George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.

George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.

George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.

Source: halfthrottle (YouTube)

  • johnrdupree

    Was Harley Davidson ever about motorcycles or has it always been about the perception of motorcycles?

  • irksome

    “Y’know, this used to be a helluva good motorcycle company.”

    “All you represent to them is a company that hires $17 an hr. “casual workers”, screws their workers while raking in executive salaries, bribes the State of Wisconsin for $25 million, screws Erik Buell, buys MV for millions and then sells it back to the same guy for a dollar, hires a blue jean designer for its board, hasn’t developed a new technology in 50 years and cares more about marketing their brand than making anything beyond the same archaic bikes.”

  • Tom

    You know, you used to be a helluva good motorcycle company. You people think that you’re cool and powerful but talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be respected when you rely on yesterday’s technology and are sold are tomorrow’s prices. Of course, don’t ever tell the HOGs that they’re not cool or powerful, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy whinin’ and getting people banned to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom while everyone looks, talks, acts, & thinks the same, how women lust after them, how they really made an investment in their motorcycle, and how they are the only real true American. But they see a freethinking individual who not only knows their “lifestyle” is bought and paid for by a credit card, he’s gonna tell ’em that they’re frauds and their god that they worship in Milwaukee is a fake as the Wizard of Oz. It’s gonna scare ‘em.

  • joe

    I do love that movie.

  • halfthrottle

    @Tom Your comment belongs in the commenter’s hall of fame. I ROFL’ed myself throughly.

  • lutherG

    They were a good company….hmm….never. They used their leverage to muscle Indian out of the police bike business by selling bikes at cost, and taking competing bikes in as trade ins and destroying them in a crusher–like GM did with the streetcar system. Back in the late 30’s they were competitive with flathead engines, but really slower than the big head Daytona scouts of the era. In fact Indians were quite a bit quicker, and better handling. The indian 4 was a better highway bike than the v twin, but cost too much. After the british invasion in the 50’s, harley changed the AMA rules to keep competitive on the track by making overhead valve engines displace 500 cc, while the side valvers were 750cc’s. They have continued to muscle the AMA until the 1125 buell was racing 600’s. Come on. Harley? Freedom?
    What they should do is sell life sized photographs of harleys for 5000$. That is about as much riding as most of them get.
    But I used to have a Harley. I made it out of parts I found laying on the side of the road.

  • Mike L.

    Watching this, I almost threw up a little, and then remembered that Harley is a brilliant marketing company. They are a one trick pony, but it’s a good trick:

    Douchebag lawyer by day; tough guy on a Harley (with Harley bandanna and Harley wallet) by night!

    Everyone wants their customers to buy into a lifestyle, but apparently being a thug is everyman’s dream, and Harley is really the only company selling it.

  • lutherG

    Here is a case in point the Republican Governor of our State, Indiana is a Harley rider. He was GWB’s Budget director, and before that the CEO of Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmacuetical companies in the world. He is also about the same size as the average lawn jockey. HE is the man, if you mean the establishment. Myself, I’ve always been partial to british machines, at least now I don’t have to do final development engineering on the new ones. I love the new triumph sports bikes The cruisers I could do without (though i am a douchbag lawyer, I am a criminal defense lawyer so I’ve got all the cred I need). I did have to learn how to shift on the left.

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  • Jim

    I recall TV news clip from Daytona a few years ago where the comely news interviewer was speaking with a HD riding, refugee from Gold’s Gym, wearing a wife-beater adorned with the bar and shield. The interviewee went on about being a real biker, freedom, blah, blah. Then she asked what he did for a day job – he taught in a Montessori school. There went the image.

  • Skipper

    Give me a break – What a bunch of BS!!! I am totally sick of Harley Davidson. Every Harley I see has some moron on it dressed up like the Village People with 3 foot tall handle bars and no muffler. They ride around showing off there loud bikes. These guys ride down the street with there legs spread out in front of them and it looks like they just got there ass examined. Why would I pay HD a huge price for a 1960 motorcycle? There dealers are terrible to do business with. They are more interested in selling you a Harley belt buckle, Harley fingerless nose picker gloves, do-rags and best of all a Screaming Beagle Kit so your new Harley will at least come close to performing as good as the competition. The typical Harley rider is 60 years old with a pot belly, tattoos and a pony tail. Why would I want to be associated with a bunch of old Harley morons? A Harley is a total turn off – over priced and out dated technology.

  • Odie

    I like the sound clip from Easy Rider, too bad they gotta ruin it with the HD BS.
    You know what freedom is?
    A KLR, V-Strom, or GS with all the gear to cross a continent, a GPS and a couple months of free time, that’s what.
    Can’t do that on a HD.

  • Sid

    Skipper – Southpark audio comes through clear as I read your post

  • Mike L.

    Luther, criminal defense lawyers are the only subset of your breed that would be allowed oxygen in my version of Utopia. Sorry about the slam!

  • Jake Fox

    I guess your version of Utopia would still have criminals then…interesting.

  • Scooter

    Harley pulled the biggest bo bo when they canned Buell. Now HD wants us to think they are a real motorcycle company rather than a clothing manufacturer that sells motorcycles as a side line. Harley keeps there aging line of bikes around as a platform to sell there clothes, clocks and other crap and the good ole American public suckers for it every year. I don’t even think HD has an engineering dept. I think they have a couple guys in there that just change the names and colors every year and call it the new model. Harley really spends its R&D money on the new line of belt buckles and do rags.

  • Tom

    Hey scooter, check out the 2011 Harley Sportster 48 review.

  • Franklin

    I really believe that Buell was the only way that HD could have survived into the future. When the current HD rider trades his Harley in for a walker or a motor home HD will be in deep trouble. The majority of the younger riders really shy away from the Harley line-up as it only offers a moronic lifestyle and no performance. The Buell line had just dumped the antique Harley motor in favor of the Rotax V twin and much more performance options. Had Harley put some thought into the Buell lineup with the new Rotax motor they might have realized that it was the door into the future for HD. Young riders are not interested in a outdated heavy cruiser and wearing pirate outfits or spending there money on all the Harley aftermarket nonsense.