Harley-Davidsons roar into Prague for anniversary bash

World Saturday 07/July/2018 20:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Harley-Davidsons roar into Prague for anniversary bash

Prague: Tens of thousands of bikers roared into Prague on Saturday as Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from around the world converged on the Czech capital to honour the storied motorcycle maker's 115th anniversary.
Prague, home to a 90-year-old Harley-Davidson club, the oldest in the world, is hosting the biggest anniversary bash for the motorcycles outside of their US home of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a similar party starts at the end of August.
More than 60,000 bikers and about 40,000 other visitors from over 70 countries convened in Prague, in the heart of central Europe, organisers estimated.
Some 4,000 bikers chosen in a lottery and clad in leather, denim and helmets of all sorts paraded through the city centre on Saturday, revving motors and honking horns.
The event attracted bikers from all over, like Piotr Sobczik of Poland, to share their love of the motorcycles.
"It is freedom, it is a lifestyle. It is a way of spending our free time - a passion," he said.
Riders from as far as the United States and China also came for the four-day gathering which features biker games and music.
"This (Harley-Davidson) brand is so strong for so many people across the entire globe," said Karen Davidson, a great-granddaughter of one of the founders.
Europe has become important for Harley-Davidson, already the dominant player in the heavyweight U.S. motorcycle market.
In 2017, Harley-Davidson sold nearly 40,000 new motorcycles in Europe, more than 16 per cent of sales.
Revenue from European Union countries was second only to the United States.
The company, though, was slammed last month by US President Donald Trump after saying it would move production for European customers overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs after the United States imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports.