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Mile Marker: April, 2013

By Fred Nabkey

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Chaz Hastings of Milwaukee Harley-Davidson seems to always stay one step ahead of his competition. In addition to his handful of very productive bars and restaurants around the city, and a comedy club and a gentleman’s club on the dealership premises, he has also added a tattoo parlor in Milwaukee H-D called Milwaukee Ink. Buyers can now get a free tattoo when they purchase a new scooter… At the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company won the Vehicle Brand of the Year award at the February 15 Top 100 Dealer gala. The Company knocked off the metric dealers with the most number of franchised dealerships in the Top 100 with 40 new dealerships cracking the century mark. Six of the top 10 dealers were A.D. Farrow Co. (owner Bob Althoff was recipient of the 2013 Don Brown Lifetime Achievement Award), Bud’s H-D in Evansville, Indiana, Harley-Davidson of Erie, Pennsylvania, Hot Rod Harley-Davidson in Muskegon, Michigan, Mad River H-D in Sandusky, Ohio, and Worth H-D in Kansas City, Missouri. Special merit awards went to J&L Harley-Davidson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) for Community Involvement, Vandervest Harley-Davidson (Green Bay, Wisconsin) for Best Exterior, and A.D. Farrow, winning both the Print Media and Integrated Media awards for its dealership centennial campaign… Not your typical Harley? I think not! In Woodbury, Minnesota, a police officer responding to an alarm at the Prestwick Golf Club at 5:20 a.m. on January 23 noticed an SUV driving slowly in the area. The officer recalled a memo about a suspect in a similar auto and stopped the car. Inside he found Harley David Sullivan, 18, and Jared Sternaman, 20, who said they were delivering newspapers, but saw two men crawling under a garage door earlier and showed the police the location. They were allowed to leave. Good, right? Noooooo. Surveillance cameras showed they stopped and bought gas, shopped at Wal-Mart, breakfasted at Mickey-D’s and made a stop at SuperAmerica, racking up about $900 using the owner’s credit card. They have been charged with felony burglary and face 20 years in the slammer and $35,000 in fines. I can hear the bros in prison now—“Hey Harley, wanna go for a ride?”… Congratulations to Matt Avers on winning the Red Cross-sponsored brand-new 2011 Harley XL1200 Nightster at Napoleon Harley-Davidson in Napoleon, Ohio. Whoever gave blood at the dealership blood drive between December 1 and January 19 was automatically entered. One hundred semifinalists’ names were drawn and a reverse raffle cut the entrants to five. Those five were directed to pick a motorcycle and sit on it. Only one of those would start and Matt picked the right one, winning him the Nightster. This info came from Nicole Luttrell, and this is how she signed the e-mail: “May all your rides be filled with warm memories and good times. Riding with Pride, Nicole Luttrell, Marketing Coordinator Napoleon Harley-Davidson.” Very cool… Kim Erickson of Sparta, Michigan, sent this for me to pass along. The Travelling Memorial Wall is coming back, and I have been asked to assist with the motorcycle escort once again. Just like we did five years ago, Westgate Bowl (Comstock Park, Michigan) is the staging site. The date is Thursday, August 29, and we will leave at 8:00 a.m. Arrive early so we can be ready to leave once the Wall arrives. Once we arrive at the designated area, you may help them set up the Wall if you would like. It was such an honor to be a part of this the last time, and I am looking forward to it again. The folks who haul this Memorial Wall across the country said they never had an escort this large, and never had the Wall assembled so quickly. I hope we can get a great turnout to escort “The Wall That Heals.”… The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee has teamed up with the Harley-Davidson Foundation to open a new educational exhibit. “Hands-On Harley-Davidson” opened March 1, and gives children the chance to work as a team to create a play motorcycle using interchangeable custom parts, including saddlebags, mirrors, seats and engine components. Once complete, they can climb on as interactive videos, audio and wind effects simulate “The Ride.” They can learn traffic safety, as well as maps to help them with math exercises… Did you know that the very first commemorative Harley-Davidson motorcycles were introduced in 1953 to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary? And that an anniversary model didn’t appear again until The Motor Company’s 85th anniversary in 1988? To find out about the design and manufacturing processes used to create anniversary models and logos, you might want to visit the “Designing a Celebration” exhibit, now open at the Harley-Davidson Museum. The exhibit will remain open through the 110th Anniversary Celebration, and may continue a little later into September… The Harley-Davidson theme store in Canal Park located in Duluth, Minnesota’s shopping and tourist Mecca, has packed up its 2,500-square-foot shop and is now closed. Dennis Kachelmyer, co-owner of Harley-Davidson Sport Center in Hermantown, said it was a great idea—at least in the summer. With the winter temps and the tourist foot traffic slowing to a crawl, they could not justify staying open any longer. Two full-time employees will move to the dealership along with the inventory and be absorbed into the system… That’s it for this month folks. Please don’t name your children Harley. Ride fast, but ride safe.

 

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