Weekend Motorcycle Trips and What to Watch For

weekend motorcycle trips

Weekend motorcycle trips are a reality in quite a few states around the country, and if you are itching to get away for a great ride for the day, or want to stay the night and ride all day Sunday. Just remember as you take your Road King out of storage that although spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year to jump on your Harley, it can also be one of the most dangerous.

weekend motorcycle trips

Salt-The smell of spring and the warm temperatures make it tough to ignore your Softail, however be aware that the roads will have salt and grime left over from the winter. The salt that they use to protect drivers from snow on the roads can cause serious problems for motorcycle riders. The roads may be cleared, but it will take a few good rains to get rid of the problem.

weekend motorcycle trips

Grime-That stuff that covers the roads after the first spring rain after winter or a particular dry spell will make roads extremely greasy and slippery for weekend motorcycle trips. The harder it rains the less grime, but it can easily return making it just as dangerous as it was when it first appeared. weekend motorcycle tripsOther Drivers-After a season of closed windows drivers have a tendency to forget about riders on motorcycle trips. Be very careful when you venture out. You may think they see you turning left in the suicide line, but never assume anything when it comes to being seen on the road.

weekend motorcycle trips

Road Hazards-If you live in part of America that saw significant rain and snow over the winter months, you know how hard it was on the roads. Check the road report before you jump on your bike. If you don’t, you could travel for 50 miles only to have to turn around because of a washed out road. weekend motorcycle trips

Potholes are especially bad after winter and can pop up everywhere. Be especially careful on the curves and blind spots. Don’t think you’re safe on the straight-aways either as potholes the size of a small lake can appear anywhere.

 

If you are traveling with others don’t ride next to each other on a road that you aren’t sure about as you will want to limit the space between you and the other rider if a pothole should appear out of nowhere.

Enjoy your weekend motorcycle trips and the sights and smells of spring; just don’t forget to be cautious when you get on your bike and ride.

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Travels with Harley

As you sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving take a moment to remember one of America’s most well loved holidays, while you ponder this list of little known fun facts about, “Turkey Day.” The Pilgrims that arrived from the United Kingdom in Plymouth New England on the east coast of America were the very first to celebrate Thanksgiving. The feast itself lasted three days, and according to historians was more about

Travels with Harley

celebrating a successful harvest and the ability to stay alive as apparently hundreds of colonists died the first year after arriving on Plymouth Rock. Back then, both the Native Americans and the pilgrims also danced and sang, which makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Who could eat like that for three days straight?

Travels with Harley

The Wampanoag Indian tribes were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving with the pilgrims. The tribe also taught the colonists how to cultivate the land and how to use what grew wild in the new land. You may be fond of your turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, Mac and cheese, pumpkin pie and of course stuffing and cranberries, but the pilgrims and the Native Americans most probably said thank-you with a mouth full of lobster. Other first Thanksgiving choices included chicken, rabbit, fish, quail, and duck with sides such as hickory nuts, cabbage, radishes, goat cheese, eggs, onions, beans, squash, leeks, dried fruits, honey, and maple.

Travels with Harley

Apparently, somebody forgot to put forks on the Mayflower as the pilgrims ate with their hands, spoons, and knives. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, urged the United States to make the turkey the national bird of America. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Thanksgiving became official on October 3, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued an official Thanksgiving Proclamation. The national day would be the last Thursday in November.

Travels with Harley

Nearly 290 million turkeys are bought and enjoyed for Thanksgiving in the United States, with California being the largest consumers of Thanksgivings favorite bird. Most folks presume that Thanksgiving is an American thing. However, the Canadians also celebrate the day of thanks on the second Monday each October. The average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. A 15-pound turkey will have around 70 percent white meat with 30 percent dark meat.

Travels with Harley

The most popular Thanksgiving leftovers are sandwiches, chili, casseroles, soup, and burgers. Not all turkeys gobble. Hens make a clucking sound while the males gobble. This Thanksgiving, Travels with Harley would like to wish everyone a very safe, loving, and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends, and don’t forget to say thank-you!

Awesome Delaware Motorcycle Rides

Delaware motorcycle rides

For such a small state, Delaware motorcycle rides are certainly adventurous. Delaware motorcycle rides offer fun, food, and adventure and will definitely keep you on your toes.

Delaware motorcycle rides

Delaware is one of the few tax free shopping states in the United States, and if you know Jim and I, we love to shop, well, actually I prefer to shop more than Jim does, but the two words, tax and free are certainly good reasons to seek out Delaware motorcycle rides.

Delaware motorcycle rides

Delaware has a rich history with both urban and rural scenery. Delaware motorcycle rides offer bikers thick forests and amazing shorelines. If you decide to go on a lengthy ride and spend a few days in the state you will find great hiking trails, beaches and, if you enjoy gambling, casinos.

Delaware motorcycle rides

If you are like Jim and enjoy a challenge, check out the Delaware Coast Run. This 60-mile Delaware motorcycle ride is a two-lane road that passes through farmland and coastal estuaries. According to most bikers, the road is a lot of fun, but has quite a few blind curves. You can stop at the Air Mobility Museum that is located at Dover End or have a plate of famous Dover crab at Sambo’s Tavern in Leipsic. Lots of H.O.G members rave about the Augustine Inn at Augustine beach for a coldie and can’t stop talking about Kelly’s Crab House in Port Penn.

Delaware motorcycle rides

US Highway 13 is one of those 76-mile Delaware motorcycle rides that you will not want to miss. Although it is stop and go at first, once you get going you will pick up some speed as you pass farms, creeks and rivers. You will ride through quite a few state parks and forests with unbeatable scenery in Shad Landing State Park, the Redden State Forest, and the Pocomoke River State Forest. Pack a picnic lunch or bring your fishing pole as the state parks offer all kinds of activities if you are on Delaware motorcycle rides.

delaware motorcycle rides

Although it is quite flat, the 73 mile Delaware Countdown 16 15 14 13 has lots of sweeping turns that most riders will enjoy. Just like Ohio you will ride through Amish country when you go through West Dover and Camden, so be sure to keep an eye out for buggies. The ride takes about 2 hours and really is the best way to avoid the beach traffic during the warmer months. If you want to stretch your legs or stop for lunch, try Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Apparently, the food is to die for. Personally, I want to try the sweet heat chicken and shrimp with a side of homemade black beans.

