BY CLÁUDIA TERRA
PHOTOS AND VÍDEOS: MOHAMAD ZANTOUT
Lebanese rider, currently living in Qatar, crazy about Harley-Davidson, went this year to one of the most beloved motorcycle events in the United States to ride Harley with friends this year of celebrations of the 115th anniversary of the most beloved American motorcycle on the planet for many motorcyclists.
“This year I went to Sturgis, it was amazing! The duration of travel time from Qatar was 13 hours flight to Chicago. After that, we visited the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and it was fantastic. You can see 115 year history under one roof. After that I went to Denver and started the ride riding a motorcycle. I used an Electra Glide. Within the USA I rode a motorcycle for 8 days, passing beautiful roads with many curves in areas with green landscapes and large forests. We also camp and stroll through many attractions in South Dakota. We visit places like Black Hills, Iron Mountain, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, Demons Tower and Canyon. In Sturgis there were many camps, personally I enjoyed this experience. At the campground there was hot water anytime during the day, clean toilets, laundry and nice neighbors. Very welcoming! Lots of fun at night.
I slept in a tent with an air mattress. One night is extremely hot and the other night was freezing with storm and thunder. You see and feel all the stations at the same time. The only challenge was during the camp was lack of electricity, we used the bikes to charge cell phone and camera. That was the only solution! He missed seeing many other things, but we need more days there. I believe this state has many attractions for motorcyclists. Everything was great fun, every mile we drove, even the police were kind. But among the cool things, this is to make new friends, meet new motorcyclists, see and feel the passion to ride motorcycle with everyone. The receptivity and union of the American motorcyclists are incredible. They are very friendly and welcoming. We are, really, a great family anywhere.
I traveled alone to the USA, there I met my friends and traveled by motorcycle together to Sturgis. And in Sturgis, we met more and more friends and we all rolled together. We met in Denver and started our tour from there. We planned this many months before, well in advance with my dear friend who runs this tour. Two years ago I went to Daytona too and it was amazing! The beach is always different and nice. Lots of activities during the event week. Great event to find old Harleys and parts for Shovelheads and Panheads, rare and classic Harley engines. We rode to St. Augustin, the oldest castle in the USA. We went to NASA, we were very impressed with the museum and the history of spacecraft, space travel, “explains Mohamad.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a major American motorcycle celebration held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, for ten days during the first weeks of August. The rally began in 1938 by a group of motorcycle riders from the Indian Motorcycle and was originally performed for stunt and race performance. Currently the event receives more than eight hundred thousand people from all over the planet, generating almost one billion in revenue. The rally represents 95% of the city’s annual revenue. Motorcycles of various brands are at this great party, but the highlights are Harley-Davidson and Indians, two American classics, each with more than 100 years of history to the joy of its almost countless fans across all continents. Since Harley Davidson has never had the manufacturing suspended. The American “eagle” remains powerful on all roads and remains a dream for many.
Many Sturgis Rally participants take their families to camp and have fun in their trailers and even ride a motorcycle in the last few miles to the event. Many shipping companies carry thousands of motorcycles to Sturgis so that participants arriving by airline can ride on a motorcycle and integrate in style through the crowded streets of motorcycles on all sides in great harmony.
Some of the routes around the area are featured among motorcyclists such as the Black Hills Run, which is a favorite route by motorcyclists, which takes you across the Black Hills from Deadwood to Custer State Park in South Dakota. Covered mountains of Black Hills pines offer a motorcycle ride in a magical unique scenic setting. Sturgis became a favorite destination at the height of its popularity between 1939 and 1941, a popularity that continues to rise and every year more and more millions of motorcyclists already have a meeting scheduled to participate in this traditional international rally.
In the United States Mohamad drove through the states Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota, on this last trip with main destination being Sturgis the trip lasted 13 days. And to ride a bike he has already visited Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Czech, Malaysia and of course always runs a lot with friends in Lebanon his native country, there he always runs with his precious Shovelhead of 1974 and in Qatar, where he lives and works on Aljazeera Media Network, is an official member and photographer of HOG in Doha, the capital of the country.
Mohamad is a biker with many cool passions, photography is one of them. He does work with fashion photography and the history of taking pictures officially for HOG began five years ago by making beautiful images of biker friends. In Doha he is always running with his beautiful Road King for work, always with friends bikers on weekends.
In Qatar it is possible to ride a motorcycle almost all year round, with the best months from September to May. And August is the bad month because the temperature reaches 50 degrees during the day. Unbearable to do anything long in the water or air-conditioned environment. His other passions are collecting antiques of all kinds, he likes cats, likes Rock n ‘Roll (his favorite bands are Guns n’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Scorpions and Eagles) and his new passion is to paint the hand, collections for motorcyclists, art that began recently and the oldest passion is for Harley Davidson.
Mohamad has a 1974 Shovelhead, original, complete and running in perfect condition: “My Shovel story started like this, I collect antiques and wanted to add an old Harley to the collection. I started looking for a good Harley running in Lebanon. But I found this original Shovel, however, was in very poor state of repair, and even then it took some time for me to get the owner to sell it to me. I was able to buy it 4 years ago, so I did the restorations and put them in perfect conditions to shoot. Since then, I have made and travel extensively through several cities in Lebanon, from south to north and east to west. From the coast to the mountains. But the first Harley I bought was Road King 2006 I’m with her to this day. When I bought it it was without accessories, it was basic. So I started to plan what to do in it and how to do it. I have removed some things and replaced with chrome fittings. I used the best parts available in the market. I changed the wheels, the handlebar, brake system, cables, covers, lights, front end, sock absorber, seat, air filter and other things, “explains Mohamad.
Like every motorcyclist who loves adventure and knows new destinations aboard a motorcycle, Mohamad wants to put Brazil on the route among his bikers destinations: “Every year I plan an international tour, I want to ride a motorcycle on all continents. I hope to visit you in Brazil and ride a bike and meet some cities and maybe go to Rock in Rio. I’m still planning and deciding on some trips for next summer.
And, as Mohamad says “we motorcyclists are families everywhere”. Exactly this and here we are all united, we are one for all and all for motorcycles with great joy! Brazil is a unique destination, beautiful and complete for all! Here there is always a wonderful destination to be discovered. A lot of freedom and fun adventure for bikers of all styles.
Motorcyclist who loves adventure, who loves to travel beyond its limits, needs to run always, this is in the spirit! There are wonderful traditional destinations and there are many new destinations to be explored on every continent. Travel to all places and fully live the freedom with your motorcycle and friends. Always dream! Live intensely, now! Make your route! Make your beautiful stories aboard a motorcycle!
Thank you to Mohamad Zantout for making this report to Brazil and welcome to Brazil whenever you wish to come.
SEE THE VÍDEO:
LOOK THE GALLERY:
Cláudia Terra is a journalist, rider and lover of the Harley-Davidson universe. Follow her on the blog: