Iron Run 2017 Expands Harley-Davidson’s Reach

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Harley-Davidson - Iron Run

TALES FROM THE ROAD: Thousands turn out for NZ’s ‘inclusive’ annual event that continues to expand its global H.O.G. family.

Harley-Davidson’s Iron Run 2017 — “The Running of the Hogs” — held recently in Queenstown, New Zealand, was more than just an awesome experience for thousands of H.O.G. members. The two-day festival bringing together over a thousand Harley-Davidson owners and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over New Zealand was also a big opportunity to draw in new H.O.G. members.

In his New Zealand Auto Car piece, biker Paul Owen gives a front-of-the-pack review of the event’s Thunder Run, which saw thousands of bikers trek from Queenstown to Arrowtown. “The run creates one of the biggest two-wheeled spectacles you’ll witness in the Southern Hemisphere,” he writes. But Owens also relates that the massive motorcycle ride “didn’t just contain Harley-Davidsons but a fair sprinkling of Victorys, Ducatis, and Hondas as well.” And not everyone wore black leather. In fact, the goal of the event is to be as open and accepting as possible to every type of rider and thus continue to grow the Iron Run community of participants.

“We’ve got a little saying in our office (about Harley-Davidson as a brand): We’re not exclusive, we’re inclusive,” says Adam Wright, Marketing Manager of Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand, in the article. “We have to keep reinventing ourselves and reach out to a larger audience. The Livewire (concept electric motorcycle) and the (entry-level) Street models are new directions for the brand.”

 

‘This is a ‘club’ that anyone can join. Even the ambassadors don’t promote
the brand for money. They all do it for their love of riding a Harley.’

 

“[Iron Run] is really important to us as it gives us the opportunity to show what the whole Harley-Davidson lifestyle is about – even to non-motorcyclists,” adds Owen.

Harley-Davidson Iron Run

Australian athlete and three-time World Women’s BMX champion Caroline Buchanan — who became an ambassador for the Street 500 about two years ago — also helped to pull in new members during the event. “A photographer friend of Marcus Wilson, (H-D A&NZ’s chief tech guy) recommended me for the role [of ambassador]. They were looking for a sports person, small and female, to help break in that part of the range.”

 

‘Iron Run is really important to us as it gives us the opportunity to show what
the whole Harley-Davidson lifestyle is about – even to non-motorcyclists.’

 

As Owen recounts, “Young riders instantly welcomed the opportunity to make their first bike a new Harley on both sides of the Tasman, especially as they could afford the entry ticket. Encouraging them to do so is the association of Buchanan, riding the model.”

“Indeed, this is a ‘club’ that anyone can join,” Owen adds about the Harley lifestyle and brotherhood. “It’s not like you have to spend big dollars on a supercar to gain entry. And even the ambassadors don’t promote the brand for money. They all do it for their love of riding a Harley.”

Iron Run 2017 ran March 16-18 and included a bike show, guided rides, a “show us your tatts competition,” and a St Patrick’s Day-themed party at the Queenstown Ice Arena, plus entertainment by rock band Screamin’ Eagles and New Zealand’s pre-eminent rhythm and blues artist Midge Marsden. Iron Run 2018 has not yet been announced, but we’re sure it will be just as awesome and inclusive as 2017’s event was.

Dan Gregory is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums and Ford F-150 Online.

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