Delaware motorcycle rides

 

Jim and I are itching to get out on Delaware motorcycle rides, but in the meantime will be heading down to South Carolina for our next Travels with Harley.

More Great Travels with Harley Trips

Travels with Harley Trips

We love our Travels with Harley Trips and promised you another week of motorcycle road trips in Tennessee, and if you have been reading our blog, which turns three this month, you will know that Jim and I always keep our word.

Old Hickory Road is a favorite of the Travels with Harley crew. The 27-mile ride begins where Old Hickory Road and the I-40E connect. Although you are only about 15 minutes outside of the country capital of the world, Nashville, you will feel like you have ridden to a distant location with a mix of rural, suburban, and urban scenery. Of course, I did my research before the trip and we like to head to Richard. Richard is actually an eatery that has great live music and delicious Cajun foods. Richards is open in the Tuesday through Friday with brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

If you love rides through the forest you will have to try another Travels with Harley Trips favorite, The Blues Highway. This along with other great rides can be found on one of our favorite reference websites, Motorcycleroads.com where you will find the best motorcycle routes and roads across the United States. Travels with Harley always checks motorcycleroads.com before hitting the road.

The Blues Highway is another one of those Travels with Harley Trips that you will not want to miss. The 274-mile ride will take you to Highway 61 towards Memphis. If you’re hungry, there is great food nearly everywhere. If you would rather take another route, you could divert on to Highway 1 and visit Kermit the Frog’s birthplace.

The Mississippi Delta scenery is flat. As you enjoy the smooth and steady ride on your Harley there will be miles of road where all you will see are fields of cotton, soybeans, and corn. Jim and I like to stay a few days when we take the Blues Highway, as there are so many places to enjoy especially when it comes to great restaurants.

Located in downtown Memphis, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is the place to be for the best southern cooking in town. If you do make the trip, be sure to gas up in the cities, as there is lots of pavement between fill ups.

The Back roads of Ocoee is a great little 16-mile ride that will get your heart started with its tight curves on the hilly paved roads. If you’re hungry, pull off at the Farmhouse Restaurant. Located in Etowah the family owned and operated eatery has been around for more than 15 years and features real country cooking’ straight out of Appalachia. This food is definitely not Soul Food or what is also referred to as Southern Cooking.

Travels with Harley sure loves Tennessee and so will you. Next week we have no idea where we are headed, but you can be assured that it will be another one of those great Travels with Harley Trips on the back of our Road King.

Tennessee Road Trips on a Harley

Travels with Harley

Tennessee Road Trips on the back of a motorcycle are incredible, especially during this time of year. If you follow the Travels with Harley blog, you will know that we promised you another blog about Tennessee Road Trips last week.

River Road is one of those Tennessee Road trips that you will love. The 16-mile drive takes you from Nashville to Ashland City and is filled with lots of curves and hills. The ride follows the Cumberland River and has good pavement.

Pucketts Grocery and Restaurant

Make it an afternoon ride and have breakfast at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant. This renovated 50’s grocery store has great reviews and sounds like a lot of fun. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and featuring live music, it’s one place that Jim and I have on our Tennessee Road trips bucket list.

Travels with Harley

Both Jim and I love the curves. It took some getting used to, but now I can even take pictures with our GoPro while we hug the turns. If you’re like us, the Old TN Highway 85 is another one of those Tennessee Road trips that you have to take. Although it’s only 9 miles long, Travels with Harley bets that it will seem much longer thanks to some of the sharp turns along the way. According to the reviews, this road trip has no overlooks or turnouts. It is so twisty that it’s closed to large semi trucks. Make sure to gas up and have a bite before you venture out though as there are no amenities on the Old TN Highway 85 in Tennessee.

Tennessee roadtrips

If you’re on the hunt for longer Tennessee Road Trips check out the I-40 through Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. Featured on Motorcycle Road Trips, this awesome 28.4 mile ride takes you through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. You’ll be just east of the Smokies National Park and although there is a divided highway as you follow along the Pigeon River, you will enjoy the mountain trip with great scenery, especially during spring when you can see the gorgeous colors of the abundant wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fall is also another time that you will want to enjoy Tennessee Road Trips. All who love pushing the throttle enjoy this high-speed curvy road.

Dollywood

One of the highway rest stops is actually a replica of Dolly Parton’s Sevierville cabin where she grew up. Once you get to the R276 leading to Maggie Valley, NC, you find lots of eateries and accommodations.

Tennessee Road Trips are plentiful, and next week we’re going to do more of the same. Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to get on your bike and ride. Travels with Harley certainly plans on it.

Harley Davidson Tennessee Road Trip This Spring

Travels with Harley

A Tennessee Road Trip is spectacular all year round, but especially in the spring and on the back of a Harley Davidson.

Nicknamed the Volunteer State, because of the thousands of soldiers who volunteered during the War of 1812, most prominently risking their lives in the Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee also stood up to the plate during the Mexican War when a mere 2,800 were asked to volunteer by the secretary of state and 30,000 responded.

Graceland

When it comes to scenery, Tennessee certainly has it all from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the wildflowers are in bloom right now, to the hustle and bustle of Nashville. Tennessee is also home to Graceland in Memphis. The gorgeous estate belonging to the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, is a must on your next Tennessee Road Trip.

Travels with Harley

The Tennessee Legend is an awesome Tennessee Road Trip that is 455 miles long. Of course, unless you don’t want to see anything, you may want to consider taking a couple of days to enjoy this Tennessee Road Trip. The twisty road with lots of tight curves offers gorgeous scenery with canyons, rivers, mountain valleys, and spectacular waterfalls. This Harley road trip certainly has it all with plenty of stops along the way. Try motorcycle camping, or go white water rafting. There are plenty of opportunities on this trip for you to get off your bike and stretch your legs.

