ACT News

HOG heaven when Harleys thunder into town

Love it or hate it, the Harley Davidson's deep gurgling sound is rather special. It brings sighs of admiration from enthusiasts all over the world, though many of them were closer to home yesterday.

More than 1500 riders were in the capital to join the thunder run - a highlight of the Harley Owners Group's national rally that had people from all walks of life there on their beloved machines.

Canberra chapter's safety officer, Olaf Moon, said members came from all the capital cities and regional centres such as Wagga, Mildura and Townsville.

The legendary machines, worth from $12,500 up to $30,000 and in some cases $50,000, roared off from Thoroughbred Park yesterday morning. Down Gungahlin Drive Extension, wheeling off to Lady Denman Drive and heading for the Parliamentary Triangle, the riders then rode to Gold Creek Village.

The sound of 1000 bikes on a thunder run was beautiful, Mr Moon said. ''It is an amazing experience, particularly the first time.

''You are riding with a whole bunch of friends. I know people in Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and Tasmania that are on the ride.

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''If you are further back in the line you get the spectacular view of all the bikes running up the hills or around Scrivener Dam,'' he said.

Onlookers with cameras, mums and dads with their kids and anyone drawn by sound, sat on the sides of hills and on the ridgetops to see the Harleys rumble by. ''We are bikers, not bikies,'' Mr Moon said.

''There is a big difference between the two. A lot of the public do know bikers are bike riders who ride for fun and bikies are something different.''

A computer company state manager, Mr Moon said HOG members included police officers, public servants and judges and anyone else interested in the strong bond of friendship that came from a mutual interest in the bikes.

''If you go to Seattle or Moscow you can meet up with your HOG mates from the countries, anywhere in the world pretty much.

''Even from China and Indian now,'' he said.

''It has become the brotherhood of friends.''

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