Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is calling all fans of fine machines and road trips to Rome, Italy to celebrate 110 years of Harley Davidson, the biggest, baddest name in the long history of motorcycle counter-culture.
From June 13-16, riders and fans from around the world will head to Rome to celebrate the 110th birthday of the iconic brand, an event which expects to draw over half a million people. Plans include a ‘Harley Village’ in the ancient port town of Ostia, a motorcycle parade to the center of the city, exhibits by vendors and customizers from around the world, and even a bike blessing in St. Peter’s Square!
The brand sure has come a long way from its humble beginnings. In 1901 a young man named William Harley designed a 116 cc engine that he could attach to a regular bicycle frame. With help from his friends, brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson, the design was refined and expanded, and they officially founded the company in 1903. Their first machine entered a motorcycle race in Milwaukee in 1904, where it placed fourth, and in 1906 they built their first factory – a 240 sq.ft wooden building. Things quickly took off from there. By 1920 Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, helped by wins at several high-profile races and the advent of WWI, in which they supplied 15,000 bikes for the US military.