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The resur­gence of the Har­ley stunt scene has been see­ing mas­sive growth over the past cou­ple of years. Pop­pin’ wheel­ies on a V-twin is any­thing far from new. That’s been go­ing on for much longer than you might think.

Back in 1918, the Bri­tish pub­li­ca­tion The Mo­tor Cy­cle said, “Many of these young men have re­turned from the fields of the Great War, ac­cus­tomed to brash, un­set­tling thrills and life lived on the ra­zor’s edge. Many have cho­sen to be­stow their dis­charge pay on fast, noisy mo­tor­bikes on which they take to pub­lic roads in danger­ous, an­ti­so­cial dis­plays meant to im­press fe­males while up­set­ting live­stock and the gen­eral pop­u­lace. It stirs the imag­i­na­tion and fos­ters pity why so many of this great na­tion’s youth would risk life and limb for the sim­ple, child­ish thrill of ac­cel­er­a­tion and the rare ac­co­lades it brings.” Sound fa­mil­iar? In 1943 Life mag­a­zine fea­tured US Army troops jump­ing over trenches and storm­ing the beaches as part of Oper­a­tion Over­load, the in­va­sion of Nor­mandy, on motorcycles pulling high-speed wheel­ies.

In De­cem­ber of 1970 stunt le­gend Evel Knievel jumped 13 cars in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia, on a Har­ley-david­son XR-750.

Then in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the stunt scene re­ally took off, mostly on in­ex­pen­sive, but bul­let­proof, Ja­panese sport­bikes. Young males on beaten bikes took the mo­tor­cy­cle world by storm, one VHS tape at a time. Dur­ing that height of it all in 2004, like a fish out a wa­ter, Ja­son Pullen started show­ing up and com­pet­ing on a Har­ley-david­son Sport­ster and FXR of­ten up show­ing his im­port-bike coun­ter­parts. While deep in the trenches of the im­port-bike stunt scene, Ja­son con­tin­ued to im­prove his skills and show­man­ship pick­ing up cues and tech­niques from rid­ers on bikes with two-thirds the weight and two-thirds more power. Today, Ja­son has con­tin­ued to push the bound­aries of what is pos­si­ble on two wheels and has since earned the nick name “The God­fa­ther.”

The lat­est, and prob­a­bly most in­flu­en­tial rid­ers, Unknown In­dus­tries started in 2009 be­gin­ning with Buddy Sut­tle and Nick Leonetti and later Kade Kates in 2013. This group has in­flu­enced stunt rid­ers from all over the world to switch from the buzz of an in­line-four of a Ja­panese mo­tor to the thump of an Amer­i­can V-twin. Aside from that, their wild paint jobs mixed with classic pat­terns, courtesy of painter Tay­lor Schultz, have rev­o­lu­tion­ized the cus­tom Har­ley scene with vari­a­tions on the


schemes ap­pear­ing on Dy­nas and FXRS from around the globe. I of­ten won­der if builders have for­got­ten about other types of paint jobs.

In this is­sue, we met up with one of the lat­est gen­er­a­tions of rid­ers, Roger Re­gan, on his all-amer­i­can FXR. Roger rep­re­sents the new gen­er­a­tion of rid­ers who started rid­ing and stunt­ing Har­leys from day one, uti­liz­ing all the lat­est in so­cial net­work­ing tools to show­case their skills to a world­wide au­di­ence.

What bonds all these and many more rid­ers to­gether is the need to en­ter­tain and…well…show off! There’s noth­ing wrong with want­ing to show­case one’s tal­ents to who­ever will pay at­ten­tion. It’s been go­ing on for 99 years. I’d imag­ine as long as a mo­tor is mat­ted with a ma­chine, there will be some dare­devil try­ing to do things it was not in­tended to do.

To all the cur­rent and fu­ture show­men, keep break­ing parts, break­ing hearts, mak­ing smoke, and scar­ing young chil­dren and the el­derly. We salute you! HB

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