Hog Boys: Vintage Photos of The Harley-Davidson Racers Who Started It All

The roar of engines, the smell of burning rubber, and a bunch of farm boys on motorcycles – this was the scene in the 1920s, when a group of Harley-Davidson racers known as the “Hog Boys” dominated the dirt tracks. Their legacy lives on today, not just in racing history, but in the iconic nickname that’s synonymous with Harley-Davidson.

The Hog Boys were a group of young men, mostly from rural backgrounds, who had a passion for motorcycles and a knack for racing. Led by Ray Weishaar, they quickly became a force to be reckoned with, winning race after race and earning a reputation for their skill and determination.

A Hog on a Harley

One day, Ray Weishaar brought a piglet to a race as a good luck charm. The little pig, named Johnny, became the team’s mascot. After each win, the Hog Boys would celebrate by putting Johnny on the gas tank of a Harley and taking a victory lap. This unique tradition caught the attention of the media and fans, who started calling the team the “Harley Hogs.”

The Hog Boys didn’t just win races; they dominated them. They were so successful that people started saying Harley-Davidson was “hogging” all the victories. The nickname “Hog” stuck, eventually becoming a term for any Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The Hog Boys’ legacy didn’t end on the racetrack. In 1983, Harley-Davidson created the Harley Owners Group (HOG), a community for Harley riders. The acronym HOG was a nod to the famous nickname and cemented the hog’s connection to the brand.

Harley-Davidson tried to trademark the word “hog” but lost a legal battle in 1999. A judge ruled that the term had become too common and was no longer exclusive to Harley-Davidson. This decision ensured that “hog” would remain a generic term for large motorcycles, a symbol of the freedom and rebellious spirit associated with riding.

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Written by Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez is a content creator and historian who specializes in creating viral listicles and other engaging content about historical photos and events. He has a passion for history in a fun and accessible way, curating interesting and informative lists that showcase the lesser-known stories and significance behind famous historical events and figures.

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