harley davidson motorcycles

What Makes Harley Davidson Motorcycles So Popular

What Makes Harley Davidson Motorcycles So Popular

If someone asks you about one of the most renowned American motorcycle brands in the world, chances are the only name that will come to your mind is Harley Davidson. Whether one is a motorcycle enthusiast or not, one can’t help but admire Harley Davidson motorcycles. From manufacturing iconic baggers to cruisers, street bikes, and even adventure touring motorcycles, Harley Davidson has established an unparalleled legacy for itself.

Another unique thing about Harley Davidson motorcycles is that they are not just restricted to roads or showrooms. Harley motorcycles have also remained at the forefront of the glitzy world of fashion and the film industry. From Ghost Rider to the Wild Hogs and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, many iconic Hollywood movies have featured Harley Davidson motorcycles. The undeniable on-screen presence, unique sound, and intimidating looks of Harley motorcycles have contributed immensely towards the success of many TV shows and films.

Moreover, in many countries, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are perceived as a symbol of one’s higher economic status. On the other hand, the American dream is often incomplete without a Harley for many motorcycle enthusiasts. Over the years, the brand has associated itself with freedom and rebellion, allowing riders from different walks of life to break stereotypes and embrace what they truly stand for. According to Mark Hans Richer, the former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Harley Davidson,

“It (Harley motorcycle) is not about going from Point A to Point B. It is about living life in the way you choose.”

Mark Hans Richer (Former CMO Harley Davidson)

Founded in 1903, the company that started as a typical automobile brand has eventually evolved into a complete lifestyle and even a religion for some. In addition to riding the bike, riders proudly ink their skin with Harley Davidson motorcycle tattoos and also adorn themselves with Harley Davidson shirts and biker jackets with Harley patches. But why does the brand enjoy such undying devotion? What are the main factors that have converted Harley Davidson into a custom and a culture? This article will not only explore the factors that make Harley Davidson motorcycles extremely popular but will also give you reasons to own and ride a Harley bike.

1. Reasons Why Harley Davidson Motorcycles Are So Popular

 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Motorcycles Are So Popular

Harley Davidson benefits immensely from its unique marketing strategy, which is heavily focused on making motorcycling more inclusive, less stereotypical, and more accessible. By initiating the first-of-its-kind H.O.G community and establishing dealerships in prime locations in over 97 countries, Harley’s brand awareness campaign has made a huge impact not only on the brand’s success but also on the global motorcycle community. But these are not the only reasons behind the ever-growing popularity of Harley Davidson. Despite being more expensive and being associated with the elite status symbol, these bikes have managed to be at the center of the American motorcycle community, compelling riders who could not afford to purchase the latest model to look for another iconic model in the second-hand market and become a part of a community. Here are some of the reasons that make Harley Davidson worthy of its loyal fanbase and prominence. 

1.1 The Unparalleled Legacy

The company Harley Davidson was established in 1903 and has become a brand that not only spans over a century but has also managed to transcend the generational gap. There have been little changes in the original styling, engineering, sound, and feel of the motorcycle. Therefore, older and younger riders both get to enjoy the essence of riding a Harley motorcycle. Moreover, being one of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world, Harley allows riders to become part of the rich history of this brand. In addition, the motorcycle company does not divide the customers based on their ages. Unlike other motorcycle brands, Harley offers uniformity across all age demographics, allowing itself to preserve its heritage and traditions while at the same time adopting modern advancements in motorcycle engineering and technology.

1.2 Distinct V-Twin Engines

Harley Davidson has focused heavily on maintaining its design philosophy, while at the same time, the brand has strived to provide innovation and meet the new standards of motorcycling. Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight engine is essentially a V-Twin motor that boasts a unique character, sound, and attitude. Known for its low-rpm torque production, deep rumble, and vibrations, a Harley engine is a soulful entity. Plus, the large displacement Harley engines with their long-stroke design help ensure a relaxed ride during highway travels.

1.3 Versatile & Durable

Harley Davidson motorcycles are known for their robust weight-bearing chassis, impeccable fit and finish, and overall durability. These motorcycles are designed to stay on the road, allowing you to experience freedom and a taste of the nomadic lifestyle. To make sure that these motorcycles easily cover long stretches of tarmac, they are equipped with durable components that can last for several hundred miles without suffering any mechanical breakdowns. Moreover, Harley Davidson motorcycles are extremely versatile, and whether it is a bagger, cruiser, or street bike you own, it can be used for a wide range of riding styles, including canyon carving, freeway riding, interstate travels, motorcycle trips, urbanized riding, and cross-country trips. 

1.4 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - The World’s Best Motorcycle Event

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - The World’s Best Motorcycle Event
Photo Credits: EagleRider

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the most popular annual motorcycle events, and the festival owes its popularity to Harley Davidson motorcycles. For many, Sturgis Rally is now synonymous to Harley motorcycles. The tradition of Sturgis began in 1938, and since then, this event has taken place almost every year, except for a few exceptions, in the City of Sturgis, South Dakota.

Over the years, Sturgis became associated with Harley Davidson as a large number of participants of the rally rode Harley motorcycles. Every year many Harley enthusiasts and H.O.G members flock to the City of Sturgis for the best party of the year. Moreover, H.O.G members enjoy special discounts at the event as Harley is also one of the main sponsors of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Furthermore, Harley Davidson helps increase the popularity of the rally by showcasing its latest motorcycles at the event, hosting events, and encouraging its fans to join the rally and connect with other Harley motorcycle enthusiasts.

