Apple Buys Lightning Trademark From Harley-Davidson

Back in September 2012, Apple debuted it’s new “Lightning” dock connector port for the iPad and iPhone.  The company said the new port would be used extensively in future devices.   All well and good, except, surprise surprise, Apple didn’t own the European trademark for the term “Lightning.”

Oops!  Well, not to worry, Apple is a pretty big company and has more money than God, so they can do whatever they want right?

Sure, except the company that owned the trademark term “Lightning” was the same company that has it’s logo tattooed on more bad-ass bodies than any other company.

Yep, that company.  Harley-Davidson.

Patently Apple is reporting that Apple recently purchased the European trademark, originally claimed by the infamous motorcycle company in 2005.

“The EU Patent & Trademark Office officially published two Apple trademark applications for ‘Lightning’ under numbers 011399821/862,” according to Patently Apple. The site also notes this negotiation seems to be a “partial transfer,” allowing Harley-Davidson to “use certain aspects of the trademark” after the transfer is complete.

Here’s how we fantasize the conversation unfolded.

Apple:  Hey Harley-Davidson, you guys own the Lightning trademark in Europe, we’d like to buy it.  How about we send you $250 and ten new iPads?  To sweeten the pot, we’ll throw in the 4G versions.

Harley-Davidson:  hmm….how bout you kick in some credits in the Itunes Store…?

Apple:  Why you greedy sons of b#$ches…!!

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ANNOUNCES ON-SALE DATE FOR MILWAUKEE 110TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION EVENT TICKETS

Milwaukee Event to Culminate Year-Long, Global Celebration

MILWAUKEE (Nov. 27, 2012) –  For the past three months, Harley-Davidson has been on the road sharing epic experiences with fans from all corners of the globe — from the Tibetan Plateau in China to Sturgis to Faaker See, Austria – to celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary: 110 Years of Freedom.  These events are just the beginning of a year-long, global celebration that will take place across 11 countries on six continents and culminate over Labor Day weekend in 2013, in Milwaukee, Wis. – home of Harley-Davidson.

Tickets for Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee next year will go on sale to the general public on Dec. 17, 2012, at www.H-D.com/110tickets. Members of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), the Motor Company’s official riding club, will have an opportunity to purchase tickets beginning Dec. 10, 2012.

The Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration event in Milwaukee is Thursday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. Events will include fan-organized rides to Milwaukee, a massive parade, three headlining concerts, parties at Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds) and activities at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Talent, as well as ticket details for the three headlining concerts that will be hosted at Marcus Amphitheater on the Summerfest Grounds, will be announced in early 2013.

For H.O.G. members, the event tickets include access to the global H.O.G. 30th Anniversary Celebration on Aug. 29 at the Summerfest Grounds, as well as access to members-only areas throughout the weekend’s events. Additional free public activities include parties at participating Harley-Davidson dealerships and street parties around the city.

Two ticket options for the Milwaukee 110th Anniversary Celebration are available:

Celebration Ticket – Print at Home ($95.00 USD; convenience fees not included) Available for purchases made within the continental U.S.; includes access to the Summerfest Grounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, an opportunity to purchase tickets for the headlining concerts at Marcus Amphitheater before they go on sale to the general public in spring 2013, a link to download the official event app on a mobile device or smartphone, map of historic Harley-Davidson sites in Milwaukee, and automatic entry to win a parade pass.

Commemorative Celebration Ticket Package ($102.50 USD; convenience fees not included)Includes the above admission package plus a photo frame holder, commemorative laminated ticket and lanyard, Milwaukee 110th Anniversary pocket guide, limited edition poker chip, guitar pick keepsake and drink koozie with corresponding drink discounts.

Join the Celebration Online

Harley-Davidson fans are invited to join the celebration online where they can share videos, images and experiences on Facebook, Twitter with the hashtag #HD110, and at www.h-d.com/110.  To date, the Motor Company has shared four epic 110th Anniversary experiences via the site, as well as Harley-Davidson social pages, driving thousands of engagements from fans around the world.

