All things Harley Davidson

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
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Trip End Aug 31, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

After two 60 mile days of biking my dad needed a little bit of a break. Today we decided to take a shorter day and just take the longer Harley engine tour. We ended up getting a late start and didn't actually get to the museum
until just before the tour started.

This tour was a lot bigger and longer than the last one. The other one was a free deal that just brought people into the front section of the factory. This one needed tickets to be purchased, lasts about 3 hours, requires steel toe shoes and comes with tickets to the museum. It also started and ended at the museum, so a bus trip via the tour was required to go on over to the plant.

On the bus ride over we watched both a safety video and a short film from the 1970's about the HD engine plant from the 70's. The video was so bad it was almost unwatchable. The star of the show was a 'cool uncle' who was a stereotypical biker a  fat, hairy and very loud man, who taught his nephew about motorcycles. Lots of 70's stylization and camera angles.

The tour went a lot deeper into the factory. We saw where the parts were powder coated, other parts of engine assembly. To be honest, I'm writing this a few days later. I don't remember too much about this part of the tour. It was just an engine factory and a motorcycle engine is actually a very simple engine.

The Museum was just a lot of motorcycles. I'm actually not that into motorcycles, so I wasn't awestruck by anything. It was interesting to see the business side of HD through the AMF years. I knew a fair amount of the situation, but I didn't know how generally unhappy and willing to sabotage the gear. Actually, that was the funniest part about the video that we watched on the way over to the tour. The video was about how much quality control was put into the motors. The AMF years were known for having horrible quality control on top of these other issues as well, so seeing the massive contradiction of truth and propaganda was amusing.

The museum did have a massive collection of bikes and it was interesting seeing the development from bicycles with motors to full fledged motor vehicles. For those of you who don't know, the HD motorcycle was started out of laziness. Around the turn of the century biking was very, very popular. However, Harley and Davidson wanted to enjoy this new fad, but didn't like the exhausting nature of it. The internal combustion motor was still a new thing at the time, so they played around with it and created the motorcycle. Quite a bit different from the bad boy image. As a note; the HD museum did not highlight this fact.

For dinner after the museum we went over to one of my favorite crappy restaurants in Milwaukee. Inside Miller Park there is a TGI Friday's that open year round. While you eat you can either look at the field or watch a game if one is actually going on.
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