Harley Davidson enthusiasts will hit the road to Hampi on September 29

Harley-Davidson has many things going for it: one of them is a knack for building brand communities. Instituted in 1983, Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) has over a million members worldwide. The group offers these Harley enthusiasts more than a vague sense of being united by an iconic motorcycle, but shows them the road to connecting with one another in memorable ways.

“It’s difficult to find a Harley guy riding all alone. He enjoys riding in groups: at least, in a group of three or four H-D riders,” says actor Abbas Ali who has an H-D Street Bob and is gearing up for a Southern H.O.G ride from Bangalore to Hampi (September 29 to October 1). Around 200 Harley owners, drawn primarily from seven chapters in South India, will hit the road to Hampi.

Subsumed by an area that bears tell-tale marks of antiquity and vestiges of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi was an easy choice.

“H.O.G seeks to build a sense of community through an appreciation of symbols that evoke our heritage and past. With its rich history, Hampi enables such a process,” says Bala Chandrashekhar, a lawyer with an H-D Nightster and director of the Chennai H.O.G chapter.

When all the Harley enthusiasts that have signed up for ride, congregate at Hampi, quizzes on biking, touring and Harley-Davison will be organised.

“There will be contests at Hampi, but not on the road. It’s not a competitive ride,” clarifies Bala.

When questioned about the possibility of rivalry between H.O.G chapters, both Abbas and Bala launch into explanations of what makes a Harley enthusiast.

“A Harley guy is a peaceful soul. Harleys are not about adrenaline rush, but cruising on the road and enjoying the unfolding scenery. As H-D owners are focussed on being on the road, enjoying the ride and exploring the world, there is little room for competitive riding,” says Abbas.

Bala explains the point, a bit differently: “A Harley guy is a journeyman who rides a bike, sitting in a relaxed position. And the average Harley owner is 30-plus.”

For details, visit www.harley-davidson.in


Prince FrederickMay 11, 2012