Harley Davidson are an American icon, representing freedom, independence and exuding a laid back image of cool.
This perception has been cultivated not just by the clever marketing of Harley Davidson, but also Hollywood’s placement of popular actors these bikes, often in the most memorable parts of the film. We all get a feeling of excitement when the main character has had enough, throws their leg over a cruiser and thunders the engine to life.
You know they mean business – you know the game is on – and you wish you had a bike like that.
We look at some of the most iconic movies over the years that have involved Harley Davidsons.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
When you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger one of the first images that comes to mind is a leather-clad terminator on a 1990 Fat Boy, tearing down a storm drain with the T1000 hot on its tail. Arnie continually fires and reloads a shotgun one handed with a badass expression that says he’s not to be messed with, as he scoops John Connor onto the tank like a small knapsack.
It’s the first thing that goes through most people’s head the moment they first sit on a Fat Boy.
Escape From LA
Kurt Russell’s Escape franchise immortalised his character, Snake Plissken, who did the same for his Harley Davidson Sportster in Escape From LA. The movie featured an epic fight scene that involved Snake firing from his Sportster like a noble steed in battle.
The Cannonball Run & Easy Rider
This is a bit of a double feature – The Cannonball Run featured a huge line-up of the day’s headliners, including Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, Dean Marin, Jackie Chan and more. Riding enthusiasts will remember Peter Fonda as “Chief Biker” doing wheelies on his Harley Davidson Sportster.
Old school movie buffs though will remember that this was a parody of his role in Easy Rider back in 1969. This quintessential Harley movie had Fonda’s character riding a “Captain America” chopper that has a celebrity status of its own.
A custom bike built for the movie, it was destroyed in a fire at a collector’s warehouse years later. Today many have built their own replicas of this bike and even the Harley Davidson Museum has a replica of their own.
While the bike itself wasn’t used a whole lot in the film, it solidly established Christian Slater’s character in his first scene. Winona Ryder’s character is noticing how obnoxious her school is, when her attention is drawn by the sound of Slater rolling into town on his 1987 FXRS-SP Low Rider Sport Edition.
It tells you everything you need to know – he’s cool and carefree, a loner, and doesn’t stand for the jocks he first spots picking on some other kid.
How do you top a part man, part machine, weapon of justice?
Put him on a Harley Davidson. Audiences loved the moment when Robocop picks up a discarded FXSTC Softail Custom to go after Tom Noonan in a big box truck without a moment’s hesitation in a David and Goliath style battle.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Meatloaf’s role in Rocky Horror was a short one, so the producers had to very quickly portray him as the cooler of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s creations, with a love for rock n’ roll and contempt for authority.
How do you do that quickly? Dress him in leather and drop him on a Harley.
Surely this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds, if not thousands of movies, TV shows and music videos that feature Harley Davidsons epitomising the style and freedom for which they’re known.
No matter where you first fell for a Harley Davidson, it’s not something that has to be out of reach. If you want to get your own iconic ride talk to us at Loyalty Loans today. We can help with competitive bike finance and insurance, and we’d love to hear what started your obsession.
Contact us on 1300 310 301 or apply online to get things started today.