Shell and Best Western Reach Out to Harley Davidson

Of Motorcycles, Maps, and Gas Stations

Shell and Best Western Reach Out to Harley Davidson

Remember the days when branding used to just be a way you marked your cattle? These days, it's the normal course of business for many companies. The trend continues with the latest announced `alliance', between Harley-Davidson and Shell Oil. Fortunately, this time it looks like it will actually offer benefits to riders. Here's how it'll work: Shell Oil will place all 14,000+ Shell-branded stations and their locations on the online Harley-Davidson Ride Planner, so that gas stops can be planned along any route you're devising.

Harley's Web-based Ride Planner allows motorcyclists to pre-plan road trips utilizing an interactive map that also identifies the locations of authorized Harley-Davidson dealers and soon, Shell-branded stations. We've all been able to look up any gasoline station on the Internet by city or ZIP code, but the Ride Planner will allow riders to identify the locations of all Shell stations along any route. The cool part is that riders will even be able to get an aerial view of the station and its surroundings prior to the trip. As the alliance evolves, more info will be available on the companies' Web sites at www.harley-davidson.com and www.shell.com/us/.

The press release goes on to mention that Harley recommends premium gasoline for its bikes, and these stations all offer Shell V-Power premium gas. It's also interesting to note here that, according to Top Tier Detergent Gasoline (a standard for gasoline performance created by BMW, GM, Honda and Toyota), the minimum level of detergent additive required by the EPA has declined by an estimated 50% over the past several years. Top Tier claims that, as a result, the ability of a vehicle to maintain stringent Tier 2 emission standards has been hampered, leading to engine deposits which can have a big impact on in-use emissions.

Shell is one of the companies that complies with the Top Tier standards, said to be aimed at ensuring optimal engine performance. For a list of other qualifying companies and to read the standard's requirements, go to: www.toptier.com

Another other alliance taking shape in Milwaukee (seems Harley's been busy these days) partners the Motor Company with the world's largest hotel chain - Best Western. The hoteliers are offering the Gold Crown Club International Ride Rewards - a free, themed frequent guest program for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. Any Harley-Davidson owner or enthusiast can register for the program by going to https://www.goldcrownclub.com/h-driderewards/. Once registered as Gold Crown Club Ride Rewards members, enthusiasts will earn 10 points for every U.S. dollar (or Canadian equivalent) spent on qualified room rates at any of the 4,200 Best Western hotels worldwide. Rewards members can redeem points toward awards such as free rooms, merchandise and gift certificates.

As a complement to Ride Rewards, Best Western will also serve as a preferred hotel for Harley-Davidson's "Great Roads" interactive Web application, found at www.harley-davidson.com/experience. Using Microsoft Virtual Earth, the application maps out a variety of U.S. "Great Roads" and shows Best Western hotels and Harley-Davidson dealerships along the way. Each listing features hotel descriptions along with a directory of services and amenities. A 10 percent savings is available to customers who book their Best Western reservations through this site, or by calling 1-888-224-BIKE.

For more information on Ride Rewards and features of the Best Western/Harley-Davidson partnership, visit www.bestwestern.com or www.harley-davidson.com/experience.