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Harley-Davidson has been around for 116 years — but the iconic American company is facing new challenges

Business Insider Logo By Matthew DeBord of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 21: 
  
    Harley-Davidson
    has been around since 1903.
  
  The motorcycle
  manufacturer has seen it all - including two world wars - but
  the company is now up against new challenges.
  
  But the brand remains an American icon and its history is
  fascinating.
  
  
    Visit
    Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
  

  Harley-Davidson isn't just the most famous motorcycle company -
  it's also one of the most legendary and beloved brands in human
  history.

  Harley-Davidson got its all-American start in 1903, at the dawn
  of the "Motor Age." Two friends got together and combined
  bicycles with newfangled engines. Horses would never forgive
  them. Fast forward 116 years, and Harley's market capitalization
  is nearly $6 billion.

  That's not to say that the past 100 or so years have been a
  completely smooth ride. Harley made it through two world wars and
  a very rough restructuring during the financial crisis. And now
  it's up against new challenges as CEO Matt Levatich works to
  globalize sales amid a US market decline, recruit younger riders,
  and contend with the itchy Twitter finger of President Donald
  Trump, who has praised and penalized Harley in equal measure.

  
  For more on the story, listen to the Harley-Davidson episode of
  our "Household Name" podcast.

  Let's take a look back at Harley-Davidson's long and illustrious
  history:

Harley-Davidson isn't just the most famous motorcycle company - it's also one of the most legendary and beloved brands in human history.

Harley-Davidson got its all-American start in 1903, at the dawn of the "Motor Age." Two friends got together and combined bicycles with newfangled engines. Horses would never forgive them. Fast forward 116 years, and Harley's market capitalization is nearly $6 billion.

That's not to say that the past 100 or so years have been a completely smooth ride. Harley made it through two world wars and a very rough restructuring during the financial crisis. And now it's up against new challenges as CEO Matt Levatich works to globalize sales amid a US market decline, recruit younger riders, and contend with the itchy Twitter finger of President Donald Trump, who has praised and penalized Harley in equal measure.

For more on the story, listen to the Harley-Davidson episode of our "Household Name" podcast.

Take a look back at Harley-Davidson's long and illustrious history in the gallery above. 

© Getty Images

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