Fashion Fallout


"After Harley-Davidson's successful foray into the rarified air of today's quixotic "skate chic" chopper scene, The Motor Company seeks to leverage its century-old heritage with a new range of accessories and apparel for modern riders. The Harley-Davidson Summer 2010 Leather Collection features all the progressive style, quality construction and innovative design Freedom Riders™ have come to expect from our proud American brand."




If I hadn't personally read the Harley press kit that landed on my desk last month, I wouldn't have believed my eyes. Unfortunately, Willie G. is serious, and the Mothership means business. Harley is rethinking modern biker apparel, and they want ChopCult readers to be onboard when the merch drops this June. Frightening.




Harley's lavish press kit was hand delivered to me by a clean-shaven spokesman in full MoCo regalia: carefully decorated vest, faded denim jeans beneath faux distressed chaps, and a pair of steel-toed jackboots. Kyle Witherspoon from Stanwood Associates was commissioned by H-D to promote their new range of "Industrial-Strength Integrity" across the range of endemic chopper media: print, online and in-field. I was speechless.

Here are some tasty tidbits from Kyle's presentation:

"Willie G.'s vision for this year's line was focused, and his orders were clear: Give the rugged individuals who are Harley's core consumer a line of jackets, hats, and chaps they can be proud to wear."

Donald "Thunder" Clapp, EVP of H-D Licensing



"Harley's new leather jumpsuit is awesome. I've been looking for the right shop gear to wear when I'm stroking Hogs, and this is it."

Travis Reno, Engine tech at St. Louis Harley-Davidson




In a scripted delivery so polished it shined, Kyle answered every hardball I threw at him.

"Who designed this stuff?"

"To be honest, when our designers put hand to mouse, these garments practically design themselves. The 'Harley rider' image is so iconic, none of the regular rules for originality or free thinking apply."

"What makes you think ChopCult readers would wear any of this shit?"

"According to market research and focus groups, motorcycle enthusiasts who spend more than 90 minutes per week online are 77% more likely to follow trends than their offline peers."



Ouch. That last one stung, and it hit mighty close to home. None of the other data in Harley's well-prepared press kit painted things any rosier:

Among ALL motorcycle riders 30 years or younger:

29% used inline skates as a teenager

32% display skateboard banners or posters in their garage

47% live with their parents

69% admit to having "been with a girl" fewer than 5 times in their life




Harley's market research among motorcycle enthusiasts over 30 was equally unflattering:

77% pay a third party to perform regular tune and service maintenance on their motorcycles

61% ride fewer than 100 miles per month

54% own matching "biker-themed" apparel with their spouse

41% know their motorcycle's model year, but not its engine displacement or wheel size




The picture Harley's marketing shill had painted for me was now crystal-clear: according to the MoCo, everyone who rides a Harley is a douchebag. Saddest of all were the data Kyle shared on the subject of online media:

9% of active forum readers own running motorcycles

77% spend more time in online chat rooms and messageboards than they do on their motorcycles

100% follow links in online editorial

"Fair enough, Kyle—you've made your point." There was no use arguing with the marketing hack from Harley; he was loaded with research and he wasn't afraid to use it. With little to show for my own involvement in the motorcycle scene except a CB450 that doesn't run and an Evo project that isn't finished, I accepted defeat. Everyone who talks about motorcycles online truly IS a douchebag.

Thanks for nothing, Willie G.

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Commented on 4-1-2010 At 09:58 pm

the weird bit is that I kind of wanted to believe that whole article... Like some kind of sick fascination.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:19 pm

wow! What's next Opened toe skate shoes From the good folks at VANS? Loved the joke, Great shit.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:31 pm

"77% spend more time in online chat rooms and messageboards than they do on their motorcycles"
ha! The truth is its probably more than that! I sure as fuck do. 1 hour commuting round trip, 7hrs at work. Thats automatically at least 2hrs a day I spend lookin at motorcycle porn more than riding! And I dont even have a desk job like a few of you fuckers!

If Chopcult chaps see the light of day.. I demand a KhopKult Kimono for the jap riders or Im filing a lawsuit for discrimination. Ya, thats right, this is fucking California and Id probably win!

So, biker movie reviews, the ressurection article, and now this? The CC news has been a bunch of BS lately.. and I love it! Keep up the good work.

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 12:39 am

very nice and tastefull leather collection Willie G ! I can hardly wait for riding naked with the leather chaps this summer. Ahh !! feel the summer breeze on the balls...!!!

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 01:17 am

I love a good cockbroom!

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 04:09 am

Chap Cult!

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 08:16 am

willi g. go home and f... yourself.....

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 08:29 am

I totally believed the HD rep was real! But then again, I'm pretty sure he is. PLEASE, FORWARD THE ARTICLE TO HD AND WILLIE G.!

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 08:40 am

no moco 3/4 helmets, no harley (tm) flannels, no faux vans, no HD trucker caps, no dark custom propaganda with corporate sponsored blogs. why is no one slamming the garage builders who have been selling out and cooperating with the "dark side"?

Commented on 4-2-2010 At 08:27 pm

i told my girlfriend...if shes see;s me sportin a do rag do me a favor...burn my bikes and call 911.

Commented on 4-4-2010 At 10:45 am


Commented on 4-4-2010 At 06:21 pm

It wouldn't be so funny if there was no truth to it.Yeah, they're really that gay.This one makes you do a double-take!

Commented on 4-4-2010 At 07:27 pm

I think Im gona puke! thanks now I gotta throw out my old ladies HD thongs
god dammit she looked pretty sweet in them too!

Commented on 4-4-2010 At 10:28 pm

Cock broom.....LMFAO!!

Commented on 4-6-2010 At 03:55 am

I would just like to....................bleukkkkk......sorry, i...................puked.

Commented on 4-7-2010 At 12:21 pm

Ride what ya got!
Wear what ya got!

Bet they're made in Pakistan!

Commented on 4-9-2010 At 02:07 am

That vest looks like it might be ok for carrying. Hmmm

Commented on 5-15-2010 At 07:51 pm

You got to be kidding me right? What a loser, that Kyle guy!
Looks like my town's Harley DEALER on the usual saturday morning meetings, bunch of fat assholes dressed as "tough guys"!

Commented on 12-11-2010 At 05:30 pm

Gay!!! And I don't mean happy.

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 10:30 pm

The saying 'Ub-ER-Ub-ER comes to mind.

Rock. Metal.

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