Harley-Davidson has announced its limited-edition 115th anniversary model list as it focusses more on bikes and racing, rather than big-name rock concerts.
Marketing VP Heather Maleshek says their anniversary party in Milwaukee on the August Labor Day weekend (August 29-September 2) will be “like no other we have thrown before”.
Previously, five-yearly celebrations have attracted more than 100,000 Harley fans, including hundreds of pilgrims from Australia, with a focus on musical entertainment.
Rock titans such as Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Elton John, Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top and the Foo Fighters have headlined previous star-filled line-ups at lakeside Veterans Park.
However, the 115th event will focus on motorcycles and racing as Harley tries to stem the four-year decline in sales.
115th limited edition models
As usual, Harley will release a range of limited-edition anniversary models with special paint and Harley eagle badging.
This year there will be nine anniversary models: Sportster 48; Softail Breakout, Fat Boy and Heritage Classic; and Touring Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Ultra Limited and Tri Glide Ultra and CVO Limited.
They are usually shaped up quickly and become favourites of collectors.
No images of the new paintwork has been revealed yet.
Meanwhile a highlight of the Milwaukee 115th celebrations will be motorcycle racing with the following events:
- Indoor flat track racing at the UWM Panther Arena on August 31;
- “Run What You Brung” drag racing at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove on August 31; and
- Beach Racing at Bradford Beach on August 31 and September 1.
The Harley museum will also be a focus of motorcycle events such as bike games, a bike show and stunt displays.
Tours at the Juneau Avenue global HQ and Pilgrim Rd Milwaukee-Eight and Sportster engine factory will again be popular.
And, of course, a major highlight will be the massive Sunday motorcycle parade through the main streets off town. It is so big that the organisers usually have to cap participant numbers.
Music fans will still be in for a feast of music, but not the big headline acts of the past at Veterans Park where it combined with the city’s Summerfest.
No details of performers have been released yet but there will be smaller concerts at block parties in the CBD and the Harley Museum.
The lack of major rock acts is reflected in ticket prices.
While attendees paid $95 for a ticket, most of this year’s events are free and don’t require tickets.
While the 110th anniversary included events on six continents and a big party in Rome, this time the focal point of the international events will be a big party in Prague from July 5-8.
It will be kicked off with a concert by The Rolling Stones on July 4.
Harley expects up to 100,000 people expected to ride to Prague from 56 countries.
There will also be anniversary events in Australia and other countries. Details have yet to be released.