Inside Harley-Davidson

Extending the brand's reach in a fun, no-stress manner




Harley-Davidson recently launched H-D 101, a revitalized effort aimed at bringing new riders into the sport of motorcycling and introducing them to the Harley-Davidson brand and lifestyle in a fun, no-stress manner.


H-D 101 is designed, in part, to make non-riders and those new to the Harley-Davidson brand feel inspired and at ease at dealership events.


“We understand the dealership setting can be an intimidating place for some new riders,” said Mike McCann, director of Consumer Experience and Events for the Americas at Harley-Davidson. “H-D 101 is aimed at changing that by bringing together new ways and new energy to generate excitement for those interested in the Harley-Davidson experience.” 

H-D 101 replaces the former Boot Camp and Garage Party programs, which primarily focused on young adults and women, respectively. The new dealer-hosted events aim to reach, attract and engage a variety of age groups and demographics with the goal of removing barriers for those who don’t yet know how to ride.


The revamped program introduces consumers to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, parts and accessories, and MotorClothes® apparel, and also to the Harley-Davidson experience, McCann said.


“But the main impetus of the program is to grow interest in riding,” he said.


H-D 101 events will feature special theme nights targeted to first responders, for which dealerships will specially invite police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to participate.


Most H-D 101 event experiences include Jumpstart™ demos, a simulated riding experience which features a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle on a specially designed stationary support stand. Jumpstart allows consumers to start a motorcycle, shift through its gears and shut it off while remaining in one spot.


Dealership tours and guest speakers will also be part of the events.


The majority of the events will be held after business hours at dealerships and off-site, McCann added. Dealers are already using social media and other methods to promote the events.


H-D 101 launched in January as a nationwide effort. The program will also expand to include dealerships in Canada and Latin America, McCann said.


“There’s a lot of energy behind this program from our dealers,” he exclaimed.


H-D 101 is evidence of Harley-Davidson’s increased investment in marketing to attract new riders.


Harley-Davidson plans to increase its customer marketing investment this year by 65 percent over 2015 levels, and to increase its investment in new product development by about 35 percent compared with last year. These changes represent about $70 million in increased investment to drive consumer demand.


Harley-Davidson wants to grow the sport of motorcycling in the United States, in part, by boosting the number of U.S. outreach customers at a faster rate.


“We expect a heightened competitive environment to continue for the foreseeable future, and now is the time for us to dial things up with significant additional investments and product development,” Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich stated in a recent earnings release.