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Why a Harley-Davidson is better than Qantas and Taxis.

By Wom Battle

I recently attended the fantastic National HOG Rally at Margaret River WA and for one reason or another decided to use Qantas frequent flyer points (mostly accrued at Woollies) to get to Perth where I was to pick up a mate's Harley-Davidson® Ultra Classic® to use for the four days I was to be there. Using 72,000 points saw me fly from the local airport to Sydney and then to Perth (Business Class) with the return journey via Melbourne (Business) and- Sydney (Economy) and back on the local carrier.  Total Cost $90 and some spare change.  Other than the fact that Qantas stiffed me by sending me economy from Melbourne to Sydney it sounds pretty perfect doesn't it.... read on.

Sitting on the tarmac at the local airfield ready to leave there seemed to be a long wait.  We were eventually told there was congestion in Sydney which would delay us, uh oh!  When you ride a Harley-Davidson you leave when you are ready and if you want to go the long way it's usually by choice or by act of God. You'll usually leave the destination on the Harley so you don't run the risk of missing a connecting flight.

The short version, once in the air we flew a series of circles and s's and arrived after boarding had started for the Sydney- Perth flight.  I correctly suspected the first thing that would go wrong was that I'd arrive in Perth without luggage.  Not fatal yet, it was to arrive on the next plane and would be shipped overnight to Margaret River me by courier. 

Luckily I carried my helmet and jacket on to the plane.  I also had some t's socks and jocks in my carry on luggage. If I was on my Harley-Davidson I would have been wearing them not carrying them but needed gloves to ride so I directed the taxi to the local Harley-Davidson Dealership, picked up some summer gloves ($70) and then took the taxi to pick up the Ultra (Fare $104.00).  Qantas can't land near where most people live, Harley's can go pretty much anywhere and they are cheaper to travel on than taxis.

Once on my mate's Harley-Davidson, everything was fantastic, a great ride past Bunbury, Busselton finishing in Margaret River at 5pm ready for a party naively expecting the luggage to arrive the next morning as promised.  Wrong. Jumping forward now, I'll write about the Rally elsewhere, the luggage was lost until two days later where it was discovered it was on a truck heading back to Sydney.  As of 30 seconds ago it is due to arrive Sydney in two more days, now 7 days after it was lost. When you ride your Harley-Davidson you can pack everything you need on it and you don't have to check it in with Qantas only to have it lost for a week. (Update: It did make it back in tact).

For four days I rode the Harley-Davidson around South Western Australia. I travelled over 800k's on it, incident free and always got where I needed to be when I needed to get there.  On Saturday afternoon I took the Ultra back to it's home and called for a taxi back to the airport. 20 minutes on hold and 45 minutes later I called back to see when if Taxi was coming, but was told no-one had accepted the fare.  The operator asked if I wanted to cancel the call and I blew up explaining I had called them so I could get to the airport for my Qantas flight.  Fortunately a taxi arrived 20 minutes later.  You can ride your Harley-Davidson to your destination whenever you want to. You don't have to call anyone to come get you, your needs aren't ignored and there isn't a need to blow another $84 on a fare. You also don't run the risk of missing your Qantas flight because your Harley waits until you are ready to leave.

While I had the Harley-Davidson in Margaret River on two occasions I took pillion passengers with me, wonderful company and no probs there either. On the flight from Sydney to Melbourne I was seated in Business Class next to a grubby man who had consumed a brewery in the evening leading up to the flight, phewww! He also decided bare feet were in order in-flight and it was fortunate that you can't light matches in an aircraft or there would have been blue flames everywhere.  On the trip between Sydney and the local airport a person sat behind me who smelt like he'd shit himself.  I'm all for racial integration but have a bath ocasionally fella.  On a Harley- Davidson, even if your fellow passengers have bad habits or stink, you can't smell them! Fresh, unrecycled air!

While in Margaret River I heard many great stories from people who had ridden their Harley-Davidsons across the Nullarbor and from the far reahes of Australia.  The stories were all good and even the unfortunate few who had mechanical difficulties were happy and told the stories in a positive way.  With Qantas and Taxis you either just arrive grateful you made it or you've got a bad story to tell.

Next time, I'll be taking my Road King®, not the Jumbo and Taxis.


Disclaimer: This non commercial website and its content is not affiliated with or associated in any way with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Australia, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group® or any Harley-Davidson® Dealers in Australia.  The use of the terms Harley-Davidson, and Road King® are unavoidable because that's what I own and ride.  This website,  called "My Harley Davidson" , and any opinions or comments expressed herein are purely about my Harley-Davidson Road King ownership experience, a truly great experience at that. I have no intention whatsoever to infringe on any trademarks or copyright ownership of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company or anyone else.

May 2023