Why are motorcycles called hogs

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 (2008), 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 Roger Meiners et al. (2006),  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.  


"Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company"; Missy Scott; 2008 

Harley-Davidson: Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) 

"The Legal Environment of Business"; Roger Meiners, Al Ringleb and Frances Edwards; 2006.

*Nota Bene: The above article was originally published in 2010 through eHow.com. 

Corbin, M.R.J.  (October 12, 2010), Why Are Harley Motorcycles Called Hogs? In eHow.com. Belleview, WA, U.S.A.