A Harley fit for an Olympian

Oxford (16 July 2012) - In just a few days time, the 2012 Olympics will kick-off in London – and no doubt commuting in and around the city on four wheels will become problematic for some. However, former Olympian Iwan Thomas MBE, who represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 1996 and 2000 Games, already has his transportation organised – in the form of his stunning customised Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.

The 38-year-old athlete has always been a fan of Harley-Davidson and fell in love with the Softail Cross Bones motorcycle when he first saw it. However, his particular model has been heavily customised with Genuine Parts and Accessories® to reflect his personality.

As he continues his role as an ambassador for the 2012 Olympics, we managed to grab a quick chat with him about how he first got into motorcycling and why he loves his Harley so much…

I first started riding when I was ten years old
I started out on a motocross bike and got a 50cc machine when I turned 16. I love the freedom that comes with motorcycling – I like being anonymous. Riding without planning a journey is the best, as I enjoy just seeing where I end up!

Heritage comes with Harley-Davidson
When you buy into Harley-Davidson, you buy into the brand’s long history and heritage. I love the noise the bikes make, their relaxed riding position and just the feeling of being super cool when you ride one!

The Harley-Davidson Crossbones is a unique beast
I love the springer front end/retro bobber-style look of my bike, but we’ve really gone to town on the customisation! I’ll be honest, although I always knew Harley was about individuality, I didn’t realise the extent to which each motorcycle is a blank canvas until Harley-Davidson UK started discussing all the options for my machine with me.

Among other things, the engine was tuned with the Screamin’ Eagle® Super Tuner, and the original wheels have been replaced with fat, diamond-spoke versions and 18-inch low profile tyres. I love that the overall feel of my bike is vintage – the Harley decal is based on the 1920s version and the headlamp is a 1930s style.

I love riding my bike
The moment I saw the finished bike for the first time was so exciting, I just couldn’t wait to get on and ride it! Even now I try to get out on it at least once a week, and when I’m at home and not working, it’s my escape…

I dream of riding Route 66
As I’m working so much at the moment, I’m unlikely to get the opportunity to jump on my bike and ride across the USA this year… But, I will get to ride it throughout London – two wheels will most certainly be better than four over the summer months! And, what better way to turn up to work in style on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle like mine?

Iwan Thomas