Over the years, thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts have made the journey to York, Pennsylvania to witness passion forged in steel at the York Tour Center. In August of 2009, we also made our way to see this amazing facility. We had been to see the plant in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and was looking forward to visiting this location in York.
Apparently the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA was established as an assembly facility in 1973, and the first bike rolled off the line on February 2, 1973. This location is responsible for assembling the Touring, CVO, and Trike models. They also perform a variety of manufacturing operations – making parts like frames, fuel tanks, and fenders. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a touring bike, or a Trike model
We weren’t sure what to expect when we got there, but we were ready to see what they had to share. I thought it was so cool seeing all the bikes parked out front. Made me think and wonder how many of their owners were on cross-country road trips on their bikes? We made our way inside and checked out the available tours. We had just missed a Classic Tour but got on the next one a little later. There was a lot to see and do before the tour, so we definitely weren’t bored. Eventually we lined up for the tour which of course began with an introductory video. Seems like a lot of places do this nowadays. At least we didn’t have to put on hairnets as we had to do at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Facility in Boulder, lol.
Anyway, we eventually made it onto the factory floor where we got a behind-the-scenes look at the people, processes, and products of Vehicle Operations. I don’t remember everything we saw (Gene probably does, but I got tired of waiting on him to write this post, lol), but apparently they guided us through the manufacturing of key components and the assembly of Touring, CVO, and Trike motorcycles. Then it’s on to the end of the line, where every motorcycle is roll-tested prior to shipping.
After the tour, we enjoyed (well Gene mostly, lol) sitting on some of their motorcycles. We had a lot of fun and took a few pictures of Gene on some of his favorites. Sadly these were the only pictures we were allowed to take, as no photos were allowed on the plant floor. So disappointing. I am not a big bike fan like Gene, but I also had a great time wandering around and watching the process in action. I now have a better appreciation for Harley’s since our visit. We had been in Baltimore watching a few games at Camden Yards and Fort McHenry and decided to take a trip up to York to check out the York Tour Center. it was only an hour from Baltimore, and we were so glad we made a day trip. Hope to go back one day and do the Steel Toe tour.
Here is a link to their website and some more history.
York Tour Center Visitor Information
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday. No tours on the weekend.
1425 Eden Road
York, PA 17402
Steel Toe Tour
The Steel Toe Tour gives you a chance to experience the Harley-Davidson history and get up-close and personal with the Touring, Trike, and CVO™ model families. The tour route has been expanded for smaller groups to provide a more personalized tour experience. The Steel Toe Tour takes you through the manufacturing of fuel tanks, frames, and fenders, as well as many ‘employees only’ areas in paint and polish.
The Steel Toe Tour goes behind the scenes through areas previously unseen by the public. You will be required to wear a safety vest, safety glasses, and steel toe protection, all of which are provided.
Steel Toe Tour Admission Includes:
• One tour ticket
• Commemorative pin
• Group photo
• Safety vest
• One $5 coupon, redeemable at Factory Tour Gift Shop
Classic Factory Tour
The Classic Factory Tour offers a video and an intimate view of Harley-Davidson’s assembly line and fabrication areas. Tour experience lasts approximately one hour.
Freedom Factory Tour
The Freedom Factory Tour offers a video and an intimate view of Harley-Davidson’s fabrication areas for tanks and fenders. The tour experience lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Steel Toe Tour Schedule
Daily Monday – Friday | 9:15 AM and 12:00 PM
Classic Factory Tour Schedule:
Monday – Friday | 9:00 AM; 10:00 Am; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM
Freedom Factory Tour Schedule:
Monday – Friday | 8:00 AM
Steel Toe Tour Cost & Reservations
Groups of 16 or more: $35.00
Classic Factory Tour Cost & Reservations
Regular: $10 per person
Groups of 10 or more: Please call 717-852-6590 for group pricing & reservations.
Freedom Factory Tour Cost
Other Important Information
Cameras or recording devices are not allowed in the plant. Photography is permitted in the Tour Center.
Bags or packages such as backpacks, luggage, and camera bags are not allowed in the factory.
Fully-enclosed, low-heeled (one inch or less) shoes are required.
Children under the age of 12 are welcome in the Tour Center but are not allowed on the factory tour. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Please notify them if you have disability-related needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate you.
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