‘A lot of throttle:’ Riders compete in uphill battle to win H-D’s 115th hill climb

Harley-Davidson Hill Climb 2018

SLINGER -- It's a competition that's as old as the bikes they ride on. Racing motorcycles up a steep hill and the person up and back with the fastest time is the winner. It's part of the Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary. For one of the riders, winning the Harley-Davidson Hill Climb is more than just leaving with a gold.

"Hold on, hold on, and a lot of throttle," said Josh Mueller. racer.

At Little Switzerland Ski Area on Saturday, Sept. 1 -- an unlikely place -- motorcycle racing got back to its muddy roots for the Harley-Davidson Hill Climb.

Harley-Davidson Hill Climb 2018

Matt King

"It's a great little local ski hill," said Matt King with Harley-Davidson. "Today we've transformed it into a hill climb. We're actually racing motorcycles up and down the hill all afternoon."

"I'm riding a Harley 1450 CC open bike," said Mueller.

Josh Mueller, a young racer, is looking to make a name for himself.

"The weather will be big factor in it," said Mueller. "If we get the rain it will be really really sloppy."

Josh Mueller

Mueller rides a Harley 1450 CC open bike and it's turning heads -- in a good way.

"The main reason: you say you ride a Harley," said Mueller. "It's cool, it's loud, just the adrenaline rush -- it's different, people like it."

What riders want to do is they want to get up to the top of the hill as quickly as possible, if they don't go fast enough it is 200 feet all the way down to the bottom.

The winner with the best time gets a $7,500 cash prize.  For Mueller, it's about something you can't take up to a podium.

Harley-Davidson Hill Climb 2018

Harley-Davidson Hill Climb 2018

"Just to do a race for that event is what's really neat," said Mueller. "And especially to ride a Harley in it -- that's the best part."

In 2018, the guys are keeping things messy with a lot of old-school cool.

Harley-Davidson Hill Climb 2018