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Harley Davidson Tattoos And History-Harley Davidson Tattoo Designs, Ideas, And Meanings

Updated on May 8, 2013
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.


One of the most iconic symbols in the world belongs to Harley Davidson. If you have that passion and grit for Harley Davidson, you may consider the Harley Davidson tattoo. Harley Davidson tattoos can be designed in a variety of different ways. Even though the Harley Davidson tattoo is not mainstream, it has a following among those who wear such a tattoo proudly. To these men and women, the Harley Davidson tattoo is very meaningful and represents their beliefs and way of life.

Below, we will discuss Harley Davidson tattoos and Harley Davidson tattoo designs. We will look at Harley Davidson tattoo meanings and you will also have the opportunity to view a variety of different Harley Davidson tattoo designs in this article. Read about the early history of the Harley Davidson and how they become the iconic symbol of today.



When it comes to biker tattoos, none is more popular then the Harley Davidson tattoo. The Harley Davidson Company is the most successful motorcycle company in the world. Tattoos have been associated to motorcycles and bikers for a century. And when we think about bikers and motorcycles, one usually comes to mind, the Harley Davidson. The Harley Davidson tattoo has been a longtime symbol of what America represents. In this article, you will learn what Harley Davidson tattoos represent, learn all the different Harley Davidson tattoo designs, and hopefully have a chance to be inspired by all the Harley Davidson tattoo designs.

William S. Harley completed the very first blueprint drawing of his engine in 1901. This engine was designed to fit a bicycle and that it did. Two years later, Harley and Arthur Davidson produced the very first edition of the Harley Davidson motorcycle. This was the very beginning of Harley Davidson as a company,

The early 1900s were a crucial time for the young Harley Davidson company. Three types of Harley Davidson were available during the first years and each bike has success. The word began to spread as Harley Davidson was put on the American map. Harley Davidson began to win hill climbs and other racing competitions.

The famous Harley Davidson "Bar and Shield" was used for the very first time in 1910. This is the same exact symbol that represents the brand today. The Harley Davidson "Bar and Shield" was trademarked the following year. The famous "Bar and Shield" is also a popular design in Harley Davidson tattoos.

By 1912, Harley Davidson was well on their way of reaching heights one couldn't imagine. The first decade of Harley Davidson was successful, but very few would of imagined where the company was going. During the same year, Harley Davidson began construction on their first main headquarters and factory in Milwaukee. Also in 1912, Harley Davidson made their first export of bikes outside of America. The Harley Davidson motorcycles were sent to Japan and it marked the very beginning of their global empire. At this time, Harley Davidson had 200 dealerships in the United States.

Harley Davidson passed major milestones during the 1910s and were well on their way to being the most successful motorcycle company in the world. By 1920, nearly 20 years later, Harley Davidson was the largest motorcycle company in the world. In total, Harley Davidson had over 2,000 dealerships in 67 different countries. The early years for Harley Davidson was crucial for their success. Major accomplishments, milestones, and records were all part of the first two decades at Harley Davidson. This very foundation that was laid over 100 years ago has made Harley Davidson the company they are today. Harley Davidson celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2003. The Open Road Tour passed through several American cities and ended in Milwaukee, the site of the first Harley Davidson headquarters. Well over 250,000 people attended the last stop of the tour, one of the largest motorcycle gatherings ever recorded.



A large percentage of Harley Davidson tattoos still bear the the famous Harley Davidson "Bar and Shield". The famous "Bar and Shield" that was trademarked in 1910 and that is still used today, is often portrayed in Harley Davidson tattoos. As you can see in the pictures on the right, the Harley Davidson "Bar and Shield" reads "Motor Cycles" and "Harley Davidson". Some Harley Davidson tattoos may only portray the "Bar and Shield", while others portray the "Bar and Shield" within the Harley Davidson tattoo design.

In total, there are several different symbols that are used in Harley Davidson tattoos. One of the most common symbols designed in Harley Davidson tattoos is the bald eagle. The bald eagle has been a longtime symbol of America. The bald eagle can represent everything that is symbolic and associated to America. In America, the bald eagle is found on coins, currency, buildings, and statues. Since the bald eagle represents America, as well as Harley Davidson, the two are often portrayed with each other as a tattoo.

