Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Sportster. Because Of Road 72. Not The Calendar Year.

No doubt that the recently launched Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two model is the most attractive Sportster of the line-up. Pleasing both the nostalgic of the early choppers and the new generation of riders and custom builders tapping into the vibe of this era characterized by motorcycles with flake paint, pinstripes, peanut tanks, ape bars and narrow whitewall tires. A custom style very particular to America and born in South California.

But dipping back into history of the 70’s is not the reason why the Sportster Seventy-Two is called the Seventy-Two. This number does not make reference to the calendar year but to Whittier Boulevard, the legendary cruising street in East Los Angeles also known as Route 72 and considered the birthplace of everything custom and of choppers in particular. This place was and is still under heavy Latino cultural influence and for those who don’t know Mexican Americans and self-proclaimed Chicanos are those who at the time imposed this chopper styling and the hard candy flake paint job that they applied on everything on wheels, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, buggies, etc.

12 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Sportster. Because Of Road 72. Not The Calendar Year.”

  1. 1 Raging biker Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:14 am
  2. 2 jeez louise! Jun 7th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Nike use the logo “since 72” on a clothing range…. looks like the factory stepped on someone elses toes again (Brando boots…)

  3. 3 BobS Jun 7th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    And it sparkles!

  4. 4 alan sharp Jun 8th, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Great bike for the ladies, its got the nick name of the Garry in england, lol.

  5. 5 Englishman Jun 8th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Funny no mention of this road was made at either of the two launchings of this model I attended. In my talks with the engineers and designers… they didn’t mention that.

    But hell, everyone knows it was named after an obscure road in East LA. :o/

  6. 6 Duke Jun 8th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Cyril knows quite a bit about everything!

  7. 7 golfish Jun 8th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Funny, cause my dad crused the east LA Whittier Boulevard in the 40’s and I crused The Whittier part of Whittier Boulevard in the 70’s..

  8. 8 slow ride Jun 8th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Cyril knows what he’s talking about. “Englishman” must have not been paying attention. Harley says in its intro literature: “The name pays homage to route Seventy-Two running through East LA, the birthplace of the stripped down, low rider culture.”

  9. 9 Newyorkmyke Jun 12th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    So what’s all this hooha about a name: it’s a number silly and 72 is simply a 48 and a half just do the math and have a laugh!!

  10. 10 Doc Jun 13th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Come on Englishman! “Obscure” my ass. SoCal (and most of Los Angeles) is the birthplace of many things we consider common on bikes now. Never saw an Englishman with 18″ apes on a softail until I met one in L.A. years ago (English Mike, I recall), now every yuppy RUB wants a pair along with a lowering kit, big shiny wheels and a mural on the gas tank (ok, maybe not the last one).

    Hit me up when you’re in East LA and I’ll ride with you down the boulevard…tacos and coronas on me.

  11. 11 Duke Jun 13th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Englishman knows nothing about motorcycle history. Must be a weekend warrior with bandanna & chaps. Educate yourself before you comment.

  12. 12 J Jun 15th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Hmm- nice to see Harley stylists doing something besides making stuff black….. Not bad for a factory effort.

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Cyril Huze