Changing face of Harley


by Tiffany Tarpley
by Laura Rodriguez

WISCONSIN---The faces of Harley-Davidson riders have changed over the years. In 2012, U.S. sales to young adults, women, African-Americans and Hispanics grew more than twice the rate of sales to Caucasian men over 35, according to Polk data.

Wisconsin riding group, Stilettos on Steel has about 85 members who come from different walks of life but share the same passion.  It's the perfect example of more women moving from the passenger seat to the front seat of a Harley.

"For the first time in my life I feel like I'm an attractive woman," explained President Anne Zube.  "But when you sit on your bike it's probably the prettiest thing that you'll ever wear."

The Latino American Motorcycle Association is growing in the Milwaukee area.  Although the national and international group formed back in 1974, the Milwaukee chapter is fairly new.

"I have never experienced a negative situation when I'm out riding," said Member Robert Miranda.  "A biker's life is something I wish we could see more of America be.  No matter who you are no matter, what ethnicity you are, no matter what race you are, if you're a biker you're welcomed."

Of course not every minority rider is part of an organization.  "I've just never been personally an organized riding type person," explained African-American rider Harrison Kern.  "I like to ride how  I want to ride, when I want to ride and who I want to ride with."

Kern said over the years he's noticed a lot more people who look like him riding Harleys and believes it is a welcomed change.

There are African-American groups and clubs in Milwaukee featuring Harley riders.  Two examples are Distinguished Divas and Rumblin Steel.





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