Besides the bald eagle, you can also find fire, flames, skulls, engines, wings, and motorcycles within Harley Davidson tattoo designs. You may only see one of these symbols within Harley Davidson tattoos or you may see a combination of these symbols. Make sure you take the time to view the Harley Davidson tattoo designs in this article so you can get an idea of how each symbol is used.

Since Harley Davidson has became a symbol of what America represents, you will see Harley Davidson tattoos contain American flag. The American flag can be portrayed in a variety of different ways. Harley Davidson tattoo designs may portray both the bald eagle and the American flag. The colors of the American flag, which are red, white, and blue, could also be portrayed in such tattoo designs. The bald eagle may be seen grasping an American flag with his talons. There are quite a few ways to portray this theme within Harley tattoos.

Harley Davidson has its own color theme, which is usually always included in Harley Davidson tattoos. Harley Davidson's colors are black, orange, and white. If someone is choosing the traditional Harley Davidson logo, it would be done in these colors. You can actually find a few interesting ways to include Harley colors within your tattoo. If you refer to the pictures on this article, you will see many that have "HD". As you probably already know, this stands for Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson tattoos that have "HD" are often done in traditional Harley colors. Someone can add feathers or wings that are done in traditional Harley Davidson colors. You may also see fire and flames done in such colors. Adding the traditional colors of Harley Davidson to your tattoo design may just be the correct detail that your design needs. Remember, just as Harley Davidson motorcycles, you want your tattoo to be unique to you.



There are a variety of different meanings that are associated to Harley Davidson tattoos. Many people that ride Harley Davidson motorcycles usually choose to symbolize this fact with a Harley tattoo. For others, they find symbolic value in what Harley Davidson tattoos represent. Below, you can find the meanings behind the Harley Davidson tattoo.

  • Freedom
  • Life
  • No Limits
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Loyalty
  • United
  • American
  • Open Roads
  • Journey

Since Harley Davidson tattoos are done in a variety of different designs, they can be tattooed in several different locations on the body. The Harley Davidson logo can be designed as a small tattoo or a large tattoo. This is one tattoo that could be inked on the arms, legs, chest, or back. If you are planning to get a Harley Davidson tattoo with an eagle, this is a much bigger design in most cases. You would need a larger part of the body, such as the back or chest. But remember, there are several different Harley Davidson tattoo designs. Perhaps, you only want to get "Harley Davidson" tattooed in fancy art or something to the nature. Maybe, you want to get a "HD" tattoo with traditional colors. These two tattoos can be done in smaller sizes, which could be inked in other areas.

With Harley Davidson tattoos, you can really do a lot with them. There are many appropriate symbols for Harley and a variety of different designs. Maybe you are in to fire or flames. You can make a great tattoo just with the "Bar and Shield" and bright flames. You could add barbed wire, chains, or skeletons to your Harley Davidson tattoo as well. Maybe you want to add a Gothic creature or grim reaper. Harley Davidson tattoos are quite popular, so there are plenty of unique Harley tattoo designs available to you. You need to try to view as many as you can so you can get some ideas and inspiration for your Harley Davidson tattoo.



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    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      b Malin








      Once again, I am so thankful to have all your comments and support. I am glad you enjoy them because it makes me happy to write them. I truly hope nobody takes offense to the fact that I am always late on replies. So much of my time is took up at this moment, but hopefully I will have time very soon. Once again, thanks to you all.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have seen bikers with these tattoos. Great hub..Great history..

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      7 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You have become my "expert" on all things tattoo. Great write, awesome photographic examples.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend, great tattoos and a great motorcycle, has i was reading this hub i could hear "Born to be Wild" playing in my head,well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 years ago from Shelton

      wow this was awesome I love the H.D tats!!!!

    • BeyondMax profile image


      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Awesome. Wow. Just lost all the words suddenly LOL Cool stuffs!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      I love reading about them and looking at them but they get crazier all time.

    • kj force profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      ...NOW there's some " BAD A%#" tattoos..

      couldn't go'em...

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Biker Tattoos seem so Manly... as well as, very Sexy, and Sensual, as well as Patriotic. As usual your Best. Thanks for sharing.


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