When it comes to the big motorcycle manufacturing families, Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), the Munich-based firm, in a class of its own. Its unusual history is just as important as the high-quality models it produces to this day.
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Harley-Davidson and Michelin both experienced booming growth after starting out as small family businesses. In 1920, Harley-Davidson became the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world as a result of its success in races and the invention of the famous V-twin two-cylinder engine.