Travels with Harley

Highway 141 is another must take Tennessee Road Trip during the spring. A short jaunt, at just 20 miles, this is an alternative route to the interstate and with excellent roads you’ll want to pick a destination before you head out so that you can enjoy the rest of your day. After all, don’t you want to have some fun getting there? The Edgar Evans State Park is the perfect place to stop for a picnic, especially this time of year.

Travels with Harley

If you would rather someone else did the cooking, drop in to the Rose Garden Restaurant about halfway in to your Tennessee Road Trip in Silver Point. Jim and I love great food where you least expect it, and apparently this little diner is right next to a gas station. It would be great for breakfast as the homemade biscuits and gravy are apparently the best in the state, according to Yelp anyway, and if you follow our blog you will know that I ALWAYS check out restaurants before we jump on the Road King.

 

Travels with Harley

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains in all her glory on the Tennessee 32 Road Trip. This 14-mile ride takes you through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Park. Thanks to the wet winter, the cavalcade of colors from the abundant wildflowers is truly spectacular. One of the best things about the Tennessee 32 is that there is literally no traffic with the exception of about the last one and a half miles or so. Make sure you gas up, and don’t forget to pack a lunch. You will want to enjoy the beauty of spring on your own time.

Travels with Harley

This spring head to one of the most beautiful states in the country and enjoy a Tennessee Road Trip on the back of your Harley.

Tennessee is so plentiful when it comes to an awesome Tennessee Road Trip were going to spend another week in what is also known as the Butternuts state.

Have a great week everyone!

Three Harley Road Trips in the Gem State

Travels with Harley

Harley road trips have been a bit tough thanks to Mother Nature, and although it may not seem like it in some parts of the country it really is spring, meaning we can all dream just a little bit more about some great Harley road trips that may have to wait a week or two.

Travels with Harley

Idaho is a beautiful country full of great Harley road trips that Jim and I are just itching to check out. Known as the Gem State, Idaho is rich with scenic areas including snow-capped mountain ranges, steep canyons, gorgeous lakes, and natural resources. Take Harley road trips along the Snake River as it rushes through the deepest canyon in the U.S., Hells Canyon, or stop by the Shoshone Falls as it makes it way down the cliffs that are higher than Niagara Falls.

Travels with Harley

The 175-mile Lola Pass is a great example of some of the best Harley road trips in Idaho, and so easy. All you do is start is Lewiston Idaho on the US Highway 12 and head east towards Montana. The route takes you all the way across Idaho. You’ll see awesome sections of the Lewis and Clark trails as you wind through the Rocky Mountains in both Idaho and Montana. The curvy trip has very little traffic and great roads, however, you won’t find any amenities like some of the other Harley road trips that Jim and I have been on.

Travels with Harley

Known as Two Passes and a Lake, this is 106-mile trek is another great example of Harley road trips that is one of Idaho’s best-kept secrets. The trip starts at Alpine Junction traveling north to Swan Valley on Highway 26. Follow the signs to Highway 31 and head towards Jackson Wyoming and then Hoback Junction before looping back to where you started. The beautiful ride takes you around Palisades Lake and into Swan Valley.

Travels with Harley

The Snake River Canyon is full of elk, deer, and mountain goats so make sure you bring the camera. Jackson has everything including a museum, white water rafting, and a real Western shoot out in the summer months. If you get hungry, Jackson has some great eateries including The Deck that features spectacular views of Jackson Hole Mountain.

Travels with Harley

Another example of awesome Harley road trips in Idaho is aptly named the Gold Rush Historic Byway, or Greer to Headquarters. The 42-mile trek is full of cougar, bear, wolf, turkey, grouse, deer, and coyote so take the Go Pro so you don’t miss a thing. You’ll ride through farmland and woodlands before heading up the mountains in the Gold Country. Although the ride is short, it seems longer thanks to the curves. Best to take it during May or June as it is very seasonal. Along the ride route, you can stop at the John Howard Bradbury Logging Museum and the Weippe Discovery Center. Pioneer Inn IdahoIf you are hungry, like we always seem to be, stop at the Pioneer Inn in Pierce. You can stay the night or just have a bite to eat. The historic Inn serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and apparently the food is pretty good.

Hopefully by next week we can all get on our bikes for real Harley rides, but if not we’ll head to Tennessee for the road trip of a lifetime. A virtual road trip anyway.

Harley Road Trips in Alabama

Travels with Harley

Harley road trips is what spring is all about and now that spring has officially sprung, it’s time to pull your Harley out of storage, dust it off and hit the road for great Harley road trips.

Travels with Harley

A couple of weeks ago we took you on some great little Harley road trips in Georgia and promised to take you on some Harley road trips last week, but St. Patrick’s Day side tracked us so we are going to head to Alabama this week instead.

Travels with Harley

Although there is no official nickname for Alabama, it has been known as the Yellowhammer state since the Civil War; Alabama is known for its rich cultural history and is a great place for Harley Road Trips. Some of the trails you can enjoy include the Native American Trail, the Civil War Trail, the Covered Bridge Trail and the Civil Rights Museum trails. Scenery around the state varies from lush forests to rolling hills with a small bit of the Gulf coastline, which is perfect for Harley road trips.

Travels with Harley

The Paint Rock Valley ride is 42 miles long and features some very sharp curves that have even the most experienced riders take care. The windy valley road takes you right along the Paint Rock River that is rich in animal and plant life that you will not find anywhere else. You can gas up at the top of the mountain, but as far as other amenities go, it’s best to pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery.

Travels with Harley

Eagles Point Guntersville State Park is another one of those Harley road trips that you will want to plan. This 79-mile trip takes you along a windy path near the river with gorgeous scenery that is hard to beat. With good quality pavement and lots of straights and turns, it is a good ride that you will want to sample if you are in Alabama. There are quite a few places to stop along the way where you can gas up and stop for a bite to eat. One of the most popular is in Guntersville. Stop for lunch halfway through your trip at the Top of the River, which is known for its catfish and seafood.

