I am happy to say I just returned from a weeklong trip to the Midwest touring several shops/companies shooting feature and tech articles for upcoming issues. I was so pleased and impressed with what I saw at each stop. Large and small, all the shops/facilities I visited were American owned and operated companies with staffs of hard working Americans proud to be supporting an industry driven by passion and enthusiasm.
People can say what they want about Harley, and whether H-D accepts the aftermarket industry or not, but it is one company that produces a line of products that indirectly provides the opportunity for hundreds of companies and thousands of people to make a living in this country. While our industry and the country for that matter might not be the raging animal it was years ago, I do feel as though there has been a positive shift as of late and that feeling was confirmed at each stop I made. It was refreshing to get out of the office and be able to visit with these company owners in a different light and see their excitement for the next phase of this industry.
Typically I’ll run into these guys on the road at rallies or industry events where things are pretty hectic with customers walking in and out of their tents or trailers and asking a ton of questions. So it was nice to be able to make a road trip where I could visit them on their own turf and get behind the scenes tours and see first hand a glimpse of the American ingenuity, creativity, and hard work that makes our industry so great.
While my trip was only a weeklong tour running North from Chicago and up along the Western edge of Lake Michigan (just shy of Green Bay), with stops at National Cycle, Harley-Davidson York facility and the Harley-Davidson Museum, Revolution Performance, and Fuel Moto, I saw, photographed, and learned so much from that one week I feel like I was gone for a month. I am excited about the articles that will come out of this trip. And between Jordan and I, I look forward to us splitting up and tackling the other parts of the country visiting the shops and business owners that help fuel this industry. With this trip I’ve only scratched the surface, there are plenty more American companies we plan on visiting and covering in the magazine, stay tuned.
Until next time,