Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Harley Davidson Factory Tour

Today we did the Factory tour of the Harley Davidson factory. They wouldn't allow any cameras inside the plant and I really don't understand why, but I guess they want to protect their secret.

It was an interesting tour even though I don't care much for HD's. They showed us the entire operation, how they make a lot of the parts, and how they assemble the parts to make a motorcycle. Our tour guide explained that it took 55 minuets from the start of the assembly line until they rolled off a new bike. Painting the parts is the most time consuming.

After a bike is completely assembled it goes into the test building where they run the bike for 1-2 miles on rollers mounted in the floor. They have 5 people working in a spot inspection section where they randomly pick one bike each and spend an entire day inspecting it. So if you buy a new Harley and it has 30+ miles on it it was one of the ones that got the extra inspection, others will have between 1 and 2 miles.

They also have one section where they build the custom bikes. Each person working in the custom bike section assembles one and one half bikes in an 8 hour shift. can you imagine building a complete bike in less than 8 hours? That is taking a painted frame and adding every part to it, and having it ready to ride off in less than 8 hours. They need to price labor repairs by that standard.

After the tour we rode out to check on the rig, I was rather disappointing in the progress I saw. I want to think yesterday was spent ensuring all the replacement parts was on hand before they started stripping it down. Todd did say they should have it completed and ready for us to pick it up by Friday afternoon.

We then took a long drive around Smithville Lake enjoying the country side views. We wound up at Jesse James' old home place. The farm where he and Frank grew up, and I think they want you to think it was the same house, but if it was they did a lot of remodeling on it because they didn't have siding back then.

We elected not to pay the $7.50 each to see the museum and take the guided tour. Mainly because it took over an hour for the tour, and we had already had a long day. We did walk around the grounds and see the fields, streams, and woods that Jesse and Frank played in as kids.

On the drive back to the motel we found a nice BBQ joint and enjoyed some really good BBQ. I had a BBQ sandwich, while Marcia had the ribs meal deal. She had three kinds of BBQ with fries, and coleslaw. She now has lunch for tomorrow and I ate way too much for one meal.

I have no ideal what tomorrow will bring....

Here is a picture of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City.

Here is the new $1000,000 bill that will be coming out really soon.

Another new bill coming out soon.

This is Hallmark Cards Headquaters in KC MO.

Here is the famous City Market in KC MO.

This is the only picture we got of the HD Factory.

And this is the house Jesse James grew up in. (they say)


  1. Really well written post today, Joe. I really enjoyed it. Bobbie

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it Bobbie, and it is good to know that I'm not the only one reading it.


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