This month, from September 24-27, you can totally immerse yourself in motorcycle culture with four days of two-wheeled fun, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Harley-Davidson plant in York, a huge bike party in downtown York, fast-paced flat-track races and a thrilling hill climb event featuring pro racers. Here’s our guide to get your motor running.
Harley Davidson Open House
1425 Eden Road, York
Since its inception in 1972, workers at the York Harley-Davidson vehicle assembly plant have cranked out thousands of motorcycles including Softail, Touring, Trikes and custom-made bikes. The facility holds its annual open house from September 24-26 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Gear up for a long weekend of motorcycle events by making the Harley-Davidson open house your first pit stop. The open house includes demo rides, live music, food, motorcycle vendors and dealers and factory tours offering a behind-the-scenes look at how the iconic motorcycles are produced and assembled. Factory tours are available from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
If you’re feeling hungry (and nostalgic) after seeing all those powerful American machines, stop in for a bite at the Round the Clock Diner located less than a mile from the Harley-Davidson plant.
York City Bike Night
In and around Continental Square
in downtown York
Every September for more than two decades, thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts descend upon downtown York and converge on Continental Square to celebrate their love of bikes. The annual York City Bike Night regularly draws about 20,000 people, from grizzled veteran biker dudes roaring in on their Harleys to grandmas humming along on their Hondas, as well as those who arrived by other modes of transportation and are generally curious about the scene and looking for a good time.
Three-wheeled Trike bikes are the featured style of motorcycle at this year’s event. Harley-Davidson displays their Trike models on Continental Square. And a group of Trike bikes lead the heart-pounding parade of about 1,000 motorcycles that runs from the York Expo Center and travels Market Street to Broad Street before circling back to park at Continental Square where the riders join the party.
The event takes place from 6-10 p.m. and features food vendors and live music on four stages by Smokin’ Gunnz, The HepCats, Bridge Street and Elijah Cross.
Thirsty? Motorcycles and beer go great together – well, not exactly together, but we definitely suggest ducking into a couple bars for a quick one during the event. It is a party, after all. Try the Holy Hound Taproom featuring 30 rotating varieties of craft beer on tap or keep it local with Mudhook Brewing Company – both located within just a couple blocks of the Square.
White Rose Thunder’s Flat Track Racing
York Expo Center, York
White Rose Thunder has kickstarted the flat-track motorcycle racing scene that was
hugely popular in York from the late ’50s through the ’90s. The day features a full slate of heats of professional riders racing on the York Expo Center’s half-mile limestone track for cash prizes from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Racers crank up their bikes to about 80 mph on the straightaways and fishtail around the turns as they jockey for position. Also on the bill is a vintage racing exhibition featuring Harley-Davidson and Excelsior motorcycles from the early 1900s.
After the races, dust off and head over to what’s billed as “York’s premier concert and biker venue,” the Tourist Inn to quench your thirst and rock out.
AMA Pro Racing Hill Climb at
White Rose Motorcycle Club
5252 Hillclimb Road, Spring Grove
The weekend might be drawing to a close, but the excitement is still running in high gear. Make your way to Spring Grove for the White Rose Motorcycle Clubs’s AMA Pro Racing Hill Climb starting at 12:30 p.m. The event features pro riders aboard lightweight, high-horsepower motorcycles racing up a 300-foot hill.
After all the excitement, you may find yourself wanting a drink. Try Goofy’s in Spring Grove for some fried seafood and an ice-cold beer. Stick around for live music by West Virginia-based bluegrass band Marv Ashbey & High Octane, and maybe get lucky at the recently legalized small games of chance at the bar.