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Harley-Davidson calls for calm in Queensland

Harley-Davidson has appealed for calm in Queensland as its customers continue to be targeted in police operations across the state.

Anger among the biking community has run high since the Newman government passed the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill in October.

Recreational bikers – many of whom ride Harleys – have complained of being unfairly caught up in the crackdown on violent criminal bikie gangs.

Misfits social motorcycle club member Jamie Evans received an apology from Queensland police commissioner Ian Stewart after he recorded his encounter with police and posted it on YouTube, claiming police harassment.

The American manufacturer's motorcycles are the most popular among bikie gangs, but also have a strong following from recreational riders.

A Harley-Davidson Australia spokeswoman said the company had been monitoring the situation in Queensland since the laws were introduced.

“With regard to the VLAD debate we are fully aware of this situation and how it is affecting all motorcyclists in Queensland,” she said.

“As passionate motorcyclists, we understand the emotion this stimulates but first and foremost we urge caution and restraint, which will hopefully lead to sound judgment on the issue from all those involved.”

The Harley-Davidson spokeswoman said the company, along with other manufacturers, was liaising with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries to “consider the situation from an industry perspective”.

“This is an issue that affects all motorcyclists, across all brands in the state and so like others we are talking with our representative body the FCAI to consider the situation from an industry perspective,” she said.

The FCAI declined an invitation to comment “at this stage”.

Despite the VLAD controversy, the Harley-Davidson spokeswoman said there had been little effect on Harley sales in Queensland.

She said as part of its public company reporting, Harley Davidson did not “break out or otherwise characterise” retail sales in Australia.

“However in response to (Fairfax Media's) direct question, we can confirm that in the past four month period and the past six month period there has been no decline in Harley-Davidson sales in Queensland,” she said.