USCA Sidecar Forum

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Harley hack history question.

I know for a few years Harley was putting hacks on their bikes that where made but others. What I would like to know what was the first year Harley started making their own sidecars. I did some searches but getting mixed results. I know January 2011 was the last they took orders for them.
Thanks
Jeff

Harley put the first sidecar on their motorcycle in 1916 .the first issue of the Harley Enthuisast had one on its cover .if you can find the first several issues you should have an answer.

After much searching I will have to go with 1914 as stated in the below link as in a press release from Harley when they quit making sidecars. I have found sites some say 1916 but more say 1914.

[Harley Davidson press release:

As a result of the decline in retail demand for Harley-Davidson sidecars, which accelerated following the introduction of the Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide family of trikes, Harley-Davidson has made the decision to exit the sidecar business. The Company will end sidecar production upon completion of remaining 2011 model year orders. Effective immediately, no new sidecar orders will be taken.

Harley-Davidson is committed to continued support of its dealer network and customer support for sidecar owners and will support current customers by continuing to honor warranty repairs and supply service parts and technical support. The sidecar was first made available to Harley-Davidson customers in 1914 and will remain a proud part of the Company's history.]

Harley Davidson Leaving the Sidecar Business

I am still not 100% sure.
Thanks
Jeff

If Sidecars ever would have been a real proud part of their company's history, they would never have taken them out of their offer and never would have irritated so often their clients with changing politics. But as they always were half hearted with them (at least in my eyes from the seventies on) You as HD-rig pushers have/had to hassle with stupid design modifications every so and so, sometimes even within a same model year.
Well, I better shut up as BMW is out of question in this point since the R75 about 1970.
Just 2 cent of somebody who stayed with affordable bikes with the trade off that my bikes had not much of continuity neither.
Sven

Peter Pan - 3/1/2014 8:53 PM

If it ever would have been a proud part of their companies history, they would never have taken them out of their offer and never would have irritated so often their clients with changing politics. But as they always were half hearted with them (at least in my eyes) You as HD-rig pushers have-had to hassle with stupid design modifications every so and so, sometimes even within a same model year.
Well, I better shut up as BMW is out of question in this point since the R75 about 1970.
Just 2 cent of somebody who stayed with affordable bikes.
Sven

Not sure what this has to do with my question and you know what they say about opinions. Is there a company today that make any change that does not have to do with the dollar? NO!!!! How many Harley rigs have you own?
Thanks
Jeff

I did not want to offend You at all Jeff, therefore I estimate way you too much.

Only ...just because I do not ride a Harley don't think I am a dummy.
Definitely Harley is not a brand I ever want to own, there are so many other brands with history and character that pull my attention stronger and fit better to my wallet.
I have simply observed a few friends fighting with their HD-V's over some 30 years and listened to their comments that I often only felt pity with them.

To Your question: I do not know when HD started to build own sidecars. I do know that there have been already HD rigs out there before the great war. ( to us nowerdays WW I)
In Oldtimer - Markt I read once an article about a HD with a willow sidecar from 1906 or 1907.
About in the same year around 1987 was announced for sale a English JAP-bike from 1903 with its original left hander sidecar. made out of willow too. As typical for Thomies/Britts: with its original paint and in running condition.
Most HD sidecars out of 20-30tees I have seen were or boat style or cargo boxes. I have to admit that HD out of those years in Germany are a very rare sight.
With more interest some rust junkie like I dives into them for to pick up details.

Or reads this: http://www.oldtimer-markt.de/
For years I had subscribed this "old"-paper and still have a big shelf loaded with them but no time to go through it.
Excellent knowledge source.
Good luck with your search and keep your lungs healthy.
Sven

One thing I have learned until you own, set up and ride whatever for a while everything else is speculation. If you did not want to offend me you would have never posted what you did that had nothing to do with the thread.
Thanks
Jeff

get in touch with the Harley museum in Milwaukee .they should have an answer for you .

Jeff, not only physically you have a few things in common with my old man (up above).
I will keep your correction in mind for future occasions.
Just ... please be patient with this impulsive fellow when I shoot again too fast.
Sven.

Not that it matters, but if you look on line you'll find HD has list of there current manufacturing centers. HD bought the Tomahawk Boat Manufacturing Corp in 1963. They state they bought that business to get the fiberglass supplier. Two years later, what Harley calls the Tomahawk Operations, became the sole supplier of their sidecar. So only Harley knows who actually made the sidecars before that. Maybe HD made the frame and purchased the body from a supplier. Maybe they didn't make any of it; just slapped their name on it. Not that relying on suppliers for the vehicle components is unusual. I work for a U.S. Vehicle manufacture. We make some cast pieces for the frame, stamp out and assemble the body panels, and cast the crankcase and cylinder head of the engine. Everything else comes from suppliers, and most of those parts are preassembled by suppliers where possible to make the final vehicle assembly easier. Many if not most of those parts are also designed by the supplier.