I’m not a Biker…But I am a Harley Owner


I went into the Kearny Mesa store of San Diego Harley this afternoon, and actually signed the papers on my XL 1200C. It’s in the Service dept now, so they can put all the extra goodies I bought on it.

San Diego Harley wasn’t my first choice. I actually have a much closer dealership a couple of minutes from my house. But, when I went in there last Sunday, they let me wander around for about 25 minutes or so without asking if I wanted any help.

One guy did ask if I needed help, and when I told him what I was looking for, he sent me over to the Sportsters and told me he’d be right with me…and disappeared. I finally had to go grab another salesguy. The funny thing is, while I was waiting, I overheard a sales guy complaining that business was slowing down.

OK, well, here’s a clue: If business is slowing down, letting a customer wander about for a half hour with no help isn’t gonna make it pick up, ass.

About the only thing that was good about that trip to that dealer–who I will not even name–was that the sales guy did sort of explain to me why I should probably go with the 1200cc version rather than the 883cc version of the Sporty.

But, I decided that, overall, with the lack of service and the attitude of the people there, I just didn’t want to give them my business.

San Diego Harley-Davidson was like night and day, though. What a fantastic dealer experience! Everybody there was as helpful and friendly as can be. They had exactly the Cobalt Blue Pearl bike—with Pacific Blue Pearl pin striping—that I wanted. 45 minutes after I walked in, they were taking my picture with the bike as its new owner! They even waived the $500 for dealer prep. The bike looks pretty much like the one on the right.

My bike has some things the picture doesn’t. The picture isn’t the actual bike, it’s one from the Harley web site’s customizer feature. My bike also has the triple headlight auxiliary lighting package and chrome engine guards. The color and everything else are close, though.

Affordability was still a question. I’ve got a good job, but I’m not rich, so I really wanted to work out the numbers.

For the last several years, I’ve been paying off an old credit card debt. I’ve been paying $200 a month for a long time. But, the balance is close enough to zero that I can just pay it off. So, there’s $200 a month. Then there’s the gas savings. Right now, I’m shelling out $200 a month in diesel for my truck. I figure that going from an average of 17MPG in the truck to $50 MPG for a ‘cycle will bring the gas down to about 60-80 a month.

So, that clears out about $310-$330 a month.

With that, assume $250 a month for a motorcycle, and another $60 a month for insurance, and I’m back up to $310 a month. As I do the math, that makes it come out just about a wash financially, with what I’ve been paying every month up to now.

A regular 1200C doesn’t cost all that much. It would be way below my $250 a month budget for the cycle payment, anyway. With my budget, I was able to trick out the bike with the big bucket seat, chrome engine guards, sissy bar, touring backrest, triple headlights, chrome luggage rack, etc. Total cost was slightly north of $14,000, and the monthly payment came out to $253.

I was very happy with the purchase, and I pick up the bike next Monday.

Well, I thought I was done, once I had bought the bike.

Still needed some riding gear though. So, I was in the accessories store, getting ready to shell out $275 on a new helmet and $50 for gloves, when my salesman, TC, walked up to me with a gift card for $2,126.48! Because of all the extra parts I bought with the bike, they comped the price of parts in a gift card.

I have no earthly idea how they can afford to comp me all that gear for the parts, but it was just great. I was like a kid in a candy shop. I bought the deluxe leather chaps, one nylon and one leather jacket—both with body armor—boots, helmet, leather vest, some stuff for my chick, and more. I’ve never had a shopping spree like that in my life. I burned every cent of that two grand, but I’ve got just about every piece of riding gear I could possibly want.

I can’t wait until 2 July to pick up my Sporty! Until then, I’ve got all the riding gear…and nothing to ride.