Who Owns Harley-Davidson?

Harley-Davidson Softail Slim Parked

If you love Harley-Davidson bikes, you’ve likely wondered who owns Harley-Davidson and where H-D bikes are built. Harley-Davidson got its start in a humble 10- by 15-foot wooden shack in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Even after growing to over 6,000 employees and seven plants worldwide, H-D corporate headquarters are on the very same site as the original in Milwaukee. Learn more about who owns Harley-Davidson and exciting H-D history with Latus Motors Harley-Davidson, below.

Where is Harley-Davidson Made?

Hoping that it’s American workers who make Harley-Davidson bikes for sale in Vancouver and Gresham? You’ll be happy to learn that every Harley-Davidson bike sold in the U.S. was assembled at one of four production plants in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.

Individual parts are a bit more complicated: engine pistons arrive from Austria, brakes and clutch are built in Italy, the suspensions ship from Japan, and various electronic components head here from China and Mexico.

U.S. Harley-Davidson Production Facilities

  • York, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
  • Tomahawk, Wisconsin, USA

Who is Harley-Davidson? A Brief History

More than a few times, we’ve been asked if Harley Davidson was a real person. So, who is Harley Davidson? Actually, two people lent their names to the fledgling brand back in 1903… although they were both named William! From 1901 to 2021, here are a few of our favorite Harley-Davidson historical highlights:

  • 1901 — William S. Harley designs an engine for a bicycle.
  • 1903 — Harley and William S. Davidson collaborate on the very first Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
  • 1905 — With a time of 19:02, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle wins a 15-mile race in Chicago.
  • 1907 — Harley and Davidson ramp up production with a new, larger factory.
  • 1909 — Harley-Davidson introduces the V-twin 7-horsepower motorcycle, one of the most enduring icons in H-D history.
  • 1913 — The Harley-Davidson dealer network grows to over 200 in the U.S.
  • 1919 — H-D sells nearly half of the motorcycles produced during this year for use in WWI.
  • 1928 — JD series bikes introduce two-cam engines, which can hit top speeds of 85 to 100 mph.
  • 1945 — H-D sells over 60,000 WLA models for military use during the course of WWII.
  • 1955 — An H-D motorcycle wins the first of seven straight victories at the Daytona 200.
  • 1957 — Birth of the Sportster “superbike.”
  • 1969 — H-D merges with the American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF).
  • 1973 — H-D assembly operations are upgraded with a move to the new 400,000 square-foot plant in York, PN.
  • 1981 — Thirteen executives buy Harley-Davidson back from AMF.
  • 1990 — Birth of the legendary FLSTF Fatboy®.
  • 2009 — Harley-Davidson expands production to India.

Who Owns Harley-Davidson?

Want to know more about who owns Harley-Davidson? Those who love the brand for its image of freedom and adventure will appreciate that Harley-Davidson is beholden to no one. With the exception of a brief merger with American Machine and Foundry Company in 1969, Harley-Davidson continues to be an independent company.

Browse New and Used Harley-Davidson Motorcycles in Gladstone

So who is Harley-Davidson? When it comes down to it, there’s only one answer: you. Choose your H-D touring or street model, and make your own way with OEM parts and accessories. The open road is waiting.

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Latus Motors Harley-Davidson 45.383731, -122.580852.