Travels with Harley

The Cheaha Mountain Skyway is a great little example of Harley road trips that you will not want to miss as it takes you along the Cheaha Mountain near Talladega in Eastern Alabama. The 44-mile trek is full of unspoiled countryside and into the Talladega National Forest. The wildlife is abundant, so don’t be surprised if you spot a couple of hawks or deer from the back of your Harley. Once you come off the mountain, you will roll into meadows, farms and a couple of small towns. If you want to make it a weekend trip, stay at one of the cozy cabins at the Cheaha State Park where you can relax in a hot tub while pondering the day’s events.

Travels with Harley

 

Stick with Travels with Harley this spring as Harley road trips are abundant and we plan to take you on every one we can find, in a virtual sense anyway!

Not to Be Missed Motorcycle Rides in Georgia

Travels with Harley

If you are on the hunt for great motorcycle rides in the South, Travels with Harley has a few suggestions that you may want to try. This week we are going to focus on the Peach State, otherwise known as Georgia.

The best motorcycle rides are usually off the beaten track. At least that is what Jim and I think. We have been on a few motorcycle rides where the only thing on the road was us and maybe a car or two the entire trip.

Fort McAllister State Park

We have done quite a few Travels with Harley motorcycle rides in Georgia and really enjoy the great scenery. The coastal area of the state gives riders plenty to look at with its beaches and beautiful marshland. Popular motorcycle destinations include Fort McAllister State Park and Savannah.

Travels with Harley

The Meridian Road Canopy Ride is gorgeous when it comes to beautiful motorcycle rides, and although there aren’t any roadside amenities, the scenery makes it well worth gassing up beforehand. Meridian Road starts out near Cairo, GA and takes you into Tallahassee Florida. If you enjoy hills and turns this is the ride for you as the road takes you through canopies of trees and plantations that you will not want to miss.

Tate House

If you enjoy historical landmarks, the 19-mile Tate to Dawsonville will take you through the historic town of Tate where you will drive right past the Tate House, which is 45 miles north of Atlanta. Colonial Sam Tate who was a land baron, philanthropist, and tycoon built the pink marble mansion in 1926. The Tate House is now one of the most sought after wedding venues in the south. The Tate to Dawsonville road features quite a few turns with some tight blind turns that are best suited for more experienced riders. This ride has some gorgeous views, but no amenities to speak of except for a couple of gas stations.

Travels with Harley

The 99 mile Scenic Route from Springfield to Augusta is stunning and begins at City Limit Customs in Springfield. You’ll ride over the Savannah River into South Carolina and continue until you head back into Augusta GA. On this trip, you will pass through plenty of plantations and dense forests so don’t forget your camera. The roads are mostly flat until you hit the 125 where there will be some small hills to contend with. The roads are all paved and although the amenities are sparse out of Springfield there are plenty of gas stations, restaurants and shops once you get to Augusta.

Travels with Harley

When it comes to motorcycle rides, the south has plenty. Next week Travels with Harley heads to Alabama for more great motorcycle rides in the south.

Harley Davidson Day Trip Out of Las Vegas

Travels with Harley

The best Harley Davidson Day Trip is a spontaneous one. However, some Harley Davidson Day Trips are best planned in advance.

Everyone loves Las Vegas, for obvious reasons, but most people have no idea that the City of Sin has some great Harley Davidson Day Trips.

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is about an hour’s drive just west of Las Vegas. The 13-mile Harley Davidson Day Trip loop offers plenty of well-maintained pavement with lots of overlooks, vistas, and sightseeing. If you are short on time, check out the Calico Vista Point when you head out for this Harley Davidson Day Trip.

Valley of Fire

Nevada’s oldest state park is also a great place to head out for a Harley Davidson Day Trip. The Valley of Fire State Park was dedicated back in 1935 is just 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Mt. Charleston Lodge

 

The Mount Charleston Loop is another great Harley Davidson Day Trip that you will love. Just take Highway 95 out of Las Vegas where you will ride through Lee and Kyle Canyon. The roads are very well maintained with plenty of twists and turns that will take you up and back down the mountain. Best fill up before you go, and don’t forget to stop for a bite at the Mount Charleston Lodge for an Angus burger and fried cheesecake for dessert.

Death Valley

More than a Harley Davidson Day Trip, the Death Valley Run is spectacular, especially during the spring. This year promises to be one of the best in decades when it comes to the wildflowers that have been eluding the area for a few years. The 161-mile trip offers some of the best scenery in the world with wrinkled and rugged mountains towering over the gorgeous cavalcade of spring flowers.

Furnace Creek Resort

Although quite desolate with very few amenities, Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells do have a general store and a gas station. You can enjoy a meal at the Toll House restaurant or quench your thirst at the Badwater Saloon. Death Valley really is a must for anyone, but especially if you are looking for a great Harley Davidson Day Trip.

If you are heading to Las Vegas, take your bike and enjoy a Harley Davidson Day Trip. Jim and I plan on it if the weather ever starts to improve.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group

Travels with Harley

If you own a Harley Davidson and are not a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you are missing out. Jim and I are both H.O.G members and love the benefits that you get when you belong to the Harley Davidson Owners Group.

Travels with Harley

Created in 1983, the Harley Davidson Owners Group was started to build stronger and longer lasting relationships with Harley Davidson customers. The ties created by the consumers, the employees and the Harley Davidson company have helped boost the brand while focusing on the pride and authenticity of being American made. Harley Davidson Owners Group members will typically spend about 30 percent more on Harley Davidson clothing and accessories and Harley Davidson sponsored events.