The Web site, which will be updated in the coming months with new features and content, also includes details about all of the Motor Company’s 110th Anniversary events.

 

Ed Church, He Got It Back

Everyone has a story about the one that got away.  A high school sweetheart, a job, a house, a trophy buck, something.  But Ed Church’s story is different.  His is about a motorcycle.  His first motorcycle.

Church said the bike was a big influence on him as a sophomore in high school.  ”the whole right of passage as a young man was trying to start one” said Church.

“It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” said Church, who rode the bike for 13 years and sold it when his daughter was born.

Church said when he started looking around for a bike from the same year as his first bike he had no idea he’d stumble upon the bike…his bike and just when he found it, it almost slipped through his fingers again.

Watch the video to hear the story in his words.

 

Harley-Davidson Recalls V-Rods for Minor Problem

 Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling all model year 2012 and certain model year 2013 VRSCDX motorcycles manufactured from June 14, 2011, through August 1, 2012. The license plate bracket assembly’s mounting screws may loosen and the assembly may separate from the rear fender. This condition may lead to contact with the rear tire which could cause the license plate bracket to rotate, possibly damaging the rear brake line.   If the license plate bracket contact with the rear brake line remains undetected, it may affect rear brake performance, increasing the risk of a crash, which could lead to injury or death of the rider. Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair any affected motorcycles free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on, or about, November 5, 2012. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056. his is Harley-Davidson recall 0148. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Will I Care About This When I’m 80?

Francis Gangley, Gadsden Alabama

D-Day survivor and motorcycle enthusiast Francis Gangley, Gadsden Alabama

Editorial – Scott Cochran

I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. Pumping gas, putting on your gear in a parking lot, or eating in a restaurant. A total stranger will walk up to you and start a conversation about motorcycling.

It happened to me in Gadsden Alabama. I was at a restaurant counter waiting on my order when 82 year old New Jersey native Francis Ganley walked up and asked me if I was on that motorcycle outside.

Over the next few minutes, I learned Francis stormed the beach (Omaha) during WWII, and when he came home he bought a used Iron Head HD for twelve dollars! When he recalled the decades he’d spent riding various motorcycles, you could hear the longing in his voice to take one last ride before his passing. But, he knew that wasn’t possible. He said he couldn’t trust his knees, and watching him walk, you knew that was an understatement. The strength was no longer there to balance a bike, or even straddle the seat of a trike.

My food arrived, and I thanked Mr. Ganley for the conversation. I told him how much respect I had for him, and wished him a good day.  After lunch, I was outside getting ready to gear up when Francis appeared and asked me if I minded if he took a closer look at my motorcycle.  ”That’s a good looking bike” he said, as he walked around it. “I had a FLH once with leather saddlebags.” I could tell there was something he wanted to ask but he wasn’t sure it was appropriate.

“Would you like to sit on her?” I asked.  “Do you mind?” He replied.  “Be my guest.” I said.

I moved in to help steady him in case he decided to straddle the seat as most would, but Francis sat down sideways, gently reaching to the handlebar. What he did next caught me completely off guard.

A big smile lit up his face and he twisted the throttle and playfully said, “VROOM VROOM!”

As his smile faded, Francis said, “I’d give anything to be able to take one last long motorcycle ride, but my knees won’t let me. But I sure do miss it.” I took his photo and thanked him again for his service to our country. He stood by and watched as I cranked up the bike, waved and rode away.

An hour later, as I was carving the twisty roads along Lookout Mtn Parkway and Little River Canyon in North Alabama I caught myself obsessing about deadlines, balance sheets, and business opportunities. I pulled off at one of the overlooks. As it was a Monday afternoon, it was deserted and peaceful. The only sound was the occasional bird and the tick, tick, tick of the v-twin as it cooled.  As I sat there I thought about that old man and our conversation. Here I was, doing the one thing that he longed to do, and I wasn’t fully appreciating the moment.

