The Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson | Rider’s LibraryThe Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson

Did you know that by Harley-Davidson’s 10th year of production, it had five models in its product line? Or, that by its 20th year there were ten models available with three engine options of 575cc, 1,000cc and 1,200cc displacement?

Or, that H-D built 11,549 motorcycles in 1937, 816 of which were servicars? Did you know that the Electra Glide was introduced in 1965, replacing the Duo-Glide and that 6,930 Electra Glides were built that first year?

These and literally thousands of other fascinating facts and details about Harley-Davidson from 1903 through 2002 can be found in “The Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson,” by Peter Henshaw and Ian Kerr.

Henshaw is also the author of The Essential Buyer’s Guide Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins, that we reviewed here, and has proven to know a thing or two about motorcycles and their history.

With more than 440 pages and hundreds of historic and modern images of the people, machines, advertising art, and other materials, the book covers everything from each year’s models and production in detail to the Harley-Davidson lifestyle, customs, military and police bikes, Buell and competition efforts.

One of the neatest features of the book is the guide to model names, which allows the reader to look up specific models in the dizzying alphabet soup of model designations that H-D has used over the years. For example, did you know that Harley once offered a model called a JDCBS? Or a JDSCA? Or an FLHTCUI? Or and FLHPI? And of course, to be a true H-D authority, one would have to know what these models were and what years they were in production.

If you can locate a copy of Henshaw & Kerr’s “The Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson,” you will know—and a whole lot more!

Book Data:

  • Title: The Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson
  • Author: Peter Henshaw and Ian Kerr
  • Published: 2006, soft cover.
  • Publisher: Chartwell Books, 114 Northfield Ave., Edison, NJ 08837
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-7858-2008-6

Note to readers: many of the books that we’ll feature in Rider’s Library may be out of print and some may be difficult to find. That could be half the fun. The Internet should make the search relatively easy but ironically, none of the books currently scheduled for eventual retro-review for the Rider’s Library section were found with the help of the Internet. They all were found at book stores, used book stores, antique shops, motorcycle shops, yard sales and so on.