Travels with Harley

Every Harley Davidson dealership, both in the United States and overseas, has the opportunity to become a sponsor for a local Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter. Not all dealerships do, but a Harley Davidson Owners Group cannot start a chapter without a dealer sponsorship. Until 2014, only one chapter per Harley Davidson dealership was allowed. This was expanded to two chapters per Harley Davidson dealership. Should the dealership that is sponsoring a chapter close, the chapter can continue as long as there is permission from Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

Harley Davidson Owners Group members organize events throughout the year, produce a newsletter, and usually elect officers from within their own chapter. Most of the events that are organized by H.O.G are ride related. Harley Davidson Owners Group chapters are managed by members who volunteer to collect dues in order to subsidize event and administrative running costs.

Travels with Harley

Most of the Harley Davidson Group Owners events are for members only with guests of the chapter members required to sign a waiver. Some H.O.G chapters host rallies annually both collectively and individually.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group offers several benefits to its chapter members including roadside assistance.

Travels with HarleyA chapter member will receive H.O.G roadside assistance with the standard package when joining the Harley Davidson Owners Group. H.O.G. members will also receive a copy of the most popular motorcycle magazine in the industry, HOG®. If you are a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you will also get a copy of the official Harley Davidson Touring Handbook and admission to any of the H.O.G. events sponsored by chapters from around the world.

Travels with Harley

Other benefits of the H.O.G. include Harley Davidson insurance, Best Western Rides Rewards, motorcycle shipping, and monthly wireless savings with AT & T. The H.O.G Mileage Recognition incentive is another benefit that allows members to earn patches and pins for racking up miles on their Harley Davidson.

Jim and I love our Harley Davidson chapter and encourage other riders to find a Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter close by.

More Problems in the History of Harley Davidson

Travels with Harley

Over the past few weeks Travels with Harley has shared the History of Harley Davidson coming up with some amazing facts and stories that you probably weren’t aware of. This week we will take you from the late 1990’s to 2007 in the History of Harley Davidson

The first overseas Harley Davidson factory opened in the free economic zone in Manaus, Brazil in 1998. The location positioned Harley Davidson in the Southern Hemisphere motorcycle market, securing another notch in the History of Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the History of Harley Davidson saw its demand peak and began a program that expanded its dealerships throughout America. During that same period, existing dealers were waiting for new inventory for up to 12 months for some of its more popular models.

Travels with Harley

Just like car manufacturers, Harley Davidson will record a sale when it is delivered to the dealer, not when a customer buys the product making it possible for a manufacturer to inflate the sales numbers. This requires Harley Davidson dealers to accept more motorcycles than they want or need. Known as channel surfing, it means that there could be a dramatic decline in stock prices, which is exactly what happened to Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

In April of 2004, Harley Davidson Owners Group shares fell from $60.00 to under $40.00. Just before the decline, CEO Jeffrey Bluestein saw a profit of $42 million prior to his retirement. This was followed by a class action suit filed by Harley Davidson stockholders, who claimed that they were intentionally duped and defrauded by directors and management.

Travels with Harley

In 2000, several United States Police departments began reporting problems when it came to instability at high speeds. In fact, the California Highway Patrol reported weave and wobble instability while testing on a track in 2006. This problem was quickly dealt with at the factory providing another interesting chapter in the History of Harley Davidson. However, Highway Patrols across the country started to go with BMW instead of Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

In January of 2007 more than 2,700 Harley Davidson employees from the York, PN plant embarked on a strike after the company failed to agree on health benefits and wages. The company shut down the plant after negotiations broke down. In February of that same year, an agreement was reached. However, the strike disrupted the national production of Harley Davidson causing a layoff of 440 employees. This also affected suppliers who were forced to lay off Harley Davidson workers because of the Harley Davidson strike.

Travels with Harley

Next week Travels with Harley will share the last chapter of the compelling History of Harley Davidson from 2008 to today.

The History of Harley Davidson Continues

Travels with Harley

If you have been following the Travels with Harley Blog, you will be just as fascinated as we are with the history of Harley Davidson. This week we are travelling back to the 1960’s and beyond to give you more on the history of Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

The history of Harley Davidson started the decade off with a consolidation of the Hummer and Model 165 lines into its Super-10 unveiling the Topper Scooter. That same year Harley Davidson bought 50 percent of the Aermacchi motorcycle division and imported the Aermacchi 250 cc horizontal in 1961. The motorcycle sported Harley Davidson badges and became known as the Harley Davidson Sprint. The Sprints engine was boosted to a 350 cc in 1969 and remained that same size until Harley Davidson discontinued the four-stroke Harley Davidson Sprint in 1974.

Harley Davidson Bobcat

When the Scat and Pacer were discontinued by Harley Davidson towards the end of 1965, the last of the two stroke motorcycles, the Harley Davidson Bobcat, was manufactured for just one year in 1966.

Travels with Harley

When AMF, the American Machine and Foundry, purchased Harley Davidson in 1969, the workforce was slashed and production streamlined. However, this resulted in lower quality made motorcycles and a labor strike. The new motorcycles were inferior in handling and performance and very expensive compared to the relatively cheap and affordable Japanese motorcycles. Thanks to AMF, quality and sales declined almost bankrupting the company. The history of Harley Davidson and its name began to tarnish with some calling it Harley Ableson, Hogly Ferguson, and Hardly Drivable with the nickname, “Hog,” now truly tarnished.

Travels with Harley

In 1976, the Harley Davidson Liberty Edition was manufactured to commemorate the bicentennial in America in 1976. It was at that time that Harley Davidson history would be forever controversial thanks to the Harley Davidson Confederate Edition. Released after the Liberty Edition, it was basically a stock Harley Davidson with confederate specific details and paint.

Travels with Harley

The history of Harley Davidson continues with thirteen investors purchasing the troubled company back in 1981 from AMF for $80 million.

During the early 1980’s Harley Davidson informed the US International Trade Commission that the Japanese were importing motorcycles into the United States at such a high volume that it could threaten domestic motorcycle producers. After an investigation, then President Ronald Reagan imposed a 45 percent tariff on imported motorcycles whose engine capacities were greater than 700 cc. Harley Davidson quickly rejected the offers of assistance from the motorcycle makers in Japan, but did offer to drop their request for the overseas motorcycle tariff for Japanese loan guarantees.

