Harley-Davidson: Passion, Art and Freedom

JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2010

02-04-01Catalonia’s Ferry Clot was a fan of art and motorbikes. Working from his studio Hot Dreams Lloret, on the Costa Brava, he shapes and sculpts Harley-Davisdonmotorcycles, transforming and modifying them into unique works with their own personality. His remarkable talent and imagination have gained him the title of Customising World Champion on two occasions. Some of Clot’s finest creations are on show from the 18th to the 20th of June at the Barcelona Harley Days, the largest Harley-Davidson urban event in Europe, which is being held in the trade fair venue of Montjuïc.

02-04-02His passion has a long history. “I began by making my own BMX bikes which I competed with when I was a kid, and when I went on to motorbikes I wanted to keep enjoying something exclusive”, says Clot. His first work involved adapting the motorbikes of his friends before taking on commissions, until he realised that he could make a living from customising. All types of motorbikes have passed through his workshop, although he specialises in Harleys, in his words “for their beauty and their imitable, but unparalleled engine, their mechanical simplicity, their reliability and their kudos”.

Why customise a Harley?

In Clot’s words “If we are all different, why should we drive the same bikes? It is not just a question of adapting ourselves to the physical characteristics of the riders, what is also important is their personality, their beliefs, their social status, how they wish to be seen, their passions, modesty or showiness. None of this is taken into account by a designer of serial bikes, which is why clients feel right at home in my workshop, as at Hot Dreams Lloret strange is normal and normal just doesn’t exist”.

Where does his inspiration come from? According to the artist his works follow neither an order nor a sense, his ideas refer to places he has visited, stories told, cultures discovered and the life’s pleasures, comics, women and of course rock and roll.

The custom experience

02-04-03Barcelona Harley Days will be a shrine to all that is custom, with some of Clot’s finest creations, one of which is the spectacular “Panafina”, the bike which won him his world champion’s title for the second time in addition to his latest work, Anathema, a retro-look homage to the god of speed. In addition to contests and customising simulators the Harley designed by Custo Dalmau and personalised by Clot is also on display, this bike will be auctioned to help fund the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu project in Sierra Leone

A two-wheeled party

02-04-04Barcelona is making the most of its enthusiasm for motorbikes and was the scenario for the thousands of fans’ fantasies of freedom for three days. Barcelona Harley Days offered concerts, exhibitions and all types of activities to promote the true Harley experience in a festive event for all audiences – and one which is absolutely free. The latest models of the legendary American brand, as well as some of the machines which form part of its history were on display, such as the F-Head Board Track Racer, one of the first two-cylinder motorbikes, made in 1915. Other important events include was the Grand Flag Parade, which followed a route through the streets of Barcelona, the area dedicated to motorbikes and accessories for female Harley fans, driving tests, urban routes and fashion shows for bike-wear. Over a million visitors were expected, with 18,000 bikes from 17 countries roaring to the true sound of Harley-Davidson.

Relive the 2008 event at this (youtube link)

 

Did you know that…

In 1903, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson produced their first motorbike – and a social phenomenon called Harley-Davidson was born. In the twenties the company began to forge the legendary status it has today while making its mark on the ideology and the rebellious character of the youth of the era. These bad boys however are now long gone and Harleys are now almost luxury items which are not affordable to everyone – although the cult of the image of Harley Davidson still remains intact.

Some models have become myths after appearing in films or having been driven by artists like Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen or Tom Cruise. Today Harley-Davidson motorcycles sell more than 300,000 machines a year and continue to spark enthusiasm around the world. Harleys are sold in 119 countries and there are more than a million riding members, 9,000 of whom are in Spain.

M.G.D