What the hell happened to Harley shops

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What the hell happened to Harley shops

#1

Post by Skip » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:46 pm

Description: What the hell happened to the Harley shops

Post by skip on Mar 24, 2006, 4:09pm

What the hell happened to the Harley shops? Remember when they where FUN to go to and hang out in...you could actually ask for and get a part! they didn't carry clothes and wrapping paper and big titted whores that couldn't find there asses with both hands and a map! you could smoke in them! hell I got drunk in a couple!! Nowadays with these Japanese Harley's taking over it's even harder to even order a part for a real Harley! DAMN Harley Davidson for selling out to the fucking japs...Thanks for letting me vent...Skip

Post by 03roadking on Mar 24, 2006, 6:21pm

Your just finding this out now? they have been like that for years I can't recall the year they started, but they wanted to cater to the RUB's (for which I guess I am one third RUB, I'm not rich nor do I live in the suburbs but I am a biker)
It all went down the drain when the MOCO saw profits over heritage. I hate to say it but all business is that way even the people that own small shops and grace this site with there years of knowledge have a bottom line They have to pay there people and there vendors, The only difference is the MOCO keeps pushing to stay alive and make a crap load of money by manipulating the market.
First don't touch a 10 year old bike or carry parts Why? so you buy a new one, so you can still be part of the Harley family.
Two when you can, suppress the little guy, the guy that makes one offs. You see the problems with the AQMD and EPA coming down the line. OK they make there changes and presentations and they pound there chest WE ARE the MOCO So the EPA looks around and low and behold here's a bunch of shops that don't have the money or the lawyers to fight So they go after them, the MoCo says "Oh thats to bad" but really what there saying is "Good for us"
Three, the vendor to the MoCo "how can we make more money" that's easy beat up our vendors "You make a part for us but we want you to make it 10.00 cheaper" or you can't, well they can in Japan so we will buy from them and raise our price and make more money (true story, Walmart called a lawn mower manufacture, they told him they were going to order10 thousand lawn mowers from him IF he would sell them 25.00 cheaper for each unit, because they were going to sell them for so much and they want 40% profit. He said he would have to use cheaper parts and they would not hold up. Walmarts reply was "do what ever it takes" But when they sent the contact over it said "The manufacture was responsibly for warranty work up to one year". the manufacture decided not to do it. Walmart was making 40% and he was taking all the risk) The MoCo profits keep paying there higher and higher salary's plus there Profit sharing They must ignore the old and concentrate on the new Because that's where the money is. Business is business you either run it or you run it into the ground. Don't get me wrong I'm not on there side I'm just calling them as I see them. But if I were them and I had all the resources they have I would start a division for the older bikes say from just before the AMF times back, Not just buy a few nicely restored bikes and put them in a building and say "Look what we did"

Post by caschnd1 on Mar 24, 2006, 6:30pm

Skip,

I think most of us can relate to your frustration. The way I look at it is this... If I walked into my local Ford dealer would I expect them to have any parts for a car or truck they built between 1948 and 1965? I kinda doubt it. I might get lucky and find a parts. But most are only going to be available through the aftermarket. It's the same with the old Harleys.
Now regarding your comments about the women who work at the Harley dealers. I realize you're angry but maybe you shouldn't direct it at them. It's not their fault that Harley has moved on. Also, keep in mind that every one of them is someone's daughter, mother, and/or wife. And they're workin' a job that probably doesn't pay that great. They probably deserve a little more respect.

-Craig

Post by skip on Mar 24, 2006, 8:06pm

no they don't...when you must go back 2 and 3 times; then get on the phone with their supplier yourself and do the ordering then it is time to get "your" daughter back into the kitchen and bake me a fuckin' cake...I have not had to deal with a harly shop for quite a while, as I had a stock of basic supplies that came with my pan 21 years ago...and by the way thier father onws the shop...go figure...he's a dick too...Skip

Post by sidecar on Mar 24, 2006, 8:15pm

Last week I was driving by the local "Big Harley Dealer" and I decided to stop and get a jet for an S&S Super E. The guy behind the counter looked for 10 minutes through all of the jets and could not find any jets for S&S carbs. I was a little surprised at this.