Travels with Harley

 

Next week Travels with Harley will take you into 80’s and beyond in its very own history of Harley Davidson.

Harley Davidson Motorcycles Survival Mode

Travels with Harley

Last week Travels with Harley shared the history of Harley ending with Harley Davidson Motorcycles having some difficulties thanks to the Model T and the slight depression that hit American in the 1920’s, and as you will see in this week’s blog, the troubles with Harley Davidson were only going to get worse, for the time being anyway…

Travels with Harley

Always thinking ahead, part of the Harley Davidson Motorcycles survival plan was to convince American Police Departments that Harley Davidson Motorcycles were ideal for law enforcement and by the middle of the 1920’s Harley Davidson Motorcycles were being used by over 2,900 state patrols and sheriffs.

Travels with Harley

Harley Davidson Motorcycles soon began to captivate the public with law enforcement cops taking on a Wild West image complete with saddlebags, boots, and britches. Always looking to branch out and expand the Harley Davidson Motorcycles brand, Walter soon recognized the motorcycle look launching a successful campaign to sell clothing and accessories. It was this inventive marketing ploy that helped Harley Davidson Motorcycles survive the 1920s creating a booming market that remains successful today.

Travels with Harley

Thanks to Harley Davidson Motorcycles marketing and additional improvements, which included front brakes and a larger engine, Harley Davidson saw its sales increase with over 22,000 motorcycles produced in 1928. The optimistic attitude of Harley Davidson Motorcycles returned with a vengeance, but proved premature with the Great Depression.

Travels with Harley

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Harley Davidson Motorcycles sales began to plummet with only 4,000 Harley Davidson Motorcycles produced by the year 1933. To help with declining sales, Harley replaced the old block letter logo with a new and improved tank design that featured a stylized and graceful eagle. Harley Davidson Motorcycles also started making bikes in a variety of color schemes.

Travels with Harley

With Harley Davidson Motorcycles development continuing, the EL model was released in 1936. The EL boasted a new engine that could provide riders with double the power, a new suspension, new tank design, and a new frame. When the new EL Harley Davidson Motorcycles hit the pavement, sales started to increase with production climbing to nearly 10,000 annually. That figure would remain until the end of the 1930’s.

Travels with Harley

World War II would also see an increase in Harley Davidson Motorcycles sales and production with Harley Davidson building and shipping over 90,000 Harley Davidson military versions overseas for American allies.

Travels with Harley

After the war, Americans began to return to Harley Davidson riding exploding the demand for Harley Davidson Motorcycles. To meet the huge demand, Harley Davidson purchased more manufacturing facilities in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb, in 1947. When the last of the Harley Davidson Motorcycles original founders, Arthur Davidson passed away in 1950, Harley Davidson Motorcycles were indeed the King of the Road.

Next week Travels with Harley will share what happened to the company when the second generation of Harley Davidson management took over from the founding fathers.

Harley Davidson Increases Production

Travels with Harley

Last week Travels with Harley left you with the Harley Davidson entrepreneurs moving into the new workshop, which they had built themselves.

Travels with Harley

After moving into the new Harley Davidson factory/workshop on Juneau Ave. in Milwaukee, WI in 1906, Harley and the brothers Davidson produced 50 Harley Davidson motorcycles in the first year in the new factory. In 1907, Harley Davidson became a corporation and by the year 1909, had hired 35 staff members, and increased the size of the factory by two. That same year, they produced about 1,000 Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Travels with Harley

William S. Harley was obsessed with improving his Harley Davidson invention and started working on a two-cylinder engine design. After an unfortunate false start, Harley Davidson perfected the two-cylinder engine in 1909 and called it the, “V-Twin.” The V-Twin could reach top speeds of 60 mph and became a huge success. Because of the V-Twin, Harley Davidson became known as the company that built fast and reliable motorcycles. In 1910, Harley Davidson produced 3,200 motorcycles.

Travels with Harley

True entrepreneurs Harley Davidson was constantly looking at ways to market the company and promote sales. “The Wrecking Crew,” was a motorcycle racing team sponsored by Harley Davidson and was known for a, “By the seat of your pants,” racing style. Thanks to the fame that was generated by, “The Wrecking Crew,” Harley Davidson remained in the news while stimulating sales at the same time. Not one to rest on its laurels much of the Harley Davidson profits went straight back into product enhancements and engineering.

Travels with Harley

In 1912, Harley Davidson had another engineering breakthrough with a chain that would replace the leather drive belt. Just four years later, the step starter replaced the pedals finally removing themselves from the humble bicycle image. However, many people still depended on bicycles as an inexpensive way to get around, including the United States government.

Travels with Harley

Always looking for inventive ways to market Harley Davidson motorcycles, Arthur Davidson became determined to convince government agencies, including the United States Postal service that Harley Davidson was the new replacement for the bicycle.

Arthur Davidson’s strategy worked, and in 1914, the USPS owned 4,800 Harley Davidson delivering mail, with the military become attracted to the fast and rugged Harley Davidson motorcycles as well.

Travels with Harley

Growing in leaps and bounds, Harley Davidson production had reached 28,189 motorcycles annually becoming the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet. However, problems were about to occur when America suffered a mild depression back in the early 1920’s, causing Harley Davidson sales to slip, not to mention the release of Henry Ford’s cheaper and more practical Model T.

Next week comes the trials and tribulations of the greatest motorcycle story ever told in Travels with Harley.

Harley Davidson Events this Weekend

Travels with Harley

Jim and I enjoy Harley Davidson road trips all year round, but like most other riders are partial to planned Harley Davidson events where we can catch up with people we have met in the past and meet new folks that enjoy riding as much as we do.

If you happen to be in the Chattanooga Tennessee area this coming Friday the 18th, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, head over to Thunder Creek Harley Davidson on Lee Highway for the Trail of Tears Remembrance ride Kick-Off Party. This family friendly event offers Harley Davidson enthusiast’s food, fun, live music, and vendors where you can buy licensed Harley Davidson merchandise.

