The USA much like ourselves is a multicultural nation like our own and has a large Hispanic community and Hispanic communities have brought their own certain styling and flair with them and over the years used automobiles and motorcycles to express their own individuality. One such group were the Low Rider Clubs from the Hispanic community of East La. Inspired by the Low Rider culture and the clubs that frequented and hung out in area’s such as Whittier Boulevard and route ’72 in East LA to have come up with the newest member of the ever growing Sportster family aptly named the ’72. Harley Davidson Australia Marketing director Adam Wright spin on the ’72 ‘’the ’72 is a cool old school, bare bone chopper. Harley have been able to take the Hispanic Low rider styling’s, big bars (ape handle bars), thin white wall tyres, forward controls, solo seat and the chopped minimalistic look and make for a very cool retro bike, a throwback to the 1960’s and 70’s and distinctively Californian Americana’’.
The 72 comes in 3 metal flake colours, Colomo Gold, Green and Red Candy and 3 base colours Chrome Yellow, Blue Pearl and Black Denim. The Sporty (as the Sportster family is known) has been around since 1957 and has a long history of being very popular with young adults and females and the odd (and I do mean odd) stunt riders such as Matt Mingay (MC of the 72 launch) and Dangerous Dave Skelton. Harley Davidson are confident in carrying on the tradition and dominating this market and believe the 72 will be popular with those younger guys and at $17,995 is real value for money. Designed by Frank Savage and wearing the Willy G tick of approval you are pretty much getting a custom bike but this doesn’t mean you can’t add that personal touch after all it wouldn’t be a Harley if a bloke didn’t put his own touch’s to the bike and Harley Davidson PA have a full range of parts for the 72, everything from assorted chrome to custom hard candy metal flake paint jobs.
So with any new Harley Davidson there needs to be a launch and Harley (with the help of party planners Haystac PR) know how to party and the launch was oozing in Hispanic flavour. The launch took place at the Cruise Bar on the upper deck of Sydney’s Overseas terminal The Rocks Sydney. The driveway turning circle at the front of the bar there were three Chevrolet Low Riders, fire breathers and a ’72 and its older brother a 48 just by the entrance, the 72 logo was everywhere and as you made your way down to the doors of the club there was a large marquee with several of the 72’s on show. The marquee was also going to host a Samba display later in the night. The metal flake 72’s on display glistened in the light and with any Harley Launch it seems to bring the stars and the famous as well as the beautiful out to play, the bar was awash with Harley Davidson shot glasses, the world’s best Bourbon Jim Beam and a special cocktail namely the 72.
The Bondi Rescue (Reality surf lifesavers from Bondi) were enjoying the company of a couple of Super Models, our MC for the night and kicking arse may I say was our mate Matt Mingay and there seemed to be a somewhat surf theme also thrown into the mix not only were the Bondi boys there but proud Nova Castrian and surfing legend Matt Hoy who know spends his time as ambassador for Quicksilver and Electric Sunglasses and his own project Hoy Show (www.hoyshow.com) so the question needed to be asked ‘’ what’s the surf confessed luckiest man ever (describing his twelve years on the World surfing tour) think of the new 72? ‘’I’m a Harley fan and Easy Rider is one of my favourite movies ever, it was made in ’71 (1971) the same year I was born. I have always loved dirtbikes and was a mad BMX rider, but I’m shit scared of bikes but love them. I love the whole thing about riding a bike and what they stand for and the people that ride them, but I don’t really ride a bike , I ride a surfboard, you ride a bike, I love what I do and you love what you do. I love the fact we are by ourselves really, there’s no-one there to say you can’t do this or can’t do that!’’ Another notable guest besides my gorgeous Boss Evy and bo Nathan was Aussie actor and star of Underbelly Badness series Aaron Jeffrey who plays bikie informant Frank O’Rourke in the series. The six foot three stature of Aaron stood out above the crowd and had the girls quivering (hey Evy) why even Nathan was star struck. Asked about his amazing portrayal of O’Rourke ‘’It was a beautifully crafted role by Peter Gore the writer. The Underbelly crew did a lot of research and it was just one of those gift rolls that come around once a lifetime.’’ Aaron has been in the Aussie film and TV industry for 20years, 5years in Macleod’s daughters, Water Rats, theatre and Movies. Aaron has always loved Harley’s but has never owned one but did have a mate that owned several and he would often jump on one of his and go for a run, now Matt hoy recons he is lucky, Aaron also did TV travel guide Getaway and would only do his segment on a Harley ‘’They would give me a Harley and I would cruise around and do a couple of stories for them. I also rode on in MacLeod’s Daughters.’’ And the story doesn’t stop there! Aaron’s birthday was a week before the launch and Aaron’s girlfriend fellow Aussie actor, glamour and biker Zoe Naylor thought she would try to pull a few strings through the people she knew from Harley and do something special for his birthday, she made the call and said she would like to surprise Aaron and borrow a Harley for a couple of months for his birthday, Harley Davidson CEO and one of the nice guys in the trade Peter Nochar said no worries and Aaron got to go down to Harley headquarters at Lane Cove and take possession of a 2013 Wide Glide and the first in the country (now who’s the luckiest man ever?) ‘’Yeah it is the best birthday present I’ve ever had, I haven’t got off it, they said to me (Harley Davidson) do you want to come in at 300klms just for a service and then said we probably won’t see you for a while. Ive already put 350klms on it and it’s been a week. I love riding bikes it’s mediative, I get out there, let go of everything and get on the road. It’s just a beautifully piece of machinery and joy to ride, I love riding a Harley!’’ With Underbelly Badness wrapped up and his role as O’Rourke sure to give this aussie actor legendary status what’s next for Aaron ‘’the role in Badness has been great for me and will hopefully open a few doors, but I have a nine year old daughter and I’m not with her mum no more so anything overseas is going to have to wait till she is a bit older. Hopefully this role will open a few doors here and I can keep acting here, I just want to be a working actor and take care of my girls!’’
It would be criminal not to get Adam Wright (HD Marketing Director) wrap up the night with one of his now legendary catch crys ‘’Harley Davidson is about having fun, we aren’t corporate in any way that’s not us! We are here to enjoy the brand, enjoy the people and ride the Harley’s and have fun!’’
Hopefully we will do more on the 72 in upcoming issues. From what I’ve seen over my years as a photographer and motorcycling enthusiast the 72 as with the rest of the sportster range including the XR represent great value for money and are the full package and Harley Davidson design and development need to be congratulated for not resting on their morals thinking outside the box especially when it comes to what has to be the most versatile and affordable bikes of it’s type The Sporster.