Captain America is often featured throughout his comic history on the back of an iron horse, and Harley-Davidson provided a specially built retro motorcycle for Cap to ride into battle for his debut film, The First Avenger.
Now, with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers ready to open next week and bring Captain America into the 21st Century, Milwaukee’s maker of motorcycles designed a new ride for the hero in his fresh battle against Loki and company.
The bike was display at the recent Los Angeles premiere of The Avengers at The El Captain Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s a vivid black 2012 Softail Slim 2012 – a make this reporter got a chance to ride from Miami to Key West during a recent Harley-Davidson event. It comes equipped with one piece round mirrors, nostalgic collection hand grips, a black single sided softail swingarm bag and a fuel tank nameplate.
On premiere night, everyone from Robert Downey, Jr. to Chris Evans to Stan Lee passed by the Slim on the theater’s red carpet. It was the perfect opportunity for Harley-Davidson to put their bikes on display in front of the younger crowd – in many cases, a crowd too young to ride a motorcycle yet.
According to Jennifer Hoyer, the company’s media relations manager, this won’t be the last you’ll see of Harley-Davidsons rubbing fenders with superheroes.
“We are integrated with Marvel because it is all American, heroic, freedom-fighting and super-powered,” Hoyer said. “The Captain America attachment is for many reasons. Besides that he wears a red-white-and blue flag, he also has always ridden a Harley motorcycle since the character was introduced during war time. He's ridden different Harleys throughout the history of the character.”
“Our partnership with Marvel also allows us to introduce the sport of H-D motorcycling to a broader, bigger audience,” she explained. “The venture with Marvel is not just around one picture, but it’s a longer term project that allows us to connect with their audience over time.”
“Avengers allows us to sustain the momentum off of Captain America and be a part of an epic property. We're doing that while providing fans an exclusive Marvel/Harley-Davidson experience with items such as the Assemble Your Freedom Contest and more that will come in the future.”
Obviously, the draw of a comic book franchise as big as The Avengers is the movie’s immediate access to a young, cool and passionate demographic. For a few years now, the motorcycle maker has been on a determined push to generate interest in younger potential riders and buyers as the generation that made the cruising and touring bikes legendary are fading out slowly. Why not turn to The Hulk, Thor and company to bring some fresh eyes over to Milwaukee iron.
The Assemble Your Freedom Contest Hoyer referred to is the new promotion allowing customers to assemble their own motorcycle and character a chance to be written into an Avengers comic book.
From now through July 1, anyone can enter the Assemble Your Freedom contest online. Entrants need to create a profile with a hero name and description along with selecting a superhero bike model and features on the Harley-Davidson H-D1 Bike Builder.
The Assemble Your Freedom contest will be select five winners based on various factors with prizes that include the motorcycle they created and being “immortalized with a personal likeness and motorcycle drawn into a custom Avengers comic book.”