Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Best Way to See Melbourne

We frequently meet people who are visiting Melbourne, who choose to come out for a Harley Ride with us who after their ride realise that they made the right decision to come out for an hour or more with us. They come to the realisation that "its not about the motorcycle" - its about how much more they see, how much better it is compared to sitting in a tour bus, the freedom and un-restricted views.

Then the added bonus - the joy and thrill of the experience of being on a motorcycle. They suddenly realise that its nothing like they expected it to be. The suddenly realise that its very safe - yes very safe! Why? Because their rider is very experienced and takes motorcycle safety very seriously. Enough said.

Just watch these videos and you will get some idea of what we mean. Just last week we took a girl out for a ride, whose friend, visiting Melbourne with her, didn't come for a Harley Ride giving the excuse that "she didn't like motorcycles". Most of the people who we take out have never been near a motorcycle in their lives. Most hold those prejudices and its only when they spend an hour or more with us, that those prejudices quickly disappear. We tend to convert those people. Our biggest challenge is getting them to take the Harley Ride Experience in the first place. Our biggest enemy is the prevailing myths that surround the Motorcycle.

So, if you are reading this article, do us a big favour and spread the news. We would be a lot busier if only people understood that this is the Best Way to Experience Melbourne and all the areas in the near vicinity like the Dandenong Ranges, that Yarra Valley and the Great Ocean Road.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What is on Your Bucket List?

Here are a couple of ideas that we here at HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd can help you achieve, if a ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle is on your Bucket List.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Greatest Experience

If I had one choice to nominate my favourite ride, that choice would have to be the Great Ocean Road Tour Harley Ride. Its very difficult to explain if one hasn't taken the experience, but that is the one of my choice.

Watch this and you may begin to understand what I mean:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beware of What You are Paying For

Would it surprise you that many of the product images you see on the internet are not actually truly representative of the product being sold? That many of the Affiliate Marketing web sites, which accept your money for a Hotel or Tour booking don't have anything but a passing and informal relationship with the product or service in question? Many of these Affilate sites don't even have a quality process in place, to guarantee that what you are paying for is of the highest quality, or that the Tour you have booked maintains the highest safety standards and holds the appropriate accreditations etc.

To our horror, we stumbled on one such fraudulent web site last week. One displaying images that we know were not theirs and not representative of the product or service they were selling.

How can we prove this "outrageous" claim, you might ask? Well, as it turns out they were using an image captured by HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd Director - John Karmouche, an image captured by John himself using a GoPro camera mounted on the handlebars of his 2012 Heritage Softail Harley Davidson.

The problem? This web site was not selling Harley Rides on behalf of HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd. We know the company who supplies their product. We also know that their quality standards have never been checked by the Affiliate Booking site in question. If they had done so, we feel things may have been different. Below is the offending image:

Harley Rides in Melbourne
John's Photo

And here is the offending web site page:

Affilate Marketing Fraud
Offending Website Using John's Image
We have contacted the management of this site and alerted them to their copyright infringement, and they have since removed John's photo from their site. John is considering what further action he will take in regard to this blatant copyright infringement.

Why book via one of these affiliates, when you can quite easily go direct to the supplier. Maybe that's because the Harley Ride company in question here doesn't have Credit Card booking available on their site, or is doing things on the cheap by not maintaining that facility. HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd, does maintain and operate a Merchant Facility. Maintaining this facility is not cheap. It also leaves one to ask what other cost shortcuts is the Harley Ride company in question taking (who this Affiliate Site is taking your money)? What is the quality of the motorcycle they utilise? How often are they serviced? Is the bike repaired by a qualified mechanic? What safety standards are being bypassed? The list of questions left unanswered is long.

Why doesn't HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd use Affiliate sites? Quite simply - its because they charge a 25% booking fee, that we don't add if you book directly via us. Compare the rates charged by this Affiliate to us - the rates are identical. Ever wonder where these rates originate - from us as it turns out. Here in Melbourne, HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd sets the standard, behind which everyone else follows. They can't offer a cheaper rate - so one is left to ask why use them at all?

HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd takes pride in maintaining exceptionally high standards. All of the bikes we use to take our customers for Harley Rides are up to date models, serviced only by qualified Harley Davidson mechanics. No safety corners are taken. Safety and quality is expensive - but its an expense we are proud to say that we are prepared to wear - even if it means losing business to cheap and nasty alternatives that utilise Affiliate web sites to save costs.

At the end of the day, we can only direct you to the Testimonials left by our customers on Trip Advisor on on the Testimonial page on our site.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sharing the Harley Davidson Brand

The Harley Davidson story is a marketing legend. Long known for giving its customers what they want, and understanding the people who ride their machines Harley Davidson have survived against all odds by leading the field with "Iconic branding".

If it were not for the iconic nature of the Harley Davidson motorcycle, and the throb of the Harley Sound emitted by their "head turning" machines, I doubt that the Harley Rides Industry would have evolved in Australia, as in did in the early '90s. Since 1993 when HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd was founded literally hundreds of thousands of people have been introduced to the Harley Davidson Brand on individual Harley Rides given to them as a gift by a family member or friend as a birthday gift, Hens and Bucks Day rides, wedding anniversary surprise etc. In addition there have been many thousands of tourists visiting Australia (and in our case Melbourne) who have recognised that taking a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle is the best form of transport that guarantees that they will see more of Melbourne, the nearby hills and the Great Ocean Road. Its simply because the view one gets seated on the back of a motorbike, while someone else does the riding just can't be matched by any other mode of transport which sets the Harley Ride Experience apart.

But, by far the largest group, outnumbering all others are the children and their parents with whom we come into contact at school fetes and fairs. It is at the fundraising events, that over just a few hours we expose up to 100 or more people to the Harley Ride Experience. At these events we bring people into contact wit the Harley Davidson Brand for the first time. Most have never possessed an inclination or any interest in motorcycles, and many have never even heard or been aware of the Harley Davidson marque. What occurs at this time quite often results in a transformation, creation of desire, and a marked reversal in attitude towards the Motorcycle. For many, it marks the day when they decided to get a motorcycle of their own. I well recall meeting a guy, several years ago, who came up to me one day and told me how after his Harley Ride he went on to obtain his motorcycle licence, purchase of harley Davidson and then go on to become the President of his local HOG (Harley Owners Group) Chapter!

We have no formal connection with Harley Davidson, and our services carry no endorsement from them, despite the fact that we can claim a role in the sale of many of their machines over the years. Perhaps, one day they may give us some formal recognition, but we don't expect it.

In the meantime we will continue to share the Harley Davidson motorcycle with their potential customers. Times are becoming highly competitive and many Harley Davidson clones have emerged emulating the Harley Iconic V-Twin design. Whenever, we take anyone out for a Harley Ride Experience, our focus is on explaining to them why we have chosen a Harley Davidson over the others. Its the Icon, H-D set the standard and the height of the bar. Its up to the others to reach the level of Iconic Status held by the Harley Davidson. Its not until one has owned a Harley Davidson of their own that they are able to recognise why Harley Davidson has become the world's greatest Marketing and Branding success, a story which is studied by every aspiring entrepreneur.

Group of Harley Davidsons for tourist visiting Melbourne out on a Harley Ride
A group of tourist s visiting Melbourne

Friday, August 23, 2013

Corporate Bonding

Melbourne is the Conference Capital of Australia, and attracts events from all over the world to the Melbourne Convention Centre on the bank of the Yarra River.

This past week, saw one company utilise us as a Staff Bonding Activity at their annual conference. We formed one part of an overall activity organised by our Partner Big Stick Adventures. Here is how it looked:

Of course, the staff had no idea what to expect and were surprised when Big Stick initiated the activity.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Customers Speak about their Harley Ride Experience

It never ceases to amaze us to see the reaction we get from people as we take them out for a Harley Davidson Ride experience. All that most people know about motorcycles are the horror stories portrayed to them by the media, and Road Safety agencies like the TAC. But, the reality is far from the myths espoused by these sources. And we frequently change people's perceptions about the Motorcycle Experience and Motorcycle safety.

