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The Evolution of the Harley Davidson By Barry Morgan Nearly a century ago the first motorized bike was invented The idea came from two ambitious young men William J Harley and Ben Davidson Upon completion of their first successful prototype in a backyard shed they were ready to show the world their newest creation They could have never imagined the fame and fortune that was waiting just ahead of them The invention of this unique machine sparked a revolution in the transportation industry It could cover ground that was considered to be too treacherous for a four-wheeled vehicle to attempt The narrow two-wheeled design and the massive power made this possible and grabbed the attention of people everywhere By the time World War I had begun the United States Army had incorporated them into their ranks However the demand was not just from the Army Civilians were finding the freedom of the wind in their faces and the sun on their backs completely addictive when they straddled one of these powerful machines Although the first motorcycles looked nothing like the ones we see today they were still considered to be the American Dream to many free-spirited young men The flashy paint jobs and chromed-out motors with their loud mufflers expressed the born to be wild attitude of the daredevil riders The low road-hugging frame was constructed of a one-piece steel tubular design that had no rear shocks of any kind Hence came the nickname Hard-tail It was a stiff spine-crunching ride that left even the most dedicated biker tired and hurting after a couple of hours of hard riding The power train was a forty-five cubic inch V-twin flathead motor with a four speed transmission that was shifted by hand on the side of the gas tank The clutch was operated with the left foot which made it extremely awkward when stopping at a red light or
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