Street Artists And Harley-Davidson Make Motorbikes Even Cooler

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A Harley-Davidson design by American street artist Lebo
A Harley-Davidson design by American street artist Lebo

Every now and then, a marketing executive in a big corporate firm has a Eureka! moment.

Pens drop to the floor, ties get loosened at the neck and a white board gets hastily wiped clean - 'CULTURE' they squeak out in big letters, before turning triumphantly and nodding their heads.

What follows is a cringe-worthy attempt by a company to align their stale brand to the latest trend teetering on the brink of the zeitgeist.

"The free-living philosophy of body popping synergizes perfectly with our philosophy as can opener manufacturers" they try to tell us, convincing no one.

But then at other times, a corporation can align itself with an area of the arts in a way that feels like an authentic fit, so that even the most stroppy anti-capitalists have to admit yeah, that's pretty cool.

One such example is Harley-Davidson - a brand that somehow evokes the romance of the open road, the taste of whiskey and cigarettes and the terrible metal music of the 1980s in equal measure - and their new competition to find the designer of their next gas tank.

Those great big growling monsters have been tinkered with, stripped down, beefed up and adorned with all manners of personal paraphernalia by enthusiasts for over 100 years, and now they're inviting artists from around the world to submit their own designs, with the winning one going into manufacture.

And if you still think it sounds a bit too gimmicky, check out the stunning results that their partnership with some of Florida's leading street artists has produced so far.

From Guernica-inspired horses to cubist surrealism to the more familiar pop culture ground of comic book heroes, the examples set by Harley so far are as surprisingly varied as they are cool to look at.

At this rate, an Easy Rider-style set of wheels might just replace the fixie bike as the trendy creative's transport mode of choice. If they have a few grand to spare, that is.

To see more of the designs and submit your own Harley-Davidson tank into the competition, check out the official website.

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