Sitting there I realized how important it is to occasionally view your life from the perspective of your future. Asking yourself, “Will I care about this when I’m 80?” is a good way to prioritize your life.

I wanted to go back and find him and apologize. I wanted to go back and shake his hand and tell him that from now on I will enjoy every minute I get to spend on two wheels because one day (If I live long enough) that pleasure will be taken from me, just as it has from him.

But there was no going back. Even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to find him.

Godspeed Francis. I hope you feel the breeze one more time before your day ends..

Until next month, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled.

The Pope Will Bless the Hog

The Pope shown recently blessing Ducati’s .. we should say something funny here but we just can’t think of anything the Nuns at our boarding school would have approved….

VATICAN CITY — The Pope started making motorcycles in 1902, and ended in 1918… no wait, wrong Pope.    Forgive us for we have sinned.  It’s the Pope in Rome… (his holiness Pope Benedict XVI) who will bless Harley-Davidson’s bikes at the Vatican next June as part of the Milwaukee manufacturer’s 110th anniversary.  Being that the Pope is celibate, and the ultimate religious authority figure, we’re not sure how that fits in with the whole “rebel” street cred that HD espouses, but hey, maybe it’s like “Any publicity is better than no publicity at all…right?” Now if they can convince him to ditch the robe for a leather jacket….

NEW MODELS AND NEW OPTIONS FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON FOR 2013

110th Anniversary Editions, Hard Candy Custom Styling, and a Restyled Street Bob

MILWAUKEE (August 20, 2012) – Harley-Davidson rolls into its 110th model year with a line of authentic American motorcycles that includes 110th Anniversary Editions of select Harley-Davidson® motorcycle models and a restyled Dyna® Street Bob® model. Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO)TM offers two new models, the CVO™ Breakout, a high-performance Softail® model with exciting new finish options, and the CVO™ Road King®, fitted with an innovative vented windshield and high-output audio system.

Also new for 2013, Harley-Davidson launches Hard Candy Custom, a styling movement rooted in themes first seen in the chopper era of the late 1960s that embraces dazzling metal flake paint, brilliant chrome, and styling details in accessories, gear and apparel. Hard Candy Custom elements include “big flake” paint finishes, three of which will be selectively offered as a solid-color option on five Harley-Davidson production motorcycles for 2013.

H-D1™ Factory Customization expands with the Street Bob joining the 1200 Custom as Harley-Davidson models in the web-based program that allows customers to select factory-installed options in more than 2,000 combinations, build a bike on the screen, and then order it through an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.

More than a century of experience, knowledge and riding passion lies behind each 2013 Harley-Davidson. Browse 2013 HD photos

Highlights of the 2013 Harley-Davidson line include:

·        Ten Harley-Davidson models are offered as 110th Anniversary Editions, each serialized and featuring exclusive paint and commemorative solid bronze fuel tank badges. Production will vary by model and will be strictly limited to ensure exclusivity. These models come with all available factory-installed options as standard equipment. (See separate release for more details on the 110th Anniversary Editions.)

·        The Harley-Davidson® Street Bob® gets a tougher profile for 2013 with new blacked-out triple clamps and powertrain, and a chopped rear fender with side-mounted license plate and stop/turn/tail lights. This rowdy Dyna bobber features a solo seat and mini-ape handlebar mounted on new risers that make it easier to customize the Street Bob. New paint options include Hard Candy Custom metalflake and a scalloped two-tone option. (See separate release for more details on the 2013 Street Bob.)

·        The Street Bob serves as a great starting point for customization, and now along with the 1200 Custom it can be personalized through H-D1 Factory Customization with options selected by the customer using the online Bike Builder on Harley-Davidson.com, and installed as the motorcycle is assembled by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. By choosing from different wheels, paint and engine finishes, the customer can dramatically alter the look of the motorcycle. Different combinations of foot-control location, seat choices and handlebar can be selected to adjust the fit of the motorcycle to rider stature.

