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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Piehl’

The smell of fuel, the camaraderie of fellow riders and the attention garnered from the public in a long-distance endurance motorcycle competition are the backbone of the sport.

Last year it became more than apparent that the public and participants of the Hoka Hey Challenge were left with some incorrect perceptions and information about the competition.

I’ve previously blogged about H-D throwing their corporate weight behind the long-distance event and wasn’t sure why given the history and the risk to the brand.  Will Barclay (the 2010 winner) even posted a comment. However, the new team behind the 2011 event are working hard to correct the communications and with big name sponsors (now includes the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.)) it looks to be on a more positive track.

H.O.G. recently jumped in and announced their support of the event.  To recognize the H.O.G. members partaking in the Hoka Hey event – as among the most adventurous in the world – the highest finishing eligible H.O.G. member who completes the event (as determined by the organizers) will be awarded a 2012 Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) motorcycle of his or her choice. In addition, the 2nd through 5th highest finishing eligible H.O.G. members will each be awarded a portion of a total of $19,000 in additional cash prizes.

Very cool!

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will begin August 5, 2011. The event, the second annual in a series, begins in Phoenix, Arizona, and travels through all forty-eight contiguous U.S. states and several Canadian provinces to Nova Scotia.  The route will travel more than 10,000 miles, and is open only to riders of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Photos courtesy of Hoka Hey Challenge.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Are you Hokiddingme!

It’s true.  The press release is HERE with an accompanying H-D executive quote:

“We’re excited about what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge represents to our riders,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director of Customer Experience. “The new direction of being more about a personal test of touring endurance, where rider and machine stretch the boundaries of long-distance touring, appeals to us. It’s a perfect match for the superior touring experience and capabilities of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. ‘Hoka Hey’ translates to ‘It’s a good day to ride!’ and that is always the case on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

Does the Harley-Davidson corporate firewall prevent Google searches?  Or is the company desperate for publicity – even bad publicity?

There are so many lingering questions about the legitimacy of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge that even after Will Barclay, the so-called winner of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, stated the $500,000 in prize money was wired to his bank account – no one believed him – he won’t produce proof – and months after the race the drum beat of rage in the motorcycle forums and Facebook pages about allegations of a full-blown scam and improprieties of Big Jim Durham/Redcloud continues unabated.

Is it possible for a 3-country, 14-day rally to get arranged, promoted, staffed and managed in such a short time (HHC 2011 is August 20, 2011), and come off with fewer legal threats, contradictions, communication issues, controversy and disorganization than last year?

And Harley-Davidson wants to entrust their brand with this organization?!

Photo courtesy of HHC/H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Screamin' Eagle 120R Engine

In a move that contradicts previous year investment strategies, Harley-Davidson is feeling flush this holiday season and announced increases in race team support and contingency funds.

First off was the $45,000 fund announcement and support of the AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series.  The series expands to nine rounds of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season scheduled for a March 10 – 12, 2011 start in Daytona.  The Vance & Hines XR1200 Series features H-D XR1200 motorcycles specially modified with racing kit parts supplied exclusively through V&H.

On the same day H-D announced that all three factory sponsored riders (Hines, Krawiec, Coolbeth) were re-signed for 2011 and will be returning to their respective race teams.  Steve Piehl, H-D Director of Customer Experience stated that “Although we didn’t win any championships this year, Andrew, Eddie and Kenny all displayed the hearts of the champions they are, and we are confident they will continue to perform at the highest level in 2011.”

The more interesting news (at least to me) was the additional announcement by H-D to create a new Draggin’ Bagger Class (D.B. Class) for the 2011 race season.  This new drag racing class is centered on the introduction of its Screamin’ Eagle 120R engine, a 120 cubic-inch V-Twin capable of outputting 135 HP and 137 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel.  The new class is for 1999 and up H-D touring motorcycles equipped with the 120R engine.  The motorcycles in this class must run with an original frame, fairings, saddlebags and other bodywork as race fans watch to see who can run a wheelie popping 10-second race.

This is the first time in decades that H-D has offered a crate racing engine and I’m sure we’ll see some exciting racing in the 2011 season.  Lastly, H-D announced it will continue its sponsorship of the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the Draggin’ Bagger class will debut in Orlando, FL on March 4-6, 2011.

Photo courtesy H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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