Bookshelf: Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

There’s no way around it: Harley-Davidson makes a sweet motorcycle. Japan, keep your crotchrockets. Europe, if we wanted something overwrought and weighing the size of a pregnant rhino, we’d buy a car—which is what BMW should stick with. When it comes to motorcycles, nothing beats the iconic style of our favourite American company.

With us still? Good. Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycles ($50), written by Dain Gingerelli, with photography by David Blattel, celebrates the history, style, and free spirit of Harley-Davidson. Aside from being a catalogue of fantastic images (you’ll see a few examples below—trust me, there’s so much more), this book has a little bit of everything Harley.

Need some history? Well, in 1932, the four founders of Harley-Davidson took 50% pay cuts. In 1947, the company’s catalogue included their iconic black leather jacket for the first time.

How about something unusual? Well, this book is likely the only place you’ll be able to see a FLHR Road King Firefighter Special Edition, given that the company only sells them to American fire-fighters. However, they also helpfully inform you that you can buy a scale model from the Franklin Mint.

Want the occasional dubious fact? Okay. “If you have a metal flake helmet to match the Seventy-Two’s optional metal flake paint, you will be worshipped as a hipster god.”

The highlight is, of course, the motorcycle photography. Check it out—we think it speaks for itself.


Photo Credit: David Blattel

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