MILWAUKEE (May 2, 2013) – Throughout 2013, millions of Harley-Davidson fans around the world are celebrating their shared passion for freedom, self-expression, adventure and the stories that unite them during Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary year. This Cinco de Mayo, thousands of Harlistas are gearing up for official 110th Anniversary celebrations by taking to the open road, seeking adventure, camaraderie and the achievement of the American Dream.
Latino Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders have been proudly calling themselves Harlistas for more than 50 years. The word Harlista has deep historic and cultural roots, originating among Latino motorcycle riders to proclaim their strong passion for Harley-Davidson and the bonds shared between fellow riders. Being a Harlista is about overcoming obstacles, grabbing life by the handlebars and experiencing the camaraderie of the open road.
This shared passion has made Harley-Davidson the number one seller of new on-street motorcycles (all displacements) among Hispanics in the U.S. in 2012, the fifth straight year that Harley has achieved this distinction. In addition, nearly half of all new street motorcycles purchased in 2012 by Latinos age 35-plus in the U.S. were from Harley-Davidson.
“For Harlistas, it’s about achieving the American Dream, and owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a powerful symbol of that achievement,” said Roger Garcia, Director of Hispanic Marketing Outreach at Harley-Davidson. “We’re thrilled that Harley-Davidson can fulfill this dream for so many Harlistas.”
Harley-Davidson’s commitment to Latinos includes the company’s sponsorship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), whose fans include many U.S. Latinos. The world’s most famous motorcycle maker is a core sponsor of the UFC, and Latino standouts Cain Velasquez and Kelvin Gastelum are proud Harlistas.
Two-time and current UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez is a Mexican-American who rides a Harley-Davidson 2013 Road Glide Custom, which he takes on road trips around his Bay Area home when he’s not in training.
A Harlista was born when Kelvin Gastelum, son of Mexican immigrants, won the most recent The Ultimate Fighter reality show, winning a split division as a middleweight. He came away with a UFC contract, but most impressively, a brand new Harley-Davidson 2013 Softail Fat Boy.
The dedication and pride of Harlistas like Velasquez and Gastelum will be featured through exclusive content on Harley-Davidson’s Harlistas website, an online community where Latino Harley-Davidson riders can share their personal stories, photos and videos of their life on the open road. For more information on Harlistas, visit www.harley-davidson.com/harlistas.