Take this customer, when we took her and her partner on a 5 hour winery tour to the Yarra Valley:

Or these two girls, who had no idea that Lane Splitting isn't actually dangerous and that motorcycles are designed to fit into the gaps between stationary traffic:

We have nothing but the highest reviews from all our customers who have posted Trip Advisor Reviews.

Perception vs Reality
Its the constant challenge we face. Its the one thing which stops many people choosing to take the Harley Davidson Ride Experience.

The Harley Ride Experience is an Orientation Activity - that  enables anyone to see more in a very short period of time. During this orientation passengers seated on a Harley Davidson will be shown places to which they would not have otherwise ventured - like Williamstown, St Kilda, the F1 GP track, or if they chose one of the longer options - the Dandenong Ranges, and places like Rickett's Point and the beach front along Beach Road....all places you can't easily get to in anything other than a hire car, expensive taxi trip or on time wasing public transport.....other than by on a Harley Ride - as the method of transport!

The greatest challenge we face in attracting Harley Ride Bookings is to make people understand what the experience is really all about and why it is something that everyone visiting Melbourne should do. It is NOT just for Harley Davidson enthusiasts. Weather is NOT a factor - we provide all the warm and protective clothing. Safety - something which stops many people because of the "motorcycle reputation" is also NOT a factor because we have a perfect safety record and are very qualified etc.

All we hope is that others will share this article with anyone planning a trip to Melbourne, anyone who has never had a motorcycle experience. We know that even when our customers tell their friends what a great experience they had, that their friends still don't believe them......

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Best Melbourne Tours

Most tourists visiting Melbourne never get out of the centre of town. The CBD is a huge rectangle - 1/2 a mile wide and 1 mile long. It was laid out by Governor Latrobe in the 1840's, and the magnificent old buildings which populate the city were built on the proceeds of the Gold Rush which started after gold was discovered in Ballarat around 1850. Before that, Melbourne was a small settlement that serviced the farming community. But, after gold was discovered - everything changed!

Melbourne has so much to offer. But the hardest thing for a visitor is discovering how to get there - that is to the best places I mean.

Melbourne start on foot by walking
Melbourne by Foot
Downtown city Melbourne is a network of lane ways. Finders Lane, Little Collins St and Little Bourke St have other smaller lane ways which join the major thoroughfares like Collins Street and the Bourke Street Mall. My recommendation would be to make contact with Fiona at Hidden Secrets Tours if you really want to discover the soul of Melbourne. Fiona takes you on foot around the inner heart of the city - where being on foot is best.

Flinders St and Flinders St Station
Melbournes lane ways are dotted with great paces to stop and enjoy coffee and great food
Laneway Cafe
Map of Australia etched into the steps at Federation Square
Federation Square

But there is only so much time that you can spend wandering around the centre of town. There are many ways to get out of the city, like on the Trams, trains or by bus. But, if you really want to go where most of these forms of transport don't go - in the shortest and most efficient manner - then that is where a Harley Ride comes in. But, before you dismiss this idea because that's not you - stop and consider what a Harley Ride's purpose really is. Its not just for motorcycle nuts or adrenaline junkies. Its for those who want the best mode of transport which will give the best return when it comes to how much more they will see - in a very short period of time - compared to the other ways of doing it.

Williamstown and Nelson Place is a great place to visit
Williamstown - Melbourne's Hidden Gem

Williamstown, which is located a short distance from the heart of Melbourne, over on the other side of the Yarra River, is one of my favourite destinations. But, if you don't have a lot of time, then its not somewhere that is easy to get to other than on a Harley Ride. Its one of the places that we show people during a 1 hour ride, and they often then choose to go back for a longer visit later. Nelson Place, pictured above, is the main restaurant precinct that most would see, but on a Harley Ride you get to see much more of this historic place as we take you around by Williamstown beach and down the magnificent streets in this precinct.

