Essay on Harley Davidson: Women and Motorcycles

2575 Words Sep 16th, 2011 11 Pages
Harley-Davidson: Women and Motorcycles
An American tradition can be dated back to 1903 when two young men brought their idea to life and produced the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. At the time, the motor-driven motorcycle that these young men were inventing was to be for their own personal use. Once it was produced, it became popular with motorcycle enthusiast and having survived some difficult times Harley-Davidson is just as popular today, as it was when if first began (Bolfert).
According to the company’s gross revenue in 2010, Fortune 500 list Harley-Davidson at number 430. What keeps Harley-Davidson going strong? Is it the motorcycles, the people who ride these machines, or is it because Harley-Davidson Motor
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Another early article of a woman on a Harley-Davidson is about Della Crewe and her dog named “Trouble.” Having only ten days of riding experience this lady and her dog set out to see America on her V-twin that had an attached sidecar. They left Waco, Texas in the summer of 1915 and by November they had made their way to Ohio traveling through rain and snow. When they finally reached their destination of New York City, they had traveled 5,378 miles and Della stated, “I had a glorious trip. I am in perfect health, and my desire is stronger than ever to keep going.” It wasn’t long before this pair was making their way to tour the South (Bolfert).
The Enthusiast dubbed Vivian Bales as “The Enthusiast Girl” for her 5000 mile trip on her Harley-Davidson. During the Depression, Dot Robinson competed in endurance races right along with the men and in 1940 would win the Jack Pine Endurance sidecar race. During this time, another avid motorcycle rider contacted Dot Robinson to help form an organization for women riders. It was in 1940 that Dot Robinson and Linda Dugeau formed the first motorcycle riding club for women called “Motor Maids.” The first African-American to travel cross-country through 48 states in the 30 and 40’s was Bessie Springfield, who often had to sleep at filling stations on her motorcycle.

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