Harley Davidson - A Different Culture - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/21/05 - Lufkin

Harley Davidson - A Different Culture

by Chris Cato

Bad boy riders on the backs of Harleys. It's an image that has graced American highways for the last century, but most riders agree that it's not just an image anymore, it's a different culture.

Gail Calhoun, co-owner of Texas Thunder Harley Davidson, said, "with Harley Davidson, it's kinda a cultural thing and you kinda have to have all the stuff that goes with it. You have to have the clothing, you have to have the memorabilia, you have to have collectable stuff."

And there is a lot of stuff. From bikes, to clothes, cups, and games, you can find just about anything Harley.

Calhoun said, "if you're a true Harley rider, you're going to be outfitted from head to toe, and your motorcycle's going to be outfitted from tire to tire."

And that hobby can get quite expensive, especially considering you're not only paying for that pair of socks, but for the Harley brand.

Calhoun said, "on an average I will spend about $20,000 on a motorcycle every few years and then I spend thousands of dollars a year on the paraphernalia. The clothing and the accessories that go along with it."

To most, spending that much on merchandise just for the brand is a little outrageous, but to some Harley riders, clothing and accessories is just the beginning.

Calhoun said, "I have a collection of Barbie Dolls that are all Harley. I've got 5 girls, I've got 2 Kens, and I also have G.I. Joe Harley Davidson."

A little crazy, maybe. But it's also a multi-million dollar industry that will live as long as these guys stay on the roads.

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