Harley and the Davidsons (2016) s01e02 Episode Script

Race to the Top

1 ARTHUR: Dear brother, I write to you of a great opportunity.
BILL: You really think Walter will invest in such a small operation? This is our invention, a motorized bicycle.
Others are already doing this.
We got to be different.
We built it tough.
I want ours to go anywhere.
Everyone gets a chance to race against Indian in our expo run next spring.
How about we discuss how to get your machine built and into dealerships across the country.
MAN: First place, Harley-Davidson! We built a better motorcycle.
What good is a better bike if you can't sell it? [Grunts] MAN: There'll be 30 motordromes in operation inside three years.
EDDIE: I'll ride the motordrome.
You know I'd win, and it would just kill you - to see another man cross that line first.
- I'm sorry, Eddie.
The answer is no.
I quit.
Eddie! This is not some test of a rugged, dependable, go-anywhere machine.
This is a blood sport.
[Crowd oohs] Eddie! I'm feeling good, I'm feeling fine I can show you, too I'm feeling good, I'm feeling fine I can show you, too well, I've never felt the freedom like I do I feel stronger every day, don't you? Well, I can show you how a new day, a new way watch out, I'm only gonna get stronger a new day, a new way watch out, I'm only gonna get stronger [Motorcycle engine rev, thunder rumbles] In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our lord Jesus Christ, we commend to our mighty God, Edward Eddie Hasha.
Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The lord bless him and keep him.
The lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him and give him pace.
You can show some respect, or you can leave.
I'll do what I want.
Isn't that what you always do, Walt? Isn't that exactly how Eddie ended up in the box? - Hmm? - Come on, guys.
- This isn't the place.
- What are you saying? - Arthur, it wasn't his fault.
- No? Whose fault was it, Bill? I didn't want to race in that God damn motordrome.
But I did for Harley-Davidson.
Stop it, Walt.
You raced for you.
You couldn't bear to miss out on that race.
You could not stand to have anybody tell you what you couldn't do.
Eddie was like a brother to me.
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff The apostle Paul shared these words as he approached his own coming death, "for I am already being poured out like a drink offering.
And the time has come for my departure.
I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
" Aah! - Ooh! - Hey! [Sighs] You're paying for both of those and the glass.
ARTHUR: The Harley-Davidson Motor Company announces that it not only condemns motordrome racing but boycotts it completely, hereby severing ties with any dealers who support these "murder-drome" events.
It's gonna cost us.
Well, it's the right thing to do.
Racing drives sales.
You know it.
No motorcycle bearing our name will race in these blood sports.
There you go.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Miss Beisel.
- Mr.
- How are you? I haven't seen you since the tragedy at the race.
- No.
- I'm sorry about your friend.
And I applaud you on your crusade against the motordromes.
So, how are you? Oh, when's the wedding? Actually, I'm not getting married.
We went our separate ways, as they say.
He didn't want me to continue working after we got married.
I'm sure a lot of men feel that way.
I think it's a sin to waste the gifts that God gave you.
[Sighs] It was good seeing you.
You too, Arthur.
The journalist from the Milwaukee Atlas.
Who? You know, the pretty one, the blonde.
She wrote all those anti-motorcycle articles.
Oh, yeah.
The one with the fiancé.
[Chuckles] Not anymore.
It's 11:00 A.
, Walt.
I hate these people.
CARLISLE: I like you boys.
I really do.
But a loan this size, well, it's hard to warrant.
Carlisle, our goal is to be the number one motorcycle company in America.
Now, for us to realize that end, we'll need a long-term relationship with a long-term commitment.
Indian's gonna build 45,000 motorcycles this year.
How many is Harley-Davidson? 10 10,000.
But if we Motorcycle industry is booming.
And you limit your potential with sentiment.
You should never have written that editorial.
You'll never catch up with Indian after that.
We did what we thought best.
Those motordromes sell out darn near every event.
Their riders are stars.
Now, some of them dead stars, sir.
They basically make money for the manufacturers, you know.
And fans love it.
Everyone does.
You know, I go to the motordromes.
My wife goes.
We take our kids.
We have a grand time.
What do you tell them when someone dies on the track? Nothing.
People die every day.
You can die crossing the street.
I'm sorry, fellas.
It's just business.
Walter, seriously, where are we going? WALTER: I want you guys to see something.
I should really be back to the office.
It'll be real quick.
Just pull over right here.
They're out here all the time, rain or shine.
Just want to race.
Now, those bikes aren't fast, but there's a certain appeal to it, and it's a lot more controlled.
You're trying to tell me that this is safe.
