Why Are Harley Motorcycles Called Hogs

The term ‘”hog” is derived from Harley-Davidson’s racing mascot during the 1920s.

The term “hog” has been associated with Harley-Davidson motorcycles since the early 1920s. Many businesses like Hula-Hogs in Maui, Hawaii, and Hogs-R-Us in Cork, Ireland, draw business based on this association.

Harley’s Racing Mascot

Harley-Davidson has a long and rich history in motorcycle racing. According to Missy Scott, author of “Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company,” a team of farm boys who raced professionally for Harley-Davidson was affectionately known as the “hog boys” and used a pet pig as a mascot. After each win, one of the team members would carry the pig with him on the victory lap.

Harley’s Owners Group (H.O.G.)

Harley’s Owners Group (H.O.G.) began in 1983. The acronym “hog” was adopted to commemorate Harley’s racing history. It has since become the world’s largest motorcycle club, boasting more than 1,400 chapters around the world. A one-year membership subscription is free with the purchase of a new Harley.

Hogs Today

Although associated with Harley-Davidson, any custom motorcycle can be considered a hog. According to the authors of “The Legal Environment of Business,” the term “hog” is generic. It has been applied to large motorcycles since 1935 and hence cannot be trademarked by Harley-Davidson.