They are a two-wheeled symbol of freedom: no other motorcycle brand in the world has the nearly mystical reputation of a Harley-Davidson. For more than a hundred years, this American classic from Milwaukee has shaped the motorcycle world. The fascination centers on the typical 45-degree, V2 engine. Over time, single-cylinder engines have come and gone from the Harley lineup, but the two-cylinder engine has been the defining style. Like a sculpture, it sits deep in the intricate tubular steel frame—an aesthetic revelation…and an auditory one as well. Once you’ve heard the gruff babbling of an Early Shovel, you’re addicted for life!
This book—concept and design by Michael Köckritz, editor-in-chief of ramp magazine—is about the power and beauty of the engines and the elegance and strength of these machines from Lake Michigan. It is an homage to the flatheads, knuckleheads, panheads, ironheads, the shovels and Evolutions, and the modern-day fuel injectors. Gliding on the roads with such an inspired feeling that will surely carry from today into the future, The Harley-Davidson Book is a visual journey through a tradition deeply rooted in the spirit of freedom of the USA. What would Easy Rider be without its iconic heroes, “Billy Bike” and “Captain America,” the most famous motorcycles in the world? This free-wheeling attitude is conveyed in opulent, photo-rich stories and articles about the unique Harley-Davidson lifestyle. It’s a road movie you can experience yourself, vibrating like an old knucklehead in its rigid frame.
The authors are all passionate bikers who have been under the powerful twins’ spell since childhood. DIRK MANGARTZ has worked for decades for German and international magazines and was the editor-in-chief of Custombike for more than a decade. He is the author and co-author of various motorcycle books, has a huge archive, and is actively involved in the development of motorcycle accessories, primarily for Harley-Davidson. SVEN WEDEMEYER moves on the boundary between photography and journalism. His pieces make the culture of mobility tangible as he documents stories and personalities in authentic photographs. This seasoned gearhead not only produces exciting work, he also brings his own custom bikes out on the road. PHILIPP WENTE, freelance photographer and editor at ramp, a magazine with a cult like following, was already zinging around his parents’ yard on his racing-orange Puky push bike (with the cool pennant on the front fender!) while still in diapers. Now he has custom bikes to ride: a Ducati Pantah and a H-D Early Shovel FLH. Unfortunately, they don’t have cool pennants, which he deeply regrets.
- Because asphalt is not enough—experience the Harley-Davidson lifestyle close up, which will also take you on the beach, the ice, or on steep walls
- An informative book about the motorcycle brand that is also a plea for freedom (not just) on two wheels
- An opulent photo book: a road movie you can browse through in Cinemascope format
Photos © Harley-Davidson | © Alexander Babic | © Chicara Nagata | © Laurent Nivalle | © Götz Göppert | © Steffen Theis