The Day The Music Died At Harley-Davidson

smashed-radioSo bye-bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry…them good ole boys was drinking whiskey and rye singing, this’ll be the day that I die…this’ll be the day that I die….

This week, echos of Don McClain’s iconic ballad rang for the last time on the floor of the Harley-Davidson factory in York Pennsylvania.  The music had died.

Employees were notified in a memo that personal radios, ipods, and music players would no longer be allowed on the factory floor and that the piped in music would be turned off, all in the name of employee safety and quality control.

“It’s a distraction,” said Maripat Blankenheim, director of external communications for Harley. “It’s really important for people – no matter what they do – to be focused on what they do.”

The memo, written by John Dansby II, VP of Manufacturing said, ”As you are aware, it is imperative that we improve our safety and first-time quality performance,” he writes. “Too many distractions and potential hazards still exist in the workplace that impact our performance every day.”

“After much consideration, direct observation and discussions with various stakeholders,” Dansby continues, “I have concluded that radios and music are one such distraction to our work.”

Mike Argento, a newspaper columnist first posted the memo and says that morale at the plant is “in the toilet.”  Read his post here.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not address music in manufacturing plants and most companies struggle with the issue, especially among jobs where monotonous routine tasks are performed.

 

BEST WESTERN AND HARLEY-DAVIDSON PARTNERSHIP GOES GLOBAL

_bestwestern_mcyclePHOENIX – (February 20, 2013) Best Western International and Harley-Davidson Motor Company® announced today that the two organizations have extended their partnership with one another for an additional three years. The agreement expands the special benefits for motorcycle riders in North America, including reduced hotel room rates, Best Western Ride Rewards® loyalty program, and the hotel chain’s Rider Friendly® properties, to a global level, making it easy for motorcycle travelers to take advantage of these perks worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Best Western is serving as the Official Lodging Partner of Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary in 2013. In addition, Best Western is now the Preferred Lodging Partner of Harley-Davidson’s Rentals and Tours Division, which will include the hotel chain’s properties on its multi-night itineraries.

“The partnership with Harley-Davidson allows us to accommodate the unique needs motorcycle riders have when traveling,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western International’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Now, they can have those needs catered to not only in North America, but at any of our more than 4,000 hotels worldwide. We want riders to feel at home with us, no matter where in the world they happen to be.”

Best Western Rider Friendly hotels offer a free wipe-down motorcycle towel and access to a washing station upon check-in. Many offer additional benefits, such as complimentary bottled water and lip balm. Currently, there are more than 1,200 properties in North America that participate in the Best Western Rider Friendly program.

The hotel chain also offers motorcycle enthusiasts Best Western Ride Rewards, a special segment of its Best Western Rewards® loyalty program. Registration is free and affords members an automatic upgrade to Gold Elite status and eligibility for discounted room rates upon signup. Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) members receive additional benefits, including an automatic upgrade to Platinum status and 15 percent bonus points. To celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary, Ride Rewards members will be eligible for bonus promotional offers throughout 2013.

”Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary is the perfect time to extend our partnership with Best Western,” said John C. Farris, Jr., Harley-Davidson Director of Global Brand Alliances. “Harley-Davidson and Best Western have heritage and deep roots along America’s most scenic highways and byways as well as the many roads traveled around the world. Most importantly, this partnership brings great benefits and on-the-road conveniences to our riders and fans.”

The companies initiated the partnership in 2006.

For more information or to sign up for Best Western Ride Rewards, go to www.bwrider.com. To plan your next motorcycle journey, go towww.harley-davidson.com/wcm/rideplanner/. And, follow the adventures of Best Western’s motorcycle blogger at http://www.youmustbetrippin.com/jason_fogelson/.

 

Make Helen Georgia Your 2013 Destination!

Helen Georgia is the destination for motorcyclists from all over the USA for the USRiderNews Reunion Run, May 29-June 2nd

Helen Georgia is the destination for motorcyclists from all over the USA for the USRiderNews Reunion Run, May 29-June 2nd

Helen Georgia is your destination for the biggest and best motorcycle rally May 29,  through June 2nd.  Sponsored by USRiderNews, the 13th annual Reunion Run has grown from a few dozen friends in 2001, to literally thousands of motorcyclists who travel from all across the USA.

Sylvia Cochran, of USRiderNews said Helen Georgia was chosen as the destination for the Reunion Run motorcycle rally because of the areas natural beauty and miles and miles of the best  motorcycle roads anywhere in the Southeast.

“After the first year we knew that Helen Georgia was the premier motorcycle destination our readers enjoyed and it’s grown larger and larger each year.   Our readers tell us they look forward to this event all year long.”

In addition to the Reunion Run, the Helen Balloonfest is also held on the same weekend and features dozens of hot air balloons in a Race to the Atlantic.

