harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House

Debbie and I decided to ride to the Open House at the Harley Davidson factory in York, PA on September 19th.  The factory, which is officially known as the “Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA”, has an annual open house and allows the public a chance to see how HD Softails, Trikes, Touring and CVO are built.

We left the house a bit later then we wanted but hit the road mid-morning.  Taking US Route 15 North to Gettysburg (after stopping at Deb’s favorite, Chick-fil-a for breakfast).  The ride on 15 between Frederick, MD and Gettysburg is nice smooth, picturesque trip through Farm County.  But, you need to be alert on this road as there are many, many crossroads that require attention!

When we reached Gettysburg we turned on to US Route 30, also known as The Lincoln Highway, which is the third longest route in the US.  The exit for Route 30 is also the exit for Battlefield Harley Davidson.  I was surprised at the number of motorcycle related small businesses were along the road between Gettysburg and York.  While we did not stop, we were running a bit later then I wanted, I counted at least 5 bike related stores including Battlefield Leather and the Iron Horse Repair Garage.

The worse part of the ride occurred just outside the town of New Oxford. The major crossroad in the town is being repaved and had traffic backed up at least 5 miles.  The GPS showed no way around without a lot of back tracking and Deb would not allow me to skip traffic by riding on the shoulder.  Once we reached the city limits I was able to ride through the back streets and bypass the traffic and construction.  All in all the road worked added another 30 minutes to the ride.

We arrived at the factory a bit before noon. There were all makes and manor of bikes there, even for a Thursday afternoon.  After registration we were issued safety glasses and told to stay inside the yellow lines.

harley davidson

Debbie having lunch outside the factory!

During the walk through we witnessed the birth of a Harley (the VIN stamped onto the frame), fenders and tanks stamped from sheet metal, fairings and saddlebags attached, and bikes tested then loaded into trucks.

We talked with a few of the workers that were assigned to keep us on the path and out of the way of the robots moving the bikes and parts along the assembly line.  They all like working at the plant and enjoyed having us walk through and see what they do to make the bikes.

The walk though ends with you in the gift shop, of course.  There were many “Vehicle Operations” labeled items including the ubiquitous t-shirts.  Because this was an open house the factory had invited several local dealers to “setup shop” in the parking lot along with some food vendors and the “Globe of Death”!  In a different part of the factory campus there were demo rides of the new 2014 bikes as well as the HOG (Harley Owners Group) Pin Stop.

All in all we had a great day (with the exception of the town of New Oxford), so much so that we are considering going back for the “Steel Toe Tour”.

Comments
  1. […] Davidson Vehicle Operations York Open House in York, PA is going to occur 18-20 September.  The wife and I attended the 2013 Open House and had a good time. In addition to the free self-guided tour of the plant there will be the […]

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