JEEP AND HARLEY DAVIDSON
Ballad of Pip and Little John
Forty years ago, I undertook a little hike through the Caprivi region of Northern Namibia with a bunch of young guys. One of those fellows was Johannes Groenewald, known to most as Groenies but, to a select few, as Little John.
We were as unlike as you could get: Little
John was enormous and – as the saying goes – built for comfort and not for speed. I, on the other hand, was of medium height and whippet-slim (my goodness, have the intervening years changed that!) and my nickname among the boys was Pip.
One thing we had in common was that we could keep going … and going … and going. Not surprisingly, this is a trait we have maintained in later life. Only, now we do it on wheels … and not our feet.
Little John, who describes himself as “a semi-retired entrepreneur,” owns four Harley-davidson motorcycles (one in Dubai) and spends around ten days a month riding around with his wife on the back of his “scoot” of the moment.
On top of my passion for motorcycles I also possess a 2007 Jeep Cherokee Limited Edition and I was particularly intrigued to discover that Jeep and Harley had recently renewed their global co-branding initiative. Here, I thought, was the chance for Little
John and I to go on a road-trip together for the first time; he on his Harley 2200 cc with Ultra Limited Stage Four performance upgrade and me in the latest 3.6-litre Jeep Wrangler Sahara.
It was not to be as he had other commitments, but I know I got the best of the resultant deal: not only did we get to catch up over several cold ones at his home, he also handed me his keys to a 1690 cc Electra Glide Ultra Classic. So, instead of doing a seven-day trip in the Jeep, of which three would be alongside the bike, I got to do both. Happiness is …
This is the fifth consecutive year that Harley-davidson and Jeep has a cobranding relationship, in terms of which Jeep serves as a key partner and official sponsor of major Harley events and rallies throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
According to a Jeep statement, “the reinforced relationship builds on the core values the two brands share: freedom, adventure, and a passion for the open road … with all of the experiences it brings. Both produce vehicles that encapsulate the very essence of freedom and the spirit of adventure and allow customers to live out their individuality in a strong and distinctive way. Owners of the two brands also share something very special – a sense of belonging that often translates into highly customised vehicles that reflect the creativity and personality of their owners.” True words …