No question about it, there is a mystique attached to every Harley Davidson. A simple, air-cooled V-twin engine, based on a design that is over fifty years old, stands out as a complete anachronism in today's multi-cylinder, water cooled world of motorcycling. Despite this fact, the Harley Davidson Motor Company is making more models than ever before and they cannot sell quick enough.

Not so long ago the company was almost bankrupt and ownership of a Harley-Davidson was considered by many to be antisocial and irresponsible. The riders were frowned upon as rebellious and immature, as having stepped out of society. A whole motorcycle cult developed and the film and media world were quick to make the most of it. Most riders these days however, portray a very different image while at the same time maintaining the ideal of not quite conforming. Among a gathering of riders you will find characters from every social and economic background, with this fascination in common.

A love of Harley-Davidsons begins the moment you sit astride one and fire it up for the first time. A push of the starter button and the engine instantly comes to life, the steady beat of the pistons keeps time with your pounding heart and the throaty exhaust note sucks the breath out of your body. A tentative twist of the throttle and the machine responds with an apocalyptic roar. This is an awesome experience never forgotten.

It is now that you realize this no ordinary motorcycle that you are riding. This is a living beast, and you will be in that state of daze for days afterwards as you begin to plan just when and how you are going to get your hands on one of your own.

But there is a rumbling in the distance and it is not the sound of a thundering V-twin. Increasingly strict noise and emission restrictions are becoming harder to meet, every time a little more power is extracted out of the engine in one way, it has to suffocated in another to meet the tough new laws, and the life and soul of the machine is being slowly squeezed out.