But wait - there's more. The F1 Grand Prix Circuit round Albert Park lake, St Kilda. If you have a few hours then take a 3 hr ride to the Dandenong Ranges or a 5 hour Ride to the Wineries in the Yarra Valley. Or if you have a day to spare - then come down the Great Ocean Road - its an experience you will never forget.

Are we always busy? Now we are not. Why, you ask? Because people just don't understand the Harley Ride Experinece and how it relates to their concept of the right thing to do. Most who come out with us, go away understanding why they needed to do it. It comes as a shock to many as they it begins to dawn on them that it just isn't what they expected it to be - it terms of comfort - its far better than they expected, safety - its far safer and they realise that they won't fall off - and finally weather isn't important - because we don't let them get cold.

But sadly many people reading this will still think to themselves, "This just isn't for me." For those people we feel immense sorrow, that we will never be able to share this experience with you : (

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift

Have you remembered that Valentine's Day is fast approaching? Do you have any idea what to get your valentine in 2013? A Harley Ride is something that never fails to impress people, who have undergone the experience.

Maybe, you have a girlfriend who is not into bikes, but you are, and you would really love to have her understand why you love motorcycles as much as you do? Give us just one hour with her and we guarantee she will come back demanding that you get one, and take her for a ride. She may even come back wanting to get her own motorbike licence (we have seen it happen - believe it or not!).

Just recently, a guy booked a ride for the love in his life, the excitement on her face and the reaction she had during the ride just had to be seen to be believed : )

It doesn't matter what age they are, in our experience the result is always the same. At the end of the ride they always just want to keep going, and "Its never long enough".

We have plenty of bikes available for rides on Valentines Day this year. And you can come along too - on another bike - and join in the experience with your valentine. Maybe you are planning to take them out for dinner - get picked up and use us instead of a taxi.

The best thing to do is call us and get some technical advice - we can offer many ideas and suggestions. That is what we are here for. Our phone number is Freecall 1800 182 282 (inside Australia only). 

Visit our Facebook Site or our Mobile Site

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here’s Why Lane Splitting Should Be Legal For Motorcycles

Know Someone Who Needs to Learn About This?

One of the most controversial subjects, in the world of Road Safety, is the subject often referred to as Lane Splitting.

Its something that if you haven't been at least a passenger on a motorcycle before, that you will not understand. Its something that we demonstrate to our customers when we take them out for a Harley Ride in Melbourne. If you know someone who you think needs to become better informed about this subject - then send them out for a ride with us, so we can demonstrate it to them for you.

Most people who drive a car don't understand what it feels like to ride a bike or what the road conditions look like from a motorcycle rider's point of view. They think its dangerous when we know its not and that it doesn't look or feel dangerous from where we sit, doing it on our bikes. The car driver mindset - starts from the view they get from their drivers seat. Things look entirely different from a riders seat on a bike - for many reasons - that are only understood if one has had the experience. I should know, because I have seen the light come on inside the heads of the 1000's of Harley Ride passengers I have had on the back of my bike over the years. Its only when I explain and demonstrate reality to them that they realise that most of what they thought they knew - is WRONG.

If you want to understand what we are talking about, here is a great video where a group of very experienced riders talk about this controversial subject:

The real reason why motorcycles do it? They are many and varied. When you come out for a Harley Ride with us you will quickly come to understand why motorcycle riders do it.

Its a topic which often comes up between us and our passengers, and when people have it demonstrated and explained to them, they always go away with a different point of view, one that is often counter to that which they held before the ride.

Happy Girl on a Harley Davidson Motorbike

Happy girl on a motorbike

Happy girl on a motorbike

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Groupon Discounts - the truth behind their facade

Just over a year ago, I was getting calls a couple of times a week from Groupon, Living Social and their "coupon clones". Their claim was that they could bring my company, "heaps of new work, and that there were thousands of customers queuing up to buy my product that I was supposedly missing out on.

