Harley Owners Group or AKA the H.O.G.s are well known around the world for their brotherhood and their bond with the fellow riders and with close to a million members and more than 1,400 chapters in 140 countries, the Harley Owners Group is the world’s largest rider club. The inspiration for the name “H.O.G.” came when in the 1920’s Ray Weishaar of Harley-Davidson’s racing team ‘Wrecking Crew’ helped to popularise the nickname hog in reference to Harley-Davidson by carrying the team’s mascot, a small pig, around on victory laps.
In India, H.O.G. currently has 14 chapters, each unique and representative of the local riders and their culture yet share the same bond that Harley owners across the world share. Each chapter is supported by a sponsoring dealer and is led by a cadre of customers who volunteer as officers for the year and organize the group.
Currently, there are over 6000 H.O.G. members in India who participate in various chapters and enhance their motorcycling experience and bond with fellow riders. I went to the 6th Northern H.O.G. rally which was organized in the blue city of Jodhpur from September 15 to 17 by the Dunes Harley-Davidson chapter which is based in Jaipur. Previously the Northern H.O.G. rallies have been conducted across picturesque locations such as Pushkar, Chail, Chandigarh and New Delhi. I started my journey to the blue city, early morning on September 15 with a bunch of riders who have made me one of their own. We started riding at 6:30 in the morning and we reached Jaipur by 10:00 am where we stopped for some refreshments and breakfasts to keep ourselves hydrated and full of energy as we were riding for long stretches, all thanks to a comfortable riding position that Harley-Davidson offers.
After re-energizing and refuelling, we started riding again as all of were excited to reach Jodhpur to attend the various events and performances that were lined up for the H.O.G.s. After crossing the Jaipur bypass the roads were pretty good for riding and luckily the weather was also in our favour. While on my way to Jodhpur I experienced why brotherhood that Harley riders share is known around the world. Each time we crossed any Harley rider or any Harley rider crossed us, both us waived at each other assuring well-being of each other. Every time Harley rider stops, every passing rider makes sure that he gets every possible help. With the experience that I had while riding a Harley-Davidson, I can surely say that “A Harley rider is never alone”.
After a small refuelling break near Beawer, we were ready for the final stretch to Jodhpur where other Harley riders and exciting contests were waiting for us. We entered Jodhpur at around 3:30 pm and it wasn’t difficult to find Vivanta Hotel where the 6th Northern H.O.G. rally was organized as the local residents were also very helpful and everyone was having a keen eye on the roads to see these beautiful bikes running in their blue city.
It was easy to locate the venue from a certain distance as one can easily hear the beautiful exhaust note of Harley-Davidson roaring from quite a distance. When I entered the venue, I saw one of the most beautiful views that any revhead could imagine. Over 1000 Harley riders rode down across the length and breadth of the country to the scenic city of Jodhpur. At the Front Porch of the venue was the highlight of the rally, the signature H.O.G. custom motorcycles which compete with each other to win the award of the best custom motorcycle. It’s a competition where rider demonstrate their passion, creativity, and inspiration that they have put into customising their motorcycle. The top 6 bikes competing in the competition were parked there for the public display. Keen to know the winner, I clicked some images of the bikes and rushed to my hotel room to get energized to attend the eve with other riders.
Waiting for the sun to set and the evening to begin I headed back to the venue where top DJs from Delhi and Rajasthan were warming up for the party. The venue was crowded with riding enthusiasts from all over the country, enjoying the company and the ambience of passionate riding and brotherhood. From tattoo artist to beer garden, everything was there was there at the riders’ disposal. Fueling up the aura was power-packed performances by Tanya Nambiar. While everyone was enjoying the night, I was admiring the winner of Best Bike Customisation award. The exclusive Harley-Davidson merchandise counter at the venue was also something to look at, it has all the things that could make a Harley owner happy, from jacket pins to bandanas, you name it, they had it. After a pumped-up celebration and fingerlicious dinner, I headed back to my hotel to boost up for the next day.
The next day turned out to be a bit charming as it was drizzling in Jodhpur, looked like that Sun God also enjoyed the night and granted us mercy. Looking forward to the opportunity that I got, I skipped the pool party which was organized for the H.O.G. members and took my Roadster to discover Jodhpur. So, at first, I visited the palace for which Jodhpur is known for, the Mehrangarh Fort where I found many others from the same riding kin. Luckily, I had GoPro Hero 5 with me to shoot that picture perfect view. Clicking pictures, enjoying the view, praising the architecture of the fort everyone was having a good time but suddenly it started raining and I rushed back to my hotel. While I was roaming around in the blue city, the H.O.G. members were enjoying various competitions at the venue like archery competition, beard competition and Tug of War.
The artist line up for the evening was even better than the view it was surrounded by, The CopyCats and DJ Sid Morrison astonished the crowd with their performances. As it was the last night of the 6th Northern H.O.G. rally, everyone was trying to get the best out of it. The energy and the aura were so powerful that everyone was ready to party till the daylight but unfortunately that wasn’t possible as most of the riders were leaving for their homes early morning next day.
Just like most of the riders at the H.O.G. rally, I also left the bed early to avoid the traffic and cover as much distance as I can before the sun is on the head. Along with me were several riders who were also heading back to their homes. Like I told you earlier “a Harley rider is never alone”. I reached back Delhi at around 5:30 after 8 hours of riding. The journey came to an end but the ambience and the brotherhood that I experienced will not be forgotten.