December 16, 2009

MADISON (WRN) – Not everyone is wild about naming Harley-Davidson as Wisconsin’s official motorcycle.

A group called Noise Free America has given the Legislature its “Noisy Dozen” award for even considering the Harley designation. A public hearing on it is set for Thursday at the State Capitol. Group member George Atwood of Milton says the loud engines from the Harleys made in Milwaukee and Tomahawk are frightening and intimidating – and they cause lost hearing, reduced productivity, and higher medical bills. And he says many Harley riders have rigged their mufflers to make them even louder than what the factory produces.

Senate Democrat Jeff Plale of South Milwaukee is one of 20 legislators seeking to make Harley the state’s official cycle. He calls the group’s complaints “ridiculous in the extreme” – and he’ll proudly hang its award on his wall. He says when he hears a Harley, he thinks of fun – and thousands of jobs for Wisconsin.