There couldn’t be a better time for bike enthusiasts in India. As the iconic motorcycle company Harley Davidson kickstarts its 110th anniversary with a rally in Goa, Karen Davidson, great granddaughter of co-founder William A Davidson, is in India for the first time to commemorate the occasion.
“It’s really a global event as we are going to have activities in Australia, Africa and New Zealand. It’s exciting, as across cultures everyone’s coming together to celebrate the strength of the brand,” says Karen. The two-day HOG (Harley Owners Group) rally which started on Thursday, has 500 riders taking part in the parade, enjoying live music, custom bike shows, and an expo with the brand merchandise to celebrate the first gathering on a national scale.
“All of our rallies link like-minded riders, brought together through experiences with the bike. I’ve always heard so much about Goa, that it is the most beautiful place in India, so I’m excited,” she says. Also, an interesting part of the rally is the Freedom jacket. The idea is to have different riders in various countries wear it and put their own badge or pin, giving it a unique appeal.
The brand is also going to participate in the India Bike Week, and Karen says she’s glad to see so many Indians, proud of their machines, enthusiastically coming forward for such events. She has always encouraged women riders.
“One of the things about women riders is when they get out there and do it, other women think if she can do it, I can too. Now is the time for women to feel empowered. A good way to grab hold of your life and say I’m going to do this for me and this is what feels good,” she says, adding that she enjoys going cross country riding on her three ‘machines.’
Creative director to the brand, with a background in fashion design, Karen ensures their apparel is the best fit. She has also been part of many charity rides. “Riders love to give back. Muscular Dystrophy association has been a long running partner of ours, and we raise money and do as much goodwill for them as we can. Also our Pink label collection gives a certain percentage towards breast cancer awareness,” she adds.