Every biker knows that a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is called a “hog”. But, what they may not know is that the iconic nickname was coined in Marion, Indiana, almost 100 years ago.
Back then, motorcycle racing was a national pastime. And, Harley-Davidson was one of the most popular bikes because of its contributions and success in World War I.
A group of farm boys rode for the Harley-Davidson racing team during the 1910s-20s. Ray “Kansas Cyclone” Weishaar was one of those farm boys, along with Otto Walker, Ralph Hepburn and Albert “Shrimp” Burns. The team toured the country taking in win after win.
Weishaar’s greatest victory was at the nearly 52-mile 1920 Cornfield Classic Road Race in Marion, a city in Grant County Indiana. Not only did he win the race, he beat the standing race record by a whopping 18 minutes. Weishaar’s Harley-Davidson teammates filled out the rest of the podium. Weishaar spontaneously put a little hog on his bike and took one of the most epic victory laps in motorcycle history. The little piglet became the team mascot after it’s first appearance in Marion. Soon, Harley-Davidson became synonymous with a hog and the team was renamed “The Hog Boys.”
Ever since that heart pounding race, Harley-Davidson and loyal bikers have adopted the term “hog.” Every August, Hog Daze Motorcycle Rally in Marion celebrates this historic race with a bike show, live music, swap meet and more. Bikers can even take their own victory lap around the Cornfield Classic track.