Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Television & Motorcycles

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Tdarcos
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Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by Tdarcos »

Basically, the world seems to be divided into three kinds of people.
  1. Those with no interest or knowldge of motorcycles
  2. Harley-Davidson fanatics
  3. Oher motorctcle owners/riders
For someone in group (1) like myself, it's hard to understand the significance. (Then again, most people can't understand Star Wars battles over whether Han shot first. At least, everyone who watched Die Hard agrees Hans shot first.)

I don't think there are any other products that have their titles reflected in two different, unrelated movies. A really bad movie, Harley-Davidson and the Marlboro Man that's so bad I don't even remember it except it had nothing to do with either motorcycles or cigarettes, and Electra Glide in Blue with, ironically, Robert Blake as an Arizona Highway Patrol motorcycle policeman.

So perhaps some people can tell me why people fawn over Harleys. Let me throw a few tidbits I do know.

The 1970s TV show, Chips about California Highway Patrol officers, had them riding Kawasaki motorcycles. This is correct. At that time, the CHP were using Kawasaki. The CHP now uses BMW motorcycles.

The reason for the above back then might have been quality. During the conglomerate acquisition craze of the 1960s and 1970s, H-D was acquired by AMF (yes, the bowling alley manufacturer). Run by beancounters, the quality took a nosedive (some say "turned to shit"), damaging the brand's reputation. Eventually, some managers of H-D managed to buy the company from AMF and take it private in a leveraged buyout, then rebuilt the company's products back into something people would want to own.

H-D tried to register the distinctive sound the exhaust of its motorcycles make as a trademark (the way MGM's "lion roar" sound is.) The Patent and Trademark Office was not convinced it was valid (and making other manufacturers make sure their mufflers avoid making a specific sound was a bit much).

So, let me hear your thoughts about H-D vs. different motorcycles and/or their manufacturers.

Oh, and what do you think about the attempt to revive the Indian name?
"Perhaps she'll understand, if you tell it to her, plain."
- Don McLean, Castles in the Air

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AArdvark
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Re: Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by AArdvark »

Harley is the Apple of motorcycles

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

The Iron 883 is an incredibly bad ass-looking bike. I don't know anything about how reliable they are and how much of their bikes are form over function... and a lot of it may be their photographers, but damn, does it look nice.

Sorta miss not having a motorcycle any more. I took a drive into work last night around 7PM and I miss going for rides in May and October when the sun starts to set.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Flack
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Re: Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by Flack »

Tdarcos wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 12:42 am Then again, most people can't understand Star Wars battles over whether Han shot first.
Everyone remotely interested in Star Wars understands this. Literally, tens of millions of people understand this.
Tdarcos wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 12:42 am I don't think there are any other products that have their titles reflected in two different, unrelated movies.
Really? Chevrolet? Ford? I can name three movies off the top of my head with the word Coca-Cola in the title.
Tdarcos wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 12:42 am So perhaps some people can tell me why people fawn over Harleys. Let me throw a few tidbits I do know.
They're American, loud, and have been around for more than a hundred years. When Honda was claiming "you meet the nicest people on a Honda," HD went the other way and sold the bad boy biker image to doctors and lawyers.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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pinback
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Re: Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by pinback »

Right. Hondas for nice people, and Harleys for...

In the yard, not too far from the car.

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Jizaboz
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Re: Motorcycle differences: Harley-Davidson vs. the world

Post by Jizaboz »

Dad rode Harleys all his life. About 5 years ago he got fed up with them and their new bikes and bought an Indian. He still has his old Harley racing bike in a garage but hasn't touched it in many years.

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