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The 95th Anniversary: braking all records!

1998: The Harley-Davidson phenomenon - European Bike Week is born!

The 95th birthday in Milwaukee broke all previous records: 135,000 motorcycles came to Wisconsin and besieged the State Fair, Summerfest Park and Lakefront Park. The parade of motorcycles lasted several hours and people began to think about the 100th birthday – how many visitors would they expect for this event? How could the masses of visitors be channeled? The Harley-Davidson boom had long since become an international phenomenon, and in Europe the 95th birthday was celebrated with an event that soon developed its own momentum: Faak am See.

Today long forgotten, the European party to celebrate the 95th took place from June 17th to 21st 1998: In and around Faak am See. Inconvenient for Harley, two competing eventsites in Egg and Neuegg were first on the approach route to Faak, as the then clockwise driving route made them pass these sites (only Arneitz Custom Show surviving) before the Harley Village in Faak was in sight. The massive parade on Saturday, led by Willie G. Davidson and Carinthian Governor Jörg Haider rode for hours over 100 kilometers through Villach, around Lake Ossiach, along Wörther See, Klagenfurth and back through the Drau Valley to Faak. A huge business for Carinthia, which quickly was turned it into a permanent event, albeit the date moved to the end of the holiday season in September. European Bike Week was born.

What few knew in 1998: this model year already signaled the dawn of the new millennium: 1999 and 2000 came the the new “Twin Cam”, 2001 the V-Rod – production figures virtually exploded and still did not keep pace with still increasing demand! And the “magic 100” years were getting closer and closer.


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