1.5 The Unparalleled Support of Harley Owners Group (H.O.G)

Photo Credits: Harley Davidson

Motorcycling is all about camaraderie and community, and for this reason, many riders prefer to join different motorcycle clubs in America. While there are several outlaw motorcycle clubs, called the 1 percenters, finding fun clubs that follow the rules of the American Motorcycle Association and also offer a strong community is rather difficult.

However, Harley Davidson also caters to the riders’ need to connect with other riders sharing the same love and passion for Harley motorcycles. Whether you want to wear stylish biker patches without offending a motorcycle club or want to be a part of a global motorcycle community that has access to the best events, the Harley Owners Group H.O.G. caters to all your social needs.

Members can participate in different events organized by authorized dealerships across the country. In case of suggestions or support, riders can consult the community chat room and official online forum. Plus, if you want to volunteer, H.O.G. organizes many fundraising events and activities, allowing you to dedicate your time to noble causes and different charities.

1.6 Pioneer of the American Bagger Segment and Touring Culture

Pioneer of the American Bagger Segment and Touring Culture
Photo Credits: Harley Davidson

After World War II, Harley Davidson worked on introducing a reliable and highly capable motorcycle that offered storage space and generated enough power for long-distance trips. To say that Harley Davidson pioneered the American Bagger segment and promoted motorcycle touring culture in the United States would not be an overstatement. Under the 2014 Rushmore Project, Harley introduced some state-of-the-art improvements in its Electra Glide bagger lineup, setting the bar for the motorcycle touring segment even higher. The luxurious and comfortable bagger motorcycles are another reason that adds to Harley’s unprecedented popularity.

1.7 MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Series

MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Series
Photo Credits: Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson’s race-ready custom baggers have featured in different seasons of the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Road Racing Series only to leave its fans and critics awe-struck with its remarkable race track performance. By winning several races at the King of the Baggers racing event, Harley Davidson bagger not only harkened back to its racing heritage but also established its dominance in the contemporary world of motorcycle racing. Harley offers a tough competition to its rival Indian Motorcycles and has gained even more prominence among fans.

1.8 Endless Options for Customization

Harley Davidson motorcycles offer endless options for customization, whether you opt for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket Harley parts. When it comes to customization, motorcycle specialty shops that specialize in customizing Harley Davidson motorcycles allow riders to change the rear wheel size, and fender style, install a custom fairing and windshield, modify the engine, and also modify the bike’s front fork angle. In addition, riders can opt for custom paint schemes with subtle graphics, comprehensive artwork, duo-tone paint, or powder coating. As for custom accessories, Harley Davidson motorcycles can be decorated with stylish luggage bags, sissy bars, luggage racks, custom LED lights, textured seats and backrests, ergonomically optimized handlebars, and crash bars for protection.

1.9 The Essence of American Culture

The Essence of American Culture
Photo Credits: Harley Davidson

In the world of motorcycling, no other brand is more quintessentially American as Harley Davidson. The brand embodies the true essence of American culture, representing freedom, adventure, rebellion, independence, and individualism. Moreover, the cultural influence of the brand is also reflected in multiple aspects of American life, ranging from entertainment to recreation, literature, fashion, and even pop culture. Through its iconic motorcycles, Harley Davidson has successfully extended an opportunity for other riders across the world to experience the spirit of American culture and its enduring legacy.

1.10 A Symbol of Resilience and Freedom

Harley Davidson is one of the few motorcycle brands around the world that has managed to endure the crippling effects of World War II and the Great Depression. Throughout its century-long history, Harley Davidson has weathered many adversities, including ownership changes, financial crises, fierce competition, and fast-paced changes in motorcycle engineering and technology. Despite experiencing a collapse, Harley Davidson managed to reemerge, demonstrating resilience. With its struggles, Harley Davidson has proven that if one strives hard, one can easily overcome their challenges. Through its resilience, Harley Davidson encourages its riders to embrace challenges and strive to survive. 

1.11 Vast Network of Motorcycle Rentals

Vast Network of Motorcycle Rentals
Photo Credits: EagleRider

Harley Davidson motorcycles are one of the most readily available rentals at Eagle Rider - America’s premium motorcycle rental company that has partnered with the motorcycle company. Whether a rider needs guided tours, solo tours, or just an affordable rental, the Harley Davidson motorcycles can be rented at the nearest Eagle Rider rental shop, thanks to this association. Though motorcycles of other brands are also available at these rental services, due to the high demand for Harley motorcycles, these rental companies offer the latest motorcycles in their rental fleet. These rental services allow riders to experience the thrill of a Harley by making these high-end two-wheelers more accessible.

2. Last Words

Many factors are unique to Harley Davidson and contribute to its remarkable success. While other motorcycle brands only have soulless machines with the latest technology to offer, Harley Davidson provides an exhilarating experience and a sense of belonging to riders, alongside capable two-wheelers. When it comes to motorcycle engineering, Harley Davidson has preserved its V-Twin power, feel, sound, and character, while at the same time providing state-of-the-art electronics to riders. Boasting a rich heritage that spans over a century, Harley Davidson has long associated itself with freedom, individualism, and resilience. A motorcycle brand that has contributed immensely towards the prosperity of American culture, no other motorcycle brand can be more patriotically American as Harley and that is what defines its popularity among the masses.

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