HIGH ON THE HOG
Associated with uncompromising rebels and ‘outlaw’ bikers like the Hell’s Angels in America, Harley-Davidson has courted a different sort of rider here in India: the doctor, the lawyer and the rich businessman. The impression you get from Easy Rider or Sons of Anarchy notwithstanding, it’s actually not such a big leap for the iconic brand. Even in America, the guy sporting a plumber’s butt, a filthy sleeveless denim vest and a T-shirt that reads ‘The Last Biker on Earth will be riding a Harley’ is more likely to be a dentist than a member of a meth-dealing, gunrunning cartel.
So far, the image is working as well here in India as it does at home. Commemorating five years of building a community of Harley-Davidson owners in this country, the company will be hosting its biggest rally ever in India, later this month. The Harley Owners Group—or HOG—is the name they go by. Worldwide, it forms a group of one million people, spread across 140 countries. In India, Harley-Davidson has grown from strength to strength in the past five years as the company gears up to host over 3,000 HOG members in Goa. The event will be a national rally with members from 26 chapters expected to attend the HOG India Rally in India’s most popular party destination.
That means that even if there are no true ‘outlaws’ in the group, there’s bound to be some form of bad behaviour—of the perfectly legal sort, of course.
Riders in the fourth HOG India Parade arrive at the India Bike Week, 2016