Biker claims Old Glory 'wind resistance' prompts Harley-Davidson to void warranty

A hog-riding former lawmaker from Wisconsin claims that Harley-Davidson voided his motorcycle's repair warranty because of the patriotic flags he let fly from the back of his chopper.

However, Harley-Davidson says the warranty is still in effect and just his warranty claim has been denied.

David Zien, who served in the State Senate from 1993 to 2006, said he was told by the motorcycle behemoth it would not honor the warranty after the clutch and transmission failed on a recent ride to Dallas, claiming that that the American flag-- as well as other banners-- caused unneeded wind resistance, according to the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee.

“All they said was, because I fly flags on the bike, there’s no warranty on the powertrain,” Zien told the newspaper.

Harley-Davidson told the paper Zien’s warranty is still valid, but the claim he filed had to be denied because the bike was not made to handle wind resistance from multiple flags at highway speeds.

“The issue isn’t that the flags are heavy,” Harley spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim told the Journal-Sentinel, “but they provide terrific drag on the engine and the transmission, especially when the bike is at highway speeds.”

She added that the flag mounts that Zien used were not Harley products.

“When you alter a motorcycle with non-compliant products, that does impact your ability to make a warranty claim," she said.

Zien is an avid biker who has been riding since the 1970s and has always done so with multiple flags on his bike. His 1991 Harley is on display at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in South Dakota.

He currently has seven flags flying from his bike including the Stars and Stripes as well as an NRA flag.

“Ain’t nobody gonna stop our flags, not even Harley-Davidson corporate,” Zien told the paper.

Click here for more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.