Cuban motorcycle mechanics go to extremes to keep vintage American hogs rumbling more than a half century after the last Harley-Davidson dealership closed in socialist Cuba.
Cut off from the United States, Harley riders on the island scavenge parts from battered old Soviet trucks, lawn mowers and even anti-tank guns.
It’s a tale of man and machine like no other in the world.
Some Harley riders in Cuba fit their machines with tractor tires so they can venture into swampy scrubland to hunt for ducks and other wildlife. Others use their motorcycles to haul everything from human bones to cinder blocks.
Word of the Cubans’ exploits has reached motorcycle mechanics in the U.S., including famed custom bike builder Jesse James, who sent an autographed biker magazine to one mechanic, writing, “Long live Cuba!”
“Cuban Thunder” includes interviews with more than 40 Harley riders, including legendary mechanic Sergio Morales, former stunt rider Antonio Miniet and Ernesto Guevara, the Cuban son of the late revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
The book is illustrated with more than 1,000 photographs that help document an unusual story of sacrifice, valor, ingenuity and friendship.