Riding Man author Mark Gardiner provides insight into motorcycle racing, history, and industry news. A focus on road racing is to be expected from an ex-Isle of Man TT racer but Backmarker also covers everything from flat track to electric bikes.
Notable engineer countdown - at #9, William S. Harley – created Harley-Davidson's first V-twin
William S. Harley, 1880-1943
Bill Harley drew up a single-cylinder motor suitable for powering a bicycle in 1901, at the age of 21. Two years later he partnered with Arthur Davidson to produce a racing motorcycle; that first Harley-Davidson was born in a 150-square foot shed. Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1907. By that time, two more Davidson brothers had joined the partnership and the company was firmly established. Harley designed and prototyped the first H-D V-twin motor that year, too. Whether you love or hate what that design led to, there's no denying the fact that William S. Harley is the single individual who ended up having the largest influence on the shape of the American motorcycle. To learn more about him start here.