There's no such thing as safe racing.
There never will be.
Motorcycles are dangerous.
That's what we build, Arthur, motorcycles, no steep angles, no "G" force.
Brakes, introduce some sort of rules maybe.
We've already been over this, Walt.
We got to be out there somewhere, or we become irrelevant.
How is this relevant? How is this being out there? We can go back to flat-track racing.
But this time, we build bigger faster bikes, way more powerful than the motordromes can handle, compete with Indian where we excel, in design.
We could double the horsepower.
Why? Motordromes sell out.
Nobody's watching flat-track racing.
Not yet.
Best existing speed records, two motorcycles going over 100 miles per hour.
I'm sure the head of sales and marketing could see the potential in that.
[Sighs] Come on, Art.
We're not gonna go straight from attacking motordrome to jumping into some other kind of racing.
We're not changing our position on this, Walt! But we have to do something.
What can we do to increase sales? Speed.
I can't sell a bike to a kid who comes in here with a hard-on for speed.
We're not selling to racers.
To spectators.
[Sighs] - With you in a moment.
- Thank you.
They only know what they see on the track, and they don't see Harley-Davidsons.
You think I like seeing us getting outsold by Indian? Of course not.
Time is not on our side, Arthur.
Big companies are investing in motorcycles, and with it comes the full weight of their business structure Research and development, distribution, lawyers, licensing, cross-licensing, patents.
We have to find a way to compete.
We're promoting a new loyalty program for dealerships and customers.
Loyalty? Clubs.
Dealership clubs for the Harley-Davidson enthusiasts.
You'll organize group rides, social mixers, advance demos of our new models.
Clubs? No one else doing that.
I like it.
I hope it's enough, Arthur.
Me too.
[Indistinct conversations] It's knackwurst tonight.
Friday already, huh? Aren't you sick of eating here? I like it here.
It's, um, it it's quiet.
I like a quiet supper.
Thank you.
Papa, I need knackwurst! [Laughs] I won't be here tomorrow.
Yeah? I got a date.
Oh, yeah? Yeah.
Get your sister to cover your shift.
[Laughs] By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.
[Audience murmurs] You may now kiss the Oh! It gives me great pleasure to present Mr.
and Mrs.
Arthur Davidson! [Applause] - Congratulations.
- Congrats.
Look what can happen when you get charmed by a Davidson.
Huh? What'd she say? Nothing.
Thank you so much.
There's one area that Indian has failed to exploit, the service sector.
Complete sales and maintenance, it's a good market.
I've got bids out to the U.
postal service, the Milwaukee Police Department, sanitation, gas and electric, and the fire department.
Beat Indian by selling bikes to milkmen.
Bill, I've promised them prototypes.
I know that, that means more work for you.
But we really need these sales.
Good thing there's three of me.
[Clears throat] Oh, hi.
Hi, handsome.
I'm in the middle of this clutch thing we needed yesterday.
Uh, where's the baby? With your mother.
So did you eat? Or did you forget again? I might have missed breakfast.
Breakfast? It's 3:00 P.
, Bill.
I guess I am kind of hungry.
[Chuckles] Oh, you're the best.
And you work too hard.
Something wrong? No.
Not really.
Come here.
There's more.
I have more of them if you want You don't have time to be messing around with this kind of stuff.
[Sighs] Tell me about it.
Good job, Bill.
I mean, really great job.
A lot of work.
So, how much does this move the needle compared with Indian? Not as much as I'd hoped.
[Indistinct chatter, jazz band playing] Gentlemen! Gentlemen, if you please! I'm here today to make an announcement.
Due to personal reasons, I shall be retiring early from Indian motorcycles.
[Crowd awws] The last decision I will be making as chairmen is to appoint my successor.
He has an engineering degree from Princeton, an economics degree from Wharton, and has personally raced up and down the east coast.
I am sure his new appointment as president will benefit the MMA and the motorcycle industry as a whole.
Gentlemen, Mr.
Randall James.
[Applause] Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you, Mr.
, uh, Hendee.
I'm honored by this warm welcome.
And while I humbly accept the title of president, I just wanted to say I'm not a company man.
I work in a factory just like many Americans.
And I am not the son of a rich family.
I am my own man, just like you.
And that, my good sirs, that is what motorcycle is all about.
It's about making your own way.
[Applause] - Excuse me, gentlemen.
- Yes? We're looking for Mr.
Has he left the building? [Snaps] Bill Harley, Arthur Davidson and Walter, - I presume.
- You do your research.
Well, I watched you race in '08.
You weren't half bad.
Actually, I have a place left on my racing team if you still got it in you.
