An Animated Evolution of Harley-Davidson From 1904 to Present

Harley Engine Animated GIF

With Harley-Davidson’s recent introduction of its new Milwaukee-Eight engine, we thought it’d be fun to share this animated GIF with you showing the evolution of Harley-Davidson by generation from 1904 to the present. The GIF was pieced together by the staff over at GearHeads.

We figured we’d add a pictorial history of Harley-Davidson’s Big Twins over the years for good measure. Be sure to check out our “Harley-Davidson Launches 107” & 114” Milwaukee-Eight Engines” and “Our First Ride Impressions of Harley’s New Milwaukee-Eight” articles to learn more about Harley’s latest V-Twin or grab Issue 341 of American Iron Magazine that’s just hitting the newsstands for the full, in-depth overview. (Photos Courtesy of Harley-Davidson Archives)

Harley F-Head (JD) 1914-1929

Harley F-Head (JD) 1914-1929

Harley Flathead 1930-1948

Harley Flathead 1930-1948

Harley Knucklehead 1936-1947

Harley Knucklehead 1936-1947

Harley Panhead 1948-1965

Harley Panhead 1948-1965

Harley Shovelhead 1966-1984

Harley Shovelhead 1966-1984

Harley Evolution 1984-1998

Harley Evolution 1984-1998

Harley Twin Cam 1999-Present

Harley Twin Cam 1999-Present

Team American Iron Motorcycle Cannonball & 1936 Harley VLH

It seems Buzz Kanter’s lot in life is to ride the newest possible model and year of Harley in each Motorcycle Cannonball event. At least he is three for three on that count.

The first one was in 2010 and the Editor-in-Chief of American Iron Magazine rode a 1915 Harley with a cut-off year of 1915. In the second Motorcycle Cannonball he rode a 1929 Harley JDH with a cut-off of 1929. and in 2014 he plans to ride a 1936 Harley VLH flathead with a 1936 year cut off.

Buzz Kanter, of American Iron Magazine, and his 1936 VLH classic Harley flathead motorcycle that he plans to ride cross country on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball.

Buzz purchased this classic 80 cubic inch flathead VLH Harley less than two years ago with no plan or intention of riding it cross-country on the Motorcycle Cannonball. Since then it has been in the hands of his pals Larry Woods and Dale Walksler getting it sorted and running well and looking more correct. We followed some of this progress in the pages of American Iron Magazine earlier this year.

This is a one-year only 1935 Harley VLH during the process of getting the paint “just right.” We added a bit more pin striping at Wheels Through Time shortly after this photo was taken.

Now the real work comes. We will follow along as Buzz and the Wheels Through Time crew tears it totally down and rebuilds it to factory specs or better to carry Buzz across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball. But, he does not want to change the basic look of the bike. It will stay dirty and crusty looking, but run and perform like new.

In addition to pulling it down and rebuilding the wheels, brakes, chassis, engine, clutch and electrics, Buzz plans to add saddlebags and perhaps a different seat too. We will follow the progress in the pages of American Iron Magazine.

Wish Buzz and the crew luck. We suspect there will be an amazing amount of work ahead of us all on this one.

Buzz is planning on partnering up again with Paul Ousey and Dale Walksler of Wheels Through Time for this cross country ride. Details to follow as they are made.