Kolja Rebstock presents Adrian and Kevin Kießling with the anniversary cover
Kolja Rebstock presents Adrian and Kevin Kießling with the anniversary cover

Harley-Davidson Germany and SKS celebrate 25 years of partnership

American barbecue and anecdotes from over a quarter of a century of collaboration

Mogendorf, August 8, 2023

In 1998, all Harleys were still fueled with carburetors, the cheapest Sportster cost 13,000 German marks and Harley-Davidson bought the motorcycle manufacturer Buell. Today the motorcycles from Milwaukee are controlled exclusively via injection engines. Buell and Evo-Sportster are history and the price of their successor is significantly higher than the first mentioned amount, even in euros.

Something else that happened in 1998, however, is still very relevant. This year, the then managing director of Harley-Davidson Germany, Klaus Zobel, and Adrian Kießling from SKS Spedition agreed on an exclusive contract to transport the new vehicles. Since then, the black bike shuttle semi-trailers from SKS have been bringing all new Harley-Davidsons to dealers in Germany and Austria. If that is not a reason to celebrate.

Klaus Zobel and Adrian Kießling
Klaus Zobel and Adrian Kießling

The management of SKS thought so too and invited all employees of the German company and its dealers to Mogendorf to celebrate this occasion in style on August 4th. Kolja Rebstock , Regional Vice President EMEA and Managing Director of the DACH region, was happy to accept the call and brought numerous employees with her. Klaus Zobel, who directed the company's fortunes from 1964 to 2004, and Bernhard Gneithing, the GmbH's long-time marketing director, who is now responsible for Harley-Davidson Stuttgart Süd in Böblingen and Harley-Davidson Schwäbisch Gmünd, also traveled to Mogendorf, much to the delight of the organizers.

Bernhard Gneithing and Adrian Kießling. Hairstyles have only changed slightly in 25 years
Bernhard Gneithing and Adrian Kießling. Hairstyles have only changed slightly in 25 years

The joint motorcycle ride through the Westerwald fell victim to the weather forecast and the American barbecue that followed was quickly moved to one of the numerous warehouses in the SKS Logistics Park. The evening started with a tour of it. Jan Hummerich, Managing Director of Kieber Marketing and Service GmbH, the SKS subsidiary that operates the services in the logistics park, led the interested audience through the 11 halls, open spaces, the fitness studio for employees and the Harley-Davidson press workshop.

Willie G. Davidson signs the SKS show truck 1998 in Faak
Willie G. Davidson signs the SKS show truck 1998 in Faak

Afterwards, there was plenty of opportunity to exchange anecdotes from over 25 years over burgers, brisket and beer. The author learned that Willie G. Davidson signed the first Harley-Davidson show truck from SKS at the first European Bike Week in Faak, even before the transport contract was signed. SKS operated Harley-Davidson's 12-hour service hotline for several years and also packed the well-known backpacks that were delivered with the new vehicle at the time.

And the idea for Mallorca Bike Week - ultimately the founding of SKS Reisen - was born at a dealer meeting late one night at the bar in the local Robinson Club. As you can see, celebrating is always good. If the black trucks are still transporting their precious freight in 5 years, you can expect a follow-up event. But then definitely with a motorcycle tour in summer weather.

Text & image credit: SKS


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