~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Baa Baa Black Sheep

There is an old Harley rider's expression "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand." Well, apparently the folks at H-D felt a need to try and explain it anyway and so in the trendiest video way, they now proudly proclaim "We believe in flames and skulls."

Harley's "statement" film is on their website and you can click here for a look.

The video is really nicely done from a graphic standpoint; the black and white images are compelling. Compelling only at first glance though because once you stop and look, the real message in the video is as conformist as any three-piece-suit culture of "The Man" against whom the video pretends to rebel. Does it strike anyone else as ironic that a billion dollar, multi-national, Wall Street listed corporation has made a video that talks about being an individualist and "sticking it to The Man"?

So the video got me to thinking about what I believe.

I believe I'm glad that I'm a motorcyclist all the time and not just a faux biker on the weekends.

I believe flames and skulls are a cliche now. (OK, flames are not, well painted flames will always look good)

I believe I'm glad I owned a Harley when it was a motorcycle and not a lifestyle statement.

I believe I'm glad I ride a Honda today and whatever brand of bike I want tomorrow, and that I am not bound by what my friends ride.

I believe I feel sorry for the hard core H-D riders (you know who you are and so do I). H-D has sold you guys out and you ought to be mad enough about it by now to go ride something else for a while and "stick it to The Man."


Jeff in Korea said...

Geez.... Isn't THAT true. On my blog,I recently talked about spending $1,000 on leather gear (jacket, chaps, gloves, luggage) specifically to get away from all of the H-D logo-ed crap I had accumulated:

Recently, I was standing in my doorway getting ready to go out for a ride. I looked in the mirror and saw that I had on my Harley-Davidson boots, Harley-Davidson shirt, Harley-Davidson jacket, Harley-Davidson fanny pack (with my Harley-Davidson handkerchief and Harley-Davidson wallet inside), Harley-Davidson bandanna, Harley-Davidson gloves, and Harley-Davidson helmet.

I was horrified. I had become “Harley Guy,” the type of guy that has Harley-Davidson stamped on everything he owns or wears. I hate that guy, but I had become him, the corporate sellout. I was rather disgusted with myself.

Anonymous said...


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