You’ve seen them, right? The new Harley-Davidson ads with skulls that look like they’re straight out of Marvel comics… Oh wait, is that Captain America riding a Harley? New commercials and media are making it clear that Harley is trying to grab a new type of customer and shake up the perception that their bikes are only for old salty dogs.
Are Harleys Old People Bikes?
It’s been a reputation that Harley has had for over a decade now—that its bikes are made for old people—but it’s not an unearned moniker. Harley’s heyday was right after World War II when soldiers were returning home and needed that sense of freedom that could only be provided by two wheels and the open road. The brand seized the opportunity and defined motorcycling in America, but after that, the manufacturer did very little to move forward in the technology department.
The More They Change, The More Things Stay The Same
In a world with Öhlins shocks and inverted forks, Harley kept using saddle springs for suspension, and their engine advancement was so frozen that you came to expect your new Electra Glide to start leaking oil. At first, this dedication to the old ways was a badge of honor and respect for the company—it was developed into the Lifestyle and people prided themselves on it—but the days of the lifestyle might be coming to an end.
The New Harley Style
After the recession, the lifestyle wasn’t cutting it in the sales department and so Harley decided to knock the rust off. New technology started to show up on their bikes, the company started the XR1200 racing series, and ads with young people stunting on their Harleys started to show up. Now Marvel’s Avengers are riding around on experimental electric Harleys and the lifestyle has become edgy and vogue.
So now it appears that America’s biggest motorcycle maker is trying to get millennials to buy Harley-Davidsons. Do you think their new game plan will work? What do you think new blood will do to the Lifestyle? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.
From the lawyers who ride at the Metier Law Firm.