·        Hard Candy Custom embraces a trend that’s reemerged from garages around the globe. Now the sparkle of Hard Candy Big Red Flake, Hard Candy Lucky Green Flake and Hard Candy Coloma Gold Flake can be ordered as Original Equipment paint and serve as the foundation for personal customization. At least one Hard Candy Custom color will be offered on these Harley-Davidson motorcycle models: Seventy-Two™, Street Bob®, Blackline®, Softail® Deluxe, and Forty-Eight. New and recently introduced Genuine Motor Accessory and Harley-Davidson® MotorClothes® items extend the Hard Candy Custom theme. (See separate release for more details on Hard Candy Custom.)

·        The 2013 CVO series of limited-production premium custom motorcycles features the new CVO™ Breakout®, a bold Softail®model that takes production motorcycle finishes to a new level with two paint schemes that feature hand-polished steel sections on the fuel tank and fenders. The CVO Road King® offers the first factory-installed Road King® audio system, and the new detachable Vented Wind Splitter windshield. The super-premium touring CVO Ultra Classic® Electra Glide® and shark-nose CVO Road Glide®Custom bagger return with new features for 2013. (See separate release for more details on the 2013 CVO line.)

·        The versatile Harley-Davidson® Sportster® line includes five models, plus the Sportster® 1200 Custom Anniversary Edition. New colors and graphics are offered on all Sportster® models.

·        The traditional “hard tail” lines of the Harley-Davidson Softail® platform are offered on six models, including the Softail® Slim™, a back-to-basics 1950’s-style bobber introduce mid-year 2012. The 2013 Fat Boy® now features Mirror Chrome Aluminum Bullet Hole Disc wheels as standard equipment. The Softail® line also includes Heritage Softail® Classic Anniversary Edition and the Fat Boy® Lo Anniversary Edition.

·        Eight Harley-Davidson® Touring models, from the slammed-and-trimmed Street Glide® to the fully equipped Electra Glide® Ultra Limited, are ready to tackle the long road with fresh color and graphics options. The Road King® Anniversary Edition and Electra Glide®Ultra Limited Anniversary Edition are available in limited quantities for 2013.

·        The smooth-handling 2013 Dyna® line includes the re-styled Street Bob and four more models, plus the Super Glide® Custom Anniversary Edition.

·        The aggressive Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® power-cruiser line features the Night Rod® Special and V-Rod Muscle®, each available in new colors for 2013.

·        Riders looking for a Trike option with Harley-Davidson quality can turn to the Tri Glide® Ultra Classic®, also available Tri Glide® Ultra Classic® Anniversary Edition to celebrate a milestone.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.

 

TSUNAMI MOTORCYCLE TO BE PRESERVED BY H-D MUSEUM

Milwaukee (May 25, 2012) – A Harley-Davidson motorcycle recovered on the coast of British Columbia after drifting for more than a year and 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean following last year’s Japanese Tsunami will be preserved by the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee as a memorial to the tragedy that claimed more than 15,000 lives, in accordance with the wishes of its owner, Ikuo Yokoyama.

 The remarkable story of the 2004 FXSTB Softail Night Train motorcycle’s survival and recovery by Canadian Peter Mark made international headlines after he found it washed ashore on a remote beach on British Columbia’s Graham Island at low tide. Mark discovered the motorcycle, still bearing its Japanese license plate, along with several other items in the remains of an insulated cargo van container where the motorcycle was being stored by Yokoyama prior to the Tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

 Working with news agencies and representatives from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canadaand Harley-Davidson Japan, contact was made with 29-year-old Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Harley-Davidson offered to return his bike. But still struggling to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the disaster, Yokoyama respectfully declined. Although grateful for the offer to repatriate his motorcycle and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley riders around the world, Yokoyama requested to have it preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the disaster.

 “It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year,” said Yokoyama. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Mark, the finder of my motorcycle. Due to circumstances caused by the disaster, I have been so far unable to visit him in Canada to convey my gratitude.

