson XR1000 engines were discontinued and Buell had to further re-engineer his design. The resulting RR1200 model was introduced in 1988. This model used the new 1203cc Harley-Davidson Evolution engine. Sixty-five Buell RR1200 motorcycles were produced for sale through 1989. During this time, Buell also introduced the RS1200, a two-seat version of the RR1200 model. Over 100 of these unique models were produced through 1990. The 1990s produced revolutionary designs to Buell motorcycles. The company expanded production facilities and added a new composite and paint shop, which led to greater flexibility and control over the manufacturing process. In 1991, Buell introduced a single-seat version of the RS1200. The Thunderbolt S2 was introduced in 1994 under partnership with Harley-Davidson. A sport-touring version, the S2T, was added to the Buell line-up in 1995. A new line of street bikes were introduced in 1996, including the Lightning S1 motorcycle which was voted "Hooligan Bike of the Year" by Cycle World Magazine. Other innovations included two new designs of the Thunderbolt motorcycle; the Thunderbolt S3 and the Thunderbolt S3T. Buell introduced the Cyclone M2 touring bike in 1997 and developed the Thunderstorm engine in 1998. In 1999, Buell rolled out completely redesigned models of the Lighting and Cyclone motorcycles. Both bikes had new body styles, frame, suspension, larger and more comfortable seats, and bold colors. At the end of 1999, Buell's new designs and engineering innovations pushed sales to more than 8,000 motorcycles in one year. Buell has always maintained a close relationship with Harley-Davidson. In February 1994, Harley-Davidson purchased 49 percent of Erik Buell's company and the new Buell Motorcycle Company was born. Four years later, Harley-Davidson purchased another 49 percent; leaving Erik with a 2 percent share and a long term employment contract. The Buell Motorcycle Company is now a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, Inc. Famous Harley Davidson Riders Though it's not documented the very first woman to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle was probably Janet Davidson. Janet was an aunt of Arthur, Walter and William Davidson. She helped her nephews out by using her artistic talents to paint pinstriping and lettering on their motorcycles. Several other women are notable in the just over 100-year history of the Harley Davidson Company. In 1929 Vivian Bale road her 45 Twin D Harley on a trip of almost 5,000 miles. Along the way she stopped to meet with dealers of her favorite ride. After completing this legendary trip she spent many more years riding and performing motorcycle stunts at various racing events in Florida. Brigitte Bardot was a famous movie star and pinup star in the 1950's. In the 1960's she became so enamored by Harley Davidson Motorcycles that she debuted her hit single entitled Harley Davidson. Also popular was a photograph of her astride her favorite motorcycle. She is wearing hot pants and a partially unzipped leather jacket. Well-known actress Elizabeth Taylor rode a Purple Passion motorcycle that was given to her by her friend Malcolm Forbes. It was said that the bike matched her famous eyes. Peter Fonda is probably one of the most famous male Harley Davidson Riders thanks to the 1969 movie Easy Rider. Dennis Hopper also appeared in this movie and the photo of a scene showing them both together, each atop his Harley is still sough after today. Malcolm Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine and one of the wealthiest men ever, not only loved giving Harley Davidson's to friends as gifts, he owned more than 50 of them himself. Forbes began riding motorcycles in his late 40's and enjoyed it so much he began collecting them. His personal endorsement of the Harley made its sales soar to new heights. Jay Leno is another celebrity who is known for his love of Harley Davidson motorcycles. He loves them so much that not only does he own several, but he also does his own maintenance and repair work. Several other well-known Harley Davidson riding celebrities include: Elvis Presley, Don Johnson, Jackson Browne, Mickey Rourke and Tina Turner. And who can forget Arnold Schwarznegger and His Terminator role. Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton also posed astride a Harley during his campaign. Though not famous in a good way, the hard-core motorcycle gang known of as the Hells Angels also favor Harley Davidson bikes. There is no known link to the Harley Davidson Company. This motorcycle club began in 1948 and by the 1960's was notorious throughout the United States and Canada. Tied to drugs and crime just the site of these bikers was enough to strike fear into an entire town whenever they rode through. Today the Hell's Angels sponsor several charitable events in the United States and Canada. Unfortunately they still frequently appear in the news for criminally related activities. The motorcycle club has been deemed an established criminal organization by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. What Is A Motorcycle Rally? A motorcycle rally is a gathering of motorcycle riders. Rallies are usually sponsored by specific motorcycle clubs or organizations, but may be attended by anyone though some are open only to adults. Vendors are usually present offering all sorts of motorcycle accessories and services. If you go to a motorcycle rally you will find a variety of events and entertainment. It is also a good place to see new, custom and vintage bikes. You may even be able to test-drive the latest offerings with demo rides by top manufacturers. What else might you find at a rally? Music is big. Some rallies combine with music festivals and over great live entertainment. Remember these are scheduled events not just random gatherings. Most rallies take place every year and get bigger and better each year. Poker runs are another rally staple. A poker run is an organized motorcycle event where riders travel along a preset course, stopping at designated spots to select a card. At the end of the run, the rider with the best poker hand wins. The rules vary from rally to rally. If you are actually in charge of planning a poker run at your next rally, here's what you need to know. The more organized you can be, the smoother it will go. Also if you are running on public roads you need to consider safety, not only for the motorcycle riders, but also for other motorists not on the run. Speed should not be a consideration of the event. If you have several riders you will probably want to start from the same location and have a staggered start. The easiest method is to subtract three minutes for every rally participant in the poker run from your total time, then set up the course to be this long at average legal driving speeds. If you have 30 participants, 30 x 3 = 90 minutes. Four hours minus 90 minutes equals 2 and half hours of travel time. You will want to have at least 5 checkpoints along the course for riders to pick up cards. Ten or more checkpoints will allow them to discard some of their cards, but it is not necessary. Make sure you have a good map of the area you are holding your poker run in. Mark all the checkpoints clearly or make it more of a challenge by giving rally participants clues on where the checkpoints are located. Whichever method you choice, each participant that reaches the checkpoint gets a playing card. The finally consideration is whether to charge an entry fee and what the prize will be. Poker runs are