Origins: Could there be a more macabre marketing decision than naming a consumable confectionary treat after a dead little girl? How about designing a recreational product to represent the instruments of war that obliterated tens of thousands of human beings? Who would do such a thing? Nobody, we hope, but such a claim has dogged motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson for years, in the form of a rumor that their 1990 FLSTF "Fat Boy" bike was created as a "tribute" to the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World
Why? The answer to why Harley-Davidson would supposedly do such a thing is as a form of symbolic revenge on the Japanese motorcycle companies who eroded the sales of good ol' American Harley-Davidson bikes during the 1970s and 1980s. The answer to why people would believe such a thing is a tale spun from a collection of manufactured coincidences:
- The "Fat Boy" is silver, just like the
Enola Gayand Bock's Car, the two B-29sused to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
- The bike has disc wheels which look similar to the type used on airplanes such as the
- Seven gold rings can be found on the motorcycle, the same markings that were allegedly present on the two atomic bombs.
- The name "Fat Boy" was supposedly formed from the nicknames "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," the designations given to the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
Last updated: 8 May 2011