By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Harley-Davidson Motor Company “definitely wants to be here” for the 100th Laconia Motorcycle Week, but project manager Samuel Klein cautioned that the company, which set up a demo station at Weirs Beach for this year’s 94th running of the rally, will have to see what’s in store.
With “thousands” of riders taking advantage of the opportunity to try out a Harley this year, Klein said the company plans to offer a little more each year over the next six years, including celebrating the 100th Motorcycle Week.
The bike demos allow riders to take one of the latest Harley models out for a self-guided, 25-minute journey along what Klein called “one of the most scenic routes — and one of the longest” of any the company offers.
The route, marked by arrow signs, takes riders along Route 3 to 106, offering “beautiful twists and turns” so the operators can experience the different elements of riding, including the chance to get up to highway speed on Route 106.
“You can feel everything a Harley-Davidson has to offer,” Klein said. “Trying it on a longer route gives customers more time on the best motorcycle out there.”
Riders arriving at the demo area, across from the Weirs Beach sign, will need to register before selecting a motorcycle. Personnel scan in the bar code and attach it to the driver’s record, scanning it again when the motorcycle returns.
The demos had taken place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the last few years, but Klein said the customers have been asking for them to return to The Weirs, saying the speedway was too far from other Motorcycle Week activities.
The demos are all new models, with special CVOs (custom vehicle operations) that include stage kits to amp up speed and performance. Special features may include bigger engines, heated hand grips, and better stereos. Klein noted that some sound systems increase in volume as the speed increases and lower the volume as speed decreases.
There is navigation on the touring models, making it easier for people to get from Point A to Point B without worrying, Klein said.
For those who do not ride, Harley-Davidson has a motorcycle simulator known as “Jumpstart” that allows people to shift through the gears.
People who try a Harley and decide they want to purchase one will be directed to Laconia Harley-Davidson where they will be treated to a free beverage in the air-conditioned VIP area.
Klein credited Anne Deli, owner of Laconia Harley-Davidson, with helping to secure the new Weirs Beach location.
Along with the demos, Harley-Davidson’s Weirs Beach location offers event pins to members of Harley Owners Groups, and all HOG members will receive a coupon for a free drink and free gift at the Broken Spoke Saloon, where there also is free food from 4 to 6 p.m. each day for HOG members. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum will be showcasing its products at the saloon through the weekend, Klein said.
Klein expressed his gratitude to the city of Laconia, Mayor Ed Engler, and the Laconia Police Department for their help, noting that the police are stopping traffic for the demo riders going out. He said it also could not have happened without the “foresight and business mindset” of Al Mitchell, whose property Harley-Davidson is using.
Samuel Klein, project manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, stands next to one of the latest models in the demo area at Weirs Beach. The motor company has brought its demo rides back to Laconia this year after several years at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. You can find them near the Weirs Beach sign this weekend. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)
- Written by Tom Caldwell
- Category: Local News
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