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The Top 5 Harley Davidson Products That You Really DON’T Need!

Published January 24, 2017

Back in the early 80s, Harley Davidson was on the ropes. Fast forward to the present day, and you’ll see that Harley Davidson is one of the most successful companies in the world, with a brand that has a value north of $7.8 billion. The vast majority of that value doesn’t come from bike sales – it comes from the company’s transformation into a community-based brand, a company that provides its members with what they want, from top quality aftermarket parts to the usual branded clothing…but somewhere in between there’s a hell of a lot of nonsense that made its way to the sales shelves, and we’re here to show you the strangest items on display. Because let’s face it…they’ll stick their logo on anything if they reckon they can turn a profit…

The idea behind this article isn’t about poking fun at the Harley Davidson riding community – in fact, the idea came up after reading a great article from motorcycle.com which touched upon the success of Harley Davidson, and the failure of other American brands. If you had to choose between a Victory or a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a sensible rider who cares about performance, riding comfort, mileage and general value for money, would be a fool not to have chosen a Victory. But the Victory dream is over, and Harley Davidson remains… And the secret to Harley Davidson’s great success is down to its branding and company image.

Not only do they sell appealing bikes, they also sell a lifestyle, and that’s a core part of the Harley Davidson ethos. I’ve ridden Harleys, but never owned one, but I have used their gear and accessories quite a lot (often received as last-minute gifts from unimaginative relatives). Their own-brand rain gear is great value for money and can handle a decent shower, their tools are pretty handy and have got me out of a few binds, and their maintenance and care packages really do the job. That’s what makes the brand successful – but for all of their great gear and accessories…occasionally they’ve gone a step too far. And that’s why we’re going to show you some of the more obscure Harley Davidson products that have surfaced over the years.

Forget unofficial vendors stamping a logo on any old shit, or enterprising Etsy artisans who hand knit HD willie-warmers, we’re talking about the real deal here. Official products only…

Harley Davidson Wine Coolers

So these were a thing. Just after the company’s near death experience, the big wigs decided to lend their trademark out to Scooter Juice Inc., and the result was a neat pack of wine coolers for the discerning Harley Davidson rider. They didn’t last long. They were discontinued soon after. Harley Davidson riders aren’t generally known for their taste in wine, so the idea was quickly scrapped, and now they’re nothing more than a reference on list articles like these. That being said, the Harley online store is trying to sell engraved wine glasses, so if you’re a Harley riding wine aficionado, all is not lost…

The Harley Davidson Fragrance

These perfumes and after shaves are considered rare and extremely collectible by those who…need a better hobby. Anyway, Harley Davidson teamed up with L’Oreal in 1994 to create a cologne that defines what a real motorcyclist should smell like. Contrary to popular belief, a real motorcyclist doesn’t smell like two-stroke fumes and sweat, but of a clever concoction of cypress, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, with top notes of bergamot and mint. Most of these are discontinued these days, but the last iteration “Black Fire” came out in 2005…so the Harley smell enjoyed quite a long time on the shelves. Who bought it? No idea. But someone did, apparently.

Harley Davidson Barbie and Ken Dolls

Why invest in a G.I Joe or an Action Man, when you could have your own Harley Davidson branded Barbie and Ken? These are very real, and have actually been a part of the Barbie line since 1996 – and as far as we can be bothered to search, still exist (last editions as recent as 2010). Yeah, Barbie and Ken, probably two icons that couldn’t be further removed from the Harley Davidson subculture. Of course, we’re providing a link for the full range. Definitely worth a look. I swear I’ve seen the leather-clad 1996 Barbie’s ad on craigslist… And 2000 Ken’s one too… Anyway, they exist (or existed)…Who’d have thought it?

Harley Davidson Dog Clothes

There are dog clothes and there are dog clothes. Sticking a bandana around your Labrador’s neck is one thing, putting your pug in Harley branded pajamas is another. Available from the House Of Harley dealership’s online store, you can wrap your favorite four legged friend in anything from Bad To The Bone HD mechanic’s gear, to treating him with a tasteful vinyl “Bar & Shield” dog hat. Has our wonton consumerism gone too far? “No,” says the man in charge of Harley Davidson trademark distribution, “not far enough!” The best part about the website is the About Us section, which boldly announces their mission statement: “Helping others achieve the American dream.” Sign me up for the dog clothes.

Harley Davidson Snow Globes

Still very much available on the official online store, you can grab yourself a Harley Davidson Christmas snow globe. Sadly, it’s still stamped with the 2016 year on it, but no doubt you’ll be able to spend a further $40 on the 2017 edition in time for next Christmas. If you’re not taken with the snow globe, you could also get yourself some tree decorations… I’m all for a bit of brand loyalty, but Christmas decorations is a bit of a stretch. I don’t think you see many Suzuki riders with an “S” dangling from their Christmas tree…or many “Happy Honda Holidays” banners draped across the front windows. A Yamaha tuning fork by the ol’ piano is perfectly legitimate though.

Bonus: The Harley Davidson Business Tie

No self-respecting H-D merch bashing list would be complete without the very well-referenced range of neck ties that Harley Davidson stuck it’s logo on in the 90s and early 2000s. Nothing screams “I’m a rebellious sort of chap” quite like a machine washable, 100% polyester neck tie emblazoned with the legendary logo. Luckily, the logo sits at the bottom of the tie, so you can hide your rebellious nature to your boss by buttoning up your blazer. Or you could commit the ultimate fashion faux-pas and tuck it in to your pants – that’s probably a step up from having it on display anyway…

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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