A new trailer has just dropped for the upcoming big-budget motorcycle film, the Bikeriders, starring Hollywood heavy-hitters Tom Hardy, Austin Butler and Norman Reedus, riding in a fleet of period-correct Harley-Davidson motorcycles. To coincide with its release this Winter, Harley-Davidson has unveiled its Hydra-Glide Revival, a limited-edition bike inspired by one used in the film.

The Bikeriders is set in the 1960s and follows a fictional midwestern motorcycle club, The Vandals, as it evolves from a gathering of outsiders into something more sinister, reads the marketing blurb.

The Bikeriders

It’s unclear just how true-to-life the depiction will be, though The Bikeriders will do well to borrow much from its literary source of the same name, an iconic collection of fifty photographs taken by Danny Lyon, who rode with the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club from 1963 armed with a film camera and tape recorder. The book served to demystify an oft-misunderstood culture when it was published in 1967.

“I didn’t want to make a historical film about the outlaws but rather capture the feeling of when I first picked up the book,” explained The Bikeriders writer and director Jeff Nichols.

“You read those interviews, and it deepens the photographs and seemingly gives this complete picture of these people.

The Bikeriders movie

“The film needed to be about these people and the way they thought about themselves — how they fit in the world and how they didn’t fit in the world — and that’s when I decided to fictionalize the story, so I didn’t step on the toes of the outlaws or their patch or their history, and I could go wherever I needed to go in order to make a film that hopefully evokes the feeling that I had when I first held the book.”

“It isn’t easy to explain, but to me it’s the beauty and the romance of motorcycle clubs in contrast with the toxic, negative aspects of the culture — there’s a tension there that is hard to capture.”

The Bikeriders movie

In the movie, club leader Johnny (played by Tom Hardy) rides a bobbed 1956 Harley-Davidson FLH. It was this bike that served as the main inspiration for the limited-edition Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide Revival that launches this year, in very limited numbers.

Johnny is reminiscent of the real-life World War II soldiers who rode in motorcycle clubs upon their return home from the battlefield – a flawed individual but one described as “the good guy in the club”.

The Bikeriders movie

“He has scruples, he’s got class, and if there’s a club member who you want to celebrate, it’s him,” explained Brad Richards, who penned the original sketch for the Softail-based Hydra-Glide Revival.

Like Johnny’s FLH, the Hydra Glide Revival is finished in a red-and-white “slash” paint scheme that extends to the large detachable windscreen. Period touches are found throughout, particularly with the decorated leather solo saddle, bags and black leather tank strap.

Naturally, the new bike is motivated by a modern engine, in this case the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin that underpins many models across Harley-Davidson’s current Softail line-up.

Just 1750 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide Revival units will be built. See The Bikeriders in theatres from July.

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