The host hotels are the Best Western and the Super 8.   To reserve your room you must call Sylvia at 478-237-3761 or fill out the registration form here.  DO NOT call the hotel directly, they will tell you they are booked.

VIP packages are available and include everything you need to enjoy the weekend (except your lodging) Event T-Shirt, Event Pin, poker run registration, bike show, VIP party Thursday night May 30th (Free Beer and Food) and access to the VIP tent all weekend long with free refreshments.

( $85 value if purchased individually) Price $35 per person, or $60 per couple  until April 1st.  Price increases $10 after that. 

To reserve your VIP registration click here to register online

View Pictures of past events

2010  (opens in Facebook)

2001-2009 (opens in Facebook)

 

 

Trike Manufacturing Leaders Experience Growth and Expand into the Global Market

Champion Trikes and Lehman Trikes continue to make great strides in the trike industry in just a few short months after Champion Investments Inc. purchased Lehman.

Lehman_CrossBowLSS2Lehman Trikes, which began running at full operations in October, has been slammed with orders nationwide for Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Victory trike conversions. “We have been increasing staff since the purchase of the company in June and continue to increase our dealer network with trucks continually delivering trikes and picking up motorcycles for conversion,” stated Terree Matson-McCoy, Vice President of Lehman Trikes. “We are really excited about the progress of the company in such a short amount of time. Our trikes are known for their quality and styling and Lehman is dedicated to continuing this legacy.” Lehman Trikes is currently developing new product.

Champion Trikes continues to experience tremendous growth as well and has been recently researching innovative accessories for trikes. “We were the first to develop accessories such as the Original EZ Steer to enhance the ease and comfort of riding a Trike, Reverse Gear, and Disc Brakes for trikes and are currently in the beginning stages of development for an exciting new product to enhance the comfort for many trikers”, stated Jim Pinto, Vice President of Champion Trikes. Champion Trikes offers trike kits for Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha as well as 74 different types of products.

Both Champion and Lehman are also making a breakthrough in the global market. Recently, strategic alliances were developed in key countries to give Champion a foot-hold in the lucrative International Trike market. “Both companies are already in the global market, but we have a fantastic opportunity to introduce our American-made trikes into a market that is also growing in the three-wheel segment.” Champion has developed refinements and enhancements for the International Trike marketplace for 2013.

The vastness of products available from both companies and the reputation each has as industry leaders has supported the sales growth. Stated Mr. Arrojo, “When Champion Investments purchased Lehman Trikes, we realized we were purchasing a strong leader. We are now sharing a combined 50 years of experience in this industry.” While the companies will remain separate, they are working closely together to build upon current products and develop exciting new products that will enhance the trike riding experience.

For more information on Lehman Trikes and to locate a Lehman Trikes dealer, visit www.lehmantrikes.com or call 888-3WHEELS. For more information on Champion Trikes and to locate a Champion Trikes dealer, visit www.championtrikes.com or call 800-875-0949.

 

KID ROCK AND HARLEY-DAVIDSON LAUNCH FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND COLLABORATION DURING 110TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR

Learning from previous mistakes (Elton John headlining the 100th anniversary celebration)  Harley-Davidson has announced an exclusive partnership with legendary musician and ‘American Badass’ Kid Rock, including a Saturday night performance for the company’s 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee over this year’s Labor Day weekend.

The first-of-its-kind partnership brings together two legendary American rebels and names Harley-Davidson as a title sponsor of Kid Rock’s Rebel Soul tour, which kicks off this weekend, Feb. 2, 2013, in Kansas City. Harley-Davidson plans to offer fans unique experiences at each of the 60 planned stops during the Rebel Soul tour. The tour sponsorship is just one aspect of the overarching relationship, which will extend from concerts to retail promotions.

The final stop on the tour is Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, when Kid Rock rolls into Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson’s hometown, to party with thousands of his fellow riders. Kid Rock will play a ticketed show at the Marcus Amphitheater, which is located on the south end of Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds). Fans who purchase 110th Anniversary ticket packages – currently available at www.ticketmaster.com – will have an opportunity to purchase tickets for Kid Rock’s 110th Anniversary performance before they go on public sale later this spring.  Kid Rock is one of three headliners Harley-Davidson plans to announce for the 110th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee – the other entertainment will be announced later this spring.

“What’s not to love about Harley?” said Kid Rock. “They are the backbone of American culture, the flagship American brand. I am honored and excited to partner with this legendary icon that has helped to define American freedom at home and abroad. In 110 years no one has done a better job of representing America – there is NOTHING that screams America like Harley-Davidson.”

A unique element of the partnership is an exclusive line of limited-edition, co-branded Rebel Soul merchandise featuring a line coined by Kid Rock: “I can’t hear you over the rumble of my freedom.” Fans will be able to purchase concert-specific merchandise at each show, as well as an exclusive line of merchandise at participating Harley-Davidson dealerships across the U.S. This is the first time either brand has offered such an extensive line of co-branded merchandise.

