Renowned American actor Robert Patrick who has starred in a number of nineties classics including Die Hard 2 and Wayne’s World, once said: “You don’t buy a Harley with your mind, you buy it with your heart and your balls.” Throughout time, Harley Davidson has been able to unite people on a very passionate and authentic level. Around the world, but specifically in America, the ideals of self-expression and freedom that a Harley is typically associated with transcends all cultures, age groups, and genders. Ever since the Harley Davidson company introduced its first V-Twin powered motorcycle in 1909, every decade to date has been filled with countless memories of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brand. Here’s a quick summary.

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The Sixties was a decade of great innovation

In 1960, around about the same time that Chubby Checker’s The Twist became a hit, Harley Davidson released what would be its only scooter platform ever, the Topper scooter. Three years later in 1963, Ralph White won the Daytona 200 on a Harley Davidson 750KR while dirt track racer Bart Markel won the AMA Grand National Championship in both 1965 and 1966. In cinema, the quintessential Harley movie Easy Rider was released which featured a ‘Captain America’ chopper – perhaps the most iconic of all Harleys. Although two of these choppers were custom-built for the film, only one survived the shoot. Unfortunately, the sole survivor met its own fiery end in 2010 when collector Gordon Granger’s warehouse in Austin, Texas burned down.

The cruiser was born in the Seventies

The seventies were a busy time for the Harley Davidson crew. 1971 saw the birth of a new class of motorcycle known as the cruiser with the introduction of the FX 1200 Super Glide. In 1973 the new alloy XR-750 debuted. This powerful piece of machinery went on to become the most popular dirt track racer for the next 30 years. It was in 1975 that a Harley was featured in what was to become one of the greatest cult classics of all time. In a scene from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, ex delivery-boy Eddie rides out of a deep freeze in Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s lair on a beautiful WLA. Although this was definitely not the last time an HD would be seen on the silver screen, it remains one of the most memorable appearances to this day. During the last year of the decade, 1979, the world was introduced to the FXEF Fat Bob that got its name from its dual gas tanks and bobbed fenders.

The Eighties will never be forgotten

It is with very good reason that the eighties will always remain one of the most memorable decades ever. Not only did the Cold War end and the Berlin Wall fell during this period, but Harley Davidson also underwent a tremendous revolution. February 26, 1981 marked a turning point for Harley Davidson as 13 senior executives signed a letter of intent to purchase the Harley Davidson Motor Company from AMF.  In 1982, which was the same year that 60 Minutes was the top-rated TV show and children were playing with He-Man figurines, the Materials as Needed (MAN) application was introduced to the manufacturing process.  In 1987, Harley Davidson was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the company also starting its buy-back program XLH 883 Sportster which offered a full trade-in value within 2 years on either an FL or FX model.

The Harley Davidson brand is without a doubt one of the most well-known in the entire world. Already more than a century old, it is almost impossible to even begin to imagine the greatness we can expect to see from everyone’s favorite motorcycle brand in years to come.