Post by dj on Mar 24, 2006, 11:06pm

Without getting too deeply into the social/political ramifications of the current Harley dealerships, I pride myself in saying that the last Harley dealership I was in was "Cookie's" Harley Davidson in Ypsilanti, Michigan in about 1980....
I had my current '60 back then and it was sold new to a Michigan bean farmer thru him (John Cook). Then my brother bought it secondhand from John in about 1968. By the time I got to know John, sure....I knew he wanted to sell me a new bike, but he could still cheerfully order just about anything I needed at the time. But we used to sit and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and the man could talk the hind leg off a donkey! I was young and he was old, and I would LISTEN. I learned a lot from him concerning my old panhead and Harleys in general. Then John passed away in '86 or '87.
I VOW NEVER to step foot in another Harley Davidson dealership for as long as I live. I might hang out in a parking lot, on a run or some kind of event, but now....they simply have nothing that I am interested in. I will go to independant bike shops, chopper shops, and the like.....but NOT a dealership.
A good friend of mine at work buys a new Harley every couple of years and has copies of "HOG tales" on his job which I read conspicuously and somewhat contemptously.....the guy had the nerve to call me a "wannabe", because I bought my old panhead back, only a couple of years ago, from the guy I sold it to in 1983, and have spoken of the virtues of OLD IRON to him for the past couple of years while he puts 30,000 miles a year on his "plasticated" UGC and has dealership T-shirts from all over the country.........I say "good" friend because nobody calls me a "wannabe" and gets away with it easily. Especially a mechanically-disabled "RUB". Yes, this means YOU Ron! And when I called him a "RUB", he probly had to ask around, or look it up to discover the meaning! I don't think it's adequately defined in the HOG publications.

My response was...." "Wannabe"? I don't even own a Harley T-shirt!"

End of rant.

John "Cookie" Cook.....rest in peace.

Post by caschnd1 on Mar 24, 2006, 11:37pm

DJ,

I got Harley T-shirts from all over the place. My favorite one is from "Cookie's" in Ypsilanti. It's my favorite because it's also my oldest one. Haven't worn it in years and wouldn't want to wash it for fear of it breaking down into dust. I worked with John's Sister-in-law (or it might have been his sister... too many years ago to remember). She took me and another kid (I say kid because we were both underage back then) into Cookie's one day to get a look around the back of the shop and the basement (what a gold mine that would be today). John gave us the t-shirts. Only met him the one time but he sure left a good impression on me.

-Craig

Post by dj on Mar 25, 2006, 12:53am

Craig,

Yup....you been there....you said "basement". As you recall, it wasn't a super big place but it has a ride-in basement. The building is still there and the upstairs is now a pizza shop and the basement is rented by a guy who rents motorcycle storage space for $30.00 a month, and who does limited mechanical work, as well as his own projects. When John died, all or most of the original tools and machinery...and parts...are gone....sold or bequeathed to his son-in-law, who is still around also.
I'd give a hundred dollar bill for a Cookie's T-shirt in decent wearable condition. You've inspired me to start looking.

Post by daveyb on Mar 25, 2006, 4:01am

I understand what Skip is talking about. The Harley shop used to be a place to hang out, almost like a clubhouse. You had to know SOMETHING about motorcycles just to walk in there! Those shops started disappearing years ago. HD forced the dealers to upgrade their shops and make them less intimidating and more friendly to their new customer base. I know a lot of places went out of business trying to meet the company's demands. Nowadays, some of the "chopper" shops are beginning to resemble the HD boutiques. I miss those funky old bike shops.

Post by billy on Mar 25, 2006, 8:41am

HD generates more revenues $$$ these days from
T-shirts, leathers & gee-gaws, than actual bike sales. (True fact)

http://stealer-dealer.com/sd.htm

caschnd1-

I, too have collected HD T-Shirts from all over. Must have approx 100 T-shirts. My fav. is from "Ernest Cerini" established in 1926, Donora, Penna. I used to hang out around there as a young buck!! ;D He IS one dealer that never sold-out to HD boutique BS, & they cut him off from new bike sales. So-He was forced to open a boutique far away from his shop, & let his kids run it, let them sell the new plastic HDs :
But last 10 yrs or so, I quit wearin HD T-shirts, I prefer to advertise w/"My own T-shirts"
Don't look too close @ new Hd's they have more & more Japanese parts on them Brand New.
Sad that old HD is long gone.. We've been on our own for a Long time.

