Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Several years ago Mrs H and I rode up to London on a Sunday for no particular reason. We were on the Harley Road King in those days. We parked up just off the Kings Road near Sloane Square and, after a coffee and a pastry, strolled along the shops. We found ourselves outside one called `Harley Davidson`. I saw a `Half Price Sale` sign in the window so went in. A polite, well groomed, `sensitive` sort of chap came up to me and asked if I was looking for anything in particular and I told him I was interested in a rain jacket. He umm'd and ahh'd a bit, went off and asked the manager and then came back with an apologetic look and a `sorry` for an answer. I then asked if they had any gore tex winter gloves in the sale. Again, a `no`. It was then it dawned on him:
"Oh, are you bikers"?
`Yes, look, these are biker trousers, this is a textile motorcycle jacket with armour here and there and we are carrying crash helmets`!
"Ohhh, we don't sell that stuff, you want Warr's, the Harley Davidson dealers right down the Kings Road".
`OK, so what is this place doing, called Harley Davidson`?
"We're the Boutique, the brand name, you know... (giggling like Kenneth Williams used to). we don't do real motorcycle gear, we do the Harley Davidson biker look".

I explained to him that we were actually motorcyclists who happened to ride a Harley Davidson, rather than dedicated followers of fashion. He seemed impressed and started to eye me more closely. My wife grabbed me by the arm and led me outside. I suggested we could go back in and I could say, "Hello I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy", but we decided to go for a pint.


Trobairitz said...

I couldn't imagine a store just dedicated to 'the look'.

Is that like people wearing eyeglasses with no prescriptions in the lenses because they think they look smarter?

Anonymous said...

you should have choked him out.

Anonymous said...

Been a while since I dropped by to worry the Jack Russell Hoggie. Been up all night to meet a deadline on a review of the Duggan inquest for a scribe putting together a tome on IPCC cluster-clowning. The judge in charge clearly regards them as serial blunderers. Your story cheered me up. Made me think that if I'd gone to the proceedings in person I'd have left saying 'sorry, I thought this was a court of law'!
Take more than 'a pint' to set me right. Regards, ACO

Hogdayafternoon said...

Troubairitz; Even when I was a Harley rider I never bought in to the waistcoats, patches and stuff. Each to their own, but that wasn't me. Biker first!

ACO: Greetings blogchum. Yes, what a farce. What I've recently heard of the antics within county courts (family div) left me feeling similarly parched.

Ain't blogging on a `prolific` scale (not that I ever did), so it was nice to have you drop by.

BillB said...

There was an interesting article on this phenomenon in the Wall Street Journal some years ago.

That is some long term Harley riders have become disgusted by the "boutique" even some dealerships have become (no doubt because of pressure from the company).

They are a loyal group - as one said (I can remember years later) - "After all does one ever see "Yamaha" tattooed on one's chest?

Marcus Erroneous said...

I haven't quite seen a shop like that - yet. Yeah, the dealerships seem to be pimping HD shirts, cups, tees, coats, gloves, jockstraps, etc. I've just not been of a mind to cover myself in anymore HD glory than I already have (jacket and chaps). I have a pair of HALO wings on my jacket and that's about all I've been able to bring myself to wear. While in the dealership I've seen the lads strolling around with all manner of pins, badges, and patches. As though there was a prize for who has the most stuff on their jacket (or more commonly, vest).

One group of three rode up and parked right next to me, pretty bikes with lots of chrome, vests heavily patched and pinned. And ignored me when I said hello. Not part of the "crew" I guess.

I like my bike, I like riding, and I don't want a bunch of stuff distracting me from that. I took the windscreen off as it felt too much like it was getting between me and a "proper ride" in the wind.

I concur with Trobairitz: I can't imagine a store just dedicated to "the look".

Nice bike, btw.