Top 10 Things You Might Not Know About Harley-Davidson

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7. Harley Built Boxer-Style Twin-Cylinder Engines


Everyone knows H-D for its historic V-Twin engines, and amateur historians know about the company’s single-cylinder motors that powered many early H-Ds. But did you know Harley also built Boxer motors?

The 584cc W Sport (1919-22) used an opposed-Twin engine, with cylinders arranged inline with its wheels, patterned on the British Douglas. Producing only six horsepower, the W was not especially fast, but its low center of gravity gave it nimble handling. The lightweight model did not sell in large numbers stateside, but it did well overseas, with production numbers totalling nearly 10,000. The WJ (equipped with a battery and coil rather than a magneto) was the first motorcycle to ascend Mt. Baldy.

Harley’s other non-V-Twin was the XA of 1942, built at the request of the U.S. Army which wanted the benefits of shaft drive. It used a 742cc opposed-Twin oriented in the BMW Boxer fashion. Production stopped at 1,000 when the Army concluded the XA was too expensive and that the 45-inch WLA V-Twin would do the job just as well.

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  • i1n1f1o1m1a1n1i1a1c1

    “…Harley’s bicycles were stout and stylish, but they were expensive in a quite crowded market….”

    And thus a tradition was born.

  • Shistang

    I wont buy a Harley-Davison they ignore the needsof the Black Communnity.

    • Bull

      Your a fuckin idiot!!!

      • Alvin White

        That would be “you’re a fuckin idiot” ….. but your sentiment is dead on ..

        • J Schtulmann

          LOL. and Shistang, what are the needs of the “black” community…..racist prick

        • Bull

          Lol, yes Alvin I know this. It was an intentional grammar stab at his use of the word “needsof”. Lol, but hey at least you were paying attention! 10 points for you and a gold star!

    • Dennis

      LOL ya go that to the All the black riders I see

      • Shistang

        What you said there dont make any sense, but Harley-Davison need to offer insentives to African-American customers with special discounts on bikes and then become known as a progressive company witch will help sells in the long run.

        • Robert C. Barth

          Wait. Are you suggesting HD offer discounts to black (potential) customers simply because they’re… (wait for it) black?

        • Dennis

          Are you kidding me …… go in and get the best deal you can like any other person…….

        • Dennis

          I don’t see a problem with ANY minorities not being able to afford a Harley

        • Doc

          It is unbelievable to me that you would even think that a company should for any reason give anybody a discount based on race, creed or color. You are such a racist piece of crap. A disgrace to the black community.

  • Dbakeca Italia

    this is nice

  • Dennis

    “unfortunately ,I didn’t snap a picture of it”…….. how many times I heard that…….

  • miike

    I bought a new HD about 7 years ago…but HD wouldn’t stand behind their warranty. So I traded it for a VW powered sand rail, and kept my Honda V-twin, which now has 50K miles on it, and only routine maintenance & tires. The value of my new HD dropped to 1/2 the minute I drove it home. Never again! Maybe a used one? No hurry to make another mistake!


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