A great many bikes at that time had pedals.
a) The motorcycle industry grew directly out of the bicycle industry.
b) Pedals were how bikes back then were started, either by putting it up on the stand and pedaling to start the engine, or by just pedaling down the road until it starts up.
c) Most bikes at that time benefitted from a bit of pedal assist on large hills (although a big part of the fame of H-D back then was their ability to climb hills without such assist better than most of the competition).
There's no reason to hate these guys at all; they were just one of many motorcycle builders of the time, making better bikes than most, which is part of why they made it when so many didn't.
I'm going to guess Ernst Degner and Walter Skaaden. They were brilliant two-stroke engineers who discovered how to get mad power out of those little powerplants, and it was Skaaden who eventually discovered the power valve which, among other things, propelled the two stroke into a rabidly powerful yet usable powerplant that riders like **** Doohan, Wayne Rayney, Kevin Schwantz and Valentino Rossi made their name on.
However I see HD on the side of that bike and that means if it aren't the above two guys, I don't know. Probably rings a bell as soon as I hear the names.