Harley Davidson Trike
 
Making a comeback into the Harley lineup for 2009 model year was the Harley Trike. Harley introduced its three-wheeler, called the Tri Glide Ultra Classic,for the 2009 model-year lineup.

In 2010 Harley-Davidson announced they would be moving the trike assembly in-house to their York, Pennsylvania production facilities for the 2011 models. Previously motorcycle trike conversion kits and trike accessories for Harley-Davidson were outsourced. The announcement brings home a long tradition and history of three-wheelers.

Many Harley-Davidson historians correctly credit the Harley Motorcycle Trike named the Servi-Car as helping Harley survive the depression.
Harley Davidson Servi-Car  1932-1974
Harley Servi-car brochure Previewed to dealers in their November 9, 1931, news bulletin, and released in 1932 the Servi-Car; Harley's motorcycle trike three-wheeler was "Intended primarily for use by garages and services stations in the pickup and delivery of customer's cars." Unlike other motorcycle trikes of the time, Harley Davidson put a lot of engineering in the Servi-Car. The motorcycle trike was engineered from top to bottom to be a motorcycle trike as opposed to just graft a motorcycle onto a pair of wheels.

Early sales literature for the three wheel trike was geared towards service stations and repair garages.
The brochures proclaimed the motorcycle trike solved a nagging service problem. No longer would two people have to go to pick up a car and drive it back to the shop. Instead, one Servi-Car mounted rider would go to the car, park in back, attach the yoke-type towing device fitted to the front axle to the car and drive away. When the car was done, he drove it back, unhitched the mount, and rode back.  Harley motorcycle trike
Harley Servi-car trike
Harley-Davidson Trike   Unlike other motorcycle trikes of the time, Harley Davidson put a lot of engineering in the Servi-Car. the trike was engineered from top to bottom to be a motorcycle trike as opposed to just grafting a motorcycle onto a pair of wheels.

The Servi-Car's frame was a complete unit; Primary drive was provided by a double roller, enclosed chain leading to the three-speed transmission. A single chain transmitted power to a sprocket on the rear axle. Final drive was by means of a modified automobile differential, completely enclosed.

LEFT Harley Motorcycle Trike
click on image to enlarge


BOTTOM 1932 Model G Servi-car Side Valve V-Twin
Servi-Car model production began in 1932 and ended 41 years later, a Harley-Davidson longevity record topped only by the Sportster model.
click on image to enlarge
Harley-Davidson ServiCar Harley-Davidson Trike     Harley Trike    
1911 Harley motorcycle brochure promoting the virtues of using motorcycles for commercial uses. Very early on, it was apparent that there was a market for Harley-Davidson motorcycles as commercial vehicles. Less expensive to own and operate than automobiles, and able to navigate rutted roads better than a four-wheeled vehicle, motorcycles quickly became attractive to Postal Carriers, Police Departments and private businesses alike.

By 1914, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and motorcycle sidecar had earned such a solid reputation that nine departments of the federal government employed its service. The U.S. Postal Service alone used over 4,800 Harleys for rural deliveries.
  Harley-Davidson Motorcycle     Harley-Davidson Motorcycle   Harley-Davidson Logo
1916 Model J With Package Truck F-Head V Twin
Harley Davidson Museum Picture Tour
At the beginning of the 20th century, the postal service still relied on old-fashioned horsepower, making mail carriers a desirable target market for Harley-Davidson. As the company's ads pointed out, motorcycles and Package Trucks were faster and easier to maintain than horses.  This U.S. Mail Package Truck has its original lettering, an optional service offered by the factory.
Bottom
Harley Motorcycle Package Van click on image to enlarge
Harley-Davidson Package Truck Harley-Davidson Motorcycle     Harley-Davidson Tank   Harley-Davidson Logo
 Harley Davidson 1916 Sidecar
  The early sidecar bodies were built by the Seaman Company in Milwaukee. In 1916 the frame on the J model was reinforced for sidecar use and the steering head bearings enlarged. The chair was suspended by leaf springs on each side of car.

