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'Plagued by stereotypes': Harley-Davidson tries to reach new riders

The company is celebrating its 115th anniversary
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 19:27:23-04

While Harley-Davidson celebrates its 115th anniversary, the iconic brand reminds riders that it's all-inclusive, open to every race, gender and age. 

Even the cover of the 115th-anniversary program shows an African-American man and female on the back of a Harley. 

Dion Doles and Tim Brown are in Milwaukee from Maryland this week checking out everything Harley.

“When I bought a Harley Davidson, I joined a big club," said Doles. "We don’t really notice race or who’s riding, it’s what you’re riding and how you’re riding."

They’ve both been riding Harley’s for nearly 30 years. 

“A lot of people love the lifestyle,” said Brown. 

Claudia Garber with Harley-Davidson said the brand has had success growing ridership across all different demographics. Harley has strived to become more culturally diverse over the years.

“The reality is when you come down to the Harley museum, or you go to a dealership, you see people of different ages, all different demographics, different ethnicities and that’s part of the beauty of the brand,” said Garber. 

“Unfortunately, we are kind of plagued by stereotypes," said Garber. "I want people to know that this brand is open to everyone, everyone is welcome, no one is excluded."

The Harley-Davidson Museum showcases legendary black riders, like Bessie Stringfield, a black woman who rode motorcycles across the country in the mid 20th century.

For Dion Doles and Tim Brown, the iconic brand somehow supersedes race, gender, age and even politics. 

For them, the feeling you have when you hop on a Harley is universal. 

“We just have a joy for riding,” said Doles.