Glory Road

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2009 - 2010


It’s all about

the ride First to Key West, then to Anchorage via the Top of the World Highway

It’s not the Road Prince. It’s not the Road Court Jester. It’s the Road King. It has a standard to set. Get on the throne and the ride is all new, from the forged steel in the frame to the big 180 tire in back. ®

The King has left the garage.

Pictured: Road King without a king’s ransom—it starts at $16,999.* *$16,999 is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for a 2009 Road King® motorcycle in Vivid Black. Options, such as color and wheels, are available at additional cost. Price excludes options, dealer setup, taxes, title and licensing and is subject to change. Dealer prices may vary. We care about you. Ride safely, respectfully and within the limits of the law and your abilities. Always wear an approved helmet, proper eyewear and protective clothing, and insist your passenger does too. Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Know your Harley® motorcycle and read and understand your owner’s manual from cover to cover. ©2008 H-D. Harley, Harley-Davidson, Road King and the Bar and Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan, Inc.


Chester’s Harley-Davidson ~ Mesa AZ ~ 800 831 0404 Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell ~ Idaho Falls ID ~ 800 863 5297 Snake Harley-Davidson ~ Twin Falls ID ~ 888 788 9809


Glory Road is a special edition about the Harley lifesyle published for the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships by K&C Mediaworks, 1837 S. Federal Highway #12, Stuart, Florida 34994. TELEPHONE: 866.865.2628 E-MAIL: WEB: EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Georgs Kolesnikovs ART DIRECTOR Chris Knowles MANAGING EDITOR David Henderson SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR James H. Cooper CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Blake August, Scott Himelhoch, Peter Swanson ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR Rebecca Crosgrey PHOTOGRAPHERS Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm PHOTO PRODUCTION David Stewart DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Karen Easton GENERAL MANAGER Norlene Chong PATRON SAINT Martin Levesque

Dreams come true You’ve been thinking about buying a Harley-Davidson. You love the look, you love the sound. The Harley image appeals to you, the Harley mystique is working its magic on you. Our editorial mission at Glory Road is to push you over the edge. Spend a couple of hours with us and we’ll convince you to make your dreams come true. Read about the special lifestyle, the fun activities and the great rides that await when you join the Harley family. It truly is a family, a sisterhood as much as it is a brotherhood. Male or female, young or old, blue-collar or white-collar, everyone is welcome at the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships. Read about the freedom of the road. Join us on three glorious rides. Use the tear-out gatefold to begin planning your own adventure. Check out the variety of Harleys available to suit any style of street or highway riding. Meet the men and women whose lives have been changed since they purchased a Harley-Davidson. Listen to what they have to say. Then we’ll introduce you to the friendly experts who staff the five dealerships which sponsor Glory Road. The employees have only one real job—to help you make your dreams come true. And after you’ve joined the family and are riding your own Harley, let us know about your first-hand experience of a lifestyle we believe truly is glorious. —Georgs Kolesnikovs Editor and Publisher

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

© 2009 Chester Group LLC and K&C Mediaworks. Printed in Canada. Harley-Davidson, Harley, H-D, the Bar & Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan Inc.

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2009 - 2010



GLORIOUS RIDES Daytona love affair 8 When the bug bites, it’s love at first sight.

ON THE ROAD Sturgis 48 Perfect excuse to ride the finest roads in the U.S.A. BY E.B. CHESTER AND GEORGS KOLESNIKOVS


North to Alaska 24 Ride of a lifetime to the top of the world. BY E.B. CHESTER

Across the U.S.A. 19 The Glory Road gatefold map shows you where to ride and where to eat, sleep and drink en route to Alaska or to Key West and Daytona.