a great way to earn money for charity. The higher the entry fee and prize the more organized you will have to be. Motorcycle shows and fun runs are another option. Most shows have several categories including events for women and scooters. Motorcycle rallies have drawn crowds for years and lists can be found online if you want to go see why. What To Do When You See A Sign-Motorcycle For Sale When you are riding along, or even surfing the net and you come upon a sign or ad that says motorcycle for sale what should you do? Well first of all, stop! Take a breath and think about it. Do not just buy it without thought. First of all access your skills. Are you an experienced rider? Just because you find a motorcycle for sale and you want to buy it, does not mean it is the right bike for you. If you are a novice you might consider taken a motorcycle-riding course. If you haven't ridden in awhile this may also be a good idea. Also consider your body type. If you can't put both feet flat on the ground while the bike is upright, it is too tall for you. Don't buy it. Adults don't get taller and bikes don't get smaller. If this is your first bike, do not even consider purchasing a high performance bike, you are not ready for that yet. What kind of motorcycle riding do you intend to do? If you find a motorcycle for sale that is a touring bike, it is obviously not suitable if you want to ride motocross. People who ride touring bikes usually lead a much different lifestyle then those who ride sportsbikes and race. Will you need to carry a passenger? If you plan on using your bike for transportation, you will probably eventually need to carry a passenger. How much can you afford to spend when you find a motorcycle for sale? No one needs a motorcycle. It is something that people want, not a necessity. New bikes cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. Financing is an option, but don't bite off more than you can chew. If you can't afford a new bike, look for a used motorcycle for sale. Many riders think used bikes are better anyway, because their previous owners have most likely already made improvements to them. If you buy from a private seller you will be expected to pay the cost all in one lump sum. If you are lucky the seller might give you a break on taxes, but do not just assume they will. Besides the purchase price of the motorcycle there are other costs to be taken into consideration. These include state registration fee, license plate fee, and title fee and motorcycle insurance. If you buy at a dealership, all this will be set up for you. If you buy through a private seller you will both need to go to a Notary. Yes you do have to have a motorcycle license to ride a motorcycle. If you decide to buy a motorcycle for sale on an online auction site be sure to check the seller's rating. Make sure the offer is legitimate and you are getting what you pay for. Ask questions of the seller and check the photos carefully. Read the entire description and consider using Paypal for extra protection. Unfortunately when you buy online you cannot usually test-drive the motorcycle. Finding The Right Harley Accessory Finding just the right accessory to give to your favorite Harley Davidson rider is fun and easy. Even if that favorite rider is you! There are three basic categories to know when you are searching. Items that can be added to your wardrobe, or that can be worn. Any accessory in this category would include black leather jackets, pants, chaps or other items of outerwear. It also includes headgear such as helmets, sunglasses, goggles and masks. Hats, caps and bandanas are also popular. Bandanas can be either for the head or around the neck. Next up are belts, belt buckles, watches and other small items like lighters, jewelry, key chains, money clips, patches, pins and scarves. Purses are also a great gift for the ultimate biker chick and perfume is even an option. T-shirts are also available and don't forget underwear. Clothing even comes in kids' sizes for your favorite little biker. It is important to know what size whomever you are buying for is. Better too big than too small, better still that it fits. The second category is for items that can be added to your motorcycle. Any accessory in this category would include anything that would give you a more comfortable and stylish ride. Luggage racks and saddlebags for example, provide storage on long trips. Radios and navigation equipment are also fun. A more practical accessory might include grips, decorative gas caps, timer covers, license plate frames, medallions, mirrors, covers and cleaning products. Handlebars, gas tanks, floorboards and footpegs, fuel gauges and the most popular items to give your bike a new look-chrome fenders and other chrome accessories are another way to go. Practical or custom, whatever you want is available. The third category is reserved for any Harley Davidson accessory that can be used in the home. These items are for fun. Books, calendars, computer software, music collections, videos and handheld games are appearing on the market. Other items include dartboards, posters and other pictures, coffee cups, coasters, clocks, piggy banks-especially ones shaped like motorcycles, bottle openers, wine glasses, shot glasses, beer mugs and other dishware. Playing cards are a must. And for the true Harley fan there are table and chair sets, storage units, popcorn machines and even game tables. Don't forget to check out the pet gear as well. Truly there is something for everyone. Most Harley Davidson dealerships offer some of these items for sale. The best place to find that special Harley Davidson accessory just may be online. Just open your browser, go to your favorite search engine, type in Harley Davidson accessory and hold on for the ride. Trade magazines are also full of ads. Biker rallies and Harley Davidson sponsored events should also have merchants hawking their wares. If you are buying online make sure you pay through a secure site, and be aware of any return and refund policies. While you are searching for that perfect accessory, you might even find a good free Harley Davidson screensaver to download on to your computer! Tips for Buying a Used Harley Davidson Motorcycle Harley Davidson motorcycles are some of the most durable bikes on the market. They are built to last using high quality materials and craftsmanship. Therefore, the cost of a new Harley may be out of reach for some individuals. Many people find that purchasing a used motorcycle is a better option. However, it's a good idea to possess a healthy dose of skepticism when purchasing a used bike; particularly from a private seller. Previously owned motorcycles can be found through private sellers who oftentimes announce their offer via classified ads posted in magazines or online bulletin boards. Used motorcycles can also be found at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships and public auctions. Authorized Harley-Davidson Dealers. One of the safest ways to purchase a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle is through an authorized dealer. Along with financing options, many dealers offer extended warranties and optional maintenance services. They inspect the bikes for any potential problems and provide buyers with documentation that guarantees the used motorcycle is legal. To find a list of authorized Harley-Davidson dealers visit www.hogs4sale.com. Click on the state you reside in to locate a dealer in your area. Online Classifieds. There are several