BMW Motorcycle Riders - ‘The lone wolves of the road’
This is quite a fascinating insight about BMW riders in contrast to their fellow Harley Davidson riders.
The Harley Davidson brand myth is all about rebelling against societies’ expectations of one’s self. The Harley rider is an outlaw. A gunfighter. A rebel. According to Doug Holt, Harley’s brand myth represents a clique of men joined to a conservative vision to restore ‘traditional’ conservative masculinity (i.e. white, patriarchal, Christian, American) over the cultural free-for-all of the new global networked community. Harley riders see themselves ‘belonging’ to a brotherhood of outlaws.
BMW riders differ immensely. For them it’s all about the riding experience. They see themselves as the gritty warriors of the road. To the BMW rider, Harley riders are showboating, weekend warriors who spend most of their time polishing their bike rather than actually riding it. Whereas, BMW riders are the kind of people who ride 10,000 miles in one trip. They are the ‘real’ riders. The independent survivalists of the road. The lone wolves. The ones crazy enough to ride from the icy tip of Alaska to the tip of South America, and back again.
If we used brand archetype theory, it’s quite obvious that Harley-Davidson would be the ‘Outlaw’, and BMW the ‘Explorer’.