Revving up the Harleys to go down Nostalgia Lane
Harley-Davidson Singapore marks 25 years
You can tell a lot from just one look at the line of American motorcycles parked outside Harley-Davidson Singapore (HDS) in Alexandra Road.
On Friday, at HDS' Nostalgia Lane, there was a mix of 120 new and older classics such as the Softail Heritage, Sportster XLH, Bad Boy and the Softail Nostalgia parked wheel to wheel.
The classics were Harleys from the 1990s - sold when HDS opened here in 1993.
Nevertheless, Nostalgia Lane, which was the start of a series of festivities to mark HDS' 25th anniversary, was also meant to thank supporters.
Mr Gary Eng, brand and marketing spokesman for HDS, told The New Paper: "We still see many Harley riders from as far back as the early 90s, relentlessly supporting our marque, complemented by the lifestyle sensationalised by the Western culture and attitudes.
"This is our way of saying thank you to these supporters... Times have changed, (but) the principles (with regard) to freedom of expression remains the same."
Understandably, some of the pioneer riders who attended the event have grown older, their motorbikes showing some wear, and the chrome on their bikes somewhat tarnished.
One of the 200 riders and guests at the event was Mr James Hiew, 46. He bought his 1,340cc Softail Heritage in 1995.
When told that riders had to turn up in 90s-themed biker gear - leather jacket, bandana and denim, he laughed.
The aviation technician said: "I have dressed that way since the 90s. No change."
Nostalgia Lane was organised in conjunction with HDS' Friday night ride.
Before the riders headed out, they fuelled up with Ramlee burgers, a staple at the 90s showroom open houses, said Mr Eng.
The group then saddled up to ride to Marina Barrage as the area was previously Marina South, a favourite biker route .
Mr Jap Loh, another long-time supporter, noted that the brand has grown here- a dozen or so local Harley-only motorcycle clubs have sprung up.
Said Mr Loh, spokesman for War Pigs Motorcycle Club: "As for Nostalgia Lane, it made me feel a little old. But it was great to meet up with old kakis from past years and know they still have those pieces of treasure (the Harleys) so well kept."
Likewise, Mr Hiew is not about to give up his American two-wheeler.
Since buying his one and only Harley for over $30,000, he said the thrill remains the same whenever he thumbs his Harley to life.
While his Softail Heritage lugs a smaller engine compared to modern Harleys, its unique and uneven exhaust note still attracts Harley enthusiasts.
Said Mr Hiew: "Harley owners made up a small group in the 90s. But it has grown to become one of the recognisable bike brands here that I believe will continue to attract more riders."
In 2007, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle population here stood at 1,115.
Last year, the figure grew to 2,090.