reputable websites that offer a wide range of used motorcycles. Ads are placed by private sellers and transactions are made directly from seller to buyer. Both buyers and sellers are required to create an account in order to communicate with one another. Upon registration, buyers can contact sellers via email to obtain information, arrange a meeting, and arrange financial transactions. Care should be taken when buying or selling through online classifieds. While the majority of people participating are honest, you should thoroughly investigate the motorcycle and its history before handing over your hard earned cash. Three of the most reputable online classified websites for used motorcycles include: www.CycleClassifieds.us, www.HD4Sale.com, and www.HarleyHunters.com. Online Auction Sites. E-bay is one of the most popular auction sites for used Harley Davidson motorcycles. Certain precautions are required and buyers should thoroughly investigate the seller using E-bay's tools and seller rating system. If you use common sense and adhere to the information provided on E-bay's website, chances are excellent that you will have a safe and happy transaction. Other used motorcycle auction websites include www.MotorcycleAuctionsOnline.com and Yahoo Shopping Auctions at http://auctions.yahoo.com. Before you begin shopping for a used motorcycle, it's a good idea to educate yourself about the makes and models of motorcycles you are interested in. Do some research to determine the average cost of the motorcycle in your area; investigate insurance and finance rates; and make a list of common defects to look out for. When purchasing a used motorcycle through online classifieds or auctions, be aware of any claims that sound too good to be true. If you find a potential deal, physically review the bike before purchasing it. Look at the paint for scratches, irregularities and rust. Visually check the tires and foot pedals for wear and tear. Make certain that electronic equipment, such as lights and blinkers, are in good working order. Always take a good look at the maintenance history of any used motorcycle you are considering purchasing. Start the engine to see how well it runs. Check for blue smoke from the exhaust pipe, which is a sign that the engine is worn. Make certain there are no oil or gas leaks. The seller should possess written documentation of mechanical check-ups. Pay particular attention to mileage, damage, accident history and any paint jobs. Find out how many people have previously owned the bike and be certain to verify the VIN number. To verify the VIN number, visit www.is-it-a-lemon.com or the Department of Motor Vehicles at www.dmv.org.
H-D Racing H-D motorcycles were raced almost from the beginning of the company. In fact the very first appearance of a motorcycle created by William Harley and the Davidson brothers, Arthur, Walter, and William, was in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin motorcycle race. H-D created an official racing department in 1914, but even before that co-founder Walter Davidson rode a stock single cylinder machine to victory in The Federation of American Motorcyclist endurance and reliability contest of 1908. This race, which had 65 competitors, was a grueling 2-day event that was held on 365 miles of dirt roads in the Catskill Mountains. Davidson earned the only perfect score. By 1912 H-D had added speed to their successful racing equation by setting a new record at the Bakersfield Road Race. The success of H-D racers, whether on muddy dirt roads, or wooden plank tracks continued despite the interruption of World War I. H-D shattered speed records by 1921, becoming the first motorcycles to reach speeds of 100 miles per hour during a race. H-D racers were known as "the Wrecking Crew, because of this success. Notoriety continued when a H-D sidecar one the first annual Pike's Peak race in 1916, and another H-D claimed first place in the 1922 Adelaide to Melbourne South Australia race. Joe Petrali was one of the best H-D racers of the early Twentieth Century. In the six years between 1931 and 1936, Petrali amassed the most National points five times. The year 1935 proved to be his best season with his winning of every race on the 13-stop National schedule. Petrali also set a speed record in 1937 by riding a 1937 Model E 61 cubic inch V-Twin Streamliner at speeds of 136.183 miles per hour, at Daytona Beach. He also won the National Hillclimb Championship 8 years in a row beginning in 1929. What a guy! Racing was halted for the H-D team and others with the start of World War II. Petrali did not return to the circuit when the war was over but H-D continued to dominate the scene. The tradition of great H-D racing continues today with both drag racing and flat track racing. Most national championship races are managed by the AMA in the United States. These include the AMA Supercross Series, AMA Superbike Championship, AMA Motorcross Championship, and AMA Flatrack Championship. The National Hot Rod Association is another great racing venue for H-D riders. The VRSXE Screamin' Eagle V-Rod Destroyer is H-D's current pride and joy of drag racing machines. This bike can do a quarter mile run in less than 10 seconds. This machine is not street legal and ill see limited production. The Buell Motor Company, a subsidiary of Harley Davidson also produce bikes for racing. Buell motorcycles are available at select Harley dealers. Buell racing teams are definitely up and coming, claiming top spots in several recent racing events. This success is propably due to the fact that the founder of the company, Eric Buell was not only a racer himself, but worked as an H-D engineer before forming his own company. The History Of The Bike The Harley Davidson Company officially began with the completion of its first bike in 1903. Unofficially it all began in 1901 when 21-year-old William S. Harley drew up plans for a small engine that displaced 7.07 cubic inches and had 4-inch flywheels. He designed this engine for use on a regular pedal-bicycle frame. By 1903 William Harley had joined with his boyhood friend Arthur Davidson, as well as Arthur's brother Walter. They used the machine shop of their friend Henry Melk to complete the prototype of their first engine-powered bike. The engine that powered this prototype was not quite powerful enough to propel the motored-bike up Milwaukee's modest hills without the rider resorting to pedal power. The first "real" Harley Davidson Motorcycle was finally completed with additional help from another Davidson brother named William. It had a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches with 9-3/4 inch flywheels weighing 28 pounds. The new bike was functional by September 08, 1904, and made its first appearance in a Milwaukee motorcycle race. The company produced three motorcycles in 1903, followed by 3 more in 1904. Production rose to 8 completed cycles in 1905, allowing Walt Davidson to quit his job with the railroad and become the company's first full-time employee. The Davidson's aunt, Janice Davidson also began helping out by using her artistic talent to letter and pinstripe the bikes, which were painted black with gold trim. The first Harley Davidson Motor Company factory was built in 1906 on Chestnut Street. It was a modest 40 by 60 foot single story wooden structure. Chestnut Street was later renamed Juneau Avenue, and though the original structure was replaced, this location remains the Motor Company's corporate headquarters to this day. A total of 50 motorcycles were produced in 1906. The following year, 1907 brought about much change for the fledgling company. William S. Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in mechanical engineering. The factory was expanded and the company officially incorporated. Production increased to 150 motorcycles in 1907. Another monumental change that occurred in 1907 was the completion of a prototype of a 45-degree V-Twin engine. These engines displaced 53.68 cubic inches and produced about 7 horsepower, just about doubling the hill-climbing power of the first singles. Production continued to increase to 450 motorcycles in 1908 followed by 1,149 in 1909. Success continued in the years that followed. The original factory was demolished and replaced by a new 5-story structure of reinforced concrete and red brick. It soon grew to take up two blocks along Juneau Avenue and around the corner on 38th Street. During this period bikes produced by Harley Davidson began to dominate the motorcycle racing arena and production reached 16,284 in 1914. World War I saw the demand for motorcycles in the military. Harley Davidson provided over 20,000 motorcycles to military forces during World War I. Improvements and increased production continued after the war. The Harley Davidson Motor Company was in fact one of only 2 American cycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. The company continued to produce machines for the military throughout World War II and the Korean War. The Jeep then replaced it in popularity. The Harley Davidson Motor Company is still going strong today, despite bumps and bruises along the way. You will recognize it on the Stock Market under the symbol HOG. What Type of Person Owns a Harley Davidson Motorcycle? Many people carry the belief that people who own Harley Davidson motorcycles are hardcore, tattoo-laden, testosterone-filled men who drink hard liquor and end up in bar room brawls. While this profile makes for a good Hollywood movie, the vast majority of Harley owners are laid-back, friendly individuals who give back to the community. Harley Davidson has gone to great lengths to build a community of camaraderie amongst those who own a harley. The wildly successful Harley Owners Group (HOG) has over 1 million members worldwide. With local chapters around the globe, members unite to share their passion for the Harley-Davidson lifestyle. Harley Davidson owners include men and women who range in age from 18 to 88. Some harley owners have been riding Harley Davidson motorcycles for more than 50 years. Many of the soldiers who served in WWII became avid fans of the motorcycle, as they were frequently used for transportation during wartime. A few of these soldiers still ride today. The female population of harley riders has significantly increased during the past two decades. Perhaps the most famous female Harley motorcyclists are Avis and Effie Hotchkiss. In 1915, this mother and daughter duo traveled from New York to California on a three-speed V-Twin with a sidecar. Another female trendsetter was Linda Dugeau, co-founder of the Motor Maids, Inc. Linda began riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle in 1932. She traveled around the United States and stories about her travels were published in Motorcyclist magazine. In 1938, Dugeau began establishing a network of female motorcyclists, which officially became The Motor Maids. The organization was chartered with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1941, making it the oldest motorcycle organization for women in North America. Women of all ages and backgrounds are showing an interest in motorcycles and the lifestyle they offer. Not only are more females riding street bikes, they are also participating in motorcycle racing. Female celebrities, such as pop singer, Pink and supermodel, Niki Taylor, are jumping into the driver's seat of harley's and encouraging other women to ride. Harley-Davidson dedicates an entire section to women harley owners, where women can learn to ride, connect with others, read inspirational stories, and get involved with the many activities Harley Davidson has to offer. Motorcycle riding is quickly becoming a favorite family activity. Safety equipment is available to protect children while riding and include tether straps, helmets, jackets, chaps, and gloves. Touring bikes and cruisers make it relatively easy to take the kids on a weekend camping or road trip. Many members of the military are avid harley riders. They love the feeling they experience when they hit the road and connect with their fellow brothers and sisters through sponsored events or charity rides. Harley-Davidson promotes multiple rides for U.S. troops and Veterans. A common trait of people who own Harley Davidson motorcycles is that of a giving nature. Harley owners frequently embark on charity rides to help national organizations or to provide for the needs of someone in their local community. Harley owners have raised millions of dollars in their fundraising efforts and have donated to cancer research, Alzheimer's research, Autism and many other worthy causes. There is a tremendous amount of camaraderie and friendship amongst harley owners. They are a group of passionate people who love the thrill of adventure. One thing is for certain... there is no other sport that brings together such a diverse group of people from all backgrounds and ages. The History of Harley Davidson Motorcycles Today, Harley Davidson motorcycles are a household name, but it hasn't always been that way. It began way back in 1901, when a young man named William S. Harley had a vision for attaching an engine to a bicycle. William had a friend named Arthur Davidson who embraced his concept. Together, they began working endless hours in a small wooden shed, with the words "Harley Davidson" scrawled on the door. By 1903, they rolled out the first production Harley Davidson motorcycle. The legendary "Bar and Shield" logo became the defining symbol of Harley Davidson motorcycles in 1910. The logo is representative of strength and ruggedness. The design was patented in 1911 and continues to be used today. In 1920, motorcycle racing legend, Leslie "Red" Parkhurst, broke numerous speed records on a Harley Davidson racing motorcycle. Each time Parkhurst won a race, he would carry a pig on a victory lap and it was during this time the term "hog" became associated with Harley Davidson motorcycles. During World War I nearly half of the Harley Davidson motorcycles produced were sold to the United States Army. Throughout the 1920s, major changes took place to the design. The most notable was the change in the gas tank, which was switched to the now infamous teardrop shape. In 1928, Harley Davidson introduced the first twin-cam engine and front wheel brakes. These modifications allowed Harley Davidson motorcycles to reach speeds in excess of 85 mph. Throughout the 1930s, Harley Davidson motorcycles continued to break speed records and won multiple awards. Harley Davidson further expanded into commercial and police vehicles through the introduction of the three-wheel Servi-Car. Appearance changes were made to Harley Davidson motorcycles and included the famous "eagle" design, which was painted on all Harley Davidson gas tanks. During this time, the trademark 1340 cc engine was introduced and the "Knucklehead" motorcycle was launched. Between the years of 1941 through 1945, Harley Davidson ceased civilian production of motorcycles and focused solely on providing reliable motorcycles to the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. When civilian production resumed, Harley Davidson motorcycles were in high demand. The organization expanded and purchased the A.O. Smith Propeller Plant to be used as a machine shop. Here they manufactured motorcycle parts and shipped them to the factory for final assembly. 1947 saw the introduction of the "Panhead" Harley Davidson motorcycle, which was deemed "THE American Motorcycle". Two years later, hydraulic front brakes were introduced on the Hydra-Glide models. The 1950s were filled with challenges and triumphs. During this time, the British captured nearly 40 percent of the motorcycle market with their ever-popular Triumph motorcycle. Harley Davidson owners knew they would have to get creative if they were to remain at the top. To compete with the smaller, sportier motorcycles coming from Great British, Harley Davidson developed the side-valve K model with an integrated engine and transmission. Today, the K model is known as the Sportster. 1953 marked the 50th anniversary of Harley Davidson motorcycles. The organization marked this event by creating a special logo which included a "V", with a bar overlaid reading "Harley Davidson" and the words "50 Years American Made". Every motorcycle manufactured in 1954 had a medallion version of the logo placed on the front fender. During the 60s, Harley Davidson scaled down production and offered the only scooter bike ever produced. It was also during this time that the Sprint model was introduced. Other innovations included the electric starter and the introduction of the "Shovelhead" engines. The 70s brought about transformation of the Harley Davidson motorcycle. A new Sportster racing motorcycle was introduced in 1970. One year later, the FX 1200 Super Glide cruiser was introduced; along with the first Harley-Davidson snowmobile. 1977 brought the Harley-Davidson Low Rider to the forefront when it was debuted to the public in Daytona Beach. Later in the year, the Cafe Racer was released. Last, but not least, Harley Davidson introduced the FXEF Fat Bob in 1979. This bike has dual gas tanks and bobbed fenders. It was featured in Hollywood films and quickly became a favorite of the American public. During the 80s, Harley Davidson went through considerable internal changes and more attention was focused on motorcycle racing. One of the most notable changes occurred in 1986, when Harley Davidson became listed on the American Stock Exchange. In the 1990s, Harley Davidson expanded its U.S. operations to include a multi-million dollar paint facility, a new distribution center, power train plant, and production facility. Harley Davidson also opened a new assembly facility Brazil, the first operations outside of the U.S. Since the beginning of 2000, Harley Davidson has exploded the marketplace with a variety of new and exciting motorcycles. These include the Softail Deuce; the Buell Blast, Firebolt, and Lightning; the Road King Custom; and the Street Glide. Today, Harley Davidson owns more than 60 percent of the motorcycle market share. Considering their history and reputation, chances are good that Harley Davidson motorcycles will be around for another 100 years. Clothes Make The Rider Whether you own a Harley or just want to look like you do, the clothes you wear can make or break you. The true Harley Davidson experience requires a little preparation besides the bike. Most dealerships also sell clothes, or purchase them online. The Black leather jacket is the first clothes item that comes to mind. Harley Davidson has a trademark black leather jacket. This jacket is worn not only for attitude, but to protect the rider from the elements. It is important to get a jacket that fits. Leather sizing is not always the same as regular street clothes sizing. Also remember that leather will stretch a little and mould to your body shape with frequent wearing. This does not mean that you should buy a size smaller as leather only gives in areas that it needs to. If you can't afford a leather jacket, a vest made of leather or denim with a Harley Davidson logo may be a good substitute. Black leather pants are also important for the rugged rider clothes look. Buying leather pants at the same time as the jacket will ensure that the color of the dyes matches if that is important to you. There are several different styles available ranging from classic leather pants, to black leather motorcycle chaps that are worn over jeans or other pants. Black leather boots are classic Harley Davidson attire. They scream the word "tough". They are available in several styles for both men and women. Women may also choose clogs and sandals, however these are not recommended for serious riding. Should motorcycle riders wear helmets or not? This is a question that has been left up to the rider to answer. If safety is as important as the clothes you wear a Harley Davidson half helmet may be just what you are looking for. Several other styles are available if you can't pull off this classic look. Whether you choose a helmet or not, goggles are valuable eye protection that keeps out dust and bugs, as well as adding to "the look". No one looks cool with a dead bug in his or her eye. Gloves are also popular with riders. They are of course made of black leather too, and may be open tipped, full fingers and even heated. Gauntlets with fringe look especially cool. These are the basic pieces of a Harley Rider's clothes wardrobe. Other options include t-shirts, jeans, special rain gear, bandanas, watches and sunglasses. Leather saddlebags are also a good investment. There are several articles of clothes available for your special little rider as well. Everything from diaper covers and micro-sized leather jackets to teeny leather boots. It's never too early to love a Harley. Motorcycle leathers represent a significant investment. Proper care should be taken to preserve and protect these articles, especially if the wearer is a dedicated rider who rides in any weather. Waterproofing and cleaning properly will help keep leather clothes supple and looking good, as well as promoting longevity of wear. The Must-Have Harley Davidson Apparel for Children Harley Davidson offers a full line of motorcycle apparel for bikers of all ages. While all of their apparel is popular amongst motorcycle enthusiasts, the Harley Davidson children's apparel is some of the most highly sought after apparel in the world. Your children can be covered from top to bottom in Harley Davidson apparel. Selections range from briefs to leather jackets; all emblazoned with the Harley Davidson logo. Below are ten "must-have" pieces of apparel for young Harley Davidson enthusiasts. 1) Harley Davidson Children's Classic Motorcycle Jacket is manufactured from genuine leather and includes silver hardware, three front zipper pockets, one front button pocket, adjustable belt and zippered wrist closures. An exact replica of the adult sized motorcycle jacket so kids can dress just like mom and dad! 2) If you're not into spending the money on a real leather jacket, consider the Harley Davidson Kid's Motorcycle Jacket made from durable pleather. While it looks similar to leather, it won't hurt so much if it gets ripped or torn. The back side of the jacket sports a Harley Davidson logo surrounded by the words, "My Daddy Rides a Harley-Davidson". The jacket's classic design includes the same features as the adult leather motorcycle jacket, including the Shield and Bar logo. 3) Little girls will flip for the Harley Davidson Girl's Biker Jacket. This bright pink beauty is constructed from nylon and features hearts and "Harley-Davidson" embroidered on the front. The back side of the jacket sports a heart with wings embroidery and rhinestone accenting. For girl's that don't like pink, the jacket is available in classic black. 