Round The World TripUnited States

United States: Minneapolis, MN

Tour at Harley Davidson Powertrain

Jon “The Schedule Nazi” made us wake up bright and early so we could make it to Harley Davidson in time for the 9:30 tour.  Of course, we ended up getting their about an hour ahead of time but I’m not complaining.  Oooooh no.  

This is Harley Davidson Powertrain Assembly Plant.  Here they build new and remanufactured engines for Harley Davidson motorcycles.  As we pulled into the parking lot, one can’t help but notice the abundance of Harleys parked out front in the special “motorcycle” parking spaces.  Those of us mortals who drive cars had to hike a bit further from the car parking lot.

Harley Davidson Powertrain Factory

The sign out front said that all tours had to wear protective goggles and closed shoes, so we – the perpetual sandal wearers – had to go back to the car to change shoes.  No problems.  Inside, we had a short wait for the next tour to start, and were fully entertained by the motorcycles on display in the lobby of the building.

Don’t We Look Good on This New V-Rod?

We couldn’t take pictures during the tour of the production plant because Harley is pretty uptight about their practices.  And a competitor isn’t going to get enough information out of the 45-minute tour.  But we thought it was cool.  We had safety goggles and some ear-pieces-speakers that picked up the tour guide’s microphone.  So despite the loud racket of the production line, we could hear everything the guide had to say.  At some points during the tour, he hooked up the microphone to a television and a video played about the particular process on the line.  I, of course, had no idea what each process was doing or why.  But it was still a cool experience.

And Jon loved every part of it.  Despite the fact that they don’t assemble the bikes here (that occurs in York, Pennsylvania), Jon really enjoyed the tour.  Before we left, we bought a little “Born To Ride” jumper for my cousin’s daughter, Paige.  Then we hit the road and drove four-five hours to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Aunt Jane and Uncle Ed’s

When I was in St Louis, I talked briefly to my Aunt Jane (my father’s sister) and found out that Minneapolis is only six to seven hours away from Chicago.  And since we were going to Chicago, we were going to be right in their neighborhood!  So we decided to swing by on our way back to Virginia.

We arrived at my Aunt Jane (my Father’s sister) and Uncle Ed’s house.  There, we hung out with my cousin Joanna, her husband Kyle and their adorable daughter Paige.  Uncle Ed made a wonderful dinner of grilled chicken and Cesar Salad.  But don’t ask him what the recipe is for his dressing, because he just “throws things together” so it’s a big mystery – even to the immediate family. 

Heidi, Paige (in her new Harley outfit), and Joanna