Harley Davidson

All posts tagged Harley Davidson

After a light breakfast {cough} at Mr D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona we set off towards Las Vegas.

Due to the heat, I’d earlier developed heat rashes on my arms and chest and found it better when it was really hot to wear long sleeved T-shirts and to pull the buff up to cover my face – very SWAT-ish! More of this tomorrow…

First stop was Oatman, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned. Wild mules, “burros”, roam the streets asking to be fed by visitors and the whole town has a real Wild West feel to it. Then on to Las Vegas, stopping for lunch in “the middle of F-ing nowhere” as my check-in on Facebook suggested; also known as Searchlight, Nevada.

Reaching Las Vegas, we headed to our stop for the night, the New York, New York which, included its own rollercoaster. Not just a hotel, but a resort with shops and themed restaurants throughout the main reception area.

American Excess.

Las Vegas I found to be incredibly tacky – like Blackpool but without the charm – and I can see why it’s popular for stag weekends and themed weddings. What was very sad was the number of people still playing the slot machines at 1am…

Dinner was at the impressive Harley Davidson Café: you really have to admire the branding/lifestyle efforts at Harley Davidson – you don’t just buy a motorbike, you buy a lifestyle.

Off to bed and the promise of a lie-in due to the expected heat of the Mojave Desert and a suggestion we might simply hit the Interstate to Barstow.

Burros in Oatman Nevada Wrapped Up A Light Breakfast Understated... Hanging Harleys Oatman, AZ

…and it’s not the one I chose.

Having had the Road King Classic as my first choice, I was a little disappointed when we turned up at Woodstock Harley Davidson after an hour’s bus ride to collect the bikes to be told that as they were out of Road Kings I’d have to ride one of their fleet of Electra Glide Ultra Limited bikes instead.

Woodstock Harley Davidson, Illinois

I consoled myself by thinking about being able to hook up my iPod – bought specially for the trip – to its sound system but was horrified when I saw the colour: “root beer”, aka ‘horrendous metallic brown’.

Harley Davidson FLHTK Electra Glide Ultra Limited

A ride back into central Chicago with traffic jams on a hot day revealed that it started to pink when hot…

Sadly, Global Enduro had to cancel the Sturgis trip as a group had had to cancel. Thankfully, there was another authorised trip on Harley Davidson’s website: Route 66 Westbound – 2400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles with more or less the same dates, so definitely do-able.

This was on my bucket list and whilst I still want to do Sturgis at some time in the future, doing Route 66 will be an amazing ride with some sights along the way like Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

So I’ve booked with Italian organisers Bikers American Dream and waiting to hear further details now. Still aiming to book a Road King but I may have to go for an Electra Glide if not.

So then: a change of plan. The cost of shipping Blue Rex to and from the States was working out to be too expensive and too complicated to arrange.

Then a friend of mine announced he’d bought himself a Harley Davidson Street Bob. As I didn’t know which model that was, I went over to the Harley Davidson UK website to have a look and saw their link to their authorised tours. One happened to sit perfectly in terms of dates when London will be at a standstill for the Olympics and it also ticked other boxes: luxury, because I like a bit of that; and Sturgis.

Now since I was a young hooligan biker, I’d always wanted to go to the Sturgis Rally so this seemed too good an option to miss out on. Deposit was paid and arrangements made for “The Ride to Sturgis” with Global Enduro.

Today, I’ve had a phone call to confirm my choice of ride and I’ve gone for the Harley Davidson Road King Classic. This should hit all the right bases: a screen to stop the bugs and any rain; not too visually heavy so I can still see everything around me rather than just a load of fibreglass; some storage capacity for waterproofs and my cameras; light enough to handle reasonably; and not a ridiculous riding position or tank range.

Harley Davidson Road King Classic

Harley Davidson Road King Classic