The hill climb, which goes up a course normally reserved for snowboarders, is scheduled to close out the X Games on January 28. Preliminary rounds and qualifying heats will stream live on the Harley-Davidson Facebook page on Sunday, January 28 at 10:15 p.m. ET. ESPN will air the gold and bronze medal rounds live that same evening at 10:45 p.m.
Harley invited eight top hill climb riders to compete in the event: Logan Mead, Logan Cipala, Austin Cardwell, Jake Anstett, Dan Lauters, Josh Mueller, Louie Lauters, and Travis Whitlock.
“There’s a story behind every mile you ride on your Harley-Davidson, and I’m honored to be one of the first to ride mine up the Snow Hill Climb during X Games 2018,” Mueller said. “History will be made in Aspen, and every athlete will look on with envy as we race up the SuperPipe.”
Harley-Davidson, like all other motorcycle makers, is trying to build interest in motorcycling. The motorcycle market has dwindled in the past few years as millennials, in particular, haven’t shown as much interest in owning and riding motorized two-wheelers as other generations. Companies are employing various strategies to build interest in motorcycles as transportation and motorcycling as a sport.
Last year, Harley-Davidson sponsored an event in Ryder, South Dakota to give all eligible residents an experience riding a Harley on a JumpStart Rider Experience setup. The Jumpstart is a special stand that holds up a motorcycle to give the rider the experience of riding a running machine, shifting and working the other controls. Of Ryder’s total population of 85, 50 people signed up for motorcycle licensing classes.
Indian Motorcycle was at the X Games Minneapolis 2017, which was chosen as the venue to launch the 2017 Indian Scout Bobber.
Harley-Davidson’s new named event at the 2018 Winter X Games is another example of the company reaching out to the desired market.
“For 115 years H-D riders from all walks of life have expressed their freedom from the seat of America’s favorite motorcycle, so it’s natural for us to continue to blaze trails – this time off the road and in the snow,” Scott Beck, Harley-Davidson director of marketing, said. “We’ve raced the ice and climbed virtually every kind of hill, and the Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb is another way for us to grow the sport of motorcycling. We know our riders, and X Games fans and athletes alike share a passion for adrenaline and speed.”