Also, at every Rebel Soul tour stop this year, Harley-Davidson will offer one winner the chance to join Kid Rock’s Rebel Soul band and rock on stage for one song during that night’s performance. Fans simply have to find the Harley-Davidson Display Area at each venue to register. ( more after this video of Kid Rock Born Free  riding what looks like an HD Road King sans helmet)

Harley-Davidson is also raising the stakes with a national promotion where one fan will win a once-in-a-lifetime experience including a factory-customized Harley-Davidson motorcycle and the opportunity to rock alongside Kid Rock on stage during the 110thAnniversary show in Milwaukee. Fans can enter to win the national promotion at www.h-d.com/kidrock beginning Feb. 2. The winner’s VIP trip to the 110th Anniversary will also include a meet-and-greet and photo shoot with Kid Rock.

“Kid Rock puts on a great show and embodies a lot of what Harley-Davidson and our fans stand for – freedom, independence, self-expression and the rebel spirit,” said Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. “We’re excited to take an unprecedented ride with him during the Rebel Soul tour.”

Harley-Davidson plans to announce ticket sales information for the Kid Rock performance in Milwaukee in the coming weeks, along with additional details related to the 110th Anniversary.  Event dates and tickets for Kid Rock’s Rebel Soul concert tour are available at www.ticketmaster.com.

About the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary

The Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary is a year-long, global celebration connecting millions of Harley-Davidson fans across the globe united by a common bond and shared passion for freedom, self-expression and epic adventure. Included in the official 110thAnniversary calendar are 12 different 110th Anniversary experiences that Harley-Davidson will bring to existing motorcycle events in global markets throughout September 2013. The events span 11 countries on six continents and will be capped by two main celebration events in Rome, Italy, in June 2013 and Milwaukee during Labor Day weekend.

 

Harley-Davidson fans are invited to learn more about the 110th Anniversary and join the celebration online where they can share videos, images and experiences on Facebook, Twitter with the hashtag #HD110, and at www.h-d.com/110.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FREEDOM JACKET JOURNEYS THOUSANDS OF MILES IN ONE YEAR TO UNITE INDEPENDENTS AROUND THE WORLD

Fans Near and Far Tell Incredible Stories of Freedom and Adventure through a Single Leather Jacket as it Travels the Globe for Harley’s 110th Anniversary Celebration

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 15, 2013) – In August 2012, Harley-Davidson fans around the world kicked off a year-long celebration of the company’s 110th Anniversary. Over the course of an entire year, millions of fans across 11 countries and six continents are celebrating their shared passion for freedom, self-expression, epic adventure, and the stories that unite them.

s part of the year-long celebration, Harley-Davidson has enlisted individuals from all over the world to take a single black leather jacket – the ‘Freedom Jacket’ – on an adventure and to share their stories online. The Freedom Jacket will pass from rider to rider and visit dozens of iconic destinations in all corners of the globe, collecting their stories before coming home to Milwaukee for the final celebration, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, and for display at the Harley-Davidson Museum.

“The Freedom Jacket represents one of the most elemental, yet powerful truths of what it means to be a Harley-Davidson rider,” said Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. “A leather jacket is like a rider’s soul – every pin, scratch, scrape and patch is a visual marker of your journey and becomes part of your identity and the stories you tell.”

The Freedom Jacket was born last August when Richer wore a simple Harley leather jacket during an epic ride across the Tibetan Plateau in China to help kick-off the 110th Anniversary. At a stop along the ride, Richer asked a local Chinese man, who was working painting road markers, to paint something on the jacket to symbolize what he thought about Harley-Davidson. The man painted the Chinese character for “freedom.”

Since then, the Freedom Jacket has been worn by passionate enthusiasts who’ve traveled to destinations around the world, including the foothills of the Alps in Faaker See, Austria for European Bike Week; the highways of Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and even the starting line of the NHRA Pro Stock finals in Pomona, CA.  In the coming months, the Freedom Jacket will journey to destinations both on and off the beaten path, including official Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary events planned in India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Rome.

Fans can explore the inspiring videos, photos and stories of those who have worn the Freedom Jacket by visiting www.h-d.com/110jacket, the company’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/Harley-Davidson), Twitter handle (@harley-davidson) or via the hashtag #FreedomJacket.

Harley-Davidson is also inviting fans to share stories about their own journeys via the 110th Anniversary website.  On January 22, the company will launch a unique online app that allows fans to create a personalized version of the 110thAnniversary “110 Years of Freedom” graphic with photos of their own epic adventures which will be featured on Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page and other online channels.  The company is also allowing fans the opportunity to create their own 110th Anniversary pages within the site to share their experiences with the world.