Excuse me.
I forgot.
Harley-Davidson don't race.
- [Laughter] - No.
No, Mr.
We'll leave the motordrome racing to you.
You don't race at all if I'm not mistaken, not for years, not since your amigo died.
Not racing, hmm.
That has got to be hard on sales.
Well, I guess someone has to make bikes with sidecars for little old ladies to haul their groceries up and down.
Actually, Bill just designed a big new racing bike.
- Oh, Bill did, did he? - Mm-hmm.
And I hate to ask, but why? For the Savannah dirt-track race next month.
Well, we do still participate in flat-track racing.
But to be honest, compared to the motordrome, it's just so Underwhelming.
How about a little side bet? $1,000 says Harley-Davidson beats Indian in the dirt-track race.
Oh, I don't know about that.
Or is that a little too rich for the new president of Indian Motorcycles? Come on, Randy.
Be a sport.
Like you said, we haven't raced in years.
I look forward to it.
[Crowd murmurs] I know what you're trying to do.
You think you can come here and humiliate me in front of my peers? We are gonna destroy you on that track.
What are you doing? I'm taking advantage of an opportunity.
It's not an opportunity if you have to force our hand.
You're exposing us by relying on a bike that doesn't even exist.
Walter, you cannot just do whatever you want.
At least I'm doing something.
And, Bill Yeah.
I get it.
You need a whole new motorcycle in a month.
Good man.
I saw you race at the Milwaukee motordrome for Excelsior.
I race for Excelsior, Indian, Thor, whoever gives me the best chance to win.
Of course.
What were you doing at the motordrome? Looking for a rider who excels on the flat.
That's you, Ray.
- Thanks.
- Welcome.
The flat? Mr.
Davidson, I excel at the whole race.
True, but you burn in the straight.
And that's what we're looking for on the flat track.
Harley-Davidson racing the flats? It's more controlled.
That way, we can introduce our new bigger, faster machine.
Ray, it's gonna be a battleship versus the light cruisers you fly around on at the dromes, a machine that will make Indian eat our dust.
You busy? No.
Just laying on a beach somewhere in a hammock, watching the waves go in and out.
So, how's it going? For better or worse, Walter cast the dice on this one.
Everyone's watching this race, and so we do what we have to do.
And do you really have time to build a new machine? [Sighs] Doesn't matter.
I have to.
[Sighs] What is this? Is this it? This is power, control, and speed, two speeds, actually.
This'll be different from the saucers at the outset, which means a clutch, which means a lot more command of the bike.
Look, Art, I'll build a machine that's big and exciting, and you'll figure out how to sell it.
Soon, Art.
Be careful with the RPM.
It's gonna be easy to over-rev this machine.
- Adjustable air stream? - That's right.
It allows twice as much air to enter also, so it's drawing more fuel in the intake.
- So it doesn't need much.
- I got it.
Not a bad turnout.
It ain't great, either.
It's not the motordrome, but give it time.
Word will spread.
We'll just see if it's as safe as you and Bill claim it is.
There's no such thing as safe racing.
That's Gene Walker, captain of the Indian racing team, holds the 100-mile record.
I heard about him, tough racer.
He doesn't have what we have.
[Motor revving] [Chuckles] Ladies and gentlemen, five minutes to the race! Welcome to the show, gentlemen.
I see you did the right thing.
If you can't beat 'em You mean bait 'em.
I'll see you after the race.
[Chuckles] - How you feeling, Ray? - Good.
I win this race, you buy me a whiskey afterward.
[Sighs] All you have to do is beat Indian.
Will do, Mr.
I'll beat all of them.
It's Walter.
Gentlemen, ready your machines! [Cheers and applause] [Cheering] Who the hell is that? Shrimp Burns.
- Yeah! - Hotshot kid! Why isn't he racing? He can't.
He's 16.
- [Shouts indistinctly] - [Laughs] Yes! I'm here! Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! - Whoo! - Get on! Get out of here! What is the soul of a man? [Starter pistol fires] Come on, Ray! On we go! Come on, Ray! Go, Ray! And I need you by my side [Crowd cheering] Look.
How the hell did That's Shrimp.
[Grunts] He's all right.
He's all right.
You see that? Kid's not long for this world.
[groans] Go, Ray! Go! Come on.
Come on.
Come on, Ray! Go! Go! That's my boy.
Come on! Get in there! No.
Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! No! God! [Laughs] Won't somebody tell me answer if you can won't somebody tell me what is the soul of a man? - [Cheers and applause] - Uh-huh.
[Laughs] Here comes Ray.
[Laughs] - Great job.
