Outlaw Bikers Stick With Harley Despite Foreign Production
There is little loyalty like a Harlista’s loyalty
Through good and bad, sickness and health, Harley-Davidson aficionados are like the Toronto Maple Leafs fans of motorcycles. The way in isn’t cheap, there are considerable issues within the lineup, but the seats always find buyers. Harley enthusiasts’ loyalty will be tested once more as their favorite orange-and-black brand plans on moving some of its production overseas. If actual problems with the motorcycles haven’t deterred the pure at heart, it seems that ramping up production in Brazil and India and Thailand won’t either.
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The Hells Angels are probably the most obvious association to H-D there is. Not all Harley riders are Angels but most Angels are Harley riders. After the motorcycle maker announced earlier this week it might have to move more production overseas to get around looming EU import tariffs, the question arose: were the Hells Angels going to turn their back on H-D? In an interview with the Toronto Star, representatives from the gang’s Canadian branch were adamant: their riders had no plan to change their allegiance.
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“I’ve been riding them all of my life, even when they were shit bikes in the ’60s and ’70s,” biker Lorne Campbell told the Toronto Star. “Harley riders are loyal—even when (the bikes) leaked oil. They’re the best, now.”
The company’s announcement created ripples, some siding with the maker and others criticizing the decision. The move to avoid an increase in pricing would also represent a loss in American jobs. Plus, for the group of outlaw bikers, it could have represented a dilemma since one of their rules states that all riders must straddle an American-made motorcycle.
“Harley-Davidson is making a statement to the Trump Administration,” said Hells Angels B.C. spokesperson Rick Ciarnello. “I don’t think their decision will impact our club in any way. Harley-Davidson motorcycles will still be available, no matter where the parts are made or assembled.”
However, members of different sub-branches of the Hells renewed their allegiance to Harley-Davidson, criticizing president Trump for his bulldog attitude. They consider the company’s decision to be a statement against the current administration’s trade decision. Not even the market seemed phased by the announcement: the company’s actions lost 2 percent after the statement was published before regaining most of the loss the same day.
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Though we like to poke fun at Harley-Davidson enthusiasts for their sometimes zealous devotion to the brand and their desire to show the world their colors, sometimes that level of devotion comes in handy.
Source: Toronto Star