First Cuban National Meeting Of Harley-Davidson

Since January 1959, when Batista was finally ousted and replaced by Castro’s revolutionary government, the Latino riders of Cuba, calling themselves Harlistas, overcome the difficulties of maintaining their Harleys, repairing and re-fabricating the parts that they can’t import because of the U.S. blockade. This weekend, during 3 days, the Cuban Harlistas across the country are gathering in the beach resort of Varadero for their First National Meeting Of Harley-Davidson, showing their motorcycles and experiencing in group the camaraderie of the open road.

How many Harleys on the island? Between the ones belonging to individuals and those used by the Army and the Police there was about one 1000 Harleys in Cuba before the revolution. Harleys were imported for the 1st time iin 1920 and later became the official motorcycles of the Cuban Police. Today, according to the National Register of Vehicles in Cuba, there are about 300 classic Harley-Davidsons registered with observers listing about 80 to 100 still in working condition. This weekend inaugural meeting is to unify Harlistas and lo promote the care and conservation of their pre-60’s classic motorcycles. (pictures @ cubanharlistas.com)

Zipper's

8 Responses to “First Cuban National Meeting Of Harley-Davidson”


  1. 1 Kirkland Apr 14th, 2012 at 8:35 am

    All right. First time’s fun for anything! We’re traveling to Cuba, if they allow ex-felons. Whaddayneed? 🙂

  2. 2 Kirkland Apr 14th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    When we tried to arrange the shipping logistics for a load of parts to the Harlista’s from Canada (2008) , the Free-Speech in Cuba group told me that the sure way to get parts to a specific person in Havana (and not left in a pile on a street corner) was to fill a yellow school bus full of Harley parts and refrigerators, it could be shipped from Port Everglades (my Waterloor) Fla. to Havana – no problema.

  3. 3 Kirkland Apr 14th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I have a new prototype (good) set of Tedd Cycle 3.5 fuel tanks, with a single left tank petcock, ( a no pop-up reserve model). You can have the tanks if you’ll give me an address that I can ship them to, and make sure they get to the Harlista’s, or I’ll send them to someone that’s collecting parts for Cuba.

  4. 4 izadore007 Apr 15th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Kirkland, go to Cuba , ship to Cuba, Castro will own it and 6 months to a Year if their lucky they might see what Fidel and Raul didn’t want for themselves. PS you might not get back into the US!

  5. 5 Kirkland Apr 15th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for your valuable insight ….. a “midnight express” situation to avoid, and instead stay safe at home.
    I just rode up to make a comment on how “Old Harleys” and “Old Chevys” are about all that’s known about Cuban life.
    F/R might want to keep them running for tourist – as “historica”l moving background. 🙂

    Are there any sand beaches or surfing point break’s – where waves peel into a bay? Just asking.

  6. 6 ian Apr 15th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    i went to Cuba in February and rented some new Harleys through a Danish company – had to say it was a blast rode all over the Island, met some of the Harleyista guys – I recommend it! (there are some videos we took – click on my name link).

  7. 7 Kirkland Apr 16th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    The roads look maintained. Patched, but they use hot mix and a roller. Makes a big difference.
    You’re travel-log was so good, I feel I’ve been there. It’s fun to travel to new places. Thanx!

  8. 8 Ben Apr 17th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Great video Ian, and very nicely produced. Now Cuba is on my bucket list. We have always heard of their ingenuity in maintaining old iron, but to see it in action is very cool.

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