- Great race.
I would've won the damn thing if it weren't for that Shrimp kid.
Hey, Randall.
You came in second.
Congratulations on missing the top spot.
We intend to do 1,000% better next time.
Oh, yeah.
I'm terribly sorry.
I seem to have forgotten my wallet.
Look at this.
I knew we had a spike.
- Is that right? - That's right.
What does it translate to? It's oh! Don't do that.
It's about 6%.
And that, gentlemen, is after our first race.
- 6%? - Yeah.
Now, if this is how we really intend to catch up to Indian, it's gonna eat up a majority of Bill's time as well as allocate quite a bit of resources in order to lift flat-track racing from its lowly status.
- What resources? - Incentives.
We can do, uh, giveaways, beer tents, all compliments of Harley-Davidson.
Free beer? Yes.
Free beer.
Kegs are cheap.
Newspaper ads are not.
The entire goal is to get people to the track.
But first, we need to build a racing team.
I'll find us racers, winners too.
Uh, not winners, stars.
Let me worry about the racers.
What in the hell do you know about putting a team together? Listen.
If I'm the one who has to sell the idea that flat-track racing isn't just motordrome's redheaded step-child, then you need to let me stack the deck.
What's your name? Otto Walker.
Hello, Otto Walker.
What do you want? I'm looking for racers.
Yeah? Yeah.
I am.
I'm Arthur Davidson.
I know who you are.
If your mom would be all right with that.
Yeah? What if I take you on the bike? Wow.
- You want to go now? - Yes! Okay! All right.
I think it'd be great.
You know how to ride that? Or is it just for looks? I can ride this thing to kingdom come.
Then you won't mind switching brands.
You took them apart.
Now put them back together.
Come on! We don't got all day! - Are you serious? - Oh, you bet.
Arthur, they're kids.
So were you when we first started.
And the pretty boy.
You sure he's not still on his mama's teat? That pretty boy's gonna bring the fans in droves, fans who have long been underrepresented at the track.
- He's lost his mind.
- Think he might be right.
Fans won't be able to look away.
Not if they can't race.
You guys are gonna want to see this.
[Thunder rumbles, crashes] Look! Shrimp Burns.
He must've heard we were putting a racing team together.
Hey there, fellas, I thought I'd stop by, let you know my birthday's next week.
Turning 17, legal racing age.
[Laughs] [Walter chuckles] That kid's a nuisance! Yep.
But I like him.
You don't say? Don't be nervous.
He likes you.
How do you know? You're the only one he actually looks at.
[Door opens, closes] Hi, Joseph.
Hey, Joe.
You know, your little brother barely talked to me when we first met.
And look at him now.
When I need him to talk, he says nothing.
And when I need a little quiet, he talks and talks and talks.
Look, I see you're drawing again.
It's fantastic.
Joe always loved to draw, just like me.
Only he was better than [Man shouts indistinctly] How they doing? RAY: They're all right.
You ride the new bike yet? I haven't.
She's more than plenty.
Yeah? Yeah.
[Grunts, groans] Emma.
[Indistinct chatter] WALTER: With this ring, I thee wed.
With this ring, I thee wed.
By the powers vested in me by the city of Milwaukee, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
- [Fireworks explode] - Whoa! [Screaming, gasping] Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Art, Art.
Hey! Congratulations! You made an honest woman out of her.
And Emma Which which one of you is Emma? My condolences to you.
Um, not to distract from my beautiful wife on our wedding day I love you.
But I'd like to make a quick announcement.
I'd like to introduce the newest member of the Harley-Davidson racing team Shrimp Burns! [Applause] Come on! Let's get a drink! Testing, one, two, three.
Our brand-new racing team.
Good afternoon, Randall.
- Mr.
Lang! - Mr.
Hello, everyone.
And welcome to Dodge City.
[Applause] Hey, old man.
Where the girl scouts at? What? Is Jones in the bathroom putting on his makeup? Otto giving him some help? I'm gonna say this once.
I'm not gonna say it again.
I don't like your attitude, and I don't like your style on and off the track.
You know what? I'm glad you brought that up, Mr.
'Cause when I get ahead of you, which is inevitable, all an old man like you needs to do is ride in my draft.
You get off to the side, you save some juice, and you reduce your drag.
It's simple.
It's simple.
It's like it's like geese.
You know? Flying in a "V.
" You got that, grandpa? You stay the hell away from me.
And you stay away from my men.
You understand? Give us a great time.
See a punk kid making a big show - Boys.
- But there are - men on that track - Boys! - who are risking their lives! - Break it! Break it up! That's enough.
Save it for the race.
