Did you know Harley-Davidson once manufactured snowmobiles? Harley-Davidson as a brand started in 1903 and established itself quickly to become one of the top brands in American motorcycles.
Everyone recognizes the brand Harley Davidson as a boss in the world of motorcycles but they had other plans to execute and after that, it started manufacturing snowmobiles for a brief period of time.
From only motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has now diversified into merchandising as well, making plenty of other items like homecare, toys, and other things with the Harley-Davidson logo in place.
History of Harley Davidson’s Snowmobiles
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, snowmobiling was very popular, and a company called American Machine & Foundry (AMF) began producing snowmobiles. In 1969, AMF acquired the Harley-Davidson brand and started developing snowmobiles that were branded under the Harley-Davidson name.
The original names of the AMF snowmobiles were Sno-Clipper and Ski-Daddler, which were not as popular as the Harley-Davidson name. Therefore, the company rebranded its snowmobiles under the Harley-Davidson name to increase their appeal.
The brand didn’t make them for long, but they are still a popular collector’s item based on the Harley name alone.
In 1971 AMF produced 80 snowmobiles as a sort of test run to see how they are welcomed by the snowmobile community. Many of them are difficult to find and some of them are in museums around the world.
Harley Davidson Snowmobile Models
Harley Davidson made two snowmobile models and there was no third model after that. In 1971, the Y-400 was the only model available. But by 1972, the brand ramped up its production a bit and expanded the Y model, then the second model Y-440 makes its way to the market.
1. Harley Davidson Snowmobile Y-400
If you’ve ridden a Harley motorcycle, you know they’re not typically known for being lightweight. The same holds true for Harley-Davidson snowmobiles, which were some of the heaviest snowmobiles available at the time. The Y-400 was the first model and it featured a 398cc engine that had about 30 horsepower.
2. Harley Davidson Snowmobile Y-440
Now it’s time for the second model called the Y-440. The Y-440 obviously had more power, and it was built for more style and comfort, which definitely had a place for riders who wanted to cruise. The company made about 2,000 of these models combined during the year.
How Many Snowmobiles they’ve Made?
The company made about 2,000 of these models combined during the year 1971 to 1972. From 1973 to 1975, the Harley Davidson snowmobile models stayed the same, with the Y-400 and Y-440 the only options you could get.
So, there are really only two different models that ever came out. This is one of the fewest options you’ll find from any snowmobile brand that ever existed. The company only made about 10,000 machines in the five years they were in production.
Why Did Harley Davidson Stop Making Snowmobiles?
There wasn’t enough demand to keep it up, So they decided to shut it down. There were multiple reasons behind this decision. One of the main reasons is that they were not very popular in the snowmobile industry and there wasn’t enough demand.
Harley-Davidson was not solely focused on snowmobiles, so they did not feel compelled to continue investing in their snowmobile division to generate profits. This partly explains why only two models were ever produced.
In addition, Harley-Davidson snowmobiles lacked many of the standard features that were included in competing brands’ machines. As a result, they were not as safe or comfortable to ride, which had a negative impact on their popularity.
Harley-Davidsons Sled Lacked Features
The entire assumption of AMF re-launching their snowmobiles under the Harley-Davidson name was that the parent company felt sales would be on a high. Sadly, they were at an all-time low. By 1975, the Harley-Davidson snowmobile adventure came to an icy end.
The sleds also lacked power and performance. All this made sully the Harley-Davidson name even further and the rest is history.
Harley Davidson Snowmobiles for Sale: Where to Look
Since only 10,000 Harley-Davidson snowmobiles were ever produced, finding one for sale can be quite difficult. While some are still operational, many are either kept by their owners as prized possessions or displayed in museums.
If you’re looking to purchase a Harley snowmobile, it’s worth checking popular snowmobile forums or Harley-Davidson forums, which often have classified sections for vintage snowmobiles. While it may take some digging, you might get lucky and find one for sale.
You can also try searching for them on common resale sites like Craigslist and eBay. However, because there are so few Harley snowmobiles available, they don’t appear for sale frequently. But it is still possible to find them through these avenues.
How to Find Harley Davidson Snowmobile Parts?
Finding Harley-Davidson snowmobile parts can also be a difficult task. However, you can start by contacting your local Harley-Davidson dealer to see if they can offer any guidance. While they may not have the parts in stock, they may be able to direct you to a source for the necessary components.
If that doesn’t work, try reaching out to snowmobile or motorcycle repair shops in your area. A skilled mechanic may be able to assist you or even suggest using substitute parts if the original ones are unavailable. You could also explore junkyards, although it’s unlikely you’ll find a Harley-Davidson snowmobile there.
When a brand distracts itself from the main product it always cost them that’s what happened to Harley Davidson. Although it was not Harley’s fault they’ve got damaged by this whole process. There were multiple factors that push them to eliminate them from the snowmobile industry.
Today, the Harley-Davidsons snowmobiles are popular with vintage collectors and displayed at museums. But at the time, what AMF did not quite understand that is motorcycle enthusiasts often have nothing in common with snowmobiles and vice versa.