Metzeler Tyres took a very interesting and admirable initiative. Gifting enough tires to help all members of MOCLA (the Cuban Club Of Classical Motorbikes composed of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts) enough tires in all sizes so that they continue to ride around the Island. Since the Cuban revolution and the 1962 American embargo it has been impossible to acquire replacement parts. Only about 100 of the 1000’s of Harley-Davidson’s which once rumbled proudly across the island still remain, nearly all of them now ridden by full-fledge members of the MOCLA. Considering the vintage age of these machines, Metzeler has shipped to MOCLA an assortment of 15”, 16” and 18” ME880 tyres from its diverse range of over 75 sizes, in order to guarantee the right fitments. The ME880 is Metzeler’s premium touring tire dedicated to upgrading the ride experience aboard Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“Metzeler Motorcycle Tyres is dedicated to the two wheel segment and has a history of over 115 years, so groups such as MOCLA who have an intense dedication to the craft of motorcycle maintenance add a new level to what Metzeler often calls Experience,” comments Francesco Pietrangeli, Director of Marketing for the German brand. Members of MOCLA, including the late pioneer of Cuba’s own Harley preservation methods, known as “Pepe Mílesima”, have become experts of making do with what little parts are available, but have still done their best to preserve their rides originality. A number of its members were recently featured in the movie Cuban Harlistas, a 50-minutes documentary-type film by Guido Giansoldati exploring the passions and difficulties they have endured in order to ride Harleys in Cuba.
The 70 sets of tires were presented in Havana to MOCLA president, Luis Enrique, who welcomed famous motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter for the presentation and a road tour. MOCLA President Luis Enrique commented, “Life was very difficult at many points in my history… My Harley-Davidson got me through all that and where I am today. We are very happy to have received this gift from Metzeler, because this kind of thing has never happened before in Cuba. We consider ourselves lucky.”
Metzeler’s annual Sturgis V-twin Custom Bike Contest held on August 4th will be themed with selected photographs by Michael Lichter of this unique group of Harlistas and with a debut of the documentary film which profiles some of the group’s characters.