4) The Harley Davidson Hoodie with Flames is one hot look for cool days. Manufactured from soft fleece, the hoodie is black in color with bright orange accents. The Harley-Davidson logo and flames are embroidered on the front of the jacket and on the sleeves. For the more adventurous types, the hoodie is available in bright orange with black accents. 5) The Harley Davidson Reversible Varsity Jacket offers style and comfort. Featuring a black wool body and off-white pleather sleeves, this jacket is perfect for cool fall and winter weather. The jacket can be reversed to expose a black nylon body and orange nylon sleeves. The snap-up front is easy for younger children to open and close. Harley Davidson patches are embroidered on the front, back, and sleeves. 6) Harley Davidson pajamas are the perfect choice for infants and toddlers. These comfy PJs are manufactured from 100 percent cotton for extreme sleeping comfort. The top is white with orange trim and the words "Harley-Davidson, The Highway is My Way" are imprinted on the front. The bottoms are bright orange with a motorcycles and highway signs motif. 7) When it comes to keeping kids clean, Harley Davidson offers a variety of bibs; all of which include the Harley Davidson logo. Select from bright orange bibs with a motorcycle and the words, "Harley Davidson" screen printed on the front, or bright red bibs with "Spit Happens" printed on the front. Girls will be pretty in pink bibs with cute pink ribbons and a pink Harley Davidson motorcycle. 8) Forget about boring bathing suits and swimming trucks this summer. Instead, let kids display their Harley Davidson loyalty on their swimming apparel. Swimsuits for girls include two-piece bathing suits in bright pink or aqua. Boys swim trunks are bright orange with black and white accenting. An embroidered patch of the Harley Davidson Bar and Shield logo is sewn onto the front left leg. 9) Harley Davidson backpacks make quite a fashion statement. A popular choice amongst girls is the Harley Davidson black pleather backpack that transforms into a shoulder bag. Features include pink trim accents and Harley-Davidson embroidery on the front. A popular choice amongst boys is the 2-in-1 backpack with detachable sling. Features include "Harley-Davidson" embroidered on the back, and screenprint flames on the front. 10) Every infant should be welcomed into the world with the Harley Davidson "Born to Ride" gift set. The set includes a long-sleeved creeper, bib and blanket. The girl's set includes a matching headband and the boy's set includes a doo rag. Both include allover motorcycle screenprint and the Harley Davidson logo. How To Find A Harley Part Online Finding a legitimate, well-priced source for A Harley Davidson motorcycle part online is not hard if you know what you are doing. You may even find that it is easier and quicker than looking for a part out in the "real" world. In fact with all the time you save, you will have a lot more free time to ride you motorcycle. The first step in locating a part online is to locate a source or supplier. Open you favorite search engine, or multi-search engine and type into the search box the name of the part you are looking for. Once you have entered the terms, click the search or submit button. Within just a few seconds you should have a list of several web sites that sell the part you are looking for. Don't just choose the first one on the list though. With so many websites available, how do you know which one to buy your part from? Start by comparing prices. Look for special deals like frequent buyer's clubs and free shipping. The cost of shipping can sometimes vary from site to site, as well as the price of the part. Be aware that there are fraudulent websites on the Internet that just want to take your money or you credit card numbers. You in turn don't get the part you ordered and may end up with additional charges for items you did not order. Make sure the site you are using is secure. Take the time to read their terms and conditions, especially their payment policies, as well as their return policy. If you are still unsure of what online site to order your motorcycle part from try asking in a Harley Davidson discussion group, forum or blog. Just register and type in something like "Where can I find a reliable online site to order a Harley Davidson part?" You will have feedback from other members, and some of these sites have online links to parts distributors already. Online motorcycle magazines, newsletters and articles may also be helpful. Online auction sites are another source and may offer the part at a lower price than a distributor. Just be sure to check the seller's ratings before you bid. Once you have located an online supplier for your part, go ahead and place the order. You should receive some kind of an order confirmation. Be sure to print your confirmation or save it to your hard drive incase you need to track or return your order. Now that you have learned how to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle part online you buy all your parts and accessories this way. You can even buy your next motorcycle online. In this case you should look for sites that will "escrow" your funds. In other words, the site will place your payment into s secure account until arrangements have been made for you to pick up the bike, or have it delivered. The downside of buying online is that you cannot test ride the motorcycle. Which Type of Harley Davidson Motorcycle is Best for You? You've been wanting one for so long. When you hear the roar of the engine, your heart skips a beat. You stop and stare, fantasizing about what it would be like if YOU were sitting in the seat. Before you go out and buy yourself a Harley, it's wise to do your homework and determine which type of motorcycle is best suited for you. To begin you want to match the type of bike to your riding style, expectations, experience, and ability. You also want to consider how you will be riding the bike. Last, but not least, you'll want to take into consideration your physical size and abilities. A common mistake many people make is to buy a motorcycle that is too big for them. Obviously, this can result in serious injury or death. It's important to select a motorcycle that you can skillfully maneuver and manage. Harley Davidson offers a wide range of motorcycles and can accommodate nearly everyone's needs. Let's take a look at the various types of Harley Davidson motorcycles: Touring: If you plan on taking road trips, this is the Harley for you. However, if you are a beginner, this type of bike is probably more than you can handle. When these bikes are fully loaded, they can weigh up to 800 pounds. Harley touring bikes include Road Kings and Glides. Cruisers: Harley Cruisers are a lighter weight motorcycle than Touring bikes; however, they are still heavy and not recommended for beginners. Cruisers are categorized as Softails and include the Harley Fat Boy, Heritage and Nostalgia models. Softails: The term softail refers to a type of rear suspension system installed to absorb shock. Softails were designed to be reminiscent of the rigid mount design of earlier models; but provide a more comfortable ride. Harley Softails are a