The problem is, as I pointed out to them, that volume sales doesn't match the service I provide. One of my competitors in the Harley Rides industry had already been burned getting involved with several of these discounters, and I didn't want to suffer the same fate.

My focus is on providing a Quality Experience for my customers. Providing Quality requires that the Harley Davidson motorcycles I use to transport my customers, are maintained and serviced to the highest standards. This means that their safety is guaranteed - that no short cuts are taken.

To achieve this goal I never service or repair my motorcycle - I'm not qualified to do that. I pay a qualified Harley Davidson mechanic $100 per hour plus the cost of parts to perform that task. This means that my bike and all the bikes I use are in tip top condition.

But, some of my competitors in the Harley Rides industry here in Melbourne, don't take my approach. They cut corners and maintain very old machines that are more prone to breakdowns. One of those uses Red Balloon and Adrenalin Tours as agents for their Harley Rides business and has fallen foul of Groupon and Living Social and lived to regret that experience.

Why book through a multinational holiday or "experience" promotional website?

To book accommodation, restaurants, holidays, Harley Rides etc go direct to the person who owns and operates the business he/she does not have to pay large commissions. Visit our website here at Harley Rides in Melbourne or call us direct on Freecall 1800 182 282 - our technical advice is free - you don't get that at Groupon etc. And as for Red Balloon and Adrenalin - they don't even conduct quality checks on the products they supply. All they are interested in, is getting their 25% Agents commission. At Groupon, after factoring in a 50% discount or something similar, and after they take their cut - that leaves the supplier with almost nothing. In my case not enough to cover my costs. And I'm not prepared to cut corners to get more business at the expense of scarificing my customers safety

Mr Rob Sims, ACCC ''People are buying a voucher and the circumstances are such that they cannot actually redeem it, and therefore they just lose their money. Many do get a discount, but some just lose their money,'' Mr Sims said. ''That is unfair on the small- business person who either breaks his or her back to try and meet them, or just suffers the reputational damage. And it is unfair to consumers.''

The owner of a Sydney driving school told the Herald his business was damaged by a group deal. He made no profit and had to put his own customers aside while fulfilling vouchers.

''It is not worth it [because] I made no profit at all and the price they advertise my business is too cheap for me. I cannot afford it [and] they take too much [commission].'

Before you do book something online - do your research. We have many good reviews on Trip Advisor - Harley Rides in Melbourne and are recommended by Tourism Australia . After reading many reviews, its pretty easy to tell which ones are fake.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Youtube Harley Ride Clips - For the Dreamers

Without a doubt, motorcycles are gaining in popularity. But, for many people owning their own motorcycle, getting their bike licence just isn't something that is ever going to happen. The reasons for this are many and varied - for many they just can't fit one into their busy lifestyle, of they don't have the funds to purchase one (let alone buy all the necessary protective gear - and undertake the training), or maybe they have a spouse nor parent who won't let them get one.

The dream of owning a Harley Davidson is out of reach for many, but the experience is not.

That is where we come in. There is a way for these people to experience the Joy of Riding a motorbike, without a licence. Harley Davidson Tours, motorcycle joyrides have been operating in Australia since the early 1990's.

If your dream has been to get a motorcycle of your own, or if you have a friend who has that dream, then that is where HD Chauffeur Ride Pty Ltd can help you out. Over the last 20 years, they have helped many people get focussed on their motorcycle dream or satisfied that inner yearning to get a motorcycle joyride on a genuine Harley Davidson off their bucket list : )

Do you know someone who needs to have this experience? Are you someone who has always wanted to get a motorcycle of their won, but life got in your way?

Even if you have never sat on a motorcycle before, this is an experience we guarantee you will enjoy. You don't need to have ever have thought about motorcycles before. We know that after you have spent an hour or more with us - you will understand : )