Travels with Harley

Fresno, California is the place to be this Saturday the 19th when Mathews Harley Davidson, located on Abby St., will be holding its Bike Show and BBQ. Vote for your favorite bike and enjoy great food, good company and a whole lot of fun.

Travels with Harley

If you happen to live in or around Aurora Colorado, head over to Mile High Harley Davidson for the Free Pancake Breakfast. Starting at 9:30 am on E.33rd St. you best be quick as it is first come first served.

Travels with Harley

There are all kinds of Harley Davidson events happening this Saturday all over the United States and if you are planning a road trip this coming weekend, there are plenty of Harley Davidson events to choose from like the annual Lombardi Leather and Legends Dinner at the House of Harley Davidson on West Layton Ave in Greenfield, WI. Catering to riders and non-riders, your ticket includes dinner, drinks, live music, a raffle, an auction and a special program with new friends, and of course, “Legends.”

Travels with Harley

It really is tailgating season, even when it comes to Harley Davidson events. Hot Metal Harley, located on Lebanon Road in West Mifflin, PA is having a family friendly open house where you can enjoy free beer, food, and giveaways with really cool prizes. With live music and a bike show, it is one of the best ways to kick off fall.

Sunday September 20 promises to be a great Harley Davidson events day with amazing Harley Davidson events happening everywhere like the ride with Motor City Harley Davidson Owners Group to see REO Speed Wagon at the Freedom Hall Amphitheater.

Travels with Harley

If you would rather ride this coming Sunday, and live in the New York area, you will not want to miss the NNY Harley Davidson Owners Group Fall Foliage Ride. Head over to Goodnough St. in Adams Center NY where you will ride from the RXCHD over to the Thendera Train Station to hop on the Fall Foliage Train. After the tour, you will jump back on your bike and ride to Lowville to enjoy an early dinner. Be sure to meet at the F.X Caprara Harley Davidson Dealership at 10:00 am as kick stands go up at 10:30 am.

For more information regarding Harley Davidson events this weekend, check out the Harley Davidson official website events page.

The New Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited Edition

Travels with Harley

2016 is just around the corner, and that means the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition has just rolled out and it promises to be better than ever.

Harley Davidson calls the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition the most powerful engine available in a motorcycle cruiser, and Jim and I most certainly agree.

Travels with Harley

The Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition features a new gloss black air-cooled Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B™ engine along with sexy black lower forks, handlebar, axle nut covers and riser. The black hydraulic clutch assembly and the brake lever is also blacked out, as is the over/under exhaust with its slash cut mufflers. If you like black, this is something to consider when it comes to the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition.

Travels with Harley

You will definitely get the looks in the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition. The horseshoe oil tank makes you think of an old Panhead chopper straight out of the 1970’s.

asdfiuahsodeiugfiwue

Never to step back when it comes to technology, the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition comes with a state of the art factory installed security system that is literally hands free. The hands free fob will automatically disarm and arm the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition security functions as you walk away or approach your new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition. All you have to do is place the hands-free fob on your ignition Harley Davidson key ring and it does the work for you.

Travels with Harley

They don’t call it the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition for nothing, and with the new Fat Dunlop® tires, you are sure to get a much smoother ride whether you are cruising through the city streets or headed out to the country for a long weekend Harley Davidson road trip. These tires will give you amazing traction when you brake as well.

Unlike the Harley Davidson’s of old, the 1 ¼” handlebars offer a clean and bold look while being ergonomically designed for comfort, confidence and positioning.

Travels with Harley

To go with the dark look of the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition Harley Davidson has also added a slimmer seat that is ergonomically correct giving a more comfortable and solid connection to the road.

Jim and I love our Road King, but have to admit that the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition is certainly worth a test drive, don’t you think?

Harley Davidson Weekend Getaways in Vermont

Travels with Harley

September is here, and that means fall arrives mid-month and if you are looking for some terrific Harley Davidson weekend getaways, you will not do better than the East Coast. Although the West Coast does have its moments when it comes to the leaves changing color, nothing beats the cavalcade of colors in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Travels with Harley

Vermont is known for its maple syrup and Jim and I truly enjoyed riding through Vermont on our New England Trailblazer Tour, and although it was certainly longer than most Harley Davidson weekend getaways, it was well worth the trip.

Travels with Harley

To enjoy autumn, you have to get out to the roads less traveled on Harley Davidson weekend getaways and if you are planning a trip to Vermont, you will certainly find a few of those.

Travels with Harley

Scenic routes for Harley Davidson weekend getaways in Vermont offer riders everything from farmland vistas to sweeping forests. You can even ride through orchards, farms, and historic downtowns where you will find great cafes, diners, fruit and veggie stands and loads of trailheads for waterfalls, valley views, and swimming holes. The motorcycle roads in Vermont can take you for quick 30 mile Harley Davidson weekend getaways to lengthy 210 mile road trips that may take more than a couple of days.

Travels with Harley

If you follow our blog, you will know that Jim and I are passionate about covered bridges, and if you are as well, you will love Vermont as there are more than 100 of them that range from smaller type constructions over babbling brooks and country streams to the world’s longest two span Cornish-Windsor covered bridge.

Travels with Harley

The best way to enjoy the fall on Harley Davidson weekend getaways in Vermont is to steer clear of the highways and make your way over to the secondary roads.

Vermont-30 is considered one of the best Harley Davidson weekend getaways if you are looking for rolls and curves that will take you past lakes and mountains. The 66-mile ride even takes you by the Bomoseen State Park on Lake Bomoseen where you can stop for a quick swim.

Travels with Harley

If you are really looking for fall foliage, try the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive toll road that will take you 3,140 feet in the air. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a bite to eat before you make your way to the summit where you will be met with a 360-degree view of the entire state of Vermont, New Hampshire, and the Adirondacks. On a clear day, riders can even catch a glimpse of Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada.

