Exhibit Collage

Yamaha Big Bear

Yamaha Big Bear ATV

In 1901, William S. Harley, age 21, completed a blueprint drawing of an engine designed to fit into a bicycle. By 1903, Harley and Arthur Davidson had made available to the public the first production Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. The bike was built to be a racer, with a 3-1/8 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. The factory in which they worked was a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door.

Harley-Davidson credits Detroit, Michigan as being the first purchaser of police motorcycles in 1908. The police department in Evanston, Illinois also purchased a belt-driven motorcycle for its first motorcycle police officer in 1908, and the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau had a police officer who used his personal motorcycle to patrol the city as early as 1909.

The role of the motorcycle as inexpensive public transportation evolved in the 1930s, and their use by police and the armed forces also grew, providing a stable production market for the more utilitarian machines, especially as Europe rearmed after World War I.

This 1960 Harley-Davidson Duo-Glide was donated to the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum by the Harley-Davidson Company.