American brothers rev it up in Harley Davidson mini-series

Robert Aramayo, Michiel Huisman and Bug Hall star in the TV series Harley and the Davidsons.
Robert Aramayo, Michiel Huisman and Bug Hall star in the TV series Harley and the Davidsons. Jason Elias

IT WASN'T much of a stretch for Bug Hall to get into his character for the mini-series Harley and the Davidsons.

The Texas native was already a motorbike enthusiast before signing on to the role of Harley Davidson co-founder Arthur Davidson.

"I was 14 when my dad gave me a Honda Shadow," Hall tells APN's The Guide.

"He didn't teach me how to ride it. I took it out and stalled and stalled, trying to figure out how the clutch worked. I ended up going to sleep frustrated because I hadn't figured it out, but then I had a dream and my subconscious figured it out. I woke up, got right on it and went for my first ride. That memory will last with me forever. I've been hooked on motorcycles ever since."

Even though his character isn't seen riding any motorcycles in the series, Hall didn't escape from the production unscathed.

"I thought I could convince them to let me ride in the show, but instead they let me ride one of the bikes in rehearsals," he says.

"There's nothing standardised in these old bikes; some didn't have brakes and some have brakes where the clutch is now. On day two of racing I dropped into the corner and right as I hit the clutch I realised it wasn't the clutch, it was the brake. I went down like a sack of potatoes and broke my collarbone.

"They had to rearrange the filming schedule a little bit, but for the most part it was business as usual and I dealt with the pain. I definitely needed the humility."

Bug Hall in a scene from the TV series Harley and the Davidsons.
Bug Hall in a scene from the TV series Harley and the Davidsons. COS AELENEI


The three-part drama traces the origins and early struggles of the now iconic motorcycle manufacturer, from its rivalry with Indian Motorcycles to the economic slump of the Great Depression.

"Arthur was the natural-born salesman," Hall says.

"He was such a good salesman because he was such an optimist. There was always a solution to be had.

"No matter what happened he was evolving along with the market and what people wanted, without ever compromising his principals."

It also stars Michiel Huisman as Arthur's older brother Walter, and Robert Aramayo as Bill Harley.

"From what I studied on the Davidsons there was a lot of them and they were a rowdy bunch," he says.

"I love that Bill became such close friends with them. As far as I could tell it seemed like he was adopted into the Davidson clan. Bill came from such a quiet and small family. If you look at any pictures of Bill Harley with the Davidsons, he's always got this grin on his face, looking almost bemused like 'here these guys go again'."

Hall hopes the mini-series reminds viewers of the beauty of the open road and the freedom of motorised vehicles.

"We think of the road as a place for cars and that wasn't the case for the people in our show," he says.

"We often take for granted getting around as fast as we can.

"They (Bill Harley and the Davidson brothers) had no idea what it was going to become."

Harley and the Davidsons premieres tonight at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm on the Discovery Channel.

Topics:  discovery channel foxtel harley davidson television

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