Post by dj on Mar 25, 2006, 9:39am

''"My response was...." "Wannabe"? I don't even own a Harley T-shirt!"''


That was a lie, I have a couple vintage ones, but he knew what I meant.
I'm all for people who buy new Harleys....I'm thinking of buying stock in the MOCO. It's a very good investment especially with the current gasoline crisis...to say nothing of the T-shirt sales. There are more of them than bikes. Owning stock in the company would make you one of those the company is trying to please. heh heh.
I just don't want a new one that's all. Bike or Shirt!

Post by leakypete on Mar 26, 2006, 3:33am

What REALLY is sad about the whole thing is that some that rail against the moco and the RUB mentality are hopping on the occ and the monster garage and the wcc band wagon. Talk about selling out for the buck. If you can take the zombies, check out the latest west coast chopper line at wal-mart. guess it boils down to the old saying 'You can't judge a book by its' cover', the t-shirt does not make the man although the t-shirt does make the woman the wetter the better!! LeakyPete.

Post by cotten on Mar 26, 2006, 7:52pm

Of course the MoCo sells out for profits. That's what corporations do.
Of course the buffoons on the discovery channel are being marketed. That's what entertainers do.
The sad thing is that we shall never again see the likes of the Three Stooges, nor the quality of the machines on their 'shows'!

....Cotten

Post by andrewjhester on Mar 27, 2006, 1:36am

I have an opinion. I'm gratefull that the MoCo still exists. I'm also gratefull that they have a following like they do. A new generation of riders, for whatever reason. Look at it this way. Within the ranks of this huge following are a few true riders. People who will log miles on their bike and not a trailer. But, for the most part, they are profilers with a new leather wardrobe, a tanning bed tan, clean fingernails, and nowhere to go. If I've stepped on toes, don't take it personally. But, I think those people won't be on this forum, or any other, for that matter.
My point. They are creating a lifestyle that leaves me behind. And, I'm glad. Because, they probably don't have an interest in the old machines that I prefer. Or, care to know what it takes to maintain and ride one. To each his own. The one real benefit I see is that because they exist in such numbers, maybe motorcycling will stay alive for another couple of generations. If the MoCo were gone, and all the profilers didn't exist, the machines I love may be legislated out of existence, for not meeting some emissions standard. Or, some safety requirements. They help take the heat off all motorcyclists.
Therefore, I patronize the occasional H-D by buying a ballcap (rarely the ones with the dealer listed), a belt buckle, or just wander back to the parts department with my parts list that I keep in my pocket. Knowing full well that they won't have my parts. But, I strike up a conversation most of the time that steers me in the direction of builders who do cater to my needs. Plus, parts departments are the watering hole for all kinds of information.

Just my opinion.

Jack

Post by skip on Mar 27, 2006, 2:24pm

Well Billy come off of some of those t-shirts we'll advertise for you...I perfer to wear to the abnorm that are hard to come by...and mr. hester I agree let them have their "non-harley" harleys...but leave my pans alone!...GOD rides a panhead...Skip

Post by sidecar on Mar 27, 2006, 4:01pm

Billy,

I bought a dresser off of Babe (Ernest) Cerini about 15 years ago. What a different kind of guy !!! You had to be very careful when you dealt with him or it cost $$$$. I saw it first hand.
Another time he wouldn't sell my brother plugs because he was running drag pipes.
I'm sorry to say that Babe is gone. I drive past Donora every few months. I'll have to stop to see if they are still there in that old post office. I haven't been in the shop for 10 years or so.
His son is an ass (IMHO). That's the reason that I haven't been in either place.
I got to meet Babe's niece when she caught me "flying the chair" on a main road. She turned her car around and chased me down to read me the riot act. She wasn't to keen on doing stuff like that on the main road and told me I was gonna kill myself. After she calmed down she told me that her husband had a hack also.

Post by kickit on Apr 4, 2006, 12:46pm

I Remember:
Old Harley Dealerships with a 1/8 " of dust on the bikes.
New Harley Dealerships lots of clothes and no Bikes.
Newest Harley Dealerships lots of clothes and lots of new and used bikes.

