Legendary Motorcycle Designer Willie G. Davidson Shares Inside Look at Harley-Davidson, Family and Art in New Memoir
MILWAUKEE, May 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Harley-Davidson has long been a subject of great business stories.
-Thirteen execs buy the struggling company from a publicly held conglomerate.
-A US manufacturer that’s overwhelmed by its foreign competition, then surges back to become the leading manufacturer of big motorcycles.
-An already loyal customer base molded into the Harley Owners Group, world’s most successful consumer loyalty organization.
Willie G. Davidson, a third-generation executive from one of the most recognizable brands in the world, was an integral part of all those stories and shares a uniquely personal side of his life at Harley-Davidson in his soon-to-be-released memoir, “Ride Free.”
The book offers a look at the company that his grandfather along with two brothers and their friend Bill Harley, created in the early 1900’s. Davidson reflects on how he wandered the factory-floor while his dad worked, and how, after studying at the ArtCenter in Pasadena, he came to work at the family’s business as the company’s first true design leader.
“Willie G,” as he’s affectionately known to millions of Harley fans, offers a passionate commentary about some of Harley-Davidson’s most popular motorcycles and the changes in the motorcycle industry, from the post-WW II resurgence of riders, to the growing number of competitors from around the world in the 60’s and 70’s. But at the heart of the book is Davidson’s personal story, from his childhood growing up in the shadow of the Harley-Davidson factory to his decades-long career designing some of the most iconic motorcycles in history.
Davidson explains the importance of remaining true to the company’s unique style and how history plays a role in the design of even the most modern motorcycles. He shares his thoughts on his close bond with customers, fostered by events, rides and anniversary celebrations around the world.
“I always describe my relation to the Motor Company as a love affair,” said Davidson. “And that’s really what it was, a lifetime love affair with (wife) Nancy by my side.”
What sets the book apart from other memoirs is the fact that it will also feature Davidson’s own artwork, including drawings and watercolor paintings. “I wanted to share my story with fans of Harley-Davidson and anyone who loves motorcycles,” Davidson explains. “But I also wanted to share my artwork, which has always been a big part of my life.”
Harley-Davidson fans can pre-order “Ride Free” on Willie’s website and be among the first to receive their copy when the book launches on August 1. Pre-orders also come with a bonus: a free download of one of the chapters in the book that can be read immediately.
“Ride Free” is a book that is not to be missed and is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves the inside stories behind one of America’s favorite companies.
“Ride Free” is published in partnership with Forefront Books and distributed globally by Simon & Schuster. For more information about, or to order “Ride Free” visit www.williegdavidson.com.
About Willie G. Davidson:
Willie G. Davidson is a legendary designer and artist known for his iconic contributions to motorcycle culture. He spent over 50 years as the chief stylist and brand ambassador for Harley-Davidson, designing some of the most beloved motorcycles in history. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries around the world and is highly sought after by collectors.
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SOURCE Ride Free by Willie G. Davidson