Harley-Davidson Motor Company Factory Tour in York, PA, Kansas City, MO, and Wauwatosa, WI
The following is a tour from our book Watch It Made in the U.S.A.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company MOTORCYCLES
York, PA (see p. 123), Kansas City, MO (see p. 287), Wauwatosa, WI (see p. 208) (877) 883-1450 www.harley-davidson.com
Harley-Davidson factory tours

The company that William Harley and the Davidson brothers started in 1903 now produces one of the most recognized and admired products in the world. There is nothing quite like riding a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. As H.O.G.® (Harley Owners Group) members and motorcycling enthusiasts worldwide can attest, the brand has come to represent a lifestyle of individuality, freedom, and adventure.

The company has come a long way from the 10-by-15-foot shed where the founders handcrafted their first motorcycle. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company now produces hundreds of vehicles each day at several facilities in the United States. You can learn more about these world-famous motorcycles by seeing firsthand how they are made at one or all three of the plants offering factory tours: Powertrain Operations in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Vehicle Operations in York, Pennsylvania; or Vehicle & Powertrain Operations in Kansas City, Missouri.

At the Wauwatosa plant, you witness the assembly of the powertrain (the combined engine and transmission) for the company’s Sportster® and Buell® models. You’ll also see the manufacturing processes for Genuine Harley-Davidson Motor Parts and Screamin’ Eagle® Performance Parts. Different engine components are available to touch and examine more closely. The tour also shows how Evolution® and Twin Cam 88® engines get a new lease on life through the Remanufacturing program.

The prospect of seeing the final assembly of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle draws visitors to the York and Kansas City sites. Here you will see how the passion of Harley-Davidson employees joins technology to create legendary American motorcycles. Observe hydraulic presses as they transform sheets of metal into fenders, fuel tanks, and tailpipes. The unmistakable Harley-Davidson look begins to take shape as fenders are trimmed, tanks are polished, and steel tubes are melded together to create the frames. Watch the motorcycles travel by conveyor to various work stations for attachment of parts and assembly.

Following the assembly process, bikes cruise into the roll-test booth, where they are placed on rollers and “driven” at speeds up to 60 miles per hour. Finally, the motorcycle is wrapped in plastic and crated by a robot.

All three of Harley-Davidson’s manufacturing facilities have Tour Centers, which feature exhibits highlighting manufacturing and assembly, a video, and “sit-on” motorcycles. Each Tour Center also features a gift shop which includes a large selection of authentic branded merchandise.

Cost: Free
Freebies: Collectible badge and The Enthusiast magazine; product catalogs may also be available.
Video/DVD Shown: Yes
Reservations Needed: See the specific page of the site you plan to tour.
Days and Hours: See the specific page of the site you plan to tour.
Plan to Stay: Allow 90 minutes to 2 hours for the factory tour, exhibits, and gift shop.
Minimum Age: 12
Disabled Access: Yes (call ahead).
Group Requirements: Groups of 10 or more must arrange tours in advance.
Special Information: Closed-toe shoes are required; additional shoe requirements, listed by facility, are available at www.harley-davidson.com. Photography is permitted in Tour Centers but not in the factory. For site-specific requirements, see the page of the plant you want to tour. Due to manufacturing requirements and model year changeover, tours may be modified throughout the year. Please call ahead for specific information.
Gift Shop: Yes; hours are listed on the specific page of the site you plan to tour.
Directions: See the specific page of the site you plan to tour.
Nearby Attractions: See the specific page of the site you plan to tour.

Harley-Davidson factory tours
The Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center in York, PA, features exhibits detailing the manufacturing and assembly process.

Harley-Davidson factory tours
A bird's-eye view of the VRSC assembly line at Harley-Davidson's Vehicle & Powertrain Operations in Kansas City, MO.

Harley-Davidson factory tours
An employee polishes a Softail® oil tank in York, PA.

Harley-Davidson factory tours
Harley-Davidson employees use state-of-the-art technology and ergonomically designed equipment to assemble the powertrain (engine + transmission) for the company's VRSC motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson factory tours
An operator works on a powertrain in Wauwatosa, WI.