The History of the Harley Davidson Logo

Harley-Davidson Locking Fuel Cap

Few brands can claim the near-instant recognition of the Harley-Davidson logo. Whether you’re a proud owner of a Harley-Davidson Street Glide® in Portland or you’re still searching for your perfect new Harley-Davidson in Vancouver, you know the now-iconic bar and shield Harley-Davidson logo. 

While the modern Harley logo has quite a bit in common with the original, the years in between brought a variety of designs — some you might see on a vintage bike at Latus Motors Harley-Davidson in Gladstone. Learn about the Harley-Davidson logo and its history with us today.

Origins of the Harley-Davidson Logo

Harley-Davidson has a rich history, beginning at the start of the 1900s. The company was founded by the Davidson brothers, Walter and Arthur, who assembled their first motorcycle in 1903. The first version of the Harley-Davidson logo arrived in 1910 (pictured).

Flash forward to today, the current logo actually looks very similar to the original logo — with the biggest difference being the shape of the shield. Though the modern logo and the original have a lot in common, there are many Harley-Davidson logos along the way that went in different directions.

Original Harley Logo

The Harley-Davidson Logo Through Time

The Harley-Davidson logo history looks pretty calm at first; for nearly 5 decades, the logo went unchanged. But from 1953 on, there were regular updates and special edition logos that changed the shape, color, inscription, and more.

  • 1910: The first logo was branded: the bar and shield with the Harley-Davidson name on it. 
  • 1953: To commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary, the logo featured a “V” in commemoration of its popular V-Twin engines. Gone is the traditional badge shape, instead you’ll find a full circle with “50 Years” and “American Made” inscribed. 
  • 1965: Similar to the original, the logo returned back to the bar and shield image. While there have been slight adjustments over the years, this is likely the logo you’re familiar with today.
  • 2003: To celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, the Harley-Davidson logo was updated. You’ll find select models and gear with a pair of stylized wings on the logo and the years 1903 and 2003 inscribed.
  • Today: There were changes to the logo between 1965 and 2003 and between 2003 to now, but the bar and shield is iconic. In fact, you’ll often see the logo without any text — because everyone knows that’s the Harley logo.
Harley 50th Anniversary Logo

Find Out More About Harley-Davidson Latus Motors Harley-Davidson 

At Latus Motors Harley-Davidson, we’re here to help. Whether it’s an overview of Harley history and trivia or service tips to keep your motorcycle running. Contact us to see why so many Harley riders choose Latus Motors Harley-Davidson.

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Latus Motors Harley-Davidson 45.383731, -122.580852.