"NASZ RYNEK KAPITAŁOWY" (09/2007) text  Krzysztof Sakowski  photo Artur Zych   Marian Curzydło.
Marian Curzydło does not look like a ‘typical’ Harley rider. He has neither a whopping belly nor a patriarchal beard, and he even tastes beer in moderation. He runs a serious company and he is a recognized artist – a photographer. However, it is enough to talk to him for a moment to be sure he has a heart of a devoted Harley lover and the projects of motorcycles carried out by him are genuine two-wheel pearls.
When in 1901 three friends: William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson and Walter Davidson completed the construction of four engines for a bicycle shell, they had not the slightest idea that they created a legend. The gossip is that the first Harley had a carburettor made from a tomato tin and cost next to nothing. Times changed and so did Harleys, but they still in the same way charm the real fans of motorcycles who are able to devote their every spare moment to their gems.
The first Harleys appeared on the roads in 1903. They were called Silver Grey Fellow, which comes from the colour they were painted. Fans say that Harley is not a motorcycle but a buddy. The person who once made friends with this legend-vehicle will be faithful to it for a lifetime. What is so special about Harleys, apart from the fact that they are noisy, awfully expensive and heavy as a little tank?
- For the Harley lovers it is the respect, admiration, inspiration and, above all, fulfilling one's ideas of a perfect model - as Marian Curzydło tells us. He started his motorcycle adventure in the 1970s. - It all started in the school desk at Secondary Technical School of Mechanical Engineering. Together with my friend, Boguś ‘Cipiór’ Sikora, we just got mad about having machines of large capacity. It was clear for us that it was no use to bother about something less than 0.5 liter. Of course, we meant an engine capacity, not alcohol – he recollects and laughs.
And so it started. Being only seventeen, he bought his first motorcycle from a farmer from a village near Rzeszów. It was BMW R71 of an engine capacity of 750cc from 1943. - I rode through Poland up and down, I took part in all motorcycle events, for instance in the cult rallies in Wolsztyn in the 1970s. Moving to a Harley-Davidson was just a matter of time, and so it happened...  However, at that time it could have been nothing else but only WL – he adds.  After many years of riding stock models of Harleys (WLA, Bad Boy, Softail Std., Electra, Fat Boy) Marian Curzydło decided to make his life more difficult. Something inspired me while I was coming back from a journey to Barcelona where we celebrated 100th anniversary of Harleys’ creation. I rode Electra there.  After this journey, I realized that riding stock models of Harley, particularly tourist models, is boring. I wanted to create something unique and exceptional.  I sold Electra quickly and started to look for something else – he says.
In 2004, together with his ‘motorcycle friend forever’, ‘Cipiór’, he began a project entitled Harley Spirit. The result of their work was supposed to be a classical chopper. However, they came across a vehicle with the Harley evo 1340 engine with the MagnaCharger compressor. From the machine they gained, they left only a drive and a frame and threw away the whole rest. After a year of thorough rebuilding, an unusual ‘drag’ Harley Spirit,  colloquially called an animal of huge power of over 150 KM, was created.
Thus, a first Harley in Poland with a mechanical compressor and nitrous oxide installation was constructed.
- We looked at our ‘child’ and we asked ourselves a question:  Can you ride something like that at all? In June 2005, I proved that you definitely can. Within 6 days I rode more than 4,000 kilometers (Cracow – St. Tropez – Cracow). An excellent adventure and great satisfaction – the ‘animal’ did not let me down. I was riding without any failures, and the Spirit proved to be an outstanding road-swallower.  In all, it rode many thousands kilometers within two years – he recollects.
After the first successful experiences, the friends decided to come back to their idea of constructing an extreme chopper from the basis. The assumptions were ‘simple’:  an engine of  2.2 liters with a compressor and nitrous oxide installation (over 200KM) in a stiff frame with a rear wheel of 300 mm. They started the preparation for the construction, they ordered an engine and .... the tragic death of Cipiór interrupted all plans.
- Then, I decided to forget Harleys for some time and I closed down the garage – Curzydło cuts short.  But Harleys did not forget him. In Marian Curzydło’s head another idea to construct a unique motorcycle was developing. - I bought a Harley springer which was quite ‘fatigued’.  It took me 159 days to reconstruct it and for as many days nobody saw me in the company. A vintage bobber was created. Because of the total reconstruction (e.g. frame modification), I bought some equipment in order to subcontract as little work as possible. Owing to that, I could lathe what I wanted and weld where I wanted. That style suits me best. Vintage but modern. Springer suspension , a softail type of a frame – which imitated stiff suspension, a seat on springs, a carburettor, but at the same time pneumatic shock absorbers, electric ignition, disc brakes and a driving belt. And that nitrous oxide installation (so-called nitro) to make it more awesome. And of course, the proud, respectable and thrilling name – ‘Hemorrhoid’ – he bursts into laughter.  ‘Hemorrhoid’ repaid his constructor and it won the first prize for appearance and uniqueness at one of the motorcycle rallies.
Harley is an expensive passion. The prices of stock models vary from PLN 35,000 to over 150,000. It is difficult to value models which were created in garages of Harley lovers. However, it can be estimated that professionally constructed projects amount to PLN 150,000 and more.  - It may seem weird but if somebody wants to have ‘only a motorcycle’, I do not recommend Harley. There are technically better and more awesome brands. Harleys are really for enthusiasts – warns Marian Curzydło – but not everybody understands it. It makes me laugh when during rallies I see  many people who come there by cars with car carriers on which they have motorcycles. It is just a journey to show off, but the fact is that riding Harley is not easy, especially when we take into account those constructed individually. It seems to be easy and comfortable only from outside, but it is not – he adds.
Bass singing of the Harley engine.
There is one thing which almost all Harleys have in common – it is an engine sound other motorcycles do not have. In order not to lose this particular sound also today when modern and silent engines, noiseless exhausts, etc. are constructed, the company has invested 15 million dollars in a sound laboratory. In this way, the brand lovers who buy successive models can still enjoy the same – as they say – engine gang. The legend does not have to be silent. In order a rider could feel like a real easy rider, a protagonist of a 1969 film, the sound of his engine must be heard from far away.  - It is not troublesome for somebody who is used to that ‘singing’.
 My style of travelling is a lonely ride, so that I can enjoy the sound of my Harley. It does not interfere with the concentration; quite the contrary, it helps me. But as far as Polish roads are concerned, riding a Harley is a real struggle to survive – reveals the ‘Hemorrhoid’ motorcycle owner.
Why Harley?
- The question: ‘Why do you ride Harley?’ has only one answer: If I have to explain, you will not understand.  Those who have a Harley or want to have it, exactly know why. But to those who do not understand that, it is impossible to explain – Curzydło shrugs his shoulders. He had many unforgettable journeys riding his motorcycles, but the most memorable one was to Saint Tropez in 2005.- And there was a day when I made more than one thousand kilometers. During this journey, riding through winding switchbacks in the Alps, I reached the altitude of more than 2,000 meters. It is unforgettable - he adds.
The owners of the legend, that is those for whom Harley have no flaws, constitute one group all over the world. In 1983, the Harley-Davidson Company established, as a genuine marketing move,  the Harley Owners Group, H.O.G., – that is an international club of the owners of this brand. Within first six years it consisted of 90,000 members. Nowadays, it consists of one million members and new ones are still joining...
 Harley WLA 42