 “Since the motorcycle was recovered, I have discussed with many people about what to do with it. I would be delighted if it could be preserved in its current condition and exhibited to the many visitors to the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives. I am very grateful to Harley-Davidson for offering me an opportunity to visit the museum, and I would like to do that when things have calmed down. At the same time, I would like to meet Peter, who recovered my motorcycle, to express my gratitude. Finally, I would like to thank all people around the world once again for their wholehearted support of the areas hit by the earthquake and Tsunami. I would like to ask them to help convey messages from the Japanese people about the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was a disaster of historic proportions.”

 “My heart really goes out to Ikuo Yokoyama and all the survivors of the Tōhoku earthquake and Tsunami for everything that was taken from them. I cannot even begin to comprehend the loss of family, friends and community,” said Mark. “I think it is fitting that the Harley which was swept across the Pacific Ocean by the Tsunami will end up in the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to that tragic event. It has an interesting and powerful story to convey preserved in its current state.

 “I look forward to one day meeting Mr. Yokoyama face to face. I would also like to express my gratitude to all those that have taken part in the retrieval of the motorcycle, especially Ralph Tieleman, Steve Drane, and Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada.” 

 The motorcycle was recovered by Mark with the help of friends and transported toVictoria with support from Ralph Tieleman and Steve Drane of Steve Drane Harley-Davidson. It has since been transferred to Deeley H-D Canada in Vancouver. Plans for its transportation to and display at the Harley-Davidson Museum are being developed.

 “I’ve always felt Harley-Davidson motorcycles have a soul, and their owners obviously have an emotional attachment to their bikes. I just wanted to reunite this bike with its owner,” said Steve Drane of Steve Drane Harley-Davidson in Victoria, B.C.

 “The Harley-Davidson Museum is honored to receive this amazing motorcycle to ensure that its condition is preserved and can be displayed as a memorial to the Japan Tsunami tragedy,” said Bill Davidson, Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum.

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS, RETAIL MOTORCYCLE SALES UP SHARPLY

Earnings Per Share Rise 45.1 Percent to $0.74

Retail New Motorcycle Sales Climb 20.3 Percent Worldwide and 25.5 Percent in U.S.

Company Raises Full-Year Shipment Guidance

MILWAUKEE, April 25, 2012 — Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported strong gains in earnings and dealer new motorcycle sales for the first quarter of 2012.

Income from continuing operations was $172.0 million, or $0.74 per share, on consolidated revenue of $1.43 billion for the quarter, compared to income from continuing operations of $119.3 million, or $0.51, on consolidated revenue of $1.22 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 20.3 percent worldwide in the quarter compared to the prior-year period, led by a 25.5 percent increase in the U.S.

“We continue to be encouraged by the strong trend at retail and in earnings over the past several quarters. Our first quarter performance reflects the outstanding appeal of our products, the ongoing results of our transformation strategy, the efforts of our dealers and employees, and improving macro-economic conditions in the U.S.,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.

 

“While we are obviously pleased by our strong start to the year, we are more focused than ever on the ongoing implementation of our business strategy and tapping the many opportunities we see globally. Through Harley-Davidson’s transformation to world-class manufacturing, product development and retail capabilities, we are positioning the Company to serve our customers even better and help ensure the strength of the business long term,” Wandell said.

 

Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales

On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 59,677 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2012, a 20.3 percent increase compared to 49,595 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period.  Dealers sold 39,762 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 25.5 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2011. In international markets, dealers sold 19,915 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, an increase of 11.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.  

Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 17.5 percent compared to last year’s first quarter.

 

In 2011, for the fourth straight year, Harley-Davidson was the U.S. market share leader among young adults ages 18-34, women, African American and Hispanic riders, as well as among its core rider group, across all displacements of on-road motorcycles, according to recently available data. More than one-third of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales in the U.S. in 2011 were to riders new to the brand, and in the EMEA region, more than two-thirds were new to the brand.

