Saudis Go Hog Wild

Motorcycles catch on in Muslim country
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 2:20 PM CST
Saudis Go Hog Wild
Motorcycling is a relatively new sport in Saudi Arabia. As a result, many locals still don't respect riders and think they're outlaws.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

In the eyes of religious conservatives, this Saudi motorcycle gang may as well be the Hell’s Angels. But the Muslim professionals in the Riyadh Harley Owners Club do pull over to pray, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Despite the region's religious taboos, strict laws, and stereotypes, motorcycle riding is growing in popularity. The club now counts 300 members who ride together weekly.

"It's the sense of freedom you get on the bike," one clean-shaven member explains. The Harley-Davidson franchise, open since 1997, has gone from selling 60 to 500 motorcycles per year. Though club members sometimes get stopped by police, they say it’s worth the hassle. Adds the franchise owner: Being pious doesn’t mean you have to stop living. "I can still ride and live my life.” (Read more motorcycle stories.)

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