Harleys’ roaring success
Suppose you threw a birthday bash and 120,000 turned up, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE
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.