Between June 22 and 25, Budapest's Puskás Aréna Park in Hungary was transformed into a motorized spectacle: the 120th anniversary festival of Harley-Davidson, the cult U.S. brand, stopped here to thrill fans of motorcycles and music alike.

Great motorcycle exhibition and more

The event offered not only a colorful hustle and bustle, but also an impressive presentation of new and classic motorcycles from Milwaukee.  A very special attention was attracted by the models CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide, which were presented only recently, namely two weeks before the start of the festival, and could now be admired for the first time on European soil.

 

Test drives and off-road adventures

There was not only something for the eye, also driving enthusiasts got their money’s worth.  Visitors were allowed to steer over 70 Harley-Davidson machines through the streets of Budapest and its surroundings.  Those looking for an adventure had the opportunity to ride along on the Pan America on- and off-road rides and experience the Adventure Touring Bikes up close.

 

Global guests and regional beauty

Fans and riders of the Harley-Davidson brand from all over the world, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and Singapore, met in Budapest.  As a thank you for their long journey, they received free tours of up to 300 kilometers, led by regionally experienced Road Captains, who took the guests to the most beautiful places in northern Hungary.

 

Music for every taste

Music lovers also got their money’s worth.  With over 50 bands performing on five stages, there was a diverse musical offering.  Australian bands Airbourne and Wolfmother, Larkin Poe from the USA, The Picture Books from Germany, British rock band The Darkness and Glenn Hughes, who closed the Sunday evening with classic Deep Purple rock, provided international flair.  An authentic Hungarian sound was provided by well-known bands such as EDDA Művek and Pokolgép.

 

Famous faces and winners

Among the prominent guests were Jochen Zeitz, the Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, and Karen and Bill Davidson, the great-great-grandchildren of the company’s co-founder, William A. Davidson.  They were responsible for the drawing in which a visitor from Great Britain won a strictly limited Heritage Classic Anniversary.

 

Custom bikes and creative competition

Numerous customized motorcycles could be admired in different areas of the festival grounds.  On Friday, the most creative conversions from eight countries competed in the Ride-in Custombike show supported by Metzeler.  Over 80 bikes, brought to Budapest especially for the competition, rose to the challenge.  The “Best of Show” prize went to Marco Sonnino from Italy.  Another highlight was the parade on Saturday, when more than 7,000 motorcycles rode through the city and were celebrated by the cheering public.

 

Preview: H.O.G. Rally 2024

Harley-Davidson is already looking ahead: the venue for next year’s 30th H.O.G. Rally has been announced.  This event, which welcomes all bikers and motorcycle fans with free admission, will be held in Senigallia, Italy, from June 6 to 9, 2024.  The charming town, less than two hours from Bologna, boasts Renaissance architecture, impressive coastline and winding roads in the surrounding countryside, making it the ideal place for a tour in 2024.

 

Fazit des Events

Kolja Rebstock, Regional Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), summed it up: “This was an incredible festival. It underlined the enormous appeal of Harley-Davidson and perfectly embodied the Harley lifestyle: We’re about so much more than motorcycles. On behalf of Harley-Davidson EMEA, I would like to thank the event organizers, Sportmarketing Agency Kft, the city of Budapest and of course the people of Hungary for supporting our synthesis of bikes, music and entertainment and warmly welcoming fans from all over the world. Our next major European event will take place in Faak, Austria, where we will welcome all bikers from September 5 to 10 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the European Bike Week.”

 

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