Factory tours can be a great source of free entertainment; but admittedly some are better than others. The Harley Davidson Factory Tour in York, Pennsylvania. tops my factory tour favorites list. Not only is it free, but it’s also fun and very accessible.
Although there are four Harley factories in the US that offer tours, the York facility is the largest. The tour begins with a short video, about the history of the company. Then it’s over to the plant (where the Harley touring bikes are made) for a look at the parts production area, followed by a walk along the production line and ending with a stop at the testing chamber.
The production line is indeed the highlight of the tour, so make sure it’s open to tours before you make your plans. During the summer, the whole production line is closed to visitors for a few weeks, just prior to the release of the new models. Best bet is to check with the factory tour hotline (877-883-1450) for planned closures and schedule changes.
The custom vehicle division is also located at this facility; and even though it’s not on the tour, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a few custom bikes as they are brought over to the main building for testing.
Access is good throughout the plant with lots of accessible parking, level access to the Visitors Center and barrier-free access along the tour route. A loaner wheelchair is also available for folks who have trouble doing distances. If you’re in doubt about that one, take advantage of the wheelchair, as the factory is huge!
Tours are conducted from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. on weekdays, and tickets are distributed on a first-come basis. They’re free, but get there early. This is especially true in the summer months, when the tourist traffic is especially heavy.
Unfortunately they don’t give away free samples, but the tour still gets five stars in my book. To be honest, I’d be willing to pay for it!