Come on.
You see? That's your bike.
Go get it ready for the race.
What the hell was that, Arthur? This is the first race with our new team.
I know, Bill.
I know.
Everybody's watching.
And we're about to place the future of our company into the hands of two guys who almost got into a fist fight before the race even started.
They're the best racers on our team.
Yeah, they better be, Walt.
'Cause I've got the top national reporters here covering this race.
Oh, and I invited Mr.
Carlisle up from Milwaukee.
- Carlisle? - Yeah, the banker.
Thought it'd be nice to put him the tent with the cheerleaders.
I thought that old Carlisle brought his wife and kids to the race.
Well, apparently not today.
MAN: Five minutes to the race! Five minutes to race.
Riders to the start.
Riders, make your way to the start.
Here we go, boys.
The all-new Harley-Davidson racing team is about to Usher in an all-new era of flat-track racing.
This is it.
Sink or swim.
Sink or swim.
There we go! They think, but they don't speak it there's a beast eating every bit of beauty and they all feed it stop, moment, try to freeze it they find, and they don't seek it at the bar, but they can't meet it Look at that acceleration! Nice car, somebody keys it MAN: Ray Weishaar pulls ahead.
Shrimp Burns closing fast.
Stop, moment, try to freeze it Harley's to the outside But when my sister suffers and when my mother cries all I want to do is look in someone's eyes Harley not far behind.
Shrimp Burns burning it up, and the crowd loves it! It's getting hot out here.
Ray Weishaar makes his move.
Kid doesn't hold his line in the corners.
Yeah! Yeah! I'm not a finger-pointer I will not cry your name but, yeah, brothers and sisters SHRIMP: Hey, Ray! Stay in my draft! [Laughs] I am my mother's child all I want to do is look in someone's eyes Ray's using Shrimpie's draft.
Sly, but you don't seem it MAN: It's Indian in first.
Excelsior in tow in Harley-Davidson's 5'3" spot.
The pack takes the corner.
Keep your line! Keep your line! Every bit of beauty and yes, they feed it No one's slowing down in this one! Burns is pushing Excelsior up.
[Groans] Excelsior is down and out of the race! There's the flag.
It's the final lap! There goes Harley.
That's Harley with the tough luck.
In the final stretch, it's Indian.
Ah! Come on, Ray! But here comes the youngster, Shrimp Burns, down the stretch! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! MAN: He's the man to beat! There's a beast eating every bit of beauty and yes, you feed it Come on! There's a beast eating every bit of beauty and yes, we all feed it God damn it! It's Harley-Davidson taking one and two and Indian in third! - Holy cow! How they do it?! - Oh, yeah! Shrimp Burns takes the victory for Harley-Davidson! - Whoo! - Yeah! Yeah! Ray Weishaar in second place.
Harley-Davidson taking the first two slots.
- God damn.
- What a race! Big day for Harley-Davidson! Big day indeed! And this crowd can't get enough of Shrimp Burns.
Whoo! And he can't get enough of this.
And here comes Ray Weishaar to congratulate Shrimp.
Oh! I spoke too soon, folks.
You think that's funny? Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Let go of me! What are you waiting for? First and second-place winners are congratulating each other Harley-Davidson style! [Laughs] That ain't a race team.
That's a wrecking crew! Yeah! Whoo-whoo! Yeah! Whoo! [Cheers and applause] ARTHUR: Shrimp Burns! [Cheering continues] [Jazz band music plays] WAITRESS: There you go, sir.
[Hog squealing] [Applause] What the hell is this? Peace offering to the man who likes to hog the track.
[Laughter] [Cheers and applause] Ladies! Gentlemen! I'd like to thank you all for participating in this event today.
What you saw here today was only the beginning.
With Harley-Davidson leading the way, this will be the new era of motorcycle racing.
One that pushes the limits of engineering, one that allows our dealers to sell our bigger, faster, new machines, and one that lets our exceptional race team, the wrecking crew, - [laughter] - Demonstrate expert control in extreme circumstances on and off the track.
Here! [Applause] Oh, what a show.
What a show! Mr.
Carlisle, we'll be expecting a visit from you when we get back about securing a sizable loan.
- You got it, Art.
- Oh, have you met Chloe? - Hi.
- Hello, Chloe.
Very nice to meet you, Chloe.
You see this? This, this is more than an industry.
- This is a culture.
- Yep.
We can cultivate this.
We have to push the club idea.
You got comfortable with this right quick.
I have to.
I mean, if we're gonna out-sell Indian, this is how we do it.
Cheerleaders, beer tents.
All a dog-and-pony show.