“The 110th Anniversary is, first and foremost, a celebration of our fans, so it’s only natural that user-generated content would be at the forefront of our efforts,” added Richer.

Harley-Davidson is planning to reveal several other exciting details related to the 110th Anniversary in the coming weeks, including announcing headlining talent for the Rome and Milwaukee celebration events, as well as sharing upcoming Freedom Jacket adventures.  Tickets for the 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee are currently on sale atwww.ticketmaster.com.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ANNOUNCES ON-SALE DATE FOR MILWAUKEE 110TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION EVENT TICKETS

Milwaukee Event to Culminate Year-Long, Global Celebration

MILWAUKEE (Nov. 27, 2012) –  For the past three months, Harley-Davidson has been on the road sharing epic experiences with fans from all corners of the globe — from the Tibetan Plateau in China to Sturgis to Faaker See, Austria – to celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary: 110 Years of Freedom.  These events are just the beginning of a year-long, global celebration that will take place across 11 countries on six continents and culminate over Labor Day weekend in 2013, in Milwaukee, Wis. – home of Harley-Davidson.

Tickets for Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee next year will go on sale to the general public on Dec. 17, 2012, at www.H-D.com/110tickets. Members of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), the Motor Company’s official riding club, will have an opportunity to purchase tickets beginning Dec. 10, 2012.

The Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration event in Milwaukee is Thursday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. Events will include fan-organized rides to Milwaukee, a massive parade, three headlining concerts, parties at Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds) and activities at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Talent, as well as ticket details for the three headlining concerts that will be hosted at Marcus Amphitheater on the Summerfest Grounds, will be announced in early 2013.

For H.O.G. members, the event tickets include access to the global H.O.G. 30th Anniversary Celebration on Aug. 29 at the Summerfest Grounds, as well as access to members-only areas throughout the weekend’s events. Additional free public activities include parties at participating Harley-Davidson dealerships and street parties around the city.

Two ticket options for the Milwaukee 110th Anniversary Celebration are available:

Celebration Ticket – Print at Home ($95.00 USD; convenience fees not included) Available for purchases made within the continental U.S.; includes access to the Summerfest Grounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, an opportunity to purchase tickets for the headlining concerts at Marcus Amphitheater before they go on sale to the general public in spring 2013, a link to download the official event app on a mobile device or smartphone, map of historic Harley-Davidson sites in Milwaukee, and automatic entry to win a parade pass.

Commemorative Celebration Ticket Package ($102.50 USD; convenience fees not included)Includes the above admission package plus a photo frame holder, commemorative laminated ticket and lanyard, Milwaukee 110th Anniversary pocket guide, limited edition poker chip, guitar pick keepsake and drink koozie with corresponding drink discounts.

Join the Celebration Online

Harley-Davidson fans are invited to join the celebration online where they can share videos, images and experiences on Facebook, Twitter with the hashtag #HD110, and at www.h-d.com/110.  To date, the Motor Company has shared four epic 110th Anniversary experiences via the site, as well as Harley-Davidson social pages, driving thousands of engagements from fans around the world.

The Web site, which will be updated in the coming months with new features and content, also includes details about all of the Motor Company’s 110th Anniversary events.

 

Ed Church, He Got It Back

Everyone has a story about the one that got away.  A high school sweetheart, a job, a house, a trophy buck, something.  But Ed Church’s story is different.  His is about a motorcycle.  His first motorcycle.

Church said the bike was a big influence on him as a sophomore in high school.  ”the whole right of passage as a young man was trying to start one” said Church.

“It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” said Church, who rode the bike for 13 years and sold it when his daughter was born.

Church said when he started looking around for a bike from the same year as his first bike he had no idea he’d stumble upon the bike…his bike and just when he found it, it almost slipped through his fingers again.

Watch the video to hear the story in his words.

 

Harley-Davidson Recalls V-Rods for Minor Problem

 Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling all model year 2012 and certain model year 2013 VRSCDX motorcycles manufactured from June 14, 2011, through August 1, 2012. The license plate bracket assembly’s mounting screws may loosen and the assembly may separate from the rear fender. This condition may lead to contact with the rear tire which could cause the license plate bracket to rotate, possibly damaging the rear brake line.   If the license plate bracket contact with the rear brake line remains undetected, it may affect rear brake performance, increasing the risk of a crash, which could lead to injury or death of the rider. Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair any affected motorcycles free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on, or about, November 5, 2012. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056. his is Harley-Davidson recall 0148. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Police Hoping DNA May Solve Teenager’s Identity

facial reconstruction experts say this is what the Jane Doe teen would have looked like at the time of her death

Police in Colorado are hoping to extract DNA samples from the leg bones of a teenager found dead in 1993.  The girl remains unidentified.  She was found wearing nothing but a Harley-Davidson t-shirt.