Thursday, October 16, 2008

Harley-Davidson Tours

It is not actually a written law that someone who got married on a Harley-Davidson (see leather-clad newlyweds in photo) is required to tour every Harley-Davidson factory that presents itself, but so far it seems that is the route I am taking in life. The first opportunity was the (relatively) new H-D factory in Kansas City. The powers to be at Harley know their strength comes from their strong connection with their customers, so they have made it possible for the customers to "take ownership" of the motorcycle manufacturing process by facilitating a top-notch factory experience. The guests are first shown an inspiring video that tell of the struggles this American company has overcome, then the guests are given the official H-D Tour Badge (show in photo above), and fitted with an earpiece that enables them to hear every syllable of the Factory Tour Guide's words, even though they may be several feet away and surrounded by machinery noises. And, of course, at the end of the tour, you can have your photo made on any of the beautiful H-D motorcycles on their showroom floor (see aqua bike in photo). Likewise, you will be given the opportunity to buy H-D souvenirs and attire until your pocketbook runs out of funds! Another nice touch in the way H-D uses their customers to market their company for them, is that the guide gives each person in the tour a slick-looking H-D postcard, tells the guest to address it anywhere in the U.S., and then they mail it to your addressee at no charge. What a deal! Besides Kansas City, I have "notches" in my belt for the factory tour at Tomahawk, Wisconsin and York, Pennsylvania. I would recommend these tours for EVERYONE---even if you are not a motorcycle fan. That is because these tours give you the opportunity to see some very sophisticated equipment produce some incredible products, through the use of laser cutting, robotic sanding and painting, and powerful presses to shape the metal to exact specifications. You can actually see how the process starts with a big roll of flat steel, and ends up with the piece of mobile sculpture called a Harley-Davidson! (Note----Reserve your spot on the tour as soon as you know it is a possibility, especially if you are taking a group. See www.HARLEY-DAVIDSON.COM/EXPERIENCE for more information) Miles of H-D smiles! Tricia Turner
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