Hundreds of Harleys roll into Hermon to raise funds for Camp CaPella

Posted May 19, 2012, at 12:48 p.m.
Last modified May 20, 2012, at 12:36 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — As many as 200 motorcycle enthusiasts from across the state rumbled into town Saturday for the Central Maine Harley-Davidson all-day open house.

Dozens of men and women adorned in Harley-Davidson gear and denim gathered in front of a garage at the event on Saturday morning, watching as Central Maine Harley-Davidson staff rolled motorcycles onto the dynamometer, or “dyno,” a machine that measures the bike’s engine performance.

Dana Peirce of Glenburn had his 2008 Screamin’ Eagle Road King put out 90.8 horsepower with a torque of 105.8 at its peak.

Peirce said he was pleased with the numbers.

“Right now, I’m on top of the board,” he said. Granted, only three motorcycles had been tested on the dyno at that point in the morning.

The noisier the bike, the more people flocked to the garage to watch the dyno test.

“That’ll make your ears itch,” one bystander said as another Screamin’ Eagle engine revved up to 5,800 rpm.

Cullen Gillis of Levant, who works at Central Maine Harley-Davidson, offered advice to people who had their bikes tested, often suggesting small parts and adjustments that might boost the motorcycles’ performance.

“For a lot of people, this is just their pride and joy,” Gillis said after handing a graph of the test results to the owner of a bike that had an issue with “popping” on deceleration. He suggested the owner take a look at his air fuel mixture.

Troy Boyd of Leeds drove his motorcycle to Hermon on the morning of the event. He said his bike was “knocking” the whole way up and he was worried he might have a costly problem with a piston.

“I’d been looking it up and down trying to find the problem,” Boyd said.

One of the other attendees took a look at the bike and found the issue — a missing nut that cost Boyd about 44 cents, he said.

Boyd said he has been riding bikes for about two years and bought his 2006 Dyna Super Glide in the summer of 2011. He’s put about $2,000 worth of parts into it since, including tires, handlebars and exhaust work, but he said it’s worth every penny.

“It’s set up for me, it’s just the way I like it,” he said.

The open house included a barbeque; a bike show with awards for best in show, best in touring, best in sport and people’s choice; live music; a spaghetti dinner; and a street dance that wrapped up the evening.

All proceeds from the daylong event, which was hosted by the Bangor chapter of the Harley Owners Group, or HOG, will be donated to Camp CaPella, according to Brian Oliver, operations manager at the Hermon Harley-Davidson store.

By the end of the day, the event raised $1,717, Fritz Lyon, Camp CaPella spokesman said Sunday morning.

Located on Phillips Lake in Dedham, Camp CaPella provides a handicapped-accessible lakefront camp experience for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities and their families.

John Hanson, also known as “Boss Hog,” director of the HOG chapter, said HOG has supported charitable causes since it started in the mid-1980s, and that Camp CaPella has been one of the group’s favorite causes over the years.

Lyon said fundraising during tough economic times has been difficult.

The $1,717 is enough to send a child to camp, but could help bring much more money to the cause, according to Lyon. Camp CaPella has been offered a challenge grant, which stipulates that the camp will receive $25,000 if it can raise $25,000 on its own by the end of June.

Fritz said Saturday’s open house puts the camp “very close” if not past that goal.

“It’s good for everybody, that’s what I say,” Lyon said. “That’s community — when a group like this comes out to help Camp CaPella.”

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