SEEING the world from a Harley Davidson has been a way of life for Queenstown couple Graham and Donna Beker.
The bikers set off touring overseas on Harleys in 1978 and went into business sharing their passion in ’91, both in Queenstown and internationally.
Now their loyalty to the iconic American motorcycle brand has been rewarded.
Beker’s Motorcycle Tours has become the first Harley Davidson authorised tour company in the Asia Pacific – one of just 13 worldwide.
“This is the Mt Everest of touring,” Graham Beker says.
“We’ve put our heart and soul into this. It doesn’t cost anything but the process is unbelievable and has taken 18 months – they’re naturally protective over their brand.
“You have to be invited to apply by Harley Davidson and then you go through a rigorous process.
“First up you prove you’ve been into Harleys for a long time. We have – 36 years.
“Then there’s the approval and accreditations. Qualmark is just the first rung of the ladder.”
The ‘authorised tour’ status gives Beker’s MCT direct access to more than a million bikers in the Harley owners’ group – who in turn know they can trust the tour firm to deliver a quality and professional experience.
Trevor Barton, Harley Davidson authorised tours manager, says: “I’m delighted to bring a company like Beker’s into the authorised tours network.
“The entire business has lived the Harley lifestyle, attitude and ethos since it was established, so riders will be guaranteed the true Harley Davidson experience.”
Beker’s also runs tours in Europe and the USA, but at this stage the company has not yet applied for the status outside of New Zealand.
Graham Beker says Harley Davidson is keen to use images of Queenstown.
“Queenstown to them is a very sellable area – they love the photos.
“And it works both ways. It’s great for Queenstown as our clients tend to stay longer than the tours and are mostly high end.”