Shutdown: Ironic Incongruity

Jolly good fun, what!

When viewed through the perspective of history, there’s nothing quite as amusing as vintage Harley-Davidson ads. They portray an image of wholesome family fun, of lighthearted entertainment, and of clean joviality. A Harley? It’s just a mildly more spirited mode of transportation!

Now, of course, the simple fact that you have a Harley-Davidson apparently makes you an automatic badass. Even if you are a 65-year-old accountant, and you’re wearing a pocket-protector under your Harley®-branded leathers.

[Image Source: ModernMechanix]

  • jjd241

    At $3100 in today's money, not a bad deal!

  • Mr_Biggles

    "Sport of a Thousand Thrills". That's great. They should have kept using it.

    • "Motorcycling is the Sport of a Thousand Thrills-ills-ills-ills…"

      Man, that is much more appealing than "Lets ride."

  • crinklesmith

    "A Harley? It’s just a mildly more spirited mode of transportation!"

    That's exactly what it is, and nothing more. Moderately comfortable big motorcycles with tons of torque. You are not automatically cool if you ride a Hardly Ableson. If your Harley is an AMF era one or earlier, and has been modified for performance rather than style, you may possible be considered cool. You are automatically cool if you commute to work on a dirty big bore enduro with knobbies, especially if you do it in the snow.

  • tonyola

    Honda did essentially the same thing when they first came to the US. By the late '50s, there was a perception that all cycle riders were greasers, hoods, or gang members. Honda saw this, so they came up with the "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" ad campaign and the rest was history. Of course, 90cc wasn't exactly the stuff for rape, plunder, and pillage either.
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  • Charles_Barrett

    Maybe it's just me, but that ad copy is extremely sexually suggestive: "Thrilling to ride…", "responds to every whim of the rider — every sway of his body…", "it is a personal mount — a pal, and a playmate… you never tire of riding it…"

    Whoa baby, it's HOT in here…! The only symbology missing is a reference to something powerful between the rider's legs.

    • Number_Six

      I'll have to try that on Craigslist.

      SWM seeking: Personal Mount; must respond to my every whim; easy, safe, but never tired. Willing to pay as I ride.

    • Deartháir

      Nothing like 90 cubic inches between your legs.

      Wait… what?

      • tiberiuswise

        Looks like under your butt would be more accurate based on the pictures.

  • Mr_Biggles

    I hadn't noticed the single pole. That's hilarious. It's like he's out spearing for wumpus or something.