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sportster_history:1977_sportster [2020/01/27 00:57]
hippysmack [1977 Sporster 1000 Confederate Edition]
sportster_history:1977_sportster [2020/01/27 00:59] (current)
hippysmack [1977 Sporster 1000 Confederate Edition]
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   * MPG: 44   * MPG: 44
  
-{{:​sportster_history:​AAA1977_sportster_confederate_edition_tank_and_fender_emblems_by_hippysmack.png?​direct&​400|}} ((drawing by Hippysmack))+{{:​sportster_history:​1977_sportster_confederate_edition_tank_and_fender_emblems_by_hippysmack.png?​direct&​400|}} ((drawing by Hippysmack))
  
 Disavowed by the factory for years, and unknown even to most Harley riders, 1977’s Confederate Editions are a fascinating footnote in the history of Harley-Davidson. 1977 was an interesting time in America. The year before, citizens had been giddy with patriotic pride as the entire population settled into a year-long celebration of the country’s bicentennial. Patriotic expressions were the order of the day, and naturally, manufacturers got into the act as well. Harley-Davidson introduced special “Liberty Editions” of it's bikes featuring red, white and blue detailing, while Ford marketed a special red, white and blue Pinto. As it happens, it was also the heyday of “Southern Rock.” Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas and Marshall Tucker were the new cultural vogue, regularly showcasing their roots in visual shorthand with large confederate flags as backdrops for their stages. The rise of Southern Rock gave the South a new cultural cachet, while also unfortunately spawning Billy Beer, Hee Haw and, in 1979, The Dukes of Hazzard. So what’s this have to do with motorcycles?​ For Harley-Davidson,​ it was the motivation behind the most unknown model in the company’s history. In 1976, motorcycle sales were booming, thanks in large measure to a continuing oil crisis. The lion’s share of product came from Japan, the once-great British bike industry limping to a self-inflicted death from outdated technology, short-sighted management and recurring labor strikes. But the Big Four — Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki — were enjoying unparalleled success with their less expensive, technologically superior twins and fours. Harley-Davidson,​ which held 21 percent of the over-700cc market in the U.S., was already charging Japan with “dumping” — selling motorcycles cheaper in the states than other markets. That’s what John Davidson, then-president of Harley-Davidson,​ alleged in the early 1970s when the motorcycle business was doing well world-wide. “The Japanese established production schedules that were much higher than mid-Seventies demand for their products,​” he contended. “They chose the U.S. to unload their excess production.” (Following strong lobbying from H-D, on April 1, 1983, the International Trade Commission imposed new tariffs on all Japanese motorcycles 700cc and above.) Harley-Davidson was still in an unhappy alliance with American Machine and Foundry (AMF) that would continue until a company buyback in 1981. The 1969 merger with AMF had brought engineering and marketing experience, as well as a generous influx of cash. Unfortunately,​ federal mandates meant much of the engineering money was directed toward safety and anti-pollution features, not new product development. \\ Disavowed by the factory for years, and unknown even to most Harley riders, 1977’s Confederate Editions are a fascinating footnote in the history of Harley-Davidson. 1977 was an interesting time in America. The year before, citizens had been giddy with patriotic pride as the entire population settled into a year-long celebration of the country’s bicentennial. Patriotic expressions were the order of the day, and naturally, manufacturers got into the act as well. Harley-Davidson introduced special “Liberty Editions” of it's bikes featuring red, white and blue detailing, while Ford marketed a special red, white and blue Pinto. As it happens, it was also the heyday of “Southern Rock.” Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas and Marshall Tucker were the new cultural vogue, regularly showcasing their roots in visual shorthand with large confederate flags as backdrops for their stages. The rise of Southern Rock gave the South a new cultural cachet, while also unfortunately spawning Billy Beer, Hee Haw and, in 1979, The Dukes of Hazzard. So what’s this have to do with motorcycles?​ For Harley-Davidson,​ it was the motivation behind the most unknown model in the company’s history. In 1976, motorcycle sales were booming, thanks in large measure to a continuing oil crisis. The lion’s share of product came from Japan, the once-great British bike industry limping to a self-inflicted death from outdated technology, short-sighted management and recurring labor strikes. But the Big Four — Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki — were enjoying unparalleled success with their less expensive, technologically superior twins and fours. Harley-Davidson,​ which held 21 percent of the over-700cc market in the U.S., was already charging Japan with “dumping” — selling motorcycles cheaper in the states than other markets. That’s what John Davidson, then-president of Harley-Davidson,​ alleged in the early 1970s when the motorcycle business was doing well world-wide. “The Japanese established production schedules that were much higher than mid-Seventies demand for their products,​” he contended. “They chose the U.S. to unload their excess production.” (Following strong lobbying from H-D, on April 1, 1983, the International Trade Commission imposed new tariffs on all Japanese motorcycles 700cc and above.) Harley-Davidson was still in an unhappy alliance with American Machine and Foundry (AMF) that would continue until a company buyback in 1981. The 1969 merger with AMF had brought engineering and marketing experience, as well as a generous influx of cash. Unfortunately,​ federal mandates meant much of the engineering money was directed toward safety and anti-pollution features, not new product development. \\
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   * [[http://​www.caimag.com/​wordpress/​2009/​01/​04/​hidden-harley-1977-harley-confederte-edition-motorcycle/​]]   * [[http://​www.caimag.com/​wordpress/​2009/​01/​04/​hidden-harley-1977-harley-confederte-edition-motorcycle/​]]
   * http://​americanwind.blogspot.com/​2010/​11/​confederate-harley-davidsons.html   * http://​americanwind.blogspot.com/​2010/​11/​confederate-harley-davidsons.html
 +
 +{{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_13_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) \\
  
 {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_1_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_8_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_7_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) \\ {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_1_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_8_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) {{:​sportster_history:​77_confederate_edition_7_by_simeli.jpg?​direct&​300|}} ((photo by simeli of the XLFORUM)) \\