What does that have to do with racing? Not a thing.
But it gets them to the track to see our bikes.
Hey, we're racing again.
Isn't that what you wanted? Not just racing.
Winning first and second place with my guys.
Our guys.
- [Laughs] - Harley-Davidson's guys.
[Glasses clink] Another round for the house! - [Cheering] - MAN: Line them up! [Flash bulb pops] [Knock on door] Come.
Shrimp Burns.
Come in.
Come in.
Thank you, Hazel.
Thank you, Hazel.
Sit down.
Sit down.
Shrimp Burns.
It's such a pleasure to finally get to meet you.
How much, Mr.
James? E excuse me? How much more than Harley are you gonna pay me to race for you? Isn't that why I'm here? [Chuckles] Hot damn! Now, that's an engine! She's heavier than the pocket valves, but she makes up for it in power.
- Eight valves, you say? - That's right.
[Engine revving] Can I? [Engine revs loudly] - Whoa! - Whoa! Can't put this on the road.
Not yet.
That's a lot of juice, Bill, even for a racing bike.
When? It'll be ready by the next race.
- What's this? - It's from Shrimp Burns.
[Sighs] - [Applause] - Let's hear it for my boy, my boy, Shrimp! Whoo! MAN: And there's the gun.
And they're off! Both teams up front! But here they come! Shrimp Burns and Indian take the lead! Shrimp Burns is burning it up.
And the crowd loves Indian in first.
Harley in second.
- [Man calling indistinctly] - No-o-o-o-o-o! The wrecking crew pull off another victory! It's gonna be close, folks! He's the man to beat.
- Whoo! - Yeah! Burns gets the checkered flag.
You want to come over here, feel like a winner? Walt! MAN: Indian is down! [Crowd gasps] Another win for Harley-Davidson! [Applause] [Hog squeals] [Flash bulb pops] [Children laughing] WOMAN: Come on, sweetie.
It's a boy.
[Baby fusses] Hey.
Hold him.
[Baby fusses] [Chuckles] WALTER: It's true.
Nobody tells you that everything changes when you have a baby.
Well, they do.
You just weren't paying attention.
What is it? Mm.
- - Okay.
We knew this was coming.
It was inevitable.
I I know.
It's just this.
What does this mean for our guys? WALTER: As we have shortages, we'll hire new workers.
Make sure everyone knows when they return, they can get their job back if they want it.
Ray's okay.
He's over the limit.
Jones is 18.
And Otto? "The federal government of the United States hereby establishes the federal fuel administration to manage the use of coal and oil.
In order to provide enough fuel for defense industries, the fuel administration prohibits non-essential industries from unauthorized applications.
" Mm-hmm.
So in a nutshell No more races.
No more races.
Is that all you can think about? No.
Of course not.
But it does affect business.
Business? Our business? Our workers, our racers, our friends are over there, and we're talking about business? Papers say this war's already chewed up 40 million men, just like Joe in '98.
I know.
No, you don't, Arthur! We didn't start this war.
But if it's come to it, we'll go into the military.
- Profit from war.
- No.
Bill, we're gonna give our guys an edge with the rugged new war bikes you're gonna build for them.
BILL: It's beautiful, Joe.
This the one you drew? [Chuckles] I love this lake.
I don't know if you heard, but we're at war now.
We joined the Great War.
There's a draft on, not like with you and the Spanish-American.
Calling up over a million men.
I say we stay out of it.
Sending these kids to their end, it's madness.
Walter actually wants to work with the army, build them war bikes or something.
- It's good.
- What? What was that, Joe? You help.
You go help our boys, William.
You may go in now.
Who? Which group? The general says both.
GENERAL: We're using you both because we need you both.
Indian and the Harley-Davidson are number one and two, and we expect your full commitment at this critical time.
How many units are we talking about? Well, to begin with, the army general staff is contemplating 25,000 from Indian and 15,000 from Harley-Davidson.
Uh, sir, our engineer has taken the liberty of drawing up a few, uh, preliminary military applications from our existing machines.
These are really very good.
Our entire engineering staff is waiting to work on this at a moment's notice.
Waiting to see if you get the contract? [Laughs] I'm waiting to hear your specifications, General.
At this critical juncture, we have little time to waste on something you needn't require.
ARTHUR: Along with our full commitment, Harley-Davidson is willing to offer an exclusive maintenance program to the U.
In what capacity? The Harley-Davidson quartermaster training school.
We'll send technicians to bases all around the country to teach military personnel how to fully maintain, overhaul, repair, and, if necessary, scavenge parts from one machine to another.
Oh, and, uh, all free of charge.
