The second running of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge received a big boost yesterday when it was announced that Harley-Davidson signed on as an official sponsor.
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was an event unlike any other last year. Testing the utmost limits of a motorcyclist’s endurance and determination, the inaugural event was a gruelling run from Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska. Many entered, but few finished. At its culmination, William Barclay of Highland, Florida rode away with the $500,000 cash prize, while others felt richly rewarded by the experience itself.
This year’s Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, which will run through all 48 contiguous states, into Canada and end in Nova Scotia, got a tremendous boost when Harley-Davidson announced it will be the primary sponsor and will provide marketing and promotional support for the upcoming event.
“We’re excited about what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge represents to our riders,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director of Customer Experience in yesterday’s press release.
“The new direction of being more about a personal test of touring endurance, where rider and machine stretch the boundaries of long-distance touring appeals to us,” continued Piehl.”It’s a perfect match for the superior touring experience and capabilities of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. ‘Hoka Hey’ translates to ‘It’s a good day to ride!’ and that is always the case on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”
According to Beth Durham of the Hoka Hey organizing committee, the ride will start at Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona on August 5th. Riders must arrive at the final checkpoint in Nova Scotia in 18 days to be recognized by the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge Organizers. The first 25 riders to reach the finish and hit all the checkpoints along the stipulated route will be recognized as winners and be eligible for a part of the $500,000 total cash prize. The outright winner will take the lion’s share of $250,000, with paydown going to the remaining top 24 finishers.
There will be 15 checkpoints at Harley-Davidson dealers along the route. H-D is also looking at the possibility of adding the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as one of the checkpoints. Additionally, each rider can designate a “home Harley-Davidson dealership” when they sign up. The “home dealers” of the top five finishers will be eligible for awards and recognition along with the riders. This will increase the grass-roots level of exposure for the event as dealers can sponsor local riders while dealerships stand to gain national exposure as a result.
The 2011 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is only open to Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This is not a result of The Motor Company’s sponsorship. Organizers said that there has been a general lack of interest from metric cruiser manufacturers. They originally intended on running the event with different categories of bikes, but mapping out the route with a different starting point and checkpoints was becoming a logistical nightmare, so they opted to limit it to Harley-Davidsons solely.
Riders set their own pace and are encouraged to ride within the legal speed limits. They can ride the entire route or participate in particular segments within the route. The prize money is an attractive factor, but people who stepped up to the challenge last year say the experience itself was priceless. It provides an opportunity to join fellow riders on an epic journey, to enjoy the fellowship of the open road on two wheels and will explore a person’s limits of mental and physical endurance. For further details and to read testimonies from last year’s event, go to Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.