1950s Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

The 1950s Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Channel features classic Harleys and their stories. Check out vintage Harley-Davidsons at HowStuffWorks.


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1951 Harley-Davidson Police Special

The 1951 Harley-Davidson Police Special motorcycle came with a variety of police equipment and was often available in colors not offered to civilians, but many eschewed chrome trim. Read about the 1951 Harley Police Special.

1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide

The 1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide replaced the old hand-shift/foot-clutch setup with a modern foot shift and hand clutch. The old setup was still an option and would remain so until the 1970s. Read about this major step for Harley's bikes.

1955 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide

The 1955 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide introduced new features like revised cast tank and fender badges. By this time chrome trim had become a popular way of dressing up and personalizing one's bike. Read about the 1955 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide.

1959 Harley-Davidson Police Special

The 1959 Harley-Davidson Police Special shows how the Big Twins have been popular with law enforcement agencies. Though a hand-clutch/foot-shift setup had been standard since 1952, many police chose the hand shifter. Learn about the Police Special.

1959 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster

The 1959 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster was a hotter version of the traditional Harley Sportster. See how it differs from its milder XLH sibling with magneto ignition, high-mounted exhaust peanut fuel tank, bobbed rear fender and semi-knobby tires.

1957 Harley-Davidson XL Sportster

The 1957 Harley-Davidson XL Sportster motorcycle featured an overhead-valve engine. The Sportster looked similar to the final KH models -- because it was. Learn more about the 1957 Harley-Davidson XL Sportster.

1958 Harley-Davidson FL Duo-Glide

The 1958 Harley-Davidson FL Duo-Glide motorcycle had a genuine rear suspension, finally giving Harley riders a smoother ride -- perfect for touring. The engine gave 50-60 horsepower from 1200 ccs/74 cubic inches. Read more about the smooth Duo-Glide.

1954 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide

The Harley-Davidson company celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special edition Anniversary Yellow 1954 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide motorcycle that featured a special medallion on its front fender. Learn more about the FL Hydra-Glide.

1956 Harley-Davidson KHK

The 1956 Harley-Davidson KHK model was the final flathead motorcycle that Harley would ever produce. The KHK featured lower handlebars, less chrome trim, and more-performance oriented camshafts. Learn more about the 1956 Harley-Davidson KHK.