I do refuse to pay $25 on up for a T-shirt I do however stop in once in a while to see the New Big Dogs and American Iron Horse Bikes. The Big Dogs really are a nice machine. Oh and the young Ladies Skip spoke of! ;D

Post by VPHD on Apr 4, 2006, 4:04pm

If you think you're shocked about how things are 'now a days' at a Harley dealer, imagine how some us who actually worked at one feel. Hell, I used to plug-fit star hubs on the counter for customers, at no charge, just to keep another Knuck or Pan on the road. Special orders weren't any big deal, just pre-pay about half.
How many shops were you ever in that had straight pipes on display for a Big Twin flattie or a Knuck? Well, we did! This was back when the official factory shirts were the No.1 logo, available in black or white,and that was it.
I have to agree with Jack Hester's comments. I also feel that if Evos are responsible for H-D stying in business, so be it. I don't ride them, but sombody does, and maybe 5% or so will stay with it.
VPH-D

Post by panfreak on Apr 4, 2006, 4:38pm

I have 2 harley shirts. One independent shop on the east coast (a friend gave me that one) and a Marv's Harley Shop shirt that hangs in my closet. Once that one is gone, it's gone for good. The shop smell, the bad coffee, the laughs... no one will ever know the memories that shirt gave me. It hangs next to my Alice Cooper, Who, Motorhead, AC/DC, Ramones etc, but I would let them all burn before that one.

Post by 2pans50 on Apr 5, 2006, 8:48pm

Let me throw my $.02 in here. It's the same with practically any bidness these days. Whatever happened to the corner drugstore, the mom and pop hardware store, blah, blah, blah? It's all corporatized and conglomerized. The little guy can't stay compete with the big corps anymore.
Let's face it , boys, we are a dying breed. Geez, I only started ridin' 32 years ago, basically in our heyday. Life changes too fast to really get stressed over this stuff. At least WE can be who we want and maintain the tradition!!
Jack you hit it on the head with these rubbies. They wouldn't wrench on a scooter if they broke down in the desert. They would just call AAA. I bet trailer sales have quadrupled since this new revolution took over.
Gunner

Post by 45bobber on Apr 7, 2006, 5:25pm

I ride a wla 42 if i go too a dealership most yuppies down even now its a harley.
Last oct me an some friends rode the 500 miles in belguim in 24 hours all on 45 flatties everyone else
hog members riding evo and twincam. we made the hole 500 miles in 23 hours had only on elect probleem fixed it by the side off the road lots off evo and twincam d'nt make it

OLD HARLEY S RULE

Post by duodave on Apr 9, 2006, 4:03am

A couple of years back, BMW started a classic division dedicated to keeping their old machines on the road. You would think that Harley Davidson, who make such a big deal out of flaunting their heritage, could do something similar. The only new genuine HD parts I could find for my pan during the rebuild were the gas tank emblems, and they carried a sticker that read "Made in Taiwan".

Post by skip on Apr 9, 2006, 4:56am

I was just in an arguement with a salesman from jp cycles because I sent back a set of clamps that were made in some fucking slant eye nation...I refuse to run anything but made in USA...and yes it can be a problem, but I have learned to improvise and get the most out of my parts...political correctness is not my strong suit...rhe strong will survive!...Skip

Post by billy on Apr 9, 2006, 5:34am

Sidecar-

I heard Babe passed on. I haven't been there since the late 90's.... Jakc was recently there, & shot some pics of the place. (still in the ol former post office) What a change. All the old pics Everywhere were gone..(sad)..
I remember the chair that rode up the stairs for helping out the elders.. They lived upstairs.
Man if the walls could talk... The History that happened there.. That Shop had a big influence of my life.
Gotta blame someone !!! ;D ;D

I've never met Babe's niece, seems you rubbed her the wrong way... ;D "flying the chair" LOL!!!
Speaking of 'flying chairs' (have ya ever seen?) a 'custom ordered' Servibox built into a hack by HD @ Cerini's???

