Vaughn Beals and President Ronald Reagan

Vaughn Beals, former president of Harley-Davidson Motor Co., greets President Ronald Reagan in May 1987 after the company asked that the tariff on foreign motorcycles to be lifted. (Harley-Davidson Motor Co. / September 1, 2003)

Here are some places where Harley-Davidson has appeared in pop culture in the past century:

  • Harley-Davidson was the first to introduce the black motorcycle jacket, in 1947.

  • The biker image was immortalized in the 1953 movie "The Wild One," starring Marlon Brando, depicting the real life story of a gang of bikers who took over the California town of Hollister in 1947.

  • American daredevil Evel Knievel defied gravity on his Harley, riding his bike in thrilling, popular spectacles that drew thousands. He reached the height of his popularity in 1974, before his unsuccessful attempt to jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a jet-powered "Sky-Cycle."

  • Harleys long have been the bad-boy bike of choice for motorcycle gangs such as the Outlaws and the Hells Angels.

  • The biker lifestyle was glamorized for the first time in 1969's "Easy Rider," starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.

  • Tycoon Malcolm Forbes, founder and publisher of Forbes magazine, started riding in his 40s, and quickly collected 70 bikes. He gave Elizabeth Taylor a purple-and-gold custom roadster dubbed Purple Passion for her birthday in 1987.

  • Dan Aykroyd led John Belushi's 1982 funeral procession on a Harley.

  • Millions of Harley riders the world over were linked with the introduction of the Harley Owners Group in 1983.

  • Four of Elvis Presley's Harleys remain on display at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.

  • Bruce Willis rode a Harley in 1994's "Pulp Fiction."

  • A new museum in Jordan displays the Harleys owned by King Hussein, who rode the bikes to official events and posed on one with his wife for a Vanity Fair cover. Hussein died in 1999.

  • Harley is among the title items in the 2002 book "Power of Cult Branding: How 9 Magnetic Brands Turned Customers into Loyal Followers." Experts say Harley successfully associated positive experiences with the brand.