Marvel Switches From Harley-Davidson to Triumph for Ant-Man and the Wasp

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Marvel dropped a new trailer today for its upcoming film Ant-Man and the Wasp, which means it’s time once again to pore over any motorcycle chase scenes to see which models were used. To our surprise, the scenes in the trailer did not feature a Harley-Davidson, which has long been a partner of Marvel, but a Triumph Thruxton R.

Take a look for yourself below. Motorcycles feature prominently at the 0:46 mark and again near the end at the 1:34 mark (along with a giant-size Hello Kitty Pez dispenser).

Harley-Davidson models have long been featured in the films that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Harley-Davidson had a marketing tie with 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, making a connection with the film’s World War II setting and Harley’s own history with military bikes. Later films showed new Harleys even before they were made public. The Street 750 showed up in a trailer for 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier weeks before it debuted while the third Captain America film, 2016’s Civil War, had a chase scene in the trailer with a Street Rod which wasn’t introduced until more than a year later. Even Harley-Davidson’s electric Livewire prototype made an appearance in film in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In the new Ant-Man film, however, Marvel has decided to use Triumphs, specifically the Thruxton R. Take a look at the screenshot above, and compare it to the photo of a Thruxton R below. The brake fluid reservoir, fork clamp and the headlight mount look identical. Beside the throttle, you can see the mounting point for a bar-end mirror. If you look closely (click to see an enlarged image) you can see the key between the reservoir and instrument dial has a black and white logo on a red field which matches the design shown much more clearly below.

Other giveaways include the gold-colored suspension, twin exhausts, front fender mount, rear brake light, tail cover and the stripe that runs the length of the fuel tank with the filler offset to the right. All are a match for the Thruxton R.

What does this mean? For one, it signals the long-standing partnership between Harley-Davidson and Marvel may have run its course. Triumph appears to have taken Harley’s place, though it’s not clear whether this is a one-off arrangement or if the British manufacturer has signed its own agreement with Marvel.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Feb 02, 2018

    I wouldn't read too much into it. Hollywood will use whatever bike looks right for the scene(s). It's gravy if they get product placement money too.

    • Denchung Denchung on Feb 02, 2018

      See, that's the thing. Harley had been working with Marvel for quite some time now, and wasn't shy about making a big deal about it either. The Motor Company had been putting a lot of money into this relationship.

      And then comes this week's news of Harley's 2017 financials plus the closure of the Kansas City plant, which may give this change some context.

  • XRayHound XRayHound on Feb 16, 2018

    Nice to see Marvel studios ditching HD for a moto maker that actually has, you know, quality products.