The second southern H.O.G Ride concluded this past weekend and here is our report of the event. The ride saw over 300 Harley Davidsons, from various parts of India, assemble in Mahabalipuram, about 50km from Chennai, to ride down to Pondicherry.
Harley's press release reads "The sheer camaraderie and brotherhood amongst the riders fuelled the tempo of this milestone journey". They couldn't have said it any better as the H.O.G (Harley Owners Group) is a close knit family and these riders enjoy every moment of being in the group.
The ride saw every Harley member in attendance, right from the Sportster series consisting of the SuperLow, Iron 883 and Forty-Eight to the tourers such as the Road King.
The three day event saw a couple of live bands performing, a Harley merchandise display, a tattoo parlor and a 'Swap-Shop', where riders could exchange accessories and have them installed on the spot.
I got to interact with a lot of Harley owners and understand what the brand and the culture meant to them. The owners also shared their views on the level of customization available in India and what they would like to see more from the brand.
What do you think about the Harley culture in India?
100% of the riders agree that the culture is getting there to the U.S standards. They believe that the company has done very well to encourage such rides. In short, Harley owners are not complaining about the lack of events.
What about customization? In the U.S, they say that no two Harleys are alike. Are you satisfied with the level of customization here in India?
One rider says that he would like to see the company expand their customization packages. Given the option, he would like to customize his bike at the dealer lever, where he knows that the parts used are genuine and come with a warranty.
One of the riders I spoke to says he could be the youngest Harley owner in India. He has no qualms importing certain accessories from the US or from Dubai, and as for the fitment "my local garage in Kochi takes care of that", he says.
Whether their bike is customized or not to make them more exclusive, one thing is common here - the motto. "Four Wheels Move The Body, Two Wheels Move The Soul"!