Post by billy on Apr 9, 2006, 5:57am

DuoDave-

sad but HD's only line for 'antique parts' is their "Eagle Iron" (IIRC) & it's aftermarket only.
They even advertise (antique)HD (oem) speed-0's which are again, low cost aftermarket.
You can get those parts at lower cost, w/out HD in the middle.
Or http://www.jwboon.com for "real HD parts'

Post by king

Skip

I agree 100% I have only used non-US stuff out of absolute necessity. NOS Parts (JW Boon in the US) is my favorite parts source. They have a lot of NOS and clearly mark in their catalog what is made in the US. When you scan the pages you will see at least 80% of what they sell is US Made. Their service is excellent also, I generally get what I ordered 2-3 days from payment with out a bunch of bullshit about "expedited" service for another $20 like some other suppliers I could mention.
As far as Harley goes, they do what they have to do to stay in business. If they hadn't they would be as dead as Indian. But I also agree they should have a "heritage" division since they strongly use the lineage to promote the present. Maybe we should start bugging them to set something up, they wouldn't make a profit but could use the tax break I'm sure..
The old dealerships and their style are gone for good. Fortunately there are some indy shops about that come quite close and they get my business. My .02

King

Post by sidecar

Billy,

I can't remember ever seeing the custom hack. I have been in the "garage, up the hill, on the left" a few times but I don't remember seeing the hack. The building was mostly full of dressers the times I was in it.
I sure the hell hope that someone has got all of those old photgraphs up on a wall somewhere so people can see them. You would have to killl me to take those off a wall in my place.

Post by kurt

King wrote: I also agree they should have a "heritage" division since they strongly use the lineage to promote the present. Maybe we should start bugging them to set something up, they wouldn't make a profit but could use the tax break I'm sure..

LOL......you "are" talking about H-D right? Wouldn't make a profit....that's a good one .........LMAO

If H-D got into the biz...1: everything would be made in China, or Japan anyway....2: no-one could afford their parts because they "would" get their profit. People would buy just for the sake of having a H-D produced part....even though the same manufacturer makes the shit for V-Twin......3: it would give everyone something else to bitch about......
H-D's more worried about people selling a T-shirt with their logo that they didn't license. I've talked with corporate and was told they'd never entertain the thought of reproducing vintage parts.........too much start up costs and too little profit to be gained.......it's all about money now.

Kurt

Post by billy

Sidecar-

That hack was custom ordered from HD by Ernest, for a local farmer to haul & sell his eggs. (so the story goes)
Many yrs later, Cerini bought it back. After the farmer passed away (I think).. I believe it's currently hooked to a '65 Pan..
But was from knuck days. When HD would still cater to it's customers...
As far as ALL the pics, (I feel same way) But, it may be that the sons have them. @ their HD Boutique. (sad).(hopefully not) Better the niece should have them....

Post by kevsett

What the hell happened to Harley shops?

When $ is involved everything is negotiable............look at what has happened to country music, the numerous sellout movie remakes of true classic movies and TV shows, baseball cards w/ bubble gum for pennies on the dollar to what they sell for now, the yesteryear power of a handshake agreement, 100k to 300k "kit" bikes that get rode only in 70+ degree weather, little boys having to pay $10+ for a sports heroes autograph, $100+ for a family of 4 to go to a MLB game (and that usually doesn't cover the refreshments), dieting by plastic surgery, yuppy one-stop "grocery" stores, and so on and so on and so on.
And BTW, I prefer to call RUB's RUP's because they are usually more poser than biker!

Face it, our world's ate up!

Post by billy

Kevsett-

"Face it, our world's ate up!"
Well-I prefer to think of it as simply, separating the "Wheat from the Chaff"

Post by king

Yeah, you’re right Kurt. I was dreaming –out my ass in this case!!
And as Kevsett observed the world that formed most of us and our values is ate up. On the surface. But I’m sure that there are a host of us out there in barns and garages sipping a cold one, listening to ole Hank or some such, and tinkering with our rides and for a time that world lives again.
I believe that the chaff has been separated from the wheat, and those of us that appreciate the quality of our old bikes and what they represent plus a whole realm of other things you cant put a finger on or take to the bank, are the wheat.
Well, just another couple of pennies.
Now, nuff philosophizing. I’m of to get some oil and plugs cause tomorrow the rebuilt motor is going back in the frame. Hot damn!!

