[wp-review id=”70675″]

Its 1901, about the middle of the Machine Age, and an aspiring Engineer William S. Harley (or Bill) has designed his first small engine.  The idea is to install it on a standard bicycle frame for a fast moving mode of transportation.  His friend Arthur Davidson worked on it for two years and finished it with the help of Arthur’s brother Walter.  The bike was able to make it uphill without pedaling and they needed to start work on their next machine:  loop-frame Harley-Davidson.  This was the beginning of the Harley Davidson Legacy.
HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS premiered on The Discovery Channel as a 3-part miniseries.  It is directed by Ciaran Donnelly for 2 episodes and Stephen Kay for 1 episode.  The imagery in the series looks incredible.  First off, the sets aren’t the typical green-screened CG pieces that are seen in some films or series.  They were hand built and created to keep things looking authentic.  Also, the period of time the series covers is about 30-35 years and Gersha Phillips, the costume designer, did an incredible job.  She clearly captured the look right down to the textures of the fabrics.
This miniseries is entertaining and tells the progression of the founders and the company at a good pace.  It covers the important milestones of the company and the motorcycle.  The information that the writers covered for the series makes this one of the better of it’s kind.

Michiel Huisman as Walter Davidson
Bug Hall as Arthur Davidson
Robert Aramayo as Bill Harley


The video is a 1080p AVC presentation. This is one of the cleanest digital transfers I’ve seen in awhile.  The images are crisp and the details on practically everything can be easily made out.  Also, the character’s faces have been aged as the series goes on and the makeup looks excellent.  The facial lines and wrinkles don’t look as artificial as some of the other effects that are out there.  The greens on the flat tracks and test areas are lush with the foliage.  One of the scenes with Harley and his wife having a picnic by the lake looks beautiful and flowing with color.  The reds also have so many hues in the images including the richer maroon of the Indiana Motorcycle Company.  



The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix and, for the most part, it is a decent track.  Being that this is a digital mix, the effects and dialogue layer over each other nicely.  There is clarity and strength in there with some rich bass.  They can best be heard during the bike races and testing the engines.



-The Making of Harley and the Davidsons: This is a short featurette with some interviews about the production.
-Biketacular: This is a special about the greatest motorcycles ever made.
Episode List
-Amazing Machine
-Race to the Top
Disc Details
2-disc set 2 Blu-ray Discs and 2 DVDs
Digital copy
Running Time
246 mins
Edition Ratings
Rated PG-13
Region Coding
Region A
Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Audio Mixes
English Dolby Digital 2.0
English SDH



HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS is a great miniseries about one of the strongest companies in the country’s history.  The actors do an incredible job but they are only as authentic as the costumes and sets.  The Blu-ray has an incredible video transfer and a decent audio mix.  I do wish that this had a surround mix because there are a lot of moments that would’ve been stepped up a notch with moving sound.  For people who are into history like myself, are fans of the company or enjoyed the series when it aired, I highly recommend picking this one up.

Order your copy of HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS on Blu-ray from Amazon

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...