Nothing like a good old hill climb, something that has become more and more scarce nowadays . Use to be you could find a good hill climb at least twice a month here in the Midwest.Now you would be lucky to find 1 hill climb event in a season. Hill climb events are some of the best events you can attend, not only is the racing bad-ass, but the parties are even better. These are events that are raw, no bullshit regulations or rules, just plain biker fun. Tits hanging out all around you, brothers getting drunk and acting a fool, camping and partying all night long.
Sturgis, Daytona or the other big rallies have nothing on a good hill climb event. The bigger rallies have become to commercialized, to many big business corporate freaks that show up just to fill the piggy banks off the backs of bikers. Think about it, last big rally you attended, how much did you spend? Few thousand bucks at the low end I’m betting. Well, a good hill climb weekend event with camping included, maybe a hundred bucks and a whole lot more fun and less restrictive. No damn cops running around ticketing people for showing tits, no tickets for loud pipes or handlebars over a specific height or most of all, cops that are not up your ass every corner you turn.
Harley Davidson getting out there and sponsoring this event is long overdue. The company announced the closing of a plant yesterday in Kansas City, costing an estimated 800 jobs, needs to get back to the roots. The company is having a hard time because it got away from those roots , roots that were based in events like the hill climb, roots that were geared towards the blue collar worker instead of the white collar worker who has little or no loyalty to the company.
When Harley Davidson was in all that trouble in the 1970’s, it was the blue collar worker who stuck with it during the AMF years, that loyalty enabled Harley Davidson to salvage the company when they took control back from AMF. How did Harley Davidson repay that loyalty in the 90’s? They jacked up prices and made a Harley a house payment to be able to buy one.
Today Harley is facing some very serious problems. The bikes they are putting out are still over priced. The used motorcycle market is overloaded with bikes that are next to new, let go by those Harley geared it’s marketing campaign towards. The white collar professional that had their fill of the mid life crises and now have moved on to the muscle car or time share in the Virgin Islands.
Harley Davidson has a tough road trying to convince the Millennial generation to pick up a brand new bike. Actually a very tough road to convince them to choose a Harley over a rocket or moped. The Millennial generation is a generation unlike no other. I call them the generation of “ME, ME,ME “. The generation is not into the things we might of been into when we were in our 20’s. Technology has taking over their lives, if it don’t have an Xbox, iPod then you won’t keep their interest for more than 20 minutes.
This sponsorship of a hill climb in the X games is a kick ass development for Harley Davidson. Maybe the suits at the company are starting to realize they must reinvent the roots to tailor to this new generation. But that is the point, roots is where the company needs to go back if they are going to survive in the upcoming years. Time will tell if the X game sponsorship will work, like most marketing campaigns, they will only work if you stick to them and they are long term. Branding in the 18-25 category should be the companies biggest goal. Afterall, this is the category that does not believe in the old saying that has kept Harley going all these years. “You have to own a Harley to be a real biker”.
Source: Journal Sentinel
In a Winter X Games first, Harley-Davidson Inc. says it’s sponsoring a motorcycle snow hill climb race.
The new sport will close out X Games Aspen 2018, which will air Jan. 25-28 on ESPN and ABC television, Harley said Friday.
In the medal event, riders will race modified twin-cylinder motorcycles on the X Games SuperPipe course used by snowboarders.
They will line up side by side at the base of the SuperPipe for a head-to-head race.
Harley has been at the X Games before, but with ice-racing motorcycles rather than hill-climbing bikes.
For ice, racers modify bikes by adding steel screws to the tires for traction. The sport is usually divided into classes for full-rubber and studded tires. Speeds regularly approach 80 mph on straightaways and 60 mph in the turns.
“We’ve raced the ice and climbed virtually every kind of hill,” said Scott Beck, Harley’s marketing director. “Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb is another way for us to grow the company.
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