King

Post by caschnd1

My faith in the motorcycle public was restored last Friday. I put my panhead chopper in a custom bike show that was part of the AHDRA drags kick-off party. It was the only old Harley in the show. There was an old Triumph land speed record type bike. Everything else was BigDog/Ironhorse type choppers and customized TC88s. This was not a judged show but was a voting show where the people got to cast their ballot. I came out with 1st place peoples choice custom. It's nice to know that the people still have a liking for the old bikes. I thought for sure one of the much more glitzy modern choppers would win.



mikeinsky
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Re: [ KB ] What the hell happened to Harley shops

#2

Post by mikeinsky » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:46 am

I got a small Harley dealership story here, I think you all might like. I bought my first Harley when I was 19 from Oceanside HD in California. The year was 1977. I was in the Marine Corp. I saved my money instead of blowing it every weekend out in town like most GI's. All my friends said I would never be able to afford a Harley on Marine Corp pay. They were wrong. It all started when I was heading north on Rt5 one weekend with some friends. We were passed by a large group of patched bikers. I would say about 40 or so. The sight, sound, smell, everything about them, the ol ladys on the back, the look of freedom on the road all appealed to me. That is where and when it all began for me. Here is my fondest memory of a true Harley dealership. I bet this doesn't happen any more. Shortly after that day I started visiting the dealership on a weekly basis. I asked a lot of questions, poked around a lot, and even got in the way a few times. I can remember the smell, dirty floors, rough looking staff, mostly used parts hanging on the walls. I remember pacing up and down the row of used bikes on the front walk and watching a small group of bikers pull into the lot. I stared as much as I dared to. As they walked by me, one of them said, "what are you waiting for? The bike aint gonna pick you." I guess he saw the look in my eyes. Right after they left with thier parts, I went inside and talked to one of the employees about helping me find a bike that I could afford. He spent a lot of time with me, asking a lot of questions about what I wanted in a bike. All this while he worked on someones bike resting on top of a crate. After we talked he took my number and told me to keep coming around and hang out around the shop. I thought, a Harley is not going to happen any time soon. Months of visits went by. Everyone was very friendly. They seemed to know my situation, (tight budget) and desire for a Harley. One day I get a phone call from the guy that had my number. He told me that he just got a bike in that I might be interested in. Come see it as soon as you can, he says. The next day, I walk in the front door and all I see is this very ugly dresser parked along side all the other used bikes that I had become familiar with. It was a used CHP bike with plenty of miles on it and a flower print paint job. Damn was it ugly. The guy came over and said, "what do you think?" Then he laughed. He remembered what I wanted in a bike and that this bike was not it. We talked about my budget and he assured me that we could make this happen. We walked around the shop picking out all the (used) parts I wanted, 2" over chromed wide glide, 6" risers, 21" front wheel, a chopper seat, passenger pegs, forward foot controls, etc. etc. you get the idea. Oh yeah, a black paint job. He then calculated the difference between these parts and the credit for all the parts he was getting off the bike. $3,400.00 out the door, he said. I think my bank account at the time was $3,600.00. Just enough left to pay for the insurance I thought to myself. The next day I was at the shop signing papers and handing over the money. One week later he calls. The bike is ready! I pick the bike up that night, Friday. I now feel like the coolest guy in the world. I drive about two miles down the road and as I slowly go around a corner, I hit a patch of sand and down I go. I quickly learn that Harleys are a lot harder to pick up than the dirt bikes that I learned to ride on. Crap! I broke the front footpeg off. I head back to the shop as quickly as I dare. As I pull into the lot, I realize it is closed. I am bummin, big time. As I start to pull back onto the road with my right leg flying in the breeze, I hear a horn and someone yelling, "hey, Mike!" It was him. He saw me heading back to the shop as he was heading home and decided to turn around to see if I was ok. He opened the shop, fixed the peg, (free of charge) and said goodbye as he handed me his home phone number. Just in case another patch of sand decided to attack me. This is the way it used to be.

Parisite
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Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#3

Post by Parisite » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:33 am

One local dealers charges one shop rate for Twin cams, extra for Evo, and still more for "other" but chances are the kid working on your other will spend extra time since he's never seen one. Last week on a blog I read some comments by some RUBS that HD is the motorcycle version of GM...no innovation and no new technologies. What kind of bull$hit is this ? I've got a '61 Pan, but I still got my '98 Fat Boy....I almost feel like a RUB with my '05 decker, but with 60,000 miles on it I'm proving I got the B, but not the RU. I asked our local dealer about my Panhead, the first 3 people I spoke to didn't know what I meant. but my bike came from a shop...not a boutique

doug_heisel
Posts: 156
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Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#4

