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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Comment with Chopcult (70)

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 06:37 am

Well, there you have it. I expect to see all you "douchebags" at the H-D shop in line for this great shit.

Willy-G has spoken!!!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 06:37 am

I like this. We've been in need of a summer leather collection for some time now. Something for everyone's taste that definitely captures the bravado and raw sexuality we all would like to exude. Bravo, gentlemen.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 06:47 am

So far, this is the best April Fools prank this day.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:02 am

hey i definately need those chaps as fringed version, also need the pj ball cap cause i got an appointment at the blue oyster bar, see all of you folks there tonight.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:04 am

well shit on me. Never even thought about that. great catch Mike.

The scary thing is this could be true.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:18 am

haha you got us good there

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:18 am

I hope the crotchless chaps don't make my ass look too gay. Happy April Fools Day. You got me good! R

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:39 am

I need the American Eagle ball cap. People need to know that this American biker is "out and proud." Out on the road, proud to be an American.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:40 am

"motorcycle enthusiasts who spend more than 90 minutes per week online are 77% more likely to follow trends than their offline peers"

Priceless! By the way - that link didn't work when I clicked it on my Metric Browser.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:42 am


Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:44 am

i almost believed the shit in those pictures was bonafide. but not even HD makes crap that looks that bad.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:59 am

Best April Fool's joke I've seen yet. But hell, those safety orange doo rags look good.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:08 am

this makes me sick!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:33 am

I just retched and threw up in my mouth a little !!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:57 am

That shit was way to believable.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 09:47 am

Does this mean there isn't going to be any Chop Cult Chaps, Or
Proud American Biker ball cap in the Store? Rats!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:04 am

Don't count ChopCult Chaps out.. the name has a nice ring to it.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:17 am

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


Commented on 4-2-2010 At 08:19 pm

that leatha lid is so bitchin ? i might need to sell the ol ladies leather g string on CL and gets me one..!!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:18 am

this by far is the best write up ever, made my f'ing day man, are you sure this didn't come out of the Fisters MC handbook? Pages 57-69?

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:22 am

Almost got me too! Fuckin' hilarious, I love you guys.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 10:39 am

Magoo, I love it when you take it to step 11.....

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 11:15 am

ok ok, I went to the MoCo website to order the PJ hat... looks like all you guys already ordered them and they are sold out! Guess I'll have to stick with my leather bandana for now, jeez...

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 11:17 am

and by the way, I did think those were actual HD pictures... man I suck

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 12:05 pm

"wont chafe sensetive nipples" very important!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 12:36 pm

I shouldn't have believed it from the get go, the prices are too low!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 12:36 pm

I shouldn't have believed it from the get go, the prices are too low!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 01:05 pm

cockbrooms, lotions, and lipbalms - well if that doesnt sound like a high school reunion, ill be hogtied and ass-less chapped-ed

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 01:18 pm

I agree the best and only April's fool joke played on me today.

Halwade, you have to follow up with a nice bike feature. I feel like I wasted my time reading that crap. lol....

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 01:35 pm

I wear do-rags. Does that mean all of the cool skateboard kids think I'm gay?

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 01:42 pm

yes, hahaha.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 02:38 pm

my life partner isnt sure if i can have a bike yet, but we're def getting matching jumpsuits.

the best satire is closest to the truth

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 02:42 pm

I seriously hope you got model release forms for the boys and girls who posed with all that righteous gear

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 02:51 pm

out and proud detailing is a sign of harley's dedication to its most devoted customer base

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:01 pm

"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."

He says y'all are dumb. Shhh, don't make any noise my folks'll hear me.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:01 pm

eisenhower jacket has just been purchased

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:09 pm

I like me some easy access chaps...

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:10 pm

the only truly unbelievable part is the pricing. hd licensed ball cap would be more like 69.99 .... bandanna 49.99

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:18 pm

Got you good Chicken Fucker!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:25 pm

holy crap sell my triumphs and buy a twin cam so i can follow the trends gotta have that patch work leather

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:29 pm

That first bit was actually pretty believable! You did a damn good job on. What's sad is harley would actually charge that much if not more on some of that stuff.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:46 pm

F%king God help me!! It's all been said. Now I have a head ache.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:52 pm

I get it "Castro" Chaps. haha. that was classic.

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 03:59 pm

Well that's twice i got fooled today! First, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredson "running" for mayor and now this! Maybe I am a douche!?lol

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 04:16 pm

good one thank you

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:22 pm

Chop what in your chaps? Hey carefull there!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 07:50 pm

well done, well done. and i thought i was gonna get through the day without getting fooled!

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:15 pm

twice in one week? guys gettin desprete for storys or what???

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:16 pm

o and i have harley chaps....seriously....they make a great welding blanket

Commented on 4-1-2010 At 08:24 pm

Do I smell a spin-off sister site? The Chap Cult? How many mile is that little gem of an idea worth? Show a brother some love.

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