Criticism of the first event in Wollongong last November concerned a lack of accommodation, not enough entertainment and a lack of exclusivity for HOG members.
Organisers say they have not only addressed these issues but added the incentive for those who register of winning a trip to the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, riding a CVO Harley.
Exclusive to HOG
HOG members who register for $59 will get an exclusive Friday night party with headline acts The Radiators and Diesel.
They also get free access to the Saturday night party and concert, a Harley Days patch and entry to the Sunday Shown & Shine. HOG chapters will also lead the Thunder Run.
“We’ve listened to your feedback and have made some big changes for this year’s event,” Harley-Davidson Australia says.
Other changes for 2017 include the Stuart Park event site being opened up to more trade and foods vendors, with more seating and more motorcycle displays.
They also promise more activities and the reintroduction on the Saturday afternoon of the popular chapter games from previous HOG rallies.
The Saturday afternoon events are free and open to the public, but the Stuart Park site will close at 5.30pm to all except HOG members and guests who have bought tickets to the concert featuring the Screamin Eagles and “two big-name bands”.
There was some criticism that Wollongong did not reserve enough accommodation for the 2016 event and HOG chapters were split over several tourist parks, hotels and motels.
Organisers say that Wollongong City Council has been working to ensure ample accommodation has been held exclusively for HOG members at Corrimal Beach Tourist Park, Bullia Beach Tourist Park and Winding Beach Tourist Park.
However, chapters are encouraged to book early as half of the reserved accommodation will be released back to the public on July 26 and the remainder will be released on August 26.
There was also criticism that the annual gathering returns to Wollongong instead of a different location each year as was the practice with the old HOG rallies.
We believe there are no plans yet for 2018, but we have been told that Wollongong was chosen again because it is close to Sydney and would attract new and younger riders.
They say that rallies requiring long-distance travel exclude many riders on Sportsters and the new Street models.
On the three days before the event, Harley Officer Training sessions for dealers, chapter officers and aspiring officers, and the National Directors Meeting will be held in the Wollongong Novotel Hotel.
Organisers say the sessions will offer “more sharing of ideas, more clusters of officer groups, more adult learning methodologies and less instructor-led teaching”.
What do you think of the Harley Days concept and the changes for the 2017 event? Leave your comments below.