Post by doug_heisel » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:54 pm

Our local deallership is just not the way they are supposed to be. If you have a beard or grease on your clothes you are given some really nasty looks when you walk in. You nearly have to stand in the saddle of a evo and screem to get service. If you walk in wearing a three piece suit they meet you at the door and practically offer you a bl*w job as they service all your other needs. When I finally got their attention (no not by standing on a bike) they just looked at me as if they'd discoverd dog shit on the bottom of their shoes and said they couldn't help me. Ok I understand HD doesn't make parts for the older iron but they act as though any one who would dare work on their own bike is a lowlife criminal. but I highly doubt they would even change plugs on an old panhead. I know its all about money but as previously stated the moco waves their heritage in everyones faces. Yet they won't stand behind the repair or even offer to order v-twin, custom chrome, or any other after market parts, mainly because theres just not enough money in it for them. People working on their own bikes or taking them to little shops is part of the heritage. If you walked into a HD dealership in 1960 and told them you needed help weking on your 32 HD Ibet they would have either the parts or would be willing to work on it. In fact they would probably be more then helpful they would more then likely be glad to work on old iron. I'm just lucky I live near a little cycle shop where the owner not only will work on old panheads but owns and rides one himself.

chopperzz
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:39 am
Bikes: 65' pan cop special.
78 fx original
2001 96" custom
2002 121" custom
2008 nightster
Location: Erin, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#5

Post by chopperzz » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:56 pm

doug-

This has been an issue that has bothered me for a few years now and it is a very sad example of the erosion of the values that HD used to stand for. As travel takes me to many cities in North America I have the opportunity to visit many HD shops and I see similarities between them all. Usually a token Blonde chick selling clothes and parts advisors with little knowledge outside of the parts software loaded on the computer screen. HD has evolved into a retailer of clothing products with motorcycles as an accessory and parts/maintenance at the bottom of their profit profile.
BUT it is important to realize that the basic customer profile, buying a new motorcycle, has made dramatic changes over the last few years, along with the longterm value of motorcycle purchases. HD is more of a leasing agent of the "motorcycle lifestyle" than a motorcycle company. Why else would it be cheaper to buy an 09' model than it was in 06', 05', 04', etc. This makes it easier to justify trading your bike in for a new one, than spending money in their own shop in maintenance.
Basically, we have been pushed aside in their customer profile and most shovel, pan, etc guys, can't stand the the stupid gaze of a parts guy who asks, "what colour is it?" when we ask for an 1157 bulb.

Chobber69
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:20 pm
Bikes: 48 Pan - Clone
Location: Ontario - Canada
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Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#6

Post by Chobber69 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:22 am

Some great comments and perspectives, of times past vs. present. Turning a cool 50, in short order...so comparing trends does keep the fire burning, for sure! I started my project some years ago (5)...down to the wire now, but hey...waited this long, it can keep for a bit more. My vision started with a 60's style chop, but their is no catalogue or shop that's gonna share that vision; ya just gotta do it yerself! I went into an H-D shop, after years of being stale; thinking to get my "new" after market star hub, w/shiney avon inflated, balanced & out-the-door. Man, was I trippin on some bad acid...to believe this was do-able. The receptionist at StarBucks remarked "say-what"?? The mechanic on duty looked her over & said; sorry buds, we don't do custom stuff here. I near blew an artery! Always looking to offset trends, ended up taking it to a jap motorcycle dismantling shop, whom had it done in a couple...with reasonable looking weights to boot. Hmm, a brutal fee of $15.00 later: figure it was all karma. The Eastrider dayz are long gone paisanos...and if your looking to relive them, try some way-back issues of IronHorse. In my dementia...still review the gospel; of times past. Guess that marks my era folks...painful, but simple? My Pan-Clone isn't 100%; nor 50%....just a pile of stuff to complete a 25% version. Good or bad, who cares.....it's all about parking your botox, on what "your" version will be? "Like, far out Man"! Let's roll through the next generation :-)

chopperzz
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:39 am
Bikes: 65' pan cop special.
78 fx original
2001 96" custom
2002 121" custom
2008 nightster
Location: Erin, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#7

Post by chopperzz » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:23 pm

Chobber69 wrote:Some great comments and perspectives, of times past vs. present. Turning a cool 50, in short order...so comparing trends does keep the fire burning, for sure! I started my project some years ago (5)...down to the wire now, but hey...waited this long, it can keep for a bit more. My vision started with a 60's style chop, but their is no catalogue or shop that's gonna share that vision; ya just gotta do it yerself! I went into an H-D shop, after years of being stale; thinking to get my "new" after market star hub, w/shiney avon inflated, balanced & out-the-door. Man, was I trippin on some bad acid...to believe this was do-able. The receptionist at StarBucks remarked "say-what"?? The mechanic on duty looked her over & said; sorry buds, we don't do custom stuff here. I near blew an artery! Always looking to offset trends, ended up taking it to a jap motorcycle dismantling shop, whom had it done in a couple...with reasonable looking weights to boot. Hmm, a brutal fee of $15.00 later: figure it was all karma. The Eastrider dayz are long gone paisanos...and if your looking to relive them, try some way-back issues of IronHorse. In my dementia...still review the gospel; of times past. Guess that marks my era folks...painful, but simple? My Pan-Clone isn't 100%; nor 50%....just a pile of stuff to complete a 25% version. Good or bad, who cares.....it's all about parking your botox, on what "your" version will be? "Like, far out Man"! Let's roll through the next generation :-)
where you riding chobber69? I'm just east of Guelph.

Chobber69
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:20 pm
Bikes: 48 Pan - Clone
Location: Ontario - Canada
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Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#8

Post by Chobber69 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:40 pm

chopperzz: not airborne yet, but fondling the apes; for now! On the lift, near the Toronto Zoo....summer crazy, for me now....up in Meaford doing some military trg. Hopefully link up w/you, once mobile; probably not this summer though....take care, appreciate the kite! The ole lady can't wait to kick it over, good thing; probably will have the "big-one" if I tried (yuk, yuk). Your scoot is a true hauler!! Stripped dresser? Pic is a little small for my bi-focals...send attachment? Cheers!

chopperzz
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:39 am
Bikes: 65' pan cop special.
78 fx original
2001 96" custom
2002 121" custom
2008 nightster
Location: Erin, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#9

Post by chopperzz » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:48 pm

I got another quick story.....one of my bikes is a swedish style softail with a 121" TP, with a kick only 4-spd. straight pipes and it crushes the ground at idle, gets washed when it rains and I look for gravel when i'm up north. you know, that kind of bike.

so I'm in the city and i stop across the street from a local Starbucks (on Lakeshore dr) so you can imagine the new leather in that area. After a few minutes there are a couple bikes around me and after my coffee I cross the street to jump on and fuck off home.
As I reach over to turn on the petcock the 3 guys are mumbling to themselves and i the begin my pre-start prime kicks. After my last of 3 prime kicks one the the guys says, "why don't you get an electric start", to which I answer, "what bike are you riding?" He points to a new bike with a full compliment of chrome and the smell of fresh wax. I didn't say anything as i slowly positioned the kicker and the piston in the sweet spot for my hot kick then reached down under my seat to turn on my toggle switch ignition. within seconds of his comment i kicked the 121 to life with it's typical attack on the storefront windows, that only a 2025 cc twin cylinder can do.
As I slowly put on my helmet i raised my voice over the jackhammer idle and said, "what you just witnessed there is called a prime kick process that puts fuel into the cylinder to start the motorcycle, they don't teach you that at the fucking dealership". Then I jumped on and hammered up the street, to the attention of everyone in the whole downtown area.

Chobber69
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:20 pm
Bikes: 48 Pan - Clone
Location: Ontario - Canada
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: What the hell happened to Harley shops

#10

Post by Chobber69 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:29 pm

chopperzz: priceless, man. If this was a youtube moment, you nailed it!! The pre-start rituals, long since faded into obscurity....more foklore, eh? That TP power plant, lives up to its name for sure. Twistin the wick, near a street tuner has gotta bring a smile to the gums? No way in hell, to quiet down that stroke. You got me convinced....those upswept fishtails, was floundering on...are a done deal, thnx! "Heavenly Blues", will be proud of the clone. Just gotta nail a belt drive setup (open tins, naturally). Great interaction, w/the street scene chopperzz....could have easily been a time-warp, 40yrs ago? Sweet!

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