Harley-Davidson's mid-summer revelry in Milwaukee proved to be a resounding success, prompting the iconic motorcycle manufacturer to declare a repeat performance in 2024. While this year's Homecoming celebration was intricately linked to the brand's 120th anniversary, there are hints that it might transform into an annual affair, departing from the occasional spectacle every five or 10 years.
Enthusiastic riders from all corners of North America converged on the event, navigating through one of six meticulously planned Ride In routes. These routes thoughtfully included stops at Harley-Davidson dealerships, creating opportunities for riders to reconnect with old friends, tinker with their bikes, enjoy delicious meals, and more. Despite the absence of adventure-style routes this year, riders express anticipation for a Pan Am-friendly option in the future.
According to Harley-Davidson's public relations, the downtown Milwaukee concerts drew an impressive 80,000 attendees, and a staggering 73,000 motorcycles lined the streets around the company's museum and Sixth Street during the July 13-16 festivities. While not quite reaching the magnitude of Sturgis, these numbers underscore a substantial gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts.
Green Day, Joan Jett, and Foo Fighters headlined the musical performances, but the Homecoming also featured captivating stunt shows, showcases of vintage bikes, factory tours, police riding demonstrations, and additional free concerts in the downtown area. Product demonstrations showcased Harley-Davidson's electric offerings, including LiveWire and Staycyc, alongside the newly-unveiled CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide. The decision to uphold the Homecoming annually aligns with the commitment of CEO Jochen Zeitz, allowing Harley-Davidson to shape the narrative around its diverse product lineup.
Looking ahead, Homecoming is firmly scheduled for 2024, spanning from July 25-28. This move mirrors the enduring tradition of companies like BMW, Ducati, and Moto Guzzi in Europe. The anticipation for thousands of Harley enthusiasts to attend adds weight to the decision to continue the event annually. Enthusiasts express a fervent hope for an adventure route in the next iteration, catering to those eager to traverse the journey from Ontario to the event on a Pan America, recognizing the potential challenges associated with incorporating unpaved surfaces into the routes.