Motorcycle Clubs and Groups

American Heartland - Kansas City Chapter Harley Owners Group

Written by  February 29, 2004

The American Heartland – Kansas City Chapter Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) is one of three within the Kansas City area. It is the newest Chapter, with their first meeting being held March 12, 2003, with 277 prospective riders and members. One of their goals were to have at least 1,000 members by the end of March 2004, which would put them in the H.O.G history books as the fastest growing new Chapter. They made it! You still have until the end of March to join and be part of H.O.G. history and become a Charter member.

I was able to interview Roger Fleener, known as Roger “FatBoy on a FatKing” Fleener, who is the Director of the Chapter. I found him to be very candid and proud of his Chapter, the members, the sponsor and their accomplishments.

CC: What is the goal or purpose of your Chapter?

Roger: Our goal is to provide the Harley-Davidson community diversity through more events, pleasure-riding activities and to our customers a way to meet other enthusiasts.

CC: What is the significance of the Chapter name?

Roger: American, we’re American-built; Heartland, our heart is the very center of our existence; KC, we serve the entire Kansas City area; H.O.G.

CC: Is it a national Chapter?

Roger: Yes, the Harley Owners Group was conceived 21 years ago.

CC: What message does your Chapter want to send out to the community?

Roger: We care about your safety as you ride, we’ll listen to your ideas, we’ll introduce you to fellow riders, we support local charitable organizations, and we support and promote our sponsoring dealership, Gail’s Harley-Davidson.

CC: Who is the President?

Roger: National H.O.G. defines Director as the rider at the helm of the Chapter since we are to direct the Chapter through the volunteers of its membership. I have been starting the engine for American Heartland in its first year of operation with a support group of officers like no other.

CC: Any exclusions?

Roger: Just as the name says, we are a Harley Owners Group. You must have a Harley-Davidson vehicle identification number (VIN) registered in your name to join the National H.O.G. before becoming a local Chapter member.

CC: When, where and how often do you meet?

Roger: Just as a wheel has a center or hub, we meet at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Belton, Missouri the second Tuesday of each month, at 7 p.m. Also, all rides begin at Gail’s, where each member and customer can enjoy the many dealer-sponsored activities each and every week.

CC: How do you become a member?

Roger: You must first be a National member ($40 Full and $20 Associate) by calling 1-800-CLUB-HOG. After you receive your National membership card, you can join our Chapter by completing the application at one of our monthly meetings or at Gail’s Harley-Davidson dealership. The local annual dues are $12 for Full membership and $6 for an Associate member. Associate members are those sponsored by a Full member and are normally spouses, children, and close friends. The Associate members seem to enjoy riding just as much as their sponsor.

CC: Does your Chapter have any special rules the members MUST follow?

Roger: We, as well as National H.O.G., like to use the terms “suggestions & encourage” rather than rules. American Heartland encourages all its members to ride safely within their own skill level, believe in those riding in front of and behind them and wear a smile at all times.

CC: Do you have a special Chapter patch or badge?

Roger: Yes, they are sold at Gail’s Harley-Davidson dealership. We have two basic patches, one which signifies you belong to National H.O.G. and the second depicts your local Chapter. Also, many additional patches can be earned by the completion of certain rides and events throughout the year.

CC: Do you have any famous local or national Chapter members?

Roger: We consider all our members famous since their photos can be found many times in motorcycle related magazines. Also, many have been interviewed on local television, and their involvement with local and national organizations can be read about in newspapers.

CC: What are some of the annual events you sponsor?

Roger: As a group, we sponsor a ride to benefit Wayside Waifs Humane Society. This year’s Putt for Mutts ride will be Saturday, May 22. We also support and participate in Bikers for Babies, Octoberfest KC Style, Score One for Health, MDA, and many others.

CC: Do you have both open and closed events/activities?

Roger: Yes, all our charitable events are “open” to the public while “closed” events are open to American Heartland members and a guest.

CC: In the last 12 months, what single event displayed the essence of your Chapter?

Roger: American Heartland - KC H.O.G. answered a challenge to join and support National H.O.G. in celebrating 100 years of building motorcycles and relationships by riding in as a Chapter to its celebration here in Kansas City. The initial challenge was to have 100 Harley-Davidson’s ride in as a Chapter. The call was answered by 267 Harley-Davidson’s rumbling from Gail’s Harley-Davidson dealership in Belton, heading north on Highway 71 with many riding two-up. It was quite impressive! We also can’t forget that we are the fastest growing Chapter with over 1,000 members in its first year of operation. A big “Thank You” goes out to all the members for their support, the employees of Gail’s Harley-Davidson for their helpfulness and to Gail herself for being a believing sponsor and encourager to all over the past 19 years.

CC: Do you have a web site?

Roger: Yes, we can be found at www.feelthepower.com, as an intricate part of Gail’s Harley-Davidson dealership web site. As a member, you will also receive a monthly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the Harley-Davidson news and events.

CC: What else should I share with our readers about your Chapter?

Roger: We believe we are a “Family of Riders” and the only thing missing is YOU. The motorcycle that sets you apart has a Chapter that brings you together.

CC: Roger, thank you for your time and for the great photos you have provided for this article.

For those that don’t know Roger, he is a great photographer and owns his own studio.

Bart

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