How’s Your Hog Doing?Written by Lillian Tram on February 23rd, 2013
I’m no biker, but bikes are badass. Or, I guess I should say, hogs are bad ass – since that’s what bikers, and specifically Harley Davidson riders, call their bikes. There’s an owner’s group out there now called the Harley Owner’s Group (get it? HOG?), but even before that, I wondered why Harleys were called hogs. So, I looked it up!
It turns out that down south back in the 1920s and for several decades, Harley Davidson teams of racers had mascots to cheer them along, and one (or maybe more?) of the successful teams had hog and pig mascots. They figured that the bikes and the hogs both had a workman-like, endearing quality to them, and they forever became linked. The racing teams called themselves the hogs as an homage to their hog mascot, and they considered themselves to be linked from it.
Sure enough, it caught on all over the country (because who doesn’t love a good hog, after all?!), and Harley Davidson motorcycles just became synonymous with hogs. Something you don’t learn every day, right?
Plus, Harleys are traditionally the biggest and “fattest” bikes on the road – not luxurious like BMW motorcycles, or speedy like what Honda and Kawasaki are making nowadays, just good old fashioned road hogs that putter along, sound loud, motor through everything, and are truly an American staple. The hogs moniker stuck, and it just seemed a natural fit over the years for what Harley Davidson was producing, and what they were all about.
Here’s something cooler, though: Harley Davidson International is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. As an homage to their history and all the amazing customers they’ve had over the years, they changed their NYSE ticker symbol in 2006 from HDI to HOG – hogs, baby!
There are countless other stories around, too, about why Harley Davidson motorcycles are called hogs, but everyone seems to come back to one thing: they may not be the sleekest or fastest bikes on the road, and they may not turn as well as some others, but they sure do hang out there and take up some space with their major cruising ability – just like a hog in a pen, I guess.
Whatever the reason, hogs and Harley Davidson are forever connected, and now you know why! Besides, bikes are kind of badass when you really think about it – so, go Hogs!