Harleys hog birthday limelight

Mr Chips (left) and Rosco enjoy a catchup at the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Mr Chips (left) and Rosco enjoy a catchup at the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Bill Davidson (left) grandson of the founder of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles with former All Black and fellow rider Josh Kronfeld look over a 1948 14" FL Panhead on display at the Ellerslie Convention Centre where the 110th anniversary of the company was celebrated.
Bill Davidson (left) grandson of the founder of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles with former All Black and fellow rider Josh Kronfeld look over a 1948 14" FL Panhead on display at the Ellerslie Convention Centre where the 110th anniversary of the company was celebrated.
Harley-Davidson fan "Crash" before the start of a mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Harley-Davidson fan "Crash" before the start of a mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Jo Wiseman from Queenstown sets off on the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Jo Wiseman from Queenstown sets off on the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
"Medics" Ian Hunter and Susannah take part in the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
"Medics" Ian Hunter and Susannah take part in the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Riders in the Harley-Davidson mass run at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
A riders waits for the Harley-Davidson mass ride to begin at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
A riders waits for the Harley-Davidson mass ride to begin at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Aisling of Auckland prepares for the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Aisling of Auckland prepares for the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Members of the Christchurch Rolling Thunder chapter take part in the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.
Members of the Christchurch Rolling Thunder chapter take part in the Harley-Davidson mass ride at the Ellerslie Event Centre to celebrate 110 years of the brand.

Thousands of leather-clad supporters thundered into Auckland this weekend to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson and 30 years of the Harley Owners Group.


Click on photo for more views from the Harley-Davidson rally in Auckland celebrating the company's 110th anniversary.


But it is the visit from head Hog Bill Davidson, great-grandson of co-founder William Davidson, that has created a buzz in the bikie business.

Davidson has been riding with members around the region after a four-month break following heavy snowfall in his hometown of Milwaukee.

"I own 15," he said.

"One thing unique about owning a Harley is you have these phenomenal experiences of going to beautiful areas to see the sights and you meet these wonderful people so your bike has a lot of sentimental value, for a lot of people. Because of that value, it's hard to get rid of them."

Davidson started riding when he was six, on "a little 50cc Harley" and since then has grown into an ambassador for the company.

"I fell in love with riding instantly and I grew into it," he said.

"It's exciting for me to see how strong the brand is in New Zealand," Davidson said.

"We have the number one market share in 650cc and up," he said.

"And we've had that for a number of years. I think there are just over 20,000 Harleys registered here, which is just fantastic. People love the brand."

Sunday Star Times