Prague, Czech Republic - Tens of thousands of "hogs" roared into the city at the weekend as Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from around the world converged on the Czech capital to honour the storied motorcycle maker's 115th anniversary.
Prague, home to a 90-year-old Harley-Davidson club, the oldest in the world, is hosting the biggest anniversary bash for the brand outside of its US home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a similar party will start at the end of August.
Organisers estimated that more than 60 000 bikers and about 40 000 other visitors from more than 70 countries convened in Prague, in the heart of central Europe. About 4000 riders chosen in a lottery and clad in leather, denim and helmets of all sorts paraded through the city centre on Saturday, revving their engines and hooting.
The celebration attracted riders from far and wide to share their love of motorcycles, such as Piotr Sobczik from Poland, who said: "It is freedom, it is a lifestyle. It is a way of spending our free time - a passion."
Riders from as far as the United States and China also came for the four-day gathering which features biker games, music and Czech beer. Karen Davidson, a great-granddaughter of one of the founders, said: "This brand is so strong for so many people across the globe."
Europe has become important for Harley-Davidson, already the dominant player in the heavyweight US motorcycle market. In 2017 the Motor Company sold nearly 40 000 new motorcycles in Europe, more than 16 percent of its global sales. Revenue from European Union countries was second only to the United States.