Harley Wins Coolest Thing Made in WI Contest

Epic Battle of Bikes, Brats and Boats Celebrates Manufacturing

MADISON – In the end, Milwaukee Hogs topped Sheboygan brats and Marinette combat ships to win the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, with voting done by the people online, the sponsors announced Tuesday.

“This was a classic Wisconsin battle of bikes, brats and boats, and the bikes won in fierce online voting,” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “We are the premiere manufacturing state in the nation and the nearly 300 nominees for the award is a testament to the strength of our manufacturing sector and the prowess of our manufacturing heritage.”

In voting that concluded over the weekend, Harley-Davidson’s new Milwaukee-Eight engine, which powers the company’s icon motorcycles, defeated Johnsonville brats and Marinette Marine’s Littoral Combat Ships to claim the coveted prize of “The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.”

“We are excited to be honored as the Coolest product in Wisconsin,” said Randy Christianson, general manager of Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations Pilgrim Road, “where nearly 1,000 employees work together to create the Milwaukee-Eight engine. These products and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are a testament to great manufacturing in Wisconsin and the United States of America.”

The contest was run by WMC and sponsored by Johnson Financial Group.

The Milwaukee-Eight engine is Harley-Davidson’s ninth Big Twin and the first new engine built in nearly two decades. It has a four valve head, is more efficient and produces more torque. It is built in Wisconsin along with 90 percent of all Harley-Davidson engines in a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility.

The winner was announced today at WMC’s State of Wisconsin Business luncheon in Madison.

Governor Scott Walker has declared October is Manufacturing Month, as we celebrate our manufacturing heritage of high-wage jobs that produce the greatest products on Earth right here in Wisconsin. Manufacturing employs almost 500,000 Wisconsin residents, and we consistently rank among the top manufacturing states in the nation.

In September, more than 20,000 votes were cast for the nominees. Every product received a vote, and more than 30 products received hundreds of votes.

The three top vote-getters were:

  •         Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, Inc., Milwaukee
  •         Littoral Combat Ship, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette
  •         Brats, Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, Sheboygan Falls

Tom Bolger, president/CEO of Johnson Financial Group, said manufacturing is critical to a strong economy and we should celebrate our heritage.

“At Johnson Financial Group, we value manufacturing and our manufacturing clients,” Bolger said. “And like many of you in this room, we value the success of Wisconsin’s manufacturers.”


Download a high-resolution copy of the WMC logo here.

Down a high-resolution copy of the Johnson Financial Group logo here.

Download a high-resolution of the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin logo here.