New York borough's name conjures tough, urban image

According to a recent report on, the folks at Harley-Davidson have filed a trademark application that would allow it to reference one of New York City’s five boroughs in products.

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Reportedly, an 8 December filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeks to use “Bronx” and “Harley-Davidson Bronx” for the purposes of “motorcycles and structural parts therefor,” which has led many folks to speculate that the Milwaukee company will soon be presenting a model carrying that name, for example, a “Street Bronx,” or “Bronx Sportster.”

I’m not sure I’d agree. Using place names isn’t really a part of the Harley-Davidson naming convention. Perhaps those who are well-versed in their Harley history can correct me in the comments, but I can’t think of any Harley model that has been named after a place. That seems to be more of a Polaris thing, eg, Victory Vegas, Indian Springfield.

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Without the proviso that the name is intended for “motorcycles and structural parts therefor,” I would have assumed Harley were eager to use the Bronx name for a clothing line. Perhaps it will be used in that same sort of spirit, though, with “Bronx” being applied to a philosophy – a golden thread to run through a number of different models, similar to Harley’s use of “Dark Custom.”

Harley-Davidson has found success in Europe by focusing on more urban-ready models, and it has been quite open about its desire to increase market share in the Old World. It’s reasonable to assume then, that a Bronx line of customization products would focus on allowing the customer to give his or her ride a more citified feel. I'd say we should expect industrial-looking bits and bobs – stuff that doesn’t shine but which may be a little more colorful than the played-out blacked-out trend of recent years. Think matte orange and lots of bronze.

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Meanwhile, KRS-One is from the Bronx, which means there’s a slight – very, very slight – possibility that Harley will one day offer a Screamin’ Eagle Sound of da Police exhaust that makes your bike go "Woop Woop" when you rev. One lives in hope.

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