Har­leys’ roar­ing suc­cess

Sup­pose you threw a birth­day bash and 120,000 turned up, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

HAR­LEY-David­son sure knows how to throw a party, and Har­ley own­ers know how to en­joy one. More than 120,000 H.O.G. rid­ers and pil­lions from more than 100 coun­tries, in­clud­ing a good con­tin­gent from Aus­tralia, at­tended the US com­pany’s 105th-year cel­e­bra­tion bash in Milwaukee, Wis­con­sin, at the week­end.

Most rode their bikes many kilo­me­tres to con­firm Har­ley’s claim the hard­ened par­ty­go­ers had cov­ered more than one mil­lion miles from 105 start­ing points around the US to ‘‘bring their Har­leys home’’.

Among them were Dee and Ian Grieg, of Quaama, in south­ern New South Wales, who rode about 16,000km from LA.

‘‘We have a kan­ga­roo mas­cot on the back of our bike and we’re get­ting a lot of ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ chants from the Yanks,’’ he says.

They also at­tended the Har­ley 100th an­niver­sary and plan to re­turn for the 110th.

Just like Mel­bur­nian Dan Rae­burn who cov­ered 12 states and five Cana­dian prov­inces be­fore arriving on his Ul­tra Clas­sic.

‘‘I’m com­ing back ev­ery five years for the party,’’ said the owner of six Har­leys.

Milwaukee came to a near stand­still as the Har­ley devo­tees poured into the Great Lakes head­quar­ters of H-D for the four­day cel­e­bra­tions.

They were not only treated to a host of top-billing con­certs in­clud­ing Bruce Spring­steen as the head­liner, but also the added at­trac­tion of the newly opened Har­ley mu­seum show­cas­ing a his­tory that be­gan in 1903.

The mu­seum fea­tures more than 450 bikes, in­clud­ing Elvis Pres­ley’s 1956 KH, repli­cas of the Easy Rider bikes and Evel Knievel’s 1975 XR750 stunt bike.

Har­ley es­ti­mates more than 350,000 devo­tees will visit the mu­seum each year.

It made Milwaukee fa­mous: Har­ley-David­son was show­ing the flag at the week­end.

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