If you were in Monaco this weekend, you might’ve heard the rumbling of powerful motors on the Port Hercules. These were not the sounds of just any motor, but those belonging to one of the most legendary and emblematic motorcycles in the whole world. The Harley Davidson Monaco Club celebrated their 25th anniversary on Saturday in the heart of the Principality, uniting avid fans and curious individuals for a day of festivities centred on the one-of-a-kind Harley Davidson Motorcycle.
The daylong event, organised under the High Patronage of Prince Albert II by the President of the Club Michael Joalland, was an impressive demonstration of the power of a shared interest in uniting so many different individuals and how this American motorcycle has become a passion in itself. Anyone and everyone was invited to take part in Saturday’s celebrations, which ran from 10am until midnight. Classic Harley riders adorning leather jackets and bandanas mixed with other individuals curious about the motorcycles and the atmosphere of the evening. Although Joalland only had a month to organise the day, admitting that he would have preferred “10 or 11 months” to prepare, the celebrations did not disappoint.
There was something for everyone, even for passing visitors, as the atmosphere itself provided a fun experience and the public was able to enjoy various stands and five separate open-air concerts! The bands Rockbox, Sofaï, Will Barber, Miss Dey & The Residents and Blackbirds were invited to entertain the crowd, thanks to the Artistic Director of the SBM, Jean-René Palacio, bringing the necessary element of rock ‘n’ roll to the party. The President of the Harley Davidson Monaco Club commented on the openness of the 25th anniversary event, “All motorcyclists are welcome, we don’t discriminate according to the type of bike you ride. Everyone is welcome, including any passer-by’s wanting to enjoy some music and have a good time with us”.
Of course, the event was complete with an impressive display of collectable Harley Davidson’s that one couldn’t help but admire. Various activities also took place throughout the day on the theme of Harley Davidson’s, to allow the public to discover the beauty of these motorcycles. A personalised model competition allowed owners to show off their personalised motorbikes that were then judged by a jury; a special event where the winner received a trophy and the runners-up were awarded medals for their originality. Just before lunchtime, drivers rode around Monaco on their beloved Harley Davidson’s to spread the spirit across the Principality and delight onlookers. Finally, the tombola, one of the most anticipated events of the day, concluded the celebrations with a particularly alluring first-place prize: a brand new Harley Davidson!
“Our goal is to share our passion and make others understand why we love this so much”, explained the ex-president of the club, Jean-Georges Gramaglia. Both Gramaglia and Joalland have been passionate about Harley’s since a very young age and felt the urge to drive them as soon as they could. “At the beginning the passion is individual, until you start to share it with those around you”, explained Joalland. “Harley Davidson is a lifestyle. It’s the freedom that bikes bring, the opportunity to hang out with friends and organise long drives with big groups of people, on famous roads like Route 66 in the US”. The Monaco Club is a unique one, as it is the only club in the world that is able to have the brands name as their title, after Will G. Davidson, the founders son, granted them the permission in 1992. “Our club is like a big family… joined in our passion of owning such unique pieces that offer such freedom”.