What Does Harley Davidson Mean To You?

It’s me! The princess of biker blogging.

Harley Davidson is much more than a moco.  The bar and shield has become a symbol of American freedom, the spirit of the open road, a slap in the face to mainstream sensibilities, a fantasy, a way of life, a noisy declaration of independence, an obsession, an escape, a revered American icon.  Harley Davidson represents adventure, freedom, individuality, and living life with all five of your senses.  It is a legend.

The Harley mystique is all about attitude — a feeling that because you own a Harley Davidson motorcycle you are special, you belong.  In a society that worships at the altar of internal combustion, riding a Harley just may be the last pure expression of what it means to be American…the freedom to go somewhere, anywhere, just you and the road and the wind in your hair.  The essence of the Harley lifestyle is to dress up in black leather and ride your Harley to the horizon, calling for all the world to see you like an outlaw rather than the mild-mannered citizen you are the rest of the week.  It is no wonder that today this American icon is so loved and recognized around the world.

Today’s Harley owner is more likely to be a dental hygienist, trucker, or coffee shop owner than a rebel without a cause.  We are male and female, young and young at heart, but we all share a passion for the brand and everything that it represents.  So much so that (second to the word Mom) the bar & shield is the most common image to be immortalized in human skin.

Harley Davidson does not just sell motorcycles — they sell dreams and lifestyles.  The brand is so powerful that it can sell products that have little or nothing to do with motorcycles.  You can get an HD version of Monopoly for your kids, Harley lingerie for your wife and/or girlfriend, or a black leather Harley jacket for your poodle.  Many people who have never and will never ride a motorcycle still purchase the collectibles and sport Harley brand clothing.  In fact, many dealers actually make more money from Motor Clothes and accessories than they do selling motorcycles!

Everyone wants a piece of the often imitated/never duplicated American icon.  They want to experience that feeling of belonging to the largest fraternity on earth.  How sad it is that some will go to such great lengths to grasp at some tiny part of that free-spiritedness.  How wonderful it is that we don’t need to grasp for anything because we have found it.  We have declared our individuality.  We live free on the open road.  We spit in the face of our own mid-week alter egos.  We enjoy the journey as much as the destination.  We ride Harley Davidson motorcycles.

14 Responses to “What Does Harley Davidson Mean To You?”

  1. Damn! I feel like I just attended an HD revival. Preach on sister! If I didn’t know any better I would think you were being paid by HD to head up the HDMOCO-PSYOPS division. Passion reigns supreme when you find your spot in the sun and even better when the blacktop is blasting by beneath your ass. Dig the post.

  2. Thanks Dave. But I would be remiss if I didn’t give some credit to you, Joker, and Lady R. It was your comments on the “Hasselhoff post” that inspired me to write this.

  3. I’m with Dave. I feel like I just left Harley Church! Your right about the diversity we have among our fellow Harley brothers and sisters. Even though we may come from different lifestyles and backgrounds, one thing links us together and keeps us bonded, and thats our love for motorycycles, specifically Harleys! I appreciate everyone on any motorycycle, but Harley riders are like my immediate family and the others are like cousins! LOL! Thanks for the mention and thanks for an uplifting, feel good post! Ride on and Ride safe!

  4. P. S. Good Grief! I DO know how to spell motorcycle! LOL!

  5. What a great post! I definitely agree with Dave and LadyR; I feel like I just left the Church of HD!

    I am all for anyone and everyone being up on two wheels, but that being said, the ‘posers’ drive me nuts. We have a sticker on the mirror of our Triumph chopper that says, “18 Grand and 18 miles don’t make you a biker”. That’s for the people that atend the rallies and get offended when bikers do what they do! 🙂

  6. Lady R,
    Maybe subconciously you were thinking ycycle (icicle) to try to counter-balance the extreme heat wave that we all just got smacked with straight from the winter that hung around until spring was almost over! LOL

  7. SpotMotorcyle.com just did a post on celebrity Harley riders http://www.spotmotorcycle.com/celebrity-harley-davidson-riders-how-many-can-you-name/. How many of them do you think are true enthusiasts, and how many just hop on a bike evry now and again for the image? Can you name the posers?

  8. That was very well done – outstanding in fact – and not just because you gave me a nod. The way you mixed all the hyperlinks in together was very creative.

    All of what you mentioned is why I started my blog in the first place, to talk about the mystique, and explain my particular version of it. We all experience and relate to the mystique in our own ways, some up front, and some on the back. The point is that we all ride.

    The sticker Ann mentioned really says it all. 18 grand and 18 miles definitely don’t make you a biker. Neither does all the branded material in the world. The only way is to saddle up and hit the road, and not for 5 miles going for coffee every 3rd Saturday.

    Great post. Let’s ride.

  9. “What Does Harley Davidson Mean To You?”

    Usually it means a gaggle of riders going waaaay to slow in the mountains. Other times it means Loud pipes irritate neighbors (when my neighbor “warms” his HD up on Sunday morning by revving the peawadden out of it.

  10. The symbol stands for a culture of bar hopping, irresponsible, and reckless individuals who endanger other motorists by flying down roads and weaving through traffic. Most bikers I know spend their time believing they are tough in the trashy clothing, and hanging out in smokey bars.

  11. Apparently you know the wrong bikers. I’m glad I don’t hang around with the people you know.

  12. Yep,
    Ibin huckinloogies, Goldiesfrock, and Jay Grunts only cruise websites and leave their little droppings for real people to step over. Cafe racer types burning the soles off their sneakers and displaying their cheese pocked cracks to traffic…gotta have the anonymity of a full face helmet to even be here.
    You’ll never know what a Harley Davidson means to anyone.
    Hell, you’ll never know the code of the road for that matter.
    Please…continue your squatting under the overpass when
    the drizzle gets inside your spandex..and zip your yaps around people that have more miles on two real wheels than you have couch creases on your buttocks.
    Oh, and especially you Jayboy…people like us wouldn’t let you and your vespa sit alone so much…you just can’t keep up anyway.
    “Ride far and hard and put ‘er up wet…it don’t need water, it’s a Harley-Davidson”
    Low Wave to all the real riders out there… the bumblebees are fat this year….chew some.

  13. Steverino you have some interesting points here, but I am offended that you lumped me in with Goldie-Locks and Iben Hakenluggis. I don’t “cruise websites and leave droppings for real people”. This is my website and I assure you I am a real person. I ride a Harley and have logged 20,000 miles on my Low Rider in the past two years. I don’t consider myself a “real biker” and don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I am a recreational weekend rider, the Director of a HOG Chapter, and write for this website as well as East Coast Biker Online. I have a successful mail order business of motorcycle accessories. If I get caught in the rain, I ride in the rain. I don’t chew bee’s but have been stung twice while riding. Once in the theigh and once in the neck. I have raised money for Motorcycle Accident Victims and other charities. I have visited friends in the hospital who have crashed. I have managed an accident scene and lost a friend to the road at the same time. I know what I am and for that most real bikers respect me. I am genuine and my name is not Jayboy. It’s Jay Green and I am the Editor of Road Captain USA and Director of First State HOG.

  14. What a great post – love the blog!

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