I’ve never really truly understood the Harley Davidson infatuation, until recently that is.
When I met Big Steve, he was tearing around on a worked up Ducati Hypermotard while I was on 1100 SP, and I had an instant man-crush. It didn’t take long though before he ditched the Duc and got his Dyna though, and I thought, literally, WTF?
But over time and non-stop ear bashings about different Harleys, constant lunch visits to Harley Heaven discussing what makes a Road Glide different from a Wide Glide (I still can’t tell 100% of the time), they have slowly but surely, grown on me. Just in time for Steve to ditch his Dyna and jump on a Bavarian Bovine.
Admittedly, I haven’t been that far from them all of my life, having lived four excellent years on a Buell Ulysses XB12X with the tweaked Harley 1200 Sportster engine.
But the souped up Apes, the bling and endless Chrome-ification still elluded me. I just didn’t get it. Well, it turns out it just took some time.
Now I’m slightly infatuated. I think it started with Big Steve, and ended with getting back into drawing, or more specifically illustrating Harleys.
While I don’t see a Harley in my immediate future (unless I win Lotto), I would truly love to own a Rigid with Apes. Or maybe even a Heritage so I can get the look of a rigid with the ride of a Softail.
That is something you would NEVER hear me even whisper 12 months ago. Something old school like this would be cool:
Now I can tell a Shovelhead from a Panhead to a Knucklehead… and I know a bit about their current line-up and I know my Sporters from my Dynas. It’s fascinating and I’ve really enjoyed finding out everything I can about them.
There is certainly a stereotype to being a Harley Rider, and I think in part that is what has put me off all of these years. I’m just not bad ass enough, I would feel like a marauder on a Fatboy.
But slowly and surely, I have changed my mind about this whole thing.
I really like Rigids for the classic chopper look. I totally dig big spoked wheels and I have fallen hard for custom paint jobs.
And it seems I am not the only one. Harley Davidson have released a PR campaign, as pointed out by The Motorbike Writer, that aims squarely at shaking off that leather vest and Outlaw MC stereotype so oft compared to the Harley Rider.
This can be most clearly seen in the new LiveWire electric bike or the new Street models, but it is even more evident that Harely is going for a stigma-facelift in this promo video…
So, friends and moto-family – what say you? Are you a Harley fan and could you switch it up from your Supermoto on the weekend to a Bagger on a Sunday cruise?