Harley-Davidson CEO Wants Young People To 'Live For Real' On A Motorcyle

06/19/2015 01:46 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2015

Matt Levatich prefers a hog to the bad piggies of "Angry Birds."

The Harley-Davidson CEO said electronic devices, such as smartphones and video games, were distracting potential young bikers from the call of the open road.

"I'm in the camp of: It isn't bad, it's just different," he told The Wall Street Journal.

He may have a point:

But he believes the rebellious counterculture that started in the 1950s -- in which motorcycles were emblematic -- will endure.

"People are going to want to actually live for real," he said. "I think we have a product that has a great fit with that outlet."

The Milwaukee-based company is facing declining sales. Harley sold 79,589 bikes in the first quarter of this year, down from 80,682 during the same three-month period last year; sales are well down from the company's 2006 peak, the Journal reported. Orders for custom models also dropped 13 percent this year, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

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