Harley adverts 1981 – II

Yesterday I wrote about a advert from March 1981. Harley Davidson wanted to promote their 1980 models and placed advertisements in several different magazines, such as Iron Horse and Easyriders. Easyriders no. 82, 82 and 83 each started with ‘the Eagle’, stating that American made was better. However, many parts were made in Japan and hard-core ‘American made is best’ fans complained about the fact that these Japanese parts shouldn’t be on a genuine American made Harley. I’m inclined to say they had a point. But many products have parts from all over the world nowadays and forty years back it wasn’t much different then today.

But at the Harley factory’s they saw what chopper builders did to their bikes and that made them realize that there was a ‘market’ for them to take a piece of that cake to. Their Wide Glides, Low Riders and Fat Bobs were the ‘New Kids’ on the block. And yes, factory wise, they were good looking and considered a good improvement.

You can judge for yourself by looking at these models from nearly forty years back.

Seen in Easyriders magazine no. 81 and 82.

Seen in Easyriders magazine no. 81, from March 1981.

Seen in Easyriders magazine no. 81, from March 1981.

Seen in Easyriders magazine no. 82, from April 1981.

Seen in Easyriders magazine no. 83, from May 1981.

Both seen in Easyriders magazine no. 83, from May 1981.

Harley advert 1981

Almost forty years ago, when Donald T. was also a lot younger, Harley Davidson (AMF) placed this advert in Easyriders Magazine number 81, from March 1981 and some later issues.

If you didn’t know any better, you could picture Donald T. working in the advertise business and convincing AMF Staff that this is/was the best way targeting the Asian influence on the American market.

America First policy in a early stage!

Sportster Monday

The following article about -again of course- a Sportster, model XLCH 1965 was placed in Easyriders magazine number 45, from March 1975. I’ve also placed a picture of an original model of the same bike to give you an example of the changes made.

The article it selves revealed a side-effect of being ‘a subject of attention’ in a popular magazine. And it ain’t a pretty side-effect, that must be said.

Sporty Reborn

Ken, the owner/builder of this clean scoot, had a nasty bummer smack him in the mug, not long after he built his first Sporty. We featured Ken’s first creation in our December ’75 issue. No sooner did it appear on the stands than some sonofabitch ripped it off.

To many bikers that loss would’ve been devastating. Some dudes could’ve even copped an attitude, vowing never again to own and build a custom Harley, because of the risks of losing it. Some might even get the idea that the biking brotherhood was non-existent, and go back to sky-divin’, skate-boardin’, or hitch-hikin‘ as a hobby. But not Ken. His people proved to him that a true brotherhood does exist, and, with their help, he built the Sportster you see here.

Because of incidents such as this, we’ve adopted a new scheme around – this dump. If there’s one thing we can’t handle, it’s hearing about a biker who’s been burned for his scoot —and we’ve discovered, recently, that license plates make good direction finders for ripoff artists. Consequently, from this issue on, no more license plates will be displayed in this rag. It may not get Ken’s first Sporty back, or eliminate bike thievery completely, but if it prevents just one bro from getting burned, we’ll be happy to have helped.


Photography by Jake