Manufacturers have always been keen to promote their products to the world. Sales brochures, wall posters of the latest models, sponsorship deals for riders, racers and clubs were just some of the efforts made to encourage riders to buy their products. Harley Davidson was no different and to get the message out there they produced a magazine called The Harley Davidson Enthusiast. First published in 1916 it was referred to as the ‘now and then magazine’ due to the sporadic nature of publication however later on it became more regular and was produced 4 times a year, cost a mere 5c each and was the bugle for all parties manufacturer, dealers and owners to share their news with the world.
As with all magazine type periodicals very few have survived the years, let alone the decades, and yet as I was vacumming the other day for Mrs McCleanliness I came across a few copies hidden under the bed that I thought Barnstormer readers might enjoy. They are PDFs so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.
August 1931 3.5M Excellent cover photograph of a rider enjoying himself. Details of models for 1932 and model upgrades, sidecars, a couple of excellent photos of some airborne Harley hill climbers, and photographs from overseas riders and their machines including one from New Zealands H.G. Hancox from Yapanui (should be Tapanui).
November 1934 3.7M 1934 Racing successes for HD, mounted HD Police Officer kills escaped circus lion, club news including photographs of riders, Squibby Henrich hillclimbing his firery HD, Speedway News, woman riders, and for the oncoming winter protective clothing.
June 1936 3.7M Excellent report and photos of 4 mile racing, touring report, club news and photos,
The Enthusiast Magazine is still produced today (94 years later – surely that must be a record for a motorcycling publication) and is now supported by HOG Tales, another quality magazine produced for Harley owners. Neither is available to buy as a general magazine purchase, instead you automatically receive them when you join HOG (Harley Owners Group).
Below is a couple of later edition covers from The Enthusiast (Summer 1996) and Hog Tales (May/June 2001). Still a good read with personal stories, places to ride, and whats new from the factory. Well done Harley Davidson.