In 1998 driven by passion and enthusiasm, Alan Kane & Norrie McBride saw an opportunity to open a Harley Davidson Dealership in Northern Ireland, and after some difficulty proving the merits and the need for a dealership in Northern Ireland, Harley agreed, and Provincewide Harley Davidson opened its doors to the public in June 1999. It became the first official Harley Davidson dealership in Northern Ireland.
In the same month of opening it doors Provincewide Harley Davidson started the chapter. Most of the members of “The Six Counties” along with other individual customers quickly joined up and became members of the first official Harley Davidson chapter in Northern Ireland.
On the 30th July 1999 @ 7:30pm the very first official Chapter meeting took place in Provincewide Harley Davidson, Ballymena.
The very first elected officers in the chapter where:
Steve Greene Chapter Director
David Caughers Chapter Secretary and Events Organiser
Barry Magee Chapter Treasurer
Robert McNeill Chapter Editor
Gary Kidd Road Captain
Paul Dunn Road Captain
Paul Dobson Road Safety Officer
This was the meeting that tried to determine what the chapter should be known as. “Provincewide Chapter” was agreed on by the chapter and accepted by H.O.G. It was decided that this name managed to keep its ties to the dealership and Northern Ireland clear!
The shop moved premises from Ballymena, where they had been since 1999, to the present purpose-built premises at Kilbegs Business Park, Antrim.
Alan Kane retired and closed Provincewide Harley Davidson in March 2012.
Belfast (2013 – present)
In May of 2012, George and Janice Watson signed the contract with Harley Davidson and reopened the premises on 26th September, with the official launch of the new business on October 12th.
The ‘Belfast Chapter Northern Ireland’ was born in January 2013.
Harley Davidson is all about relationships. Our monthly meetings, which previously had been held all over the place, now take place in the upstairs lounge. People drop in all the time, and it is a great meeting place on a Saturday when impromptu meetings and ride-outs take place and where tea & coffee as well as a collection of sticky buns can be found.
The chapter has gone from a meagre dozen to over 150 members.
Every year it organises and runs one of the most successful HOG rallies in the UK – HOG’n’BOG.
The Chapter will continue to grow and it will continue to be popular. Some members come and go but most, if not all come back. Owning a Harley is only the key to the chapter, but after that it becomes a way of life. The friends you make here will last a lifetime, the ownership is usually families ranging from window cleaners and shop assistants to company directors and business proprietors. However once on the bikes, all become equal.