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Upon testing their power-cycle, Harley and the Davidson brothers found it unable to climb the hills around Milwaukee without pedal assistance.
They quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment.
The boys also received help with their bigger engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude, who was then building gas engines of his own design for automotive use on Milwaukee's Lake Street.
Most of the major parts, however, were made elsewhere, including some probably fabricated at the West Milwaukee railshops where oldest brother William A. This prototype machine was functional by September 8, 1904, when it competed in a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park.
In January 1905, small advertisements were placed in the Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal offering bare Harley-Davidson engines to the do-it-yourself trade.