popular choice for daily riding. Many riders choose the Softail when they want to create their own custom design. Softails are lighter in weight than Touring or Cruiser Harley's. Models include the Softail Custom, Springer Softail, Heritage Softail, Heritage Springer, Night Train, Deuce, and Fat Boy. Dynas: The Dynas model has a dual shock rear suspension like the Touring bikes and a front end like the Softail and Sportster models. The engine has a rubber mounted support system to reduce engine vibration. Dynas are available with a wide-glide or narrow-glide front end. This type of bike is a good choice for street riding and appropriate for beginners. Sportster: These are the perfect choice of Harley motorcycles for beginners. These bikes have a smaller engine and smaller frame and are the lightest bikes offered by Harley-Davidson. Sportsters are the only Harley with two engine sizes, the 883 and 1200. They are about half the cost of the big twin Harley's; making them the most affordable choice the company offers. V-Rod: The V-Rod is newest Harley model and introduces a water cooled engine. The V-Rod motorcycle has the style of an imported sport bike, yet retains the stretched out forward controls that are uniquely Harley. This is a good daily riding motorcycle and makes a good choice for those who are experienced in riding. Buell: Although this isn't exactly a Harley; Buell sport bikes are made and sold through Harley Davidson. Buell motorcycles are a traditional sports bike powered by an American V-Twin engine. Buell motorcycles are a great all-around bike, suitable for daily riding or shorter road trips. Several engine sizes are available, making Buell motorcycles a good choice for beginners to seasoned riders. The Evolution Of The Engine The first engine that William Harley ever designed was in 1901, before the Harley Davidson Company even began. It was a small engine that displaced 7.07 cubic inches and had 4-inch flywheels. This engine was designed to power a regular bicycle, however it did not give the bike enough power to ascend the hills of Milwaukee. The next engine Harley developed with the assistance of the Davidson brothers was bigger and more powerful. This engine was 24.74 cubic inches with 9-3/4 inch flywheels weighing 28 pounds. The group also received help with this engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude, and was much more successful, premiering the first Harley Davidson motorcycle in 1904 at a race in Milwaukee. Since then Harley Davidson has continued to improve and develop their motorcycle engines. The Flathead engine was manufactured between 1929 and 1974. These engines did not have overhead valves. The valves ran alongside the engine and opened upward into a chamber beside the combustion chamber. A typical flathead engine displaced about 45 cubic inches and produced about 22 horsepower. The Knucklehead engine was manufactured between 1936 and 1947. This engine was available in 60 cubic inch and 74 cubic inch variations, producing 40 to 45 horsepower. The Panhead engine was manufactured between 1948 and 1965. This engine also came in 60 cubic inch and 74 cubic inch variations, but produced 50 to 55 horsepower. The biggest difference between the two engines was the aluminum heads on the panhead and internal oil lines, as opposed to external oil lines on the knucklehead. The Shovelhead engine was manufactured between 1966 and 1985. This engine displaced 74 cubic inches and produced 60 horsepower. The Evolution engine was manufactured between 1984 and 1999. This engine displaced 81.8 cubic inches and produced 70 horsepower. Some smaller evolution engines are still produced today, and are used in the Sportster line of Harley Davidson motorcycles. The Twin Cam 88 engine began to be manufactured in 1999. This engine got its name because it has 2 cams in the crankcase to activate the valves. This engine displaces 88 cubic inches and produces 80 horsepower making it the largest production Harley Davidson engine. This engine is air-cooled and uses overhead valves activated by pushrods. The Revolution engine began to be manufactured in 2001. This engine is currently only used in the VSRC model. This engine is quite different from the others produced by Harley Davidson. It is water-cooled instead of air-cooled. Its V angle is 60 degrees instead of 45 degrees. It has 4 overhead cams instead of two in the crankcase and it is fuel injected. This engine s smaller at 69 cubic inches, but it produces 115 horsepower due to its much shorter stroke. Harley engines are big. They have a very distinctive sound. Once you know what a Harley sounds like you will always recognize when one is coming. The Harley sound is part of the whole Harley experience. The sound is enhanced by removing the muffler and comes from the way the engine is designed. Preventing The Need For Costly Repair Proper motorcycle maintenance and preparation before riding will prevent the need for costly repair jobs. The Internet abounds with motorcycle repair videos, DVDs, books and magazines. If you prefer not to go to an authorized repair center, it is possible to learn how to do-it-yourself. A quick pre-ride check of your bike will help prevent the need for repair, especially if you are going on a long road-trip, and even if you are just riding to the store. First check the oil and the oil filter. Learning how to change your own filter will save time and money. If you do change your own oil make sure to dispose of the old oil properly. It should be sealed in an approved container and taken to a legitimate oil disposal facility. This is a good time to check the other fluid levels as well. Next check the controls to make sure they all operate properly. Controls include front and rear brakes, throttle, clutch and shifter. Also check to see that the steering mechanism works smoothly. This may be done by turning the handlebars through the full operating range. You should check your tire pressure often. If you are touring, carry a tire gauge and check it daily. The owner's manual that comes with your bike will tell you what the correct tire pressure should be. Remember that air pressure can change with air temperature. When you check your tire pressure you should also check the condition of your tires. Replace any tires that have less than 50 percent of the tread left. Also replace tires that have cracks, cuts or signs of wear. You should not try to repair a tire unless there is no other option. Even then it is a short-term solution. Make sure to check for any fuel, oil, or hydraulic fuel leaks. Check both the cases and the lines for leaks. Running out of oil out in the middle of nowhere will definitely mean costly engine repair or even replacement. Check your headlights, taillights, and turning signals and brake lights. Get into the habit of doing this every time you ride. This is for your own protection letting other drivers see you as well as letting you see them. Instructions on replacing bulbs should be in your owner's manual. Oh, by the way, if you bought a used bike and the owner did not give you a manual, try looking on line. Now check your battery. You may actually double the life of your battery by checking and maintaining water levels regularly. This is as simple as shining a flashlight into the opening and filling to the indicated level. You may also consider installing a battery charger with a convenient disconnect. Finally before you start out, check the position of the mirrors. Do this while you are sitting on the bike to ensure that they are correctly positioned. Following this simple maintenance plan can save you time, money and the need for repair. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, find the closest Harley Davidson dealership to help you out. Should You Buy A New Harley Davidson? Buying a new motorcycle is easy, right? You just pick a model, go to the nearest dealer and pay for it. Okay maybe not, especially if this will be your first motorcycle. Owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle is like owning a legend. A new Harley is an investment, not just a purchase. They are also expensive, so knowing what you want, what you need and what you can handle is very important before you fork over the cash. Before you purchase a new bike, do some research. Not all Harleys are suitable for cruising. Just because a bike looks good doesn't mean it's right for you. You want to find one that runs well, is comfortable to ride, and that you can handle. If you are just starting out you may want to start with a smaller bike until your skills improve. Touring bikes are the heaviest of the Harley machines. A new touring bike ranges from $16, 000 to over $20,000 without customization. Models include the FLHR Road King, the FLHRS Road King Custom, the FLHRC Road King Classic, the FLHX Street Glide, the FLTR Road Glide, The FLHT Electra Glide Standard, the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic, and the FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide. Slightly smaller and faster are the VRSC models. They include the VRSCAW V-Rod, the VRSCD Night Rod, the VRSCXD Night Rod Special, the VRSCX, and the VRSCR Street Rod. These sweet rides range from $14,000-$20,000. The next lightest models are the Softails and start at around $14,000 to just under $18,000. These models include the FXST Softail Standard (a barebones model), FXSTB Night Train, FXSTC Softail Custom, FXSTD Softail Deuce, FLSTF Fat Boy, FLSTN Softail Deluxe, FLSTSC Softail Springer Classic, and the FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic. Next up are the Dyna models. They sell for between just over $12,000 to just under $17,000. These models include the FXD Dyna Super Glide, the FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom, the FXDB Dyna Street Bob, the FXDL Dyna Low Rider, and the FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide. The lightest new Harley you could buy, both in weight and price is a Sportster model. These gems are available for between $6,500 to just under $10,000 for a special 50th Anniversary limited addition model. Sportsters include the XL**# Sportster 883, the XL883L Sportster 883 Low, the XL883C Sportster 883 Custom, the XL883R Sportster 883, the XL1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster, the XL1200C Sportster 1200 Custom, the XL1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster and the XL1200l Sportster 1200 Low. Some riders consider the Sportster the most difficult to ride despite its lightness. This is due to the high placement of the gas tank and the bikes center of gravity. Try it out first; don't just assume you will like the ride. Whichever model you choose, you should try it before you buy it. Get on a new bike, start it up, and listen to the engine. Feel the vibrations. Take the bike for a ride. You may need to test-ride several models before you buy a new Harley. There's nothing wrong with that. Ten Gift Ideas for Harley-Davidson Enthusiasts 1) Harley-Davidson's Ride Atlas of North America. This must-have guide has a durable tear-resistant cover and contains well-designed and easy-to-read pages of scenic routes complete with detailed descriptions and maps. It also includes important information on each state page including local laws, gas station locations, and emergency roadside assistance. 2) Riding the World by Gregory Frazier. Greg Frazier has traveled around the world on his motorcycle -- twice. This unique book offers expert traveling advice to motorcycle riders and includes color photos with sections on routes, motorcycle preparation, sleeping, eating, what to take, and whether to go it alone. 3) Harley-Davidson "Hog" Bank. Both young and old will enjoy saving money in this unique piggy bank. The black, ceramic bank is shaped like the Harley-Davidson motorcycle tank, with a hog face and hog legs. The "Harley-Davidson" name is applied to the side of the tank. 4) Harley-Davidson Ladies Pink Diamond Watch. Give the ladies what they love -- diamonds! This gorgeous watch incorporates a stainless steel case and diamond-encrusted bracelet with a watch face made from pink mother-of-pearl. The numbers are marked with sparkling diamonds. As if that weren't enough, this beauty is water resistant to 100 feet. 5) Harley-Davidson Men's Orange Flame Watch. The case and bracelet are constructed from stainless steel and uses a fold-over buckle clasp. The watch face is bright blue with reflective orange flames shooting up from the bottom. The Harley-Davidson Motorcycles logo is positioned near the bottom center. The watch hands are luminous and numbers are marked by small dashes. Last, but not least, the watch is water resistant to 165 feet. 6) Harley-Davidson Women's FXRG Gauntlet Glove. The FXRG women's glove is the epitome of riding gloves. Manufactured from genuine leather, these gloves include a waterproof Gore-Tex(r) liner. A special water-seal system prevents water from entering around the cuffs. The knuckles and finger pads are reinforced with a polycarbonate; a protective material. The palms are constructed using an accordion design to reduce bunching and improve grip. A built-in thumb squeegee is included that allows the rider to wipe moisture off their face shield. 7) Harley-Davidson Mini Fridge. If you're looking for a unique, yet functional mini fridge, look no further! This sleek, black beauty has chrome accents around a glass door etched with the infamous Harley-Davidson Bar and Shield logo. The tribal eagle graphic is attached to both side panels. The unit is large enough to hold up to 50 beverage cans. 8) Harley-Davidson Motor Company Wall Art. Harley-Davidson wall art is a collection of various art designs that incorporate neon lighting and LED lights. One of the most popular pieces involves the Harley-Davidson motorcycle outlined in red neon lighting. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company building is in the background. A black mat features the words, "There's No Place Like Home" printed in red ink. The Harley-Davidson logo is positioned next to the saying. 9) Harley-Davidson Men's Heritage Jacket. This is a must-have jacket for anyone who spends time on the road. Made from 100 percent nylon, the Heritage jacket features a built-in waterproof liner, and a removal warmth liner. The elbows and shoulders include protective body armor for additional protection. The jacket is black with reflective piping and Harley-Davidson graphics on the back, above the chest, and on the left sleeve. 10) Harley-Davidson Women's Rain Jacket & Pant. This ensemble covers riders from head to toe and offers extra protection from inclement weather. Constructed from waterproof nylon, the jacket is fully lined and seam sealed. The pants include stirrups to prevent water from leaking in; along with built-in kneepads. For additional safety, the pants legs are protected by a heat-resistant shield. Both pieces are made from reflective material, which is lightweight and easy to pack when not in use.
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