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“Glad we stopped for this tour”

Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations
Ranked #1 of 49 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Established as an assembly facility in 1973, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA assembles the Touring, Softail®, CVO™ and Trike models. They also perform a variety of manufacturing operations - making parts like frames, fuel tanks, and fenders. At the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center, you'll explore exhibits that detail the manufacturing and assembly processes of the factory. You'll also have the chance to sit on current production motorcycles and visit the gift shop for tour-related souvenirs. The Kids Corner, a specially designed area for visitors under the age of 12, makes the York facility an ideal family destination. Your factory tour begins with an introductory video and continues on the factory floor where you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the people, processes and products of Vehicle Operations. You'll be guided through the manufacturing of key components and the assembly of Softail, Touring, CVO and Trike motorcycles. Then it's on to the end of the line, where every motorcycle is roll-tested prior to shipping. Over the years, thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts have made the journey to York, Pennsylvania to witness passion forged in steel. At the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center, you'll explore exhibits that detail the manufacturing and assembly processes of the factory. You'll also have the chance to sit on current production motorcycles and visit the gift shop for tour-related souvenirs. The Kids Corner, a specially designed area for visitors under the age of 12, makes the York facility an ideal family destination. Your factory tour begins with an introductory video and continues on the factory floor where you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the people, processes and products of Vehicle Operations. You'll be guided through the manufacturing of key components and the assembly of Softail, Touring, CVO and Trike motorcycles. Then it's on to the end of the line, where every motorcycle is roll-tested prior to shipping. Over the years, thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts have made the journey to York, Pennsylvania to witness passion forged in steel.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
United States
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Glad we stopped for this tour”
Reviewed May 9, 2012

While planning our vacation to the Amish Country, I found this tour. My husband loves motorcycles and I knew he would be very interested in touring the plant. There were three of us (husband, myself and daughter who is 21) and we all had a great time. The tour was 45 minutes long --just long enough to be fun but no so long as to be bored. The guide did a great job and it was very interesting.

Glad we stopped!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank stripes90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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431 reviews from our community

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Lexington, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Steel Toe Tour, Well worth the price of admission!”
Reviewed May 4, 2012

About 5 years ago, my wife and I toured the York PA Harley factory. Back then the tour was of the world war II era factory that assembled their Touring and CVO bikes. You didn't get to see the newer building that was next door where they assembled Softail motorcycles. I had heard that Harley had done a major refurbishing to their plant and in doing so had combined the two seperate assembly lines into one (at the Softail plant) and had automated much of the process. I really wanted to see the new facility and since we were passing through PA again, I figured that this was my chance. When I looked up the tour on the HD website I saw that for the price of $35 you could take a more in depth tour of the facility lasting close to two hours rather than the normal one hour of the free tour. The HD website says the tour sells out quickly and reservations were recommended, but not required. I called on a monday for a Wednesday tour and was able to obtain two tickets for the earlier of the two "Steel Toe Tours" (STT) offered that day. They offer two steel tours Monday through Friday at 9:30 and 12:30. Friday however, is not a normal production day so I wouldn't plan on going then if you actually want to see the line running. We arrived at the visitors center at about 9:15 and were greeted by the tour guide and the visitor centers receptionist. The receptionist gave me our $5 coupons for the gift shop, A bag containing two souvinir pins and a souvanir reflective vest to be worn on the tour, and fitted us for steel toe covers for our shoes. (it IS a steel toe tour after all!) Our group ended up being just three, my wife and I and one other gentleman, however the STT can have up to 10 people. Our tour guide led us into the theater where we watched a 10 minute video of the history of the company and a little about the York Facility. After the video we were led around the factory floor to the various operations going on. We got to see where the paint was applied, watched frames being inspected by master welders and saw fenders and gas tanks being stamped out. In the section of the facility where the frames are assembled you get to pose with a motorcyle frame and have a group picture taken. They print it out and give it to you after the tour. This is the only way to have a picture inside the facility. The tour guides camera is even locked up when it is not being used! During the tour the tour guide takes you to various areas in the plant where a flat screen is set up to show you what the process is you are about to see actually take place on the line. The STT stops at 5 different places along the assembly line and you spend a few minutes at each one to watch them assemble the Motorcycles. At no point did the employees seemed bothered by the tour and would always offer a smile or a wave if they saw you watching what they were doing. I would highly recommend spending the money on this tour but, if you cant get a ticket, the free tour would still give you a taste of what a state of the art modern manufacturing facility looks like.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank HarleyRidinFireman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stillwater, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Bad Experience”
Reviewed May 3, 2012

Coming from a family full of Harley owners we planned a trip to PA around the Harley York tour. All was good when we entered into the tour and were asked to fill out cards with our info. We were escorted into the movie and then the room prior to the tour to get our headsets. After explaining a couple of things my daughter and i were asked to leave the room by a tour guide. We did, having no idea why, and leaving the other part of our family. Once outside we still weren't told why, but we figured it out when our tour guide said to the gentleman at the front counter that we had sandals on. I was very upset in the fact that the tour guide didn't explain to us why we were sent out or said anything to the others in our party due to the fact that the actual tour didn't start. If ANYBODY said anything to us we would of simply changed into our sneakers prior to the tour or waited with our family to take the next tour. I spoke with the manager on duty and said this was horrible customer service and his answer was really nothing. Ironically after our incident the tour guides did announce that no open toed shoes were aloud. I felt this all could of easily been avoided and not a huge waste of our time. My purpose is to inform everyone before you too waste a couple hour ride! After 45 minutes the rest of our family came out and next tour was full.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank beachlovur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, PA
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Good Tour”
Reviewed May 1, 2012

The tour has improved recently and you should try it out.

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
Thank RickZ255
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matteson, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Factory Tour”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

I'm always impressed by how clean new plants are. At tour end you can write postcard and they'll send it for free! Mine took longer to get to my office than my return to work, but maybe it got delayed in company mail handling.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank linda1lee2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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