The 2017 Harley-Davidson Dealer Meeting was held this year in beautiful Los Angeles, California from August 21st to August 25th. This was a big event for us! The Motor Company is celebrating its 115th Anniversary, and of course we got to see the new 2018 Harley-Davidson model lineup, new Parts & Accessories, and new Genuine MotorClothes.
Our very own Kevin Kodz traveled from Berks County, Pennsylvania to sunny Los Angeles, California for the meeting, and he’s did it the best way you can, on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Kevin left Berks County, PA at 5am on Thursday, August 17th. travelled south towards Paducah Kentucky before heading across the Mississippi River, The Ozark Mountains, and along miles of highway before taking his first sleep in Grants, New Mexico. That’s right! He did 2,045 total miles in the saddle before his first night’s rest. Along the way he picked up two time zones for a total of 28 hours straight on his motorcycle.
Kevin’s only stops before Grants, New Mexico were for gas. His 2015 FLTRXS Road Glide Special has a 6 gallon tank and likes to fill up every 200 miles. Gas and go as he calls it. We understand- sometimes you just gotta get there right! Once in Grants, he grabbed some much-needed rest before heading back out on the road at 3pm on Friday. He wanted to leave in the afternoon so he could enjoy the long desert miles ahead at night. After leaving Grants he had about 490 miles to go till he hits Los Angeles. His plan was to arrive in LA around 3am.
Now that Kevin had the City of Angels in his sights, he left Grants, New Mexico on Friday at 3pm. It was a nice afternoon of riding towards Flagstaff, Arizona. While on 89A south, it turned out part of the road was torn up for construction, and he ended up having to ride 5 miles of dirt road to Sedona, Arizona. From Sedona he headed Southwest to “America’s Most Vertical City” and “Largest Ghost Town in America”- Jerome, Arizona.
Learn about Jerome, Arizona HERE.
Jerome is a must-stop for anyone heading out west. Very cool town! He got to go over Mingus Mountain Road which is about 45 miles of the craziest switchbacks and turns. He headed towards Congress, Arizona in the dark. The desert is peaceful at night, but surprisingly the temperature ranges from hot to cold, and back and forth in a short period. He passed through Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. Kevin arrived in Los Angeles at 1am on Saturday morning and was ready for some much needed rest. He was well ahead of his schedule, but that actually created a problem, as his room reservation wasn’t till later that afternoon. Luckily, he was able to find another room a couple of blocks away, where he was able to catch up on sleep until the other room was ready.
Now that Kevin made it to the West Coast and got some rest, he had the weekend to visit some tourist spots. He visited Santa Monica Pier, the TCL Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Kevin was actually at Jerry Lewis’ Hand and Footprint the day he passed away. RIP Jerry! Throughout the weekend he was able to lounge and work on his tan at Redondo and Venice Beach.
The Dealer Meeting started on Tuesday, August 21st and ran through Friday, August 25th. It was exciting to watch the roll out of the New 2018 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and brand new MotorClothes, and Parts & Accessories. It was an informative and exciting show and like a family reunion with all the dealers there.
Check out the New 2018 Harley-Davidson motorcycles HERE.
One of the highlights of the Dealer Meeting is the self-guided Dealer Ride. 178 dealers participated in the 600-mile-long ride from Oakland to Eurekra. There was a suggested route that most took, but Kevin wanted to pave his own way and take in all the beautiful California views.
He started out on 29 towards Calistoga, through Hidden Valley Lake towards Clearlake. He then took 20 to Williams, CA and then went north to Maxwell. Here he got to ride Devil’s Elbow Pass. It’s a well-named stretch of road! He made his way through Stoneyford towards Mendicino Forest.
Learn about Mendicino Forest HERE.
While on his way, he hit a bunch of unexpected gravel and had to make a U-turn to take a different route to Chrome, California. After Chrome he headed towards Red Bluff and Fortuna, CA. While heading west on 36 he came to a dead stop in front of a long-horned bull and about 15 cows. Kevin wanted to snap a picture of the bull and cows, but as he reached for his camera, the bull put his head down and looked towards Kevin. Let me tell you something- Do not ever mess around with a bull with horns. Ever! After that he was able to ride through 60 miles of gorgeous Redwood Forest before ending up in Eurekra for the completion of Day 1 of the Dealer Ride.
After catching up on a good night’s rest, Kevin grouped up with friends Jim and Tracey Middlebrook, and Pete and Ramsey Eisenhauer, to ride together for Day 2 and 3 of the Dealer Ride. They went through the California mountains and somewhere around the small town of Happy Camp, is where they first encountered the notorious California and Oregon Wildfires. From Happy Camp they traveled along Scott Bar Rd which is 28 miles of 1 lane switchback roads. It was very slow going through these hilly, mountain roads. After careful navigation, they made their way to Yreka, California. After Yreka they went North to Crater Lake, Oregon. They bedded down in Sun River, Oregon for the night. They spent Monday doing 450 miles of riding through the Ochoco National Forest and the heart of Central Oregon.
Learn about Ochoco National Forest HERE.
The area is beautiful, but contrasts greatly between green and lush and brown and baked. Surprisingly the area in Oregon was quite flat,not at all like the mountainous terrain they had experienced in California. They crossed the great Columbia River in Maryhill, Washington and followed the Lewis and Clark Highway before turning South, and heading back to Sun River for the Dealer Reception Monday night which marked the end of the Dealer Ride.
*Fun fact- After visiting Washington state, Kevin completed his personal goal of riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in all of the lower 48 states.
Kevin, Pete, and Ramsey left for home together on Tuesday at 5am. Tracey and Jim had left on their own route that morning to make their way back to their home state of Wisconsin. Kevin, Pete, And Ramsey headed East on 84 through Idaho to 80 in Utah. It took them about 700 miles to be finally clear of the all the wildfire smoke. They headed towards Cheyenne, Wyoming. Pete and Ramsey had never completed an Iron Butt run before. They were able to log 1,000 miles in under 24 hours on the run from Sun River to Cheyenne, earning them their first coveted Iron Butt certificate. They made camp Tuesday night.
They left Cheyenne together Wednesday morning at 6am. They stayed on 80 West through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. They logged another 1,000 miles together, but this time it was an “unofficial” run- but still, 1,000 miles is no small feat!
Kevin parted ways with Pete and Ramsey in Portage, Indiana. Pete and Ramsey wanted to spend the night while Kevin was eager to get home and wanted to travel the 650 miles straight through. That extra 650 miles put Kevin at 1,700 miles in the saddle in approximately 23 hours.
Kevin made it home at 8am on Friday, September 1st after logging a grand total of 7,300 miles through 17 states and over 110 hours in the saddle. Great job Kevin!
See all of the Photos from Kevin’s Trip on our FACEBOOK
Follow Kevin’s next adventure on his personal INSTAGRAM