GOWANDA - Gowanda Harley-Davidson is excited to announce the return of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, starting June 23 at Wolf's Run in Irving.
"Hoka Hey means 'It's a great day to ride,'" said Tim McKeever, Marketing Manager with Gowanda Harley-Davidson. "As a dealership that continually plays an active role in our communities, it's important to us to get behind this, along with the staff from Wolf's Run."
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will bring in approximately 100 of the most dedicated and enduring riders in the nation to Western New York. Their challenge: ride 7,500 miles in just eight days.
"The riders will face some of the most incredible riding they've ever experienced in the eight days they are on the road."
McKeever shares what's to be expected, saying, "They will leave Wolf's Run in Irving on the morning of June 23, ride up into the Arctic Watershed and back."
Each motorcycle is equipped with a tracking device, so you can watch the riders on the Hoka Hey website and monitor their every turn.
"There's no speeding allowed, they're given the route that morning which includes only secondary roads, no highways, and they have to hit checkpoints along the way. Safety and careful planning have gone into this event."
McKeever was excited to share Gowanda Harley-Davidson is getting very personal with the event this year.
"Last year, we came on board as the ending-host dealership. The ride had started in Las Vegas and ended in Irving. Most of these riders are on Harleys, and they were looking for a dealership to meet their needs and expectations and we were happy to get them serviced after that 6,000-mile ride. This year, not only are we the host dealership, we're proud that our own lead H-D Master Technician Jamie Wilson will be taking the challenge with the dealership's sponsorship support. Other community businesses and individuals have come forward to sponsor Jamie as well. It's $1,000 just to register, plus $250 for the tracking device, about $1,000 for fuel and then you add up service along the way like oil changes, food, etc., it adds up. But, it is for an amazing cause in improving the quality of life for the Sioux nation in the Dakotas. We just need to get Jamie a massage afterward." McKeever laughed.
Each rider is competing for the chance to split the pot of the registration fee. A total of $500 of each $1,000 registration goes into a pot, and any rider who crosses the finish line on the eighth day, within a specific time frame, will split the cash evenly. The other half goes back to the Hoka Hey Challenge Foundation.
"If you want to see something incredible, come out to Wolf's Run on Route 438 in Irving when these riders cross the finish line. After eight days of riding 7,500 miles and sleeping on the side of the road, the emotions are incredible," McKeever said. "They'll be greeted by their friends and families who have flown in just for the event to support them. We'll be there too. We believe in the Hoka Hey, and the Native Americans it benefits. This is a really big deal that it's all happening right here in our backyard."
There are pre- and post-event festivities that include a pre-party hosted by Wolf's Run and Sunset Bay Beach Club on June 21 and a post-party at Wolf's Run, in collaboration with their 25th anniversary, on July 6. Complete event information, history and tracking of the bikes are online at HokaHeyChallenge.com.