Travels with Harley

According to quite a few Harley Davidson weekend getaways enthusiasts, Vermont’s Scenic 100 route is simply the best. With 200 hundred miles of changing views, the ride takes you from Wilmington Vermont to Lake Memphremagog, which is just shy of the Canadian border. With no shortage of activities during the fall, such as hayrides, pumpkin patches, cider mills and farm stands, it is best to make your reservations a few months in advance, as it is extremely popular during autumn.

For the best Harley Davidson weekend getaways, Vermont has got you covered. Make your reservations today and don’t forget to share your story on Travels with Harley.

Fall Motorcycle Road Trips in North Carolina

Travels with Harley

Last week we talked about fall motorcycle road trips and got some great feedback from our readers about their favorite fall motorcycle road trips, with lots of riders talking about North Carolina. One Travels with Harley reader told us that North Carolina has perfect weather, no traffic, great roads in the mountains, not many people and craft beer and food on every corner. Now that sounds like our kind of place prompting us to share some of the best fall motorcycle road trips in North Carolina.

Travels with Harley

The Blue Ridge Parkway is located in Asheville, North Carolina and is a great example of fall motorcycle road trips. With breathtaking views, lots of twists and turns and no stoplights, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile long motorcycle road trip that travels along the Blue Ridge Mountains ridge. Ride north to the Craggy Gardens, or head towards Mt. Pisgah. Don’t be in a hurry as there are plenty of vista points where you can stop and snap a pic. Lodges and restaurants are few and far between on the parkway and are usually only open for business between late April to late autumn

Travels with Harley

North Carolina’s most expensive highway, the Cherohala Skyway, took about 34 years to complete and was unveiled in autumn of 1996. Taking you from North Carolina into the backcountry of Tennessee, the skyway crosses into the Nantahala National and Cherokee Forests and is one of the most popular places in the south for Fall Motorcycle Road Trips. If you have the time, visit the spectacular Bald River Falls.

Travels with Harley

The Black Mountain Rag is one of the best fall motorcycle road trips that takes you from Black Mountain to the town of Bat Cave that is home to the world’s largest known granite fissure cave housing dozens of bat species. During your ride, you may want to do a little side trip up to Chimney Rock and hike into Hickory Nut Falls off the Broad River, which is popular for white water rafting and was the backdrop for the feature film, the Last of the Mohicans. Travel farther south and you will hit some of the best apple orchards in North Carolina.

Travels with Harley

If you have your heart set on shorter fall motorcycle road trips in North Carolina, try the 107 mile Moonshiner 28 ride. The Moonshiner 28 offers stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Nantahala Forest and is a winding road that is rumored to have once been the main route for moonshine transport. Today it is much less traveled, but perfect for riders who enjoy waterfalls, unsurpassed scenery, beautiful lakes, and mountain vistas. With the occasional eatery and antiques shop along the way, Moonshiner 28 really is one of the best fall motorcycle road trips in North Carolina.

Planning the Perfect Harley Davidson Road Trip

Travels with Harley

Summer is nearly here and that means planning the perfect Harley Davidson Road Trip. Jim and I are hoping to get away for a few days to enjoy the warmer weather, and of course, an awesome Harley Davidson Road Trip.

Travels with Harley

Some of the best places to ride on a Harley Davidson Road Trip are often the best-kept secrets, but Jim and I promise, if we find a hidden Harley Davidson Road Trip gem, it won’t be a secret for long.

Travels with Harley

Before you go on a Harley Davidson Road Trip it is a good idea to do some research on the web. We like MotorcycleRoads.com as it offers maps, routes, and scenic Harley Davidson Road Trip suggestions.

Travels with Harley

Another great resource for a Harley Davidson Road Trip is OpenRoadJourney.com. Here you will find motorcycle routes, advice from other riders and interesting articles. OpenRoadJourney.com even has a list of motorcycle events. If you are planning an overseas Harley Davidson Road Trip, you can’t go past EdelweissBike.com. The high-class motorcycle touring company has everything you need for the perfect overseas Harley Davidson road trip.

Travels with Harley

SundayMorningRides.com is a great site that features submissions from registered users who like to share their own Harley Davidson Road Trip. The site has maps and even QR codes that help you access the site from you mobile device.

Travels with Harley

Everything is bigger and better in Texas including a Harley Davidson Road Trip. I checked out some of the routes on the OpenRoadJourney.com site and have added quite a few to our Harley Davidson Road Trip list. Texas offers rider’s national forests, antique hot spots, well kept camping site secrets and historic sites. One of the first to catch my eye is the NW San Antonio to Fredericksburg, TX Harley Davidson Road Trip.

Travels with Harley

The 175-mile Harley Davidson Road Trip offers lake, farmland and mountain views. Settled in 1846 by a German immigrant, Fredericksburg certainly holds on to its roots and is truly the shopping capital of the Texas Hill community with all kinds of different stores that you can enjoy during your Harley Davidson Road Trip.

Travels with Harley

Fredericksburg is loaded with eateries that certainly have my thoughts drifting towards a good meal. One place that I want to enjoy is called the Farm Haus Bistro that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on Sundays. Some of the items on the brunch menu include Eggs Hemmingway, Roasted Almond Belgian Waffles, and Farm Haus Quiche. They even have cottages on the property where you can stay after a long Harley Davidson Road Trip.

Travels with Harley

While you are in Fredericksburg, you have to try an authentic German restaurant. Personally, I like the sounds of Altdorf Biergarten, which is located on West Main Street. This classic beer garden restaurant serves up authentic schnitzel and sausage dinners that come with red cabbage, sauerkraut and sweet and sour potatoes.

Travels with Harley

Fredericksburg is also home to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Located on Main Street you can enjoy 34,000 square feet of allied and Japanese aircraft, guns, tanks and other large war artifacts that were used during the Pacific War.

Start planning the perfect Harley Davidson Road Trip and don’t forget to check out next week’s blog where we will share a few more secret places to head for a Harley Davidson Road Trip.