It has always seemed to me that Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners tend to be a little schizophrenic. On one hand, they say they’re all just a bunch of middle-aged guys with jobs, wives, families, and mortgages, who simply like to get together on weekends and tour the countryside on their bikes. But at the same time, they take great pride in trying to look like the Gypsy Jokers heading into an enemy biker gang’s turf. While it’s not healthy for non-members to wear the “colors” of an established motorcycle group, they can wear Harley-Davidson branded gear and clothing. Which brings us to the recent venture between Harley and Benchmade Knives. Not being a biker, I would probably only find this mildly interesting if it wasn’t for one particular model in the group, the 13100 “Hardtail.” The best way to describe the Hardtail is that it’s a 21st century version of the classic Buck 110 lockback.
Buck 110-style folders (practically every major cutlery company in the world has copied the 110 at one time or another) have long been associated with Harley riders. Buck pretty much started the modern movement toward locking-blade knives in the early ’60s with this model. I personally carried one under the tails of my jungle fatigues as a back-up weapon and utility knife all during my time in Vietnam. The same knife later served on many hunting trips and on a part-time job with the Washington State Game Department during my college years.