Right-side chairs were designed for the U.S. and Europe, while left-side rigs were fitted for the British market. Image soon is of the British model

Model: Model 16J
Price: $310 Options 16-L Standard Pleasure Sidecar $80
Colors:  Renault Grey with Red pinstriping
1916 Harley Davidson Model J  with Package Truck
Introduced in 1915 as an addition to the successful sidecar line. The Harley Davidson Side Van was basically a wooden box on a sidecar chassis, with a hinged top for loading, and proved very popular with commercial users. Among the Harley factory options was your own company's sign written name on the box, at 10 cents per letter, and a folding top and side curtains to protect the rider from the elements.

Model: Harley Davidson Delivery Van  17-M
Price: $70

Model: Harley Davidson Delivery Van  17-N
Price: $72


1915 Production: 98

  
From the beginning Harley-Davidson motorcycles had been used by police departments. The U.S. Postal Service also found them to be a much better solution for rural routes then horses. An early Harley brochure promotes a relatively new use in the below text:

Fire Department Service Comparatively new in this service, the motorcycle has  One large city in the middle west in which motorcycle equipment is being used has been able to extinguish 70 per cent of its fires by means of the motorcycle equipment before the heavy apparatus arrived.
1918 Harley Model J F Head V Twin with Rodgers Sidecar
1918 Model J introduced some small changes If customers were interested in adding the $90 Rogers-brand sidecar, Harley-Davidson recommended a special engine for the bike. The engine was not faster, but it did provide more torque to accommodate the addition of the sidecar.

RIGHT Harley Motorcycle Side Car click on image to enlarge
Harley-Davidson Trike Harley-Davidson Package Van
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Before the automobile revolution motorcycles became an affordable means of primary transportation for many. The addition of a sidecar expanded the versatility of the motorcycle by allowing riders to take the family along. By 1920, Harley-Davidson was selling over 16,000 sidecars annually.

Harley Trike
package van
Davidson's Package Truck was offered in a number of configurations. Using a modified version of the Harley Davidson Sidecar chassis, the frame and body were just a few dollars more than the sidecar.
Model MXP Package Truck shown above, with Harley-Davidson designed snubbers, Alemite fittings, Timken roller bearing hub, 48 inch road tread, $150 at factory. Chassis complete without body, $65 at factory. Prices do not include motorcycle. Harley Davidson also offered other parts and accessoriess
Harley Trike
The first real Harley Trike. The three-wheeled Servicar used the front end of a 45 connected to a two-wheel rear end and a load-carrying box. Originally intended for mechanics to collect vehicles for repair, it proved ideal for traffic police and over it's long life would find numerous other applications. 

Harley Gas Tank Graphics

After little change for nearly 30 years a new design logo appeared on Harley Davidson gas tanks
Sportster 883
Harley Sportster XLCH
A racier version of the Sportster was introduced in 1959 under the XLCH tag. Intended as a performance-oriented on/off road machine it differed from its street XLH sportster by sporting magneto ignition, high-mounted exhaust pipe, "peanut" fuel tank (barrowed from the hummer) , "bobbed" rear fender, and semi-knobby tires. Tank badges were also different, being of a design shared by some of Harley's contemporary racing bikes. The XLCH also debuted the "eyebrow" headlight cover that remains a Sportster trademark to this day.
Harley
Davidson Panhead

In 1948, the FL, with redesigned rocker covers for the cylinder head, got the name of Panhead. Hydraulic valve lifters caused less engine noise, ran cooler with aluminum heads, and needed less maintenance.

Harley Sportster
The
Harley Sportster era begans in 1957 when Harley Davidson introduced an overhead-valve, 54-cubic-inch engine (883cc). Before that, Harley motorcycles were side-valves (Flatheads). In 1957, Harley Davidson released the overhead-valve cylinder heads, which gave the motorcycle increased horsepower and performance. Today there are many iterations of the Sportster.  

Harley 50thh

In 1953 marked the fiftieth year of business for Harley-Davidson. To commemorate the event, a logo was designed, depicting a "V" symbolic of the engine configuration, crossed by the company name and embossed lettering stating "50 years American made." This brass medallion logo would grace the front fenders of all 1954 models.

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