It's not long before new Harley® riders are confronted with the question of whether they will join a local motorcycle club. Motorcycle clubs do have their advantages, but many enjoy the option of joining a local Harley Owners Group.
The Harley Owners Group (HOG®) is a global group owned and operated by Harley-Davidson®. It is operated for the benefit of Harley-Davidson owners and dealers who, together, promote their preferred motorcycle brand through shared activities. From the bike owner's perspective, joining a local HOG offers some of the same benefits found in a motorcycle club but with the backing and support of Harley-Davidson.
In order to keep things in-house and to operate up to Harley standards, Harley-Davidson requires all local chapters to be sponsored by authorised dealers. One of the few Chapters that were granted permission by Harley-Davidson to operate without a dealer sponsor was the Geordie Chapter, who since its opening in July 2016 have been sponsored by Jennings Harley-Davidson Gateshead®. Normally, local areas with one dealership have only one local chapter at the most. You will only find multiple chapters in areas large enough to support multiple dealers. One of the rare exceptions to this is at our very own Leeds Harley-Davidson® where we are proud to support both Aire Valley and St Leger HOG.
The benefits of joining a HOG include:
· Members-only rides throughout the year
· Eligibility to participate in charity events
· Special promotional deals available only to members
· Regular printed or e-mail newsletters
· Early bird access to company news and VIP events.
Volunteers operate local HOGs, and some chapters have been known to elect a group of officers for the purposes of local governance, but such officers are not necessary. Dues may or may not be collected depending on whether the local chapter wants to raise money to fund some of their events.
HOGs are well known around the world for their extensive charity work. But once again, the company does not require chapters to engage in any particular charitable event. They do not even have to contribute to the corporation's main charitable beneficiaries. Local chapters are encouraged to engage in charity work but are free to support the charities of their choosing.
As you can see, the larger HOG organisation is very liberal in terms of how it allows local chapters to operate. Those local chapters really are the backbone of HOG.
Are you already a Harley-Davidson owner? If so, do you belong to your local HOG? Becoming a HOG member gives you access to some things you cannot get anywhere else. If you're not already a member, you should at least look into your local chapter to see what it is they offer. You might find that membership appeals to you more than joining a motorcycle club.
You can find out more about each of our chapters that are part of the Jennings Harley-Davidson family on our main HOG page.