BUYER’S GUIDE Your style, your choice 63 There’s a distinctive Harley-Davidson for every personality, every type of street and road riding. BY THE EDITORS OF Glory Road

Touring: Big bikes for a big country 64 Softail: Easy rider cool 67 Dyna: Bold and exhilarating 70



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Sportster: Uninhibited motorcycling 72 VRSC: Ultimate power cruiser 74 Tri Glide: Three-wheel touring 75 CVO: The power and glory 76

Your Harley, your way 78 Accessories to create your own style. BY JAMES H. COOPER

Keys to the highway 83 Stay protected—financially, mechanically and physically. BY SCOTT HIMELHOCH

Ultimate power trip 86 The Dynojet will maximize your ride.

cover and contents Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm


INSIDE YOUR RIDE Going Big Bore 92 Power is good, more power is better.

149 Rearview mirror 130 Great moments in Harley history. BY SCOTT HIMELHOCH




In their own words 96

A life in balance 132

Harley riders talk about the Harley lifestyle.

Erik Buell and the art of motorcycle design.



Harley Owners Group 122

Buell 138

Spotlight on H.O.G.

Superbike, streetfighter, adventure bike.



Vaughn Beals 124


The man who saved Harley-Davidson.

Dressed to live 166


One rider’s brush with death.

OUR FAMILY No longer just a store 146 The Harley heart of Greater Phoenix.

Meet the Chesters 149 Meet our people 152 Our services, events, charities and awards 163 Where to find us: Chester’s Harley-Davidson 158 Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell 159 Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell 160 Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson 161 Snake Harley-Davidson 162


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Glorious Ride: Daytona


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Text: Georgs Kolesnikovs, Editor Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Two-wheeled love affair Call it a passion, a lifestyle, but when the bug bites, it’s love at first sight


aytona Beach is where the motorcycle bug bit E.B. Chester when he was 12 years old and on v­acation with his family. He was standing on the pier when a Harley-Davidson rider started cutting doughnuts in the beach below. “He had this thing turned to the right. To get going fast and turn it like that and let the back end drift off, that's hard to do. And he was out there doing it. I thought, Holy moly, look at that! That’s so neat, I got to have one of those.” Four years later, in 1958, he did have his first Harley, but it was a junker and wouldn’t run. “It was a pitiful thing but I loved it. I bought it for a paper route I had but didn’t ride it much ’cause it never would crank. I pushed it up and down the hill in front of our house trying to get it to crank.”

A half a century later, the love affair with Harley continues and most years E.B. finds himself on the beach at Daytona again, these days during Bike Week in March. For E.B., the thrill isn’t the destination. It’s the 3,000 miles he must ride to get there, thus, being able to enjoy days on the road with friends and customers of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. Coincidentally, in 2008, in addition to riding from Phoenix to Daytona via Key West, E.B., son Craig and several friends rode to Alaska. As a result, they rode from coast to coast, diagonally, about as far as one can go in the continental United States, in one three-month period, in one segmented trip of close to 7,500 miles. >>

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Freedom of the road A wanderlust that’s good for the soul—and fun, too


meet and marry. Bill was raised in the Primitive Baptist Church and ministers two congregations. “I do go though sermons when I’m riding and talk to the Lord a lot.” For Dan Godec, a long ride is all about the “challenge of riding clear across the country, doing so in a way that’s pretty comfortable. It’s just good to be with friends in a relaxed environment.” Dan is Chief Lending Officer for Community Banks of Colorado, a group of 43 banks in Colorado and California. “We all go pretty fast and hard in our daily lives, so it’s nice to let our minds just rest. I think about everything, a little bit of work, a little bit of personal, a little bit of what I need to do next


here are six of us riding to Daytona and we each have our own way of explaining why we love it. “I just like the ride,” says Bill Torrance. “Riding clears the mind. When there isn’t traffic to worry about, I kind of just blank out. Mainly I think about the bike and enjoy the sound of the motor. When you have two bikes running together, there’s a resonance that I really enjoy. Bill is City Manager of Vidalia, Georgia, home of those incredibly sweet onions: “I’ll go through different things in my mind, but mainly I just try to put work and stress away and enjoy the ride. When I’m on the bike, I can forget about things that are bothering me.” Though Bill grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia, and delivered newspapers to the Chester house five blocks away, he never met E.B. Chester or his sister, Julee, whom he would eventually

week—a lot of just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Bored is the last thing on my mind.” When E.B. Chester owned a regional bank with 25 branches in Colorado, Dan was President and CEO. Like E.B. and Bill, Dan delivered newspapers to earn money for his first motorcycle. “I enjoy the quiet time. I have gotten to the point where I enjoy the riding more than I do the destinations.” Jay Peterson, an attorney and developer in Vail, Colorado, has always enjoyed the time on a motorcycle on the open road, right back to his days as a university student. Jay has ridden to Daytona before, three times in the company of his son, Brandon. One ride he’ll long remember was when Brandon had a flat tire in Florida and it took hours to get the tire repaired. Jay stayed with his son while the others went on ahead. As a result, Jay and Brandon were forced to ride 120 miles in the dark, in a lonely stretch of central Florida, where there were many eyes on the sides of the road— animals watching them pass, hopefully not jumping into their paths.

At the St. John River, we wait for the ferry. In Daytona Beach, checking out so many bars is a real chore. In Key West, Dan Godec, left, and Bill Torrance take a break while sightseeing.


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The route this time, with the long, two-day stretch across Texas, was not his favorite. For Jay, western Texas is simply “too flat, too desolate, too boring.” For Craig Chester, “There is something quite nice about leaving everything in normal day-to-day life in order to ride with friends and be away from it all for a couple of weeks. I enjoy the solitude and having everything I have to worry about packed on the motorcycle for days on end.” Craig, his wife, Tracy, his brother, Cliff, and his parents, E.B. and Kay Chester, own the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships. “I enjoy the outdoors, seeing all of the country that one can see from a motorcycle, the lunches and great dinners with friends and, of course, the afterhours activities that are so prevalent in Daytona and at rallies such as Sturgis.” Craig started riding as a teenager, trail-riding and racing motocross. He moved to Harley-Davidson about 15 years ago and has lost count of the long rides he has taken with his father. For E.B. Chester, “Freedom is a huge part of long-distance riding.” He explains: “When I leave

somewhere to ride home—say it’s 500 miles and I’m all by myself—no one will know where I am. I’ll be out there in the world floating around all by myself. I won’t be tethered to anything. That’s pretty unusual for people, that’s a barrier that most people have a lot of trouble breaking. They can’t escape their support structure, no matter what it is, if it’s a wife or a business or a home; they just feel compelled to be connected. “When we ride with new people, we find they are absolutely hooked to their support structure. Over the course of a week or two, they will wean and get off on their own. They won’t even call home any more. Their wives will be calling me to see what’s happened to them. “But it takes awhile. It is something that creeps up on you. Once you have experienced it, it comes more easily.” After the first experience with Harley and his 1938 junker, E.B. owned several Harleys, a Norton, an Ariel Square Four, even a Honda. Then, with a growing family, many business interests as well as pursuits in flying, skiing, race cars, race horses, hunting, fishing and golf, motorcycles receded to the background. About 25 years ago, Harleys came back into his life in a big way. For

several years, he rode 30,000 miles a year with friends in business. “It’s wanderlust, it’s the wanderer in me wanting to know what’s around the next corner, but mainly it’s just a lot of fun,” E.B. says. “You totally escape the encumbrances of modern business life, all the pressure, all the connections, the reality, you just escape them. You can’t hear the cell phone, you can’t communicate with anybody ’cause there’s no cell service where you like to ride and everybody understands that. “That’s what gives you this little bit of an excuse for being irresponsible. And everybody accepts it and says, ‘Well, he is off on his motorcycle. We haven’t heard from him for a week, but he’ll be back, he always comes home.’ “That’s how my wife thinks about it, he’ll come home, he always does.” >>

We roll across the sweeping bridges of the Florida Keys. The heart of Daytona Bike Week is the scene on Main Street.

