The Iconic Harley-Davidson Logo

Bowie is well familiar with the unmistakable sound of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, its distinctive styling, and custom performance. The brand has never been one to shy away from its place as the leading manufacturer throughout the storied Harley-Davidson history, and why should it? When you’re the best in the business for over one hundred years, you’ve earned the right to let your bikes, engineering prowess, and products speak volumes. Nowhere is this more apparent than the powerful simplicity of the Harley-Davidson logo. Read on with Old Glory Harley-Davidson as we take a deep dive into its history!

The Origins of the Harley-Davidson Logo

When founders William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, and William A. Davidson made their foray into motorbikes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they didn’t even have a logo for their scrappy young brand. Long before the Golden Age of advertising, all they needed was the American spirit of the open road and great bikes in 1903. It is this spirit that brought us the Harley-Davidson history we know today.

It wasn’t until 1910 that the brand adopted the simple yet effective bar and shield logo, composed of the orange, black, and white we know so well around Pasadena. All future Harley-Davidson logo designs have been based on this time-tested origin, reading “Harley-Davidson” across the bar and “Motor” and “Cycles” on the shield behind it.

A Timeline of Harley-Davidson History and Its Logo

As one of only two motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression in the U.S., the Harley-Davidson history has a penchant for the tenacious and the enduring. See below for just a few of the Harley-Davidson history highlights:

  • Founding in 1903 in Milwaukee, WI
  • Introduction of the Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo in 1910
  • In 1929, the company invented a new V-shaped engine, so impressive and dynamic that it brought the brand through the trials of the thirties and forties.
  • The agility and dynamic of this V-twin engine led the brand to add wings, for a brief six-year stint in 1934, to the logo.
  • This V-shaped engine was such an integral part of the company’s success, that it honored the V-twin engine on its 50-year anniversary logo redesign with a V overlay in 1953.
  • In 1963, Harley-Davidson returns to a more subtle, yet more bold, black and white logo design that continues on HD bikes to this day.
  • In 2003, wings symbolizing the true freedom of Harley-Davidson history and bikes were placed around the bar and shield. It also included 1903 and 2003, with the number 100 just below the bar and shield centerpiece in honor of its lasting legacy.

These days around Glen Burnie, you’ll likely see a variation on the classic Harley-Davidson logo: black, white, and orange. Sometimes, an all-steel classic shield design is found on custom models and other gear.

Make Your Mark on History with Old Glory Harley-Davidson

Throughout the long Harley-Davidson history, the power of blazing your own trail has been central to the design and development of their incredible bikes. You can learn more about the future of Harley-Davidson with our 2020 comparison of the HD Touring vs. HD Softail, or take a look at these riding essentials to keep you on the open road longer – the story you create with Old Glory Harley-Davidson is the legacy the founders had in mind. Stop by Laurel or contact us today to start yours!

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11800 Laurel Bowie Road • Laurel, MD 20708

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Old Glory Harley-Davidson

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD

Phone: 301-575-0575

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Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD

Sales

Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD

Service

Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD
39.051878 -76.837473
Old Glory Harley-Davidson 39.051878, -76.837473.