Thursday, October 9, 2008

9 Oct - Pennsylvania

Today was dedicated to visiting the HD factory where they build their touring bikes (Electra Glide series, Road Kings and the Softail). The tour takes you through the building that manufactures and assembles the touring bikes, the Softail range is built in a factory next door and closed to the public. Thank God it was free – it was so brief you almost felt ripped off. For all that it was interesting watching robots do some quite complex laser cutting on rear fenders and polishing springer front forks. Aside from fenders we watched as petrol tanks were pressed, kick stands forged and got a look at a sample of the 2009 custom colours. One thing that is interesting is that they build bikes to order. As Ivan at ANZA will tell you, he has to order a years supply of bikes in advance. They build what he orders. On the production line we saw bikes of multiple colours and configurations including bikes destined for Mexico, Japan and Canada. It takes 2 hours to assemble a bike and the building is actually the old AMF assembly plant. No pictures allowed.
This is as far north as I go. Tomorrow I head south but not before I investigate why Lancaster smells so much of horse do do. Tonight I am in a motel run by the Amish and it has the most exquisite quilt on the bed.

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