hip4by Dan Hartman

Paul Molitor had only 2,540 hits and was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Democrats were the majority party in Congress&emdash;both houses. The date was May 13, 1994. That was the day I paid my down payment to purchase a new Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle at a dealer here in the Twin Cities.

“It takes forever, but you’re on the list,” said the sales rep on that fateful day.

It has been three birthdays, three riding seasons and three trips to Sturgis and the Black Hills. I knew I had to wait a long time, and anticipation is the spice of life, but…

The other day I received a call telling me that my Road King would be here the end of September. Late September? The leaves are turning. A chill is in the air. On the radio, all they talk about is the start of the snow season. Even though there is no snow on the ground yet, you must admit it’s fall out there, and the motorcycle riding season is quickly coming to an end.

My first thought is about the new bike sitting in a cold garage for six months without even a spin around the block. I have a hard time leaving the old one out in the 20° below. Put my new one out there? Owning a Harley is a love affair for me. I can’t leave the bike I love out in the garage all winter.

My next thought is about the bank loan. The bike would just sit there, but I would still have to make payments over the winter. My banker wouldn’t understand if I didn’t want to pay because I couldn’t ride the bike.

I called my sales rep and told him of my frustration. He said he would look into my concerns, but he didn’t want me to fall off the list because I didn’t take the bike when it was available. I would have to wait three more riding seasons.

Well, what about that new Harley-Davidson plant in West Allis, Wisconsin? The plan is to build more motorcycles and get rid of the long waiting lists. My sales rep told me they are at least two years away from production. This puts me in the same old boat&emdash;on the list..unless I take the bike now.

I have yet another problem. I have a Harley. I would have to sell it to buy the new one. I would love to own both bikes, but I don’t have that kind of money, and it wouldn’t be good for the old bike to just sit there unused. Someone should be riding it. It deserves a good home. It would be hard to sell my present bike at a good price with the riding season almost over. It would be better in the spring. Everything would be better in the spring.

We all know the process of buying a new Harley is not so good. Yea, the bikes are great, and the sales reps are straight with you, but you get the three year run-around. Right now, all I can think of is my trusty bike sitting in the garage waiting for its next ride. I have a great bike now. It would be hard to sell it. It’s like a love affair…



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