 

“Harley-Davidson’s market leadership among its demographic outreach targets we believe demonstrates the powerful and growing appeal of the brand to new generations and diverse groups of riders,” Wandell said. “We also continued to expand the reach of Harley-Davidson to customers around the world. Our employees and dealers are more dedicated than ever to making customers’ dreams a reality through remarkable products and extraordinary experiences.”

First-quarter data are listed in the accompanying tables.

 

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Financial Results

First-quarter operating income from Motorcycles and Related Products grew 66.4 percent to $208.1 million on higher shipment volume and operating margin improvement, compared to the year-ago period.

Revenue from Motorcycles during the first quarter of 2012 of $995.9 million was up 19.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 64,263 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, compared to shipments of 53,827 motorcycles in the first quarter of 2011. First-quarter 2012 shipments were higher than the Company’s shipment guidance of 58,000 to 63,000 motorcycles for the quarter.

Revenue from Motorcycle Parts and Accessories (P&A) totaled $199.1 million during the quarter, up 21.1 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes® Apparel and Accessories, was $74.6 million, up 19.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Gross margin was 35.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 33.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011. First-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 16.3 percent on operating income of $208.1 million, compared to operating income of $125.1 million and operating margin of 11.8 percent in last year’s first quarter.

Financial Services Segment

The Financial Services segment recorded operating income of $67.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to operating income of $67.9 million in last year’s first quarter. Segment results reflect continued improvement in loan portfolio credit performance and increased net interest margin at Harley-Davidson Financial Services in the first quarter of 2012. In the year-ago period, Financial Services segment results benefited from the release of significant credit loss reserves.

Guidance

Harley-Davidson is increasing its full-year shipment guidance and expects to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, compared to prior shipment guidance of 240,000 to 245,000 motorcycles. The new shipment guidance reflects consumer demand and the Company’s limited ability to produce additional motorcycles in 2012. In the second quarter of 2012, the Company expects to ship 79,000 to 84,000 motorcycles.

Willie G. Davidson Announces Retirement

MILWAUKEE, March 16, 2012 USRiderNews:  After nearly 50 years as head of styling, Willie G. Davidson is retiring from Harley-Davidson HOG +0.01%April 30, 2012. 

Willie G., Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer, is widely recognized as a legend in the world of motorcycling and motorcycle design. He will continue his involvement with the company as an ambassador at motorcycle rallies and events, and through special design projects as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus.

“Throughout my life, I have been truly fortunate to have the opportunity to marry my passion for design with my love for this amazing brand that runs so deeply in my veins,” Willie G. said. “What’s most rewarding has been to see the impact our motorcycles have on the lives of our customers. Everything we do in styling is based on the notion that form follows function, but both report to emotion.”

Over the course of his career, Willie G., 78, built a design team at Harley-Davidson that established the company’s unrivaled leadership in custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles. Today, the styling department is led by 19-year company veteran Ray Drea, Vice President and Director of Styling, who has worked collaboratively with Willie G. in the development of numerous milestone vehicles.

“It has been my privilege to work alongside many incredibly talented people at this company and I have great confidence the future of Harley-Davidson’s design leadership will continue to grow in its pre-eminence,” Willie G. said. “I look forward to spending time with riders at rallies and to my involvement in special design projects.”

“Few individuals have the kind of impact on an organization, a brand and a lifestyle that Willie G. has had,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “Everyone with a love for motorcycles owes a great deal to his vision and talent, and all of us have been blessed by his presence. His legacy will continue to grow, thanks to the talent he has nurtured in the Harley-Davidson styling studio.”

Willie G. has long served as ambassador of Harley-Davidson at rallies around the world – meeting riders, talking to customers, lending his famous signature to jackets, and setting an example of being close to the customer that has become one of the hallmarks of the company.

Grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, and son of William H. Davidson, its second president, Willie G. joined the company as its first head of styling in 1963. With responsibility for the look of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, landmark motorcycles to emerge from Willie G’s styling studio team include the Super Glide, which established the factory custom category in 1971, Low Rider, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, V-Rod and Street Glide. He is one of 13 Harley-Davidson executives who purchased the company from AMF, Inc. in 1981.