Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't be a sheep!

I like 90% of all the Harley riders I meet. I'm grateful for the capital from H-D that has helped Buell grow into the company it is so far. But sometimes the differences between those two companies and their riders is amazing to me.

The 1953 movie "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin first put the idea of the bike-ridng rebel in the public consciousness (as an aside, do you realize Brando didn't ride a Harley in that movie? It was a Triumph Thunderbird - an English bike!).


1969 gave us "Easy Rider," where again, bikers were shown as counter-culture rebels. Throngs of wannabe rebels worldwide bought Harleys (and anything with a Harley Davidson logo on it). Worldwide supplies of chrome were depleted. Countless Harley riders wanted to make a statement: "I'm a rebel- a rugged individualist!"

Just like everyone else.

I've always thought this, but I never thought I'd see the day when Harley Davidson and their ad agency would so clearly portray their own Harley riders as flocks of sheep, following the leader.



Buell, on the other hand, really does embrace individualism. Maybe it comes from Erik Buell's privateer roots.

The Book of Buell is rife with examples. "A Buell won't make you any friends." and "It's ok not to wave back." come to mind. Even the new logo (which I love) is supposed to be shorthand for "I don't care what you think." Now that's individualism!

Don't be a sheep. Ride a Buell.

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