Harley riders have a saying, “If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.” You may have seen it on a T-shirt at a motorcycle event alongside some other great classics. At risk of being caught in this Zen biker-wisdom Catch-22, I’ll roll the dice and continue. You decide if you’re clueless or in the choir. I don’t think it has to be so black and white.
Here at Cycle World, most of us are unapologetic performance nerds. Some of us have even, on occasion, been guilty of privately expressing a dismissive attitude towards any motorcycle that isn’t on the cutting edge of technology and performance. I could tell you that we still “get it” when it comes to the idea that bikes can stir the soul in ways that don’t equate in any way to a bunch of stats, but hopefully, the “Characters” issue (July, 2012), speaks for itself. We can appreciate the immeasurables as much as the next guy.
That’s what the H-D Experience was all about, a chance to show some motojournalists around Milwaukee to get a deeper understanding about what makes The Motor Company (and its customers) tick. Maybe they didn’t see the T-shirt.
The entire “experience” consisted of a guided tour of the factory, museum, parts and accessories division and an extremely rare opportunity to tour Harley’s research and development operation. Finally, we went to Elkhart Lake for some racing and to talk with some of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 racers and organizers. Throughout, we rode as a group on Harley models of our choice, including an absolutely gorgeous rural Wisconsin ride from Milwaukee to Elkhart Lake.