Stratman Keeps Rolling to Bike Week, Dealers

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Ron Stratman seems to enjoy his anonymous fame. While few people know his face, enthusiasts recognize his style on Harley-Davidson T-shirts.

Stratman stopped in Dothan, Ala., on his way to Bike Week, and showed off his bike: a 1980 FLT clad in the hide of a buffalo he hit near Sturgis in 1990. The bike has been at every major rally in the United States.

“Most people don’t know the guy who does the T-shirts is the guy with the buffalo bike. And the guy with the buffalo bike is the same guy who raced bikes,” Stratman told the Dothan Eagle.

The 73-year-old St. Louis native got his first Harley-Davidson at the age of 15 and is one of the original licensees established in 1983. Stratman has designed thousands of Harley T-shirts and manufactures about 60 percent of all those sold in the U.S. The company sells 5 million shirts a year, according to the newspaper.

Cindy Holland, buyer for Harley Dothan, told the newspaper the dealership favors the Stratman line. “Forty to 50 percent of what we buy comes from him,” Holland says. “They are an older company that’s been with Harley the longest and they have good quality shirts.”

H-D approves all designs before they hit the market, and the company hasn’t always embraced its customers’ image.

“Five years ago, we couldn’t put a skull on a T-shirt. Now it’s our best seller,” he says. “A lot of younger people like them.”

Posted by Holly Wagner