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Staff Blog: Are Harley's cool?

By Ped Baker -

First rides & tests

 24 April 2013 16:36

A couple of years ago I asked an MCN work experience girl what she thought of motorcyclists.

I was hoping she’d use words like ‘cool’, ‘exciting’, perhaps even ‘sexy’ but instead she said, “They’re all old blokes... you think they could be a bit of alright and then they take their helmets off... and they’re all my dad’s age.”

She wasn’t talking about Harley riders but ALL motorcyclists. Like it or not, in non-motorcycling circles, biking is increasingly seen as a hobby for old people, and with fewer new riders passing the ridiculously complicated riding test, it’s only going to get worse.

But there is a group of bikes that are labelled ‘cool’ by non-motorcyclists. It’s the stripped-down, simple, and obviously mechanical machines that are finding new two-wheel fans.

Speed, power, handling and even reliability are almost secondary to this group. It’s all about having the right image and the Street Bob has that image in spades.

The Street Bob isn’t just for posing though, I have a few trips planned in 2013, including the 110th Harley anniversary celebrations in Rome. The Harley brand has found a natural home in Italy and there doesn’t seem to be such a style divide.

Journalists usually fly to these manufacturer-organised events but I’ll be riding down to join the celebrations. I’m not particularly religious but there’s even a chance that the Pope will bless my bike!

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