It’s been happening as lengthy as Ford versus. Chevrolet, as lengthy as Red Sox versus. Yankees, Cats versus. Dogs, Coke versus. Pepsi — the bitter competition between Harley-Davidson and Indian, two all-American motorcycle manufacturers which are evenly matched and able to rumble. The feud is dissected and showcased because it has not been before. The Petersen Automotive Museum in La brings you Harley versus. Indian: Clash of America’s Two-Wheeled Titans.
The dispute dates back over a century, and individuals began quarrelling about this soon after each company began. For instance, which is older? William S. Harley did a blueprint drawing of the engine made to squeeze into a motorcycle in 1901. A man named George M. Hendee founded a motorcycle production company known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company in 1897, then hired another guy named Oscar Hedstrom to construct a gasoline engine and set it right into a bicycle in 1901. Hendee Manufacturing grew to become Indian. Who had been first? The fight started.
That very same year, Hendee built three motorized bicycles and built a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts. By 1902, Hendee was selling motorcycles.
It was not until 1903 that William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson offered their first production motorcycle towards the public. In 1903, Hedstrom rode among the Indians to some speed record of 56 miles per hour, then won a stamina race from New You are able to to Springfield and back.
The very first Harley dealer opened up in 1904. And in 1904, the very first Indian was offered inside a crimson vermillion paint plan that grew to become referred to as “Indian Red.” So perhaps since Indian wasn’t known as Indian until 1904, Harley was there last year. Have in internet marketing, historians.
In 1906, two Indian dealers rode from Bay Area to New You are able to in 31 days coupled with no mechanical problems. That very same year, Indian built its first V-twin, a 633-cc 42-degree V. Harley did not build its first V-twin until 1909.
In 1907, Harley-Davidson was incorporated. Made it happen count before? Argue away.
It continued such as this for over a century — and counting. In 1911, Volney Davis rode an Indian from Bay Area to New You are able to in 20 days. In 1914, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker required a southern route across the nation in 11 days. Harley opened up its racing department in 1913 “within a couple of short years,” it grew to become referred to as Wrecking Crew due to its dominance from the sport, based on official Harley history. In 1915, Cannonball Baker got on another Indian and went from Canada to Mexico in 72 hours.
Once the U.S. joined The First World War, both companies devoted their production towards the war effort, delivering military bikes overseas.
In 1920, both Harley and Indian introduced liter engines. Indian designed a 1,000-cc twin and set it right into a new bike it known as the main. That engine took it’s origin from a 661-cc unit introduced 2 yrs earlier inside a new bike known as the Scout. Harley-Davidson, meanwhile, took over as greatest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet by 1920, with more than 2,000 dealers in 67 countries. The hog association started that very same year because the race team began transporting a pig around tracks during victory laps.
Indian introduced an inline-four in 1927. Bikes with inline-fours are now able to command six figures at auction (and actually just did, two several weeks ago).
By 1931, Harley-Davidson and Indian took over as 3 remaining motorcycle manufacturers in the usa, also it remained this way until 1953.
Japan motorcycle industry was created in 1935 when Harley-Davidson licensed blueprints, tools, dies and machinery towards the Sankyo Company of Japan. Sankyo’s first bike was known as the Rikuo.
In 1938, local Indian motorcycle dealer J.C. Clarence “Pappy” Hoel encouraged a nearby Indian motorcycle club known as The Jackpine Gypsies to carry a race named the Black Hillsides Classic inside a South Dakota town known as Sturgis.
Once the U.S. joined The Second World War, both companies again devoted their sources towards the war effort, with a large number of Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles shipped to Allied military forces around the globe. Civilian production started again at war’s finish.
In 1953, while Harley was celebrating its 50th anniversary, Indian stopped production. A number of buyers and investors each gave Indian motorcycle manufacturing a go within the next several decades. In the center of everything, New Zealander Burt Munro rode “The World’s Fastest Indian” to some land speed record of 183.586 miles per hour in the Bonneville Salt Flats. You may have seen the film.
Elvis posed on the 1956 model KH Harley around the cover from the Enthusiast, the Harley motorcycle magazine.
Harley merged with AMF in 1969. In 1970, Harley created the XR-750, proven above, a brand new Sportster-based entry for AMA Class C racing. Almost 30 Years Ago, 13 Harley executives bought their company away from AMF. As well as in 2011, Polaris Industries bought Indian. All continues to be well with companies since.
How can you get everything right into a museum exhibit? It was not easy. The Petersen exhibit features racing and road bikes, scooters, trikes and diverse knickknacks from Harley and Indian.
“All people in the museum share an excellent desire for motorcycles,” stated executive director Terry Karges. “It’s our great pleasure so that you can showcase a brief history of the incredible American manufacturers and also to educate the general public on their own contributions to American culture over the past century.”