Harley Davidson is a globally well-known and iconic American motorcycle brand mainly known for its unique and distinctive design and sound. For motorcycle lovers, purchasing and owning a Harley is no less than a dream come true. Well, many people may be wondering where these iconic and legendary motorcycles are made.
Keep reading this article to uncover the history and origins of the beloved Harley Davidson motorcycles and learn where these amazing motorcycles are manufactured.
Also, get answers to frequently asked question about Harleys and their manufacturing process. We will also be discussing the impact of manufacturing locations on Harley-Davidson’s business and how knowing where they are made can help you.
Manufacturing Locations of Harleys
Harley-Davidson is one of the World’s most recognizable and iconic motorcycle brands. Established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1903, Harley was founded by William S.
Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson with a mission to make motorcycling accessible for everyone. In more than 100 years since its inception, the company has become globally recognized for producing high-quality motorcycles that are sold around the World.
Where Exactly Harleys Are Made
The majority of Harleys made today come from manufacturing plants located in
- Menomonee Valley Industrial Park near Milwaukee, Wisconsin;
- York Vehicle Operations facility in Pennsylvania;
- Kansas City Assembly plant in Missouri;
- Manaus Assembly plant in Brazil;
- Bawal Manufacturing Facility at Haryana, India;
- Shanghai Customs Motorcycles Co., Ltd.;
- Rayong Facilities & Production Plants at Chonburi Thailand.
As we can see, then, it’s no surprise why bikes sporting the famous Chrome ‘bar and shield” logo travel far beyond the United States borders each year!
Harley-Davidsons are primarily manufactured within two locations: York County, PA, and Milwaukee, WI. Referred to as the only historic manufacturer still keeping production within the US for all its models, operations at both plants take up nearly 2 million square feet!
Employment opportunities range from engineering roles with enormous responsibility, such as overseeing vehicle construction or operating computerized assembly machines, to positions focused on employee wellness, like medical clinic staff or trainers.
All include competitive wages and an attractive benefits package providing insurance coverage such as medical insurance plus additional perks, including vacation time accrual. In addition to quality healthcare benefits, organized labor conferences allow employees to express their concerns directly with management when issues arise – ultimately leading to a safe, productive environment free from harassment or discrimination.
Working conditions also continue to be monitored by safety protocols like ergonomic exercises meant to minimize risk-related injuries often associated with long hours of manual labor tasks.
The entire process starts at the engine plant located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, responsible not just for building V Twin engines but also exhaust systems. At the same time, wheels, frames, levers, handlebars, fenders, windscreens, tanks, and suspension components are assembled to complete the motorcycle down south in York, PA.
Harley worked hard to expand their name across the World, and that is the sole reason it opened facilities in countries like Brazil, India, and China to reach the motorcycle markets all around the World.
Also Read: Where Are Cannondale Bikes Made?
History and the Impact of Manufacturing Locations on Harley-Davidson
As Harley-Davidson is one of the World’s most iconic motorcycle companies, it certainly lends itself to questions and curiosity about the company’s origins and history.
After planning out a way for a small engine designed to fit on a regular bike chassis, William S. Harley partnered with Arthur and Walter Davidson to manufactured this “motor bicycle.” They completed the first model in 1903. While the mission was mostly accomplished and the test was almost successful, the motorcycle could not climb hills without the rider helping with the pedaling.
The Davidson brothers and Harley did not give up and continued to begin working on a new and improved version of the machine. They manufactured a larger engine and loop-frame design. After completing the test model interpretation in 1904, they contended in a local race with the motorcycle at the State Fair Park, where it came in fourth position.
Now that they had a working and running interpretation, Harley- Davidson engines were registered in the January 1905 Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal making them an official motorcycle production company.
About four months later, the production of Harleys began. In the first year of manufacturing, they produced five motorcycles, of which Carl H. Lang, the first Harley-Davidson dealer, bought three.
The three moved out of their shed into their first factory in 1906. The factory was placed where the current Harley-Davidson headquarters exist. In that first year of manufacturing, they produced 50 motorcycles which was ten times the number of motorcycles produced the year before!
Harley became an official company in 1907, they produced 150 motorcycles and started selling them to police departments. The company continued to grow and improve yearly, introducing new features and designs. The facility was expanded many times to keep up with the continuously growing demand for Harleys!
Harley also played an essential role in American history as well, Harley produced over 20 thousand motorcycles for the US military during World War 1. It became one of the two motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression.
Harley also produced more than 90 thousand motorcycles for use in World War 2 and for their honorable act, they were awarded two Army-Navy “E” Awards for Excellence in Manufacturing.
The company has gone past many ownership arrangements, subsidiary arrangements, times of poor financial health and product quality, and intense international competition. As a result, it has become an iconic brand and one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers known for its loyal fans.
Determining the Source by the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
The Vehicle Identification Number can be used to find out where a specific Harley-Davidson motorcycle was manufactured. It is a 17-digit code, and the first 3 digits are the ones you need to find out the country of origin of an HD motorcycle while the 11th digit tells you which plant it was manufactured in.
The rest of the digits are industrial serial numbers. Now take a look at the table for better clarification(the first four are countries, and the rest are factories/plants):
|Mass-produced for sale within the US
|Mass-produced for sale outside of the US
|For sale only in Brazil
|For sale only in India
|Kansas City, Missouri
|Buell, East Troy, Wisconsin
|Haryana, India(Bawal District Rewari)
Note: The Thailand Plant produced motorcycle digits may not be available online, including here.
Harley Davidson has been one of the biggest motorcycle brands in the World they’ve been locally made since 1903 and are currently being produced in mainly two locations, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and York, Pennsylvania taking up to 2 million square feet respectively.
Maintaining both high quality and standards both domestically and Internationally in its facilities. Harley has been a major part of American History and its motorcycles are loved in almost every part of the World.
Harleys are available in many countries due to their large global supply chain. If you like motorcycles, it’s almost impossible that you won’t like a Harley as it makes you feel unique and amazing while riding the wind!