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Perfect states of mind


Ever-changing scenery makes thousands of miles pass quickly

We thunder across the open spaces of west Texas. During Daytona Bike Week, there are day tours to enjoy.


n a map, the route to Daytona— 3,000 miles from Arizona, close to 4,000 miles from Idaho—doesn’t look all that interesting. From the saddle of a Harley, however, it becomes an outstanding ride across one state after another, from the wide and open country of the west to the wild and woolly scene in Key West. Daytona Bike Week is the icing on the cake. There were many options to consider but our plan was to start from Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa in 12

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Greater Phoenix and head for Daytona via Key West, the southernmost place to party in the U.S. Some 3,500 miles and two weeks later the ride concluded in Savannah, Georgia. We avoided boring Interstates almost entirely. We rode through southern Arizona and New Mexico, through west and south Texas, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, into the Florida Panhandle, through central Florida to Key West, and on to Daytona. Following Bike Week, we rode to Savannah and flew home, leaving our bikes with a prearranged agent to be shipped home. As E.B. Chester, ride organizer extraordinaire, loves to point out, it is all about riding, not destinations. That’s what Sancho Panza was trying to say to Don Quixote when he uttered the classic line: “The road is better than the inn.”

Along the way, we stayed in comfortable hotels, favoring Hampton Inns, and ate well on most days—too well on some. There was also the opportunity to consume an adult beverage or three after riding was done. With a few exceptions, sightseeing, as such, was not on the agenda. We spent two nights and one full day in Key West. In Daytona, we enjoyed three nights and two full days. That allowed ample time in these two special locations to relax and take in the Key West scene and Bike Week happenings. The entire trip took 15 days, 11 of which were riding days. We averaged a tad more than 300 miles each riding day. We rode across four “helmet states”—Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia require helmets. The other states we rode do not, much to the delight of some in our group.

The rhythm of the road

The Atlantic Ocean appeals to brothers-in-law Bill Torrance and E.B. Chester. We refuel in the middle of nowhere—meaning west Texas. Jay Peterson takes in the racing action at Daytona Speedway. In Key West, Georgs Kolesnikovs gets set to devour lobster eggs benedict.


One day after another


n a 3,500-mile ride, you tend to fall into a daily routine. Before long, the routine becomes your daily high. Some would say it’s like Zen. You get up, you have a quick breakfast, and you ride. You stop to refuel. You ride. You stop for lunch. You ride. You stop to refuel. Before you know it, you get to where you’re going. You call home, shower up and head for the bar before dinner. You swap lies, tell tales and laugh a lot. Then you head to bed. The next morning, and the next morning, and the next morning after that for two weeks the cycle starts all over again. Forget exercise every day, forget church on Sundays, forget most everything. Looking after e-mail or other matters that were important two weeks ago, and will be again in a week, sure don’t mean much now. The mind wanders where it wants as the miles blur like the asphalt under your Harley. It’s bliss. >> 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




Daytona deep freeze Long johns in the Sunshine State


ver the years, we’ve been to Daytona when the weather has just been brutal. One time it was so unbelievably cold—25 degrees—we started for home and nearly didn’t make it out of town. It was a Sunday morning and we pulled into a shopping center to see if a clothing store there was open so we

could buy long underwear and extra clothing. Of course it was closed, so Craig and Rusty, a friend, trucked off to see what they could find. It wasn’t 30 minutes before the police brought them back in a cruiser, all locked up in the back. “You know those guys?” “Yeah, we know those guys. Why?”

“They tried to give us some nonsense about looking for long underwear. It looked to us as if they were casing stores.” “Believe it or not, officer, searching for long underwear is exactly what they were doing.” Little did we know long underwear hadn’t been needed in Florida for 50 years. They piled us all in the patrol car and took us somewhere where we could buy long johns. We put them on in the change rooms and told the sales clerk, “We don’t need a bag, we’ll wear them home.” —E.B. Chester


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Beyond the bikes, Daytona is all about the beach, babes and maybe a bit of booze: Dan Godec, Bill Torrance and Craig Chester stroll, Mandy girates, Cindy serves.

E.B. Chester and his loaded Ultra Classic Electra Glide focus on central Florida. No, this isn’t one of our helmets! A flat tire is an expletive deleted.

Daydreaming is a no-no Focus is the secret to getting there safely


ou better focus when you’re riding or you could get hurt. Focus is not something that gives you a headache, it’s the style. If you ride with a style that has its own built-in safety parameters, then your focus is almost unconscious. You’re not sitting there doing something that’s an active participation in the process. It almost becomes passive because you do what you do the safe way by rote. When you do something that is outside the box, it’s like, “Whoa, I shouldn’t be doing this.” I’m very focused on the road. I think a lot about the road and about every

car that is around me and moving. Every time I come to a crossroad, I’m looking both ways to see what’s coming even though they have a stop sign. I don’t trust other drivers. It’s dangerous to sightsee too much. If you fix on sights when riding down the road, one of them is going to bite you someday. Of course you can ride through scenery and you see it, you’re conscious that it’s there. You just can’t be myopic about it. If you want to look at sights, you better stop, and stop safely. —E.B. Chester 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




Big chill in the Garden of Eden

But Key West is still a hot town

There’s always action in the bars in Key West, and on the marina promenade, too.


wo veterans of the Daytona ride via Key West did their best to lead a first-timer astray but the cool weather undid their efforts. Darn! Craig Chester and Dan Godec said they wanted to show me something out of the ordinary—even for Key West—so down Duval Street we traipsed to the Bull and Whistle, an edifice with three separate bars. The first-floor bar looked like your typical Key West drinkery, full of folks having a great time with a beverage in hand. The second-floor bar 16

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was a bit darker, a little more sinister. Then came the steps to the rooftop bar and the sign: Must be 18 to enter. No cameras. Clothing optional. We entered the aptly named Garden of Eden to discover it’s an outdoor rooftop bar. With the night-time temperatures hovering in the 40s, no naked fools were to be seen parading out here. Craig and Dan assured me it’s well worth a visit when the weather is warm. I can imagine it would be quite a sight. Naked bodies aside, it’s a great

location, high above the din of the street, palm trees as decor, open to the horizon for watching sunsets or looking later at the starry sky. A DJ spins tunes and there is a small dance floor. During the day, there are lounge chairs for getting that all-over tan. Body-painting is offered day and night. A video above the bar shows the resulting parade of painted bodies in various states of undress. The naked guy painted as an elephant is impressive. —Georgs Kolesnikovs

In Key West, each bar has its own character— and characters. There are cruise ships to watch, schooners to see and conch fritters to sample. Literally, the road ends here.

Shenanigans Is there a doctor in the house?


henanigans are part of every ride. We all fool around at some point but the master is Bob Esrey. Here’s a story from a Daytona ride several years back: The day’s ride ended in Perry, Florida, and it was time to eat, drink and be merry. The hotel manager recommended a favorite restaurant of his. In fact, he was heading there himself for a dinner meeting of the hospital board of directors. He planned, over dinner, to get acquainted with a doctor who had applied for a staff position. Our group was shown to a table across the restaurant from the hospital people. Before long, a wicked smile appears on Bob Esrey’s face. Up he gets as if to head for the

washrooms. His path takes him past the hospital table where, suddenly, he crumbles to the floor, gasping for air, flailing about like a wild man. The people at the table are aghast, glued to their seats. Only the candidate jumps to Bob’s side. He tries to calm down Bob, checks his pulse, asks all the questions a doctor should ask in an emergency. Still flat on his back, Bob calms down, looks up at the doctor, and in a loud voice, so the entire hospital board can hear, announces, “You’re hired.” And the doctor was indeed hired by the hospital. >> 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




Seen and be seen

Bike Week attracts half a million visitors

For more photos and reports on rides to Daytona by the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships, visit


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Just ride it!


Southeast to Daytona and/or north to Alaska

Hey, if we can do it, why not you? Whether you start from Arizona or Idaho, whether you head to Key West and Daytona or north to Alaska, there's an entirely doable ride of a lifetime awaiting you on the great surface roads of the U.S.A. With this gatefold map, Glory Road wants to send you on your way by providing routing and vital information about where to eat, sleep and refresh yourself at day's end. We invite you to contact E.B. Chester at the Chester family of HarleyDavidson dealerships. He is always eager to discuss Harley riding and trips he and the