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There have been many major manufacturers of motorcycles throughout history. Even though the designs for such machines have come through many inventors of many nationalities, the major players have been Britain, America, and more recently, Japan. British companies like Triumph and Norton were joined by as many as 700 competitors in the early years. Everyone wanted to make a motorcycle, it seems. At the same time, in America it really came down to three major manufacturers, after the Astor-Orient, and they were Indian, Excelsior (the first machine to record 100 mph) and Harley-Davidson. When Excelsior folded in 1931, only Indian and H-D were left.

The Harley-Davidson

H-D is the only remaining American motorcycle manufacturer. The company started in 1903 and is now in its second century of operation. Begun as a collaboration between William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson and his brothers, Harley-Davidson, affectionately known as The Motor Company, had a profound effect on the history of motorised bicycles. The company has specialised in innovations, customisation, and accessories. Continually reinventing itself, H-D has risen to the top of an often volatile market, and American-made has held its own against overseas manufacturers, especially the Japanese invasion of super fast bikes in the mid-20th Century. Adaptability has been the watchword of Harley-Davidson, and the company’s history parallels that of the United States.

Harley-Davidson offers a number of classes to cover all types of motorcyclist’s desires. There’s the Sportster class, which includes American legends, with classic style, agility and smooth power; the Dyna class -- look here for custom, personalised, raw style and Big Twin Performance. Look to the VRSC class for modern power cruisers in street style, with precision technology and drag strip performance with a sleek look. There’s the Softtail class, for authentic hard tail style with a smooth modern ride, low-slung with clean lines, and Touring class bikes, for grand American style touring, luxury, comfort, smooth performance over the long haul.

Harley-Davidson Sportster
Are you new to the sport of motorcycling? You might like one of the Harley-Davidson Sportster models. This is a lightweight bike and at the low end of cost, but, with the standard H-D engine, plenty of power. This is what is called an entry bike, and lots of women choose this model, so it has come to be called the “Skirtster.” This is a good bike for around town, and the typical Harley engine sound ensures that cars will hear you coming. The Sportster is good for commuting but it’s lightweight, so it’s also great for racing. Add a few accessories, and the Sportster makes a comfortable touring bike.

This entry-level bike uses the super-reliable Evolution engine, which makes both heads and cylinders from aluminum, for better thermal conduction, efficiency, and low maintenance requirements. The Evolution is air-cooled and Sportster models come in 883cc and 1200cc displacement sizes.

The fuel system is the ESPFI, or Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection system. Fuel capacity is 12.5 liters and its dry weight is 260 Kg. Kilometers per Liter are 3.92 on the highway and 5.23 in the city. Exhaust is chrome, a staggered ‘shorty’ exhaust with dual mufflers.

Cast aluminum, 13-spoke wheels flash from front and rear. Instruments are mounted on the handlebars: an electronic speedometer, which includes an odometer, a clock, and a dual re-settable trip meter. There are also indicator lamps showing high beam, transmission neutral position, low oil pressure and low fuel warnings, engine diagnostics, and security.

Brakes feature a dual-piston in front and a single in the rear.

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