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Posts Tagged ‘Will Barclay’

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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Riders Depart Key West, FL - Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge

How about riding 500 miles a day for 14 days straight and then each night sleeping on the ground?  For some it’s just the kind of thing that makes it onto a “bucket list” and they’re ready to go.  For others it creates a moment of pause.

Endurance riders sometimes engage in endurance events known as rallies. Rallies take on a multitude of formats, differing in duration (anywhere from 12 hours to multiple days) and type of road.

That was the situation yesterday for about 1000 riders at the start of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.  Riders left Key West, FL., exclusively on Harley-Davidson motorcycles headed for Homer Alaska.  Grueling ride?  Absolutely!  But, the challenge has the added benefit for the rider who travels the 7,000 miles first — they’ll win $500,000.

According to urban legend the term “Hoka Hey,” means “It’s a Good Day to Die” in Sioux. In reality this is a corruption of the intrepretation.  The reason people think it means “it’s a good day to die” is that the Lakota Sioux leader Crazy Horse famously shouted to his troops “Hokahey, today is a good day to die!” It meant something more like “Let’s go men, today is a good day to die!”

At any rate, the challenge is billed as an annual once-in-a-lifetime challenge where the contestants’ mettle will be tested.  Co-founders Beth Durham and  Jim “Big Jim” Red Cloud describe the Hoka Hey Challenge not as a speed race.  It’s about endurance.  Besides John Ryan holds the record for a continent crossing where last year he performed a crossing in 86 hours and 31 minutes.  The Hoka Hey contestants pay a $1,000 entry fee. They can have their miles sponsored for charity, much like a marathon.The route will span two countries, over more than 62 mountain ranges, 33 Indian reservations, 25 national forests, 8 deserts and 6 national parks. The daily routes are secret until each morning during the 14 days. The first checkpoint is somewhere in Mississippi.

I don’t know if this is the “Olympics” of all endurance rallies, but none-the-less good luck riders!

UPDATE: June 28, 2010 — According to reports out of Homer, AK, Frank Kelly, of Prosperity, S.C., and Will Barclay, of Highland, Fla., rode under the finish banner on the Homer Spit after finishing the Hoka Hey Challenge this morning (Monday).  The two men who’d only met on the road made a pact in Fairbanks when they left the last checkpoint about 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon: they’d finish first together.  Kelly, 34, works for AT&T and Barclay, 50, flies corporate jets. Kelly rode a 2009 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic and Barclay a 2008 Electroglide Classic he bought three weeks before the race — his first Harley ever.  Congrats!

UPDATE: July 7, 2010 — Allegations of fraud and questions on the legitimacy of the organization and winner payout prompt the first legal complaint.  Formally filed with the State of Florida’s Attorney General against the Hoka Hey Challenge and its organizers Beth and Jim Durham of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Jim Durham also goes by the name of Jim Red Cloud. More information about the complaint HERE.

UPDATE: August 3, 2010 — Excellent interview with Will Barclay, the winner of the endurance race HERE.  H-D should do a commercial and leverage this guy!  A shout out to Quick Throttle Magazine for making it available!

Photos courtesy of Hoka Hey web site, Andy Newman and The Citizen.

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog

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