Growing Up Harley-Davidson: Memoirs of a Motorcycle Dynasty by Jean Davidson Arthur Davidson and Bill Harley, childhood friends and neighbors enjoyed going out fishing. Getting to and from their favorite fishing spots across muddy roads however was quite a feat. So in 1900 they decide if they could somehow attach a gas powered motor to their bicycles, they would be able to make their fishing trips a lot more fun. What a good idea this turned out to be. The two boys, Arthur 19 and Bill 20 worked out of Arthur's parents basement until his mother had had enough of their noise and mess. Arthur's dad then constructed their first 'factory' in the back yard a 10 x 15 ft wooden shed. The rest, as they say, is history. It is quite amazing what two friends can create out of a shed. Maybe their story will inspire you to dream and create a wonderful company like Harley-Davidson. You can find out more about Arthur and Bill's story by reading this book. We did! Read more online here. An ad for their 1912 model.