- Free of charge? - Yes, sir.
At this critical juncture, we feel that it's our obligation.
With the strain of combat on man and machine, Harley-Davidson finds it absolutely imperative that the American fighting man know how to repair his motorcycle in the field, rather than waiting for maintenance crews like the British and the French and the German armies do.
Sir, American men already know how to fix things.
Damn straight! Why not let us give them that extra advantage? Let's make it 20,000 each to Harley-Davidson and Indian.
Gentleman, thank you for your time.
- Thank you very much, sir.
- Thank you, sir.
Ooh, they just cut their sales in half.
They just gained the edge.
Free quartermaster training school? - Couldn't this ruin us? - No.
This will not be our ruin.
This is about customer loyalty.
It's an addendum to the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Clubs.
Only now, it includes the entire U.
After the war, we'll have an entire group of loyal Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, men to went to hell and back on a machine that they know inside and out, that they love.
Our machine! That means, group rides, social mixers, clubs! Damn, Arthur.
Goes on every bike with shipping.
It's not a hard part to make.
But we haven't filed Everyone's waiting! They need to pour the mold.
Just make the part, and put it into production? We don't have time for paperwork, okay? They're basic pieces.
Just get it done.
[Door closes] Bill.
Just just give me one One sec.
We're going home.
Over there, over there send the word, send the word over there that the yanks are coming the yanks are coming the drums rum-tumming everywhere so prepare, say a prayer send the word, send the word to beware we'll be over we're coming over and we won't come back till it's over over there It's over.
And it's official.
We won.
War's been over for a week, Walter.
I mean, we won.
Look at this.
Oh, wow.
That is the first yank in Germany on a Harley-Davidson.
This is something, boy.
We should send a copy to Randall.
- Was thinking the same thing.
- [Chuckles] I'll give it to him in person.
They're racing next month in Kansas.
Really? Racing already? War's over.
Time to move on.
Plus Otto Walker's a war hero.
He was discharged early.
And Jones comes home in a week.
We're back, Art! Listen, Walt.
I got a job at the dealership now.
What if this racing thing's a bust, they don't take me back? You want to sell them or ride them? People are already flocking to the tracks.
Just wait until the wrecking crew resurfaces.
Plus, we got a war hero.
Yeah, we do.
Look at what I brought back.
Holy hell! Let me see that thing.
It's German.
Where'd you get this? France.
I'm gonna wear it on the track.
- Yeah, you are.
- Of course, you are.
I can see you riding 90 down the flats in that, boy.
And over here are our selection of Excelsiors.
I'm only interested in Harley-Davidson.
I hear that a lot.
After their army quartermaster school program, boys coming back only want Harleys, just like yourself, mister Johnson.
Very good, Mr.
Here, this needs a touch up.
Get it done.
Here's the newest model of Harley.
I'll take one of each, new models and all.
Whatever series you have on hand, and I will pay cash.
I'll have a truck pick them up later tonight.
[Laughs] Excellent, Mr.
Johnson! [Bell dings] MAN: Good to go! Arthur, Arthur.
Look, uh, shipments are up.
Manufacturing is the same.
- We need more guys.
- How many? Excuse me, gentleman.
- Good morning, Jane.
- Morning.
I'll talk to you later.
There's someone waiting for you in the meeting room.
- Who? - All three of you.
No, I mean, who's waiting for us? Didn't say.
How may we help you? Holy shit.
You already did! I was at Meuse-Argonne.
I I want to shake the hands of the men who saved my life, saved the whole battalion.
If it weren't for that Harley-Davidson, none of us would be alive.
Yeah, we we took a real beating get back to our lines.
And German shells knocked me down.
That motorcycle was a mess frame bent, crankcase pouring oil.
But she was still running.
- No.
- [Laughter] Got me out of there, so I could get a message back to HQ.
So thank you.
Are you kidding? Thank you.
I forgot something.
This is from all of us.
It's our battalion flag.
All the fellas signed it.
I want every part, piece, nut, screw, washer, pin inventoried and categorized for the research team.
And remember, you've all signed a contract.
Not a word of this leaves the building.
What do you got? [Sighs] Release the hounds.
Bill, I really like this new gas tank.
I call it the teardrop.
Gives it a sharp new look.
The new frame, uh, makes the saddle six inches lower.
So it tweaks to the rider's position slightly.
Now, this is just a prototype, of course.
But we'll have iron-alloy pistons to replace the aluminum slugs, alemite fittings for increased lubrication.
But this gas tank, Bill, I really like this rounded.
There's a letter for you.
- Who? - All of you.
It's addressed to all of us? Thank you.
We're being sued.
[Door closes] It's a class-action lawsuit for infringement on the patented clutch design from Indian, Excelsior, a few others.
What? This isn't anything.
Everyone steals from each other.
We didn't steal anything.
I designed the damn thing.
I You just didn't patent it? Well, apparently, someone else did.
Why are they suing us now over a 10-year-old patent? We still use that clutch.
The same one? Yes.
On how many machines? The majority of them.
There may be other parts, too.
What? Over the years, yeah.
This could ruin us.
MAN: Not patenting a part might have been common in the past.
Regardless, once someone holds patent, it's grounds for litigation.
Given the scope of unlicensed parts in use, we strongly suggest you settle out of court.
Unlicensed parts that I designed? If you wish to counter-sue, that is certainly your right.
How much is this gonna hurt? A lot.
Considering how much you're charging us counsel, could you possibly be more specific? Over $1 million.
Walter, thought I'd hear from you.
Sir, you can't be in here.
Hazel, it's fine.
It's fine.
You organized this? Got the others to join you? Oh, yes.
It is unfortunately, what with your record sales and all.
You couldn't stomach that we overtook you.
So you cooked this up.
Cooked up what? You're the ones who failed to protect themselves.
It's always been a competition between us but never backhanded, never snaky like this.
[Laughs] We're businessmen, Walter.
We're businessmen.
The law is the law.
A patent is a patent, no matter who originally designed whatever.
I'm not a lawyer, Walter.
But I'm almost certain that simple negligence does not shield a company from breaking the law.
We built better machines.
We're an honest company.
We're gonna fight this.
Thought you would.
Oh, Walter.
Lawyers can be very expensive.
Have a good trip back.
Here's to breaking the law.
We haven't broken any laws.
I mean the whiskey.
BILL: This is my fault.
No, it's not.
This was a collective lapse.
If we fight this, we'll lose.
Well, none of the scenarios I've been working on are very pleasant.
Which are? If we fight and lose, it'll be $300,000.
$300,000? Yeah, and then the settlement.
Which probably means bankruptcy.
Uh, if we fight an win, it's still $300,000 to the lawyers.
And then we sit and wait for the rest of the patent suits to tumble in.
They'll pick us apart suit by suit.
Paying out? Uh, bankruptcy Probably.
If there's any way to hang on, it'll mean layoffs, losing entire production lines and most likely closing the doors.
God damn.
Back to the shed.
This is my fault.
I won't disgrace your name.
Fire me, and save the company.
Art and I put you under a lot of pressure.
And we sure as hell aren't, now, letting you face this alone.
This is Harley-Davidson.
And if we go down, it'll be as Harley-Davidson.
This is my fault.
I did I'll quit the company.
Go to the newspapers, or Art and Walter, they had nothing to do with this.
This is me, mine, mine.
Come here.
Come here.
I just wanted to make motorcycles.
That's all.
You're a good man.
You're a good man.
I told the lawyers to settle.
Pay them out, and get it behind us.
You did what? What does this mean for us? It means we have nothing, Bill.
Why would you do that? Come on.
Look at what I found.
I don't believe it.
What? Look.
I don't believe this.
Is this right? Mm-hmm.
Number one off the line, no modifications.
Let me try.
You got the front? Yeah.
I gotcha.
[Motor whirring] [Motor starts] Started up like nothing.
You hear that? Serial number 1.
We built this 20 years ago.
It's still running.
You're right, Walter.
We start over from scratch.
We don't need to be number one.
It's about the machine.
We're Harley-Davidson.
We'll keep building motorcycles, even if we have to do it in a shed.
Amen, brother.
Our time is passing.
Next generation is coming up to bat.
What are we gonna leave them? The city of St.
Louis is broke, so they shipped them back.
We needed this sale.
The market's only getting worse.
MAN: This depression is good for both of us.
It makes both of us stronger.
It would be wasteful to squander any opportunities that arise.
Some folks would find that distasteful, picking the bones.
Why is this starting to feel less like an opportunity and more like a shakedown? ARTHUR: Because you hate being told what to do.
You're my son.
You'll take my place.
I don't know if this is for me.
You're not racing.
Watch me! [Crowd cheering] How does it break down then? Recycled scrounge, then buy what else you need.
Nobody's getting rich.
It's about doing it yourself and living by your own rules.
WALTER: There are bigger things in store for you than messing around with those hoodlums.
- Those are my friends.
- They're a waste of your time.
- This is unlike anything.
- What are we talking about? This is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
We've got Edsel Ford waiting to sign our production deal, we're almost at the finish line.