*Harley and the Davidsons* drew the biggest audience in 3 years for a premiere cable miniseries.
For three nights it let America revel in the birth of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle …
Well over 3.4 million viewers were glued to their TVs on three consecutive nights last week starting Monday at 9 pm ET/PT. They were watching how three young whippersnappers made Harley and an American legend roar to life in a shed. Bill Harley, a draftsman living in Milwaukee partnered with his swashbuckling older brother, Walter and their best friend, Arthur Davidson, to figure out how to get a motor on a bicycle.
At the turn of the century, horse-drawn carriages were being motorized, so why not bicycles! The “hog” was not nearly on the horizon.
The three lads were not alone in their quest. Other early motorcycle brands included Indian, Curtiss and Excelsior. Competition was fierce in a series of barnstorming motorcycle races among the nascent companies as they vied for speed and endurance superiority. It becomes clear that the Harley group were big believers in speed and horsepower.
“It will be too loud, too dangerous… no one will want to buy it.” – Bill Harley
“People will want it, trust me.” – Walter Davidson
There were no rules or regulations. It took some guts to be at the forefront, with engines constantly exploding and early riders getting maimed and even killed.
The series wasn’t made for historians or CSI fans, it was made for an audience passionate about motorcycles. So the best scenes involve riding and racing. You’ll get that idea when you see “the wild and free shots of Walter riding a Harley-Davidson through Wisconsin farmland scored with thrilling intensity.” [Variety]
The motorcycles deserve starring credits for their amazing authenticity.
So if you watched Monday Night Football instead, or “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday … you can still see the series. Click on Discovery Go.
Here is the trailer…