It dawned on me when I received a comment on my most recent article about Harley Davidson apparel that I hadn’t really given much thought to the reasons why individuals, particularly those who aren’t bikers, wear Harley Davidson gear.
It seems to me that there are at least three or four categories of individuals who like wearing High Definition (HD) clothing. Those who own Harleys are, of course, the most visible members of this subculture. They are fans of the bike and the brand, and they want to display their affection for both by wearing the associated apparel. There is, of course, also the protective apparel that HD manufactures, and given their devotion to the company’s products, it seems to reason that they would purchase their protective gear from the same manufacturer. It is also easy for them since they can do all of their shopping for motorcycles at the same location, which is their neighborhood HD dealer.
The second category or set of people would be those who desire a hog but, for whatever reason, are unable to get one at the present moment. They wear the clothing as a representation of what they desire to become, and they do so with the expectation that one day they will be able to graduate from just wearing the clothes to owning the actual item, in this case, the bike. This also has a bearing on the post’s title, which you can see at the top of the page and which reads, “Harley-Davidson apparel and the mid-life crisis.” You see, I was one of the many individuals who, for many years, fit into this group. So were a significant number of the other people I know. My desire to ride a Harley began when I was a teenager, or maybe even earlier; but, I was not old enough to purchase one at the time.
I never stopped wanting it, despite the passage of time. But for one reason or another, like not having enough money, getting married, having children, yes, they probably all have something to do with money, but you get the picture, I never had the chance to purchase my bike until much later in life. Do not jump to the conclusion that I did not own motorcycles; I did, but they were not Harleys since it was not my intention at the time. After some time had passed, I was finally in a position to buy my bike, and it just so happened that I was getting close to a major milestone in my life—the big 40, also known as the middle of my life.
So what exactly occurs when a man reaches that age and all of a sudden acquires a Harley? Even though I had been riding bikes of other brands for the better part of the last two decades? Crisis in the middle of life, right? If a mid-life crisis was the reason I earned a high school diploma, then that crisis began at about the time I was entering puberty and lasted until I received my high school diploma. Believe me when I say that I would have purchased the bike much earlier in the day if I had the opportunity. Therefore, the next time you see or hear about a man or lady who buys their first hog around that age, you shouldn’t leap to any assumptions. It’s likely that they’ve been in love with the motorcycles for a long time, but they’ve only now reached the stage when the purchase is suitable.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s look at the third reason why I disagree with you. For this particular demographic, I believe that the primary reason people wear the brand is simply because they like it. They may think it is stylish, or they may enjoy the image that it creates, or they may not care what brand it is as long as the design on the t-shirt, jacket, or anything else they are wearing is appealing to them. Some individuals choose to wear it because it stands out from what everyone else is wearing, while others may do it because all of their friends are wearing something extremely similar to what they are wearing.
I don’t care what your motivation is for wearing them; I think you should go ahead and do it. If other people have an issue with it, well, that’s none of your business since it’s their problem, not yours.