Here is a little essay that I did after returning from the Keweenaw ride and that appeared in the same issue of Enthusiast magazine. It contains what might be called my philosophy or manifesto of motorcycling: Adventure! Adventure! Adventure! -- HW

Herbert Wagner

Enthusiast Magazine Summer/1997

Bill Harley and the Davidsons had a dream when they built their first motorcycle in 1903 (sic): To transform the bicycle into an iron steed worthy of carrying them and their pals on great outdoor adventures. Almost 95 years -- and hundreds of thousands of motorcycles later -- this dream remains vital and alive.

The bikes may be bigger, flashier, and more reliable. The roads smoother with better accommodations along the way. But the core experience remains the same. It resides in the joy of running free on a thundering Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

To throw a leg over a Harley is to recapture the open frontier. Hoofbeats still echo in the classic V-Twin engine design. Nothing is more evocative of this heritage than to pack your saddlebags, strap on a tent and sleeping bag, and then hit the open road. As the miles unwind you'll learn to see again. To trust your instincts. To relax and grow carefree. You'll become one with the elements and discover the mystic roots of the land. Travel when and where and how you will. In time you won't even care where the road leads so long as the air is fresh and the sun glorious.

When night comes you pitch your tent and kindle a fire. You'll feel an honest appetite. You watch the stars emerge as the day descends into purple night. In the morning you awake with the birds, refreshed and eager. You eat a hearty breakfast and then glide on. All that concerns you is the moment and the comradeship of your mount. Every second fresh scenery flashes past. Over every hill lies the promise of new adventure.

The motorcycle is the greatest source of outdoor excitement ever devised. The founders of Harley-Davidson knew this. They gave every lover of the outdoors a wonderful legacy in the invention of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle -- one that will be passed on forever to those who follow.

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