Harley-Davidson graphic art history and our 1937 Flathead tanks…

Art is the foundation of almost everything in my life. The meaning behind our paint scheme was very important to me.  

History - 
We choose the art-deco "eagle” design that was painted on all gas tanks in 1933. This design marked the beginning of graphic designs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles (with the exception of previously special order-only paint schemes). This styling decision was made in part to stimulate the low sales numbers caused by the Great Depression.

Going back to the beginning of graphic designs on Harley-Davidson to celebrate a love and romance with the old world.

I loved the 1933 tank design at first sight and I was stoked when I learned from Jeff Coffman how Harley-Davidson supplied graphics for factory ordered bikes in 1937.  In the 30’s a customer was able to order their Harley-Davidson from the factory with any back dated graphic from the last 5 years….

Every part of re-building the 1937 Harley-Davidson has been an experience of a lifetime.

"We are not a simple translation of the past, we're creating from what in the past has influenced us….” - Josh Sirlin

Special note: This paint scheme and every crackpot idea I have is only that until I marry that idea with an amazing person that can help me bring it to life.  This paint scheme and so much more has been brought to life by Ryan Arnold; Ryan is amazing human, a friend, a savant, and so much more.  Thank you Ryan for being you.

Black Bear Brand is a Union of Makers in dedicated support of one another. We include artists, builders, musicians, riders, and creators of all kinds. The resurrection of Black Bear Brand is possible today because it is a curation of people who personify the genuine nature of what the brand was built on in the early 1900’s. Every project is a collaboration that we are intimately engaged in; working together to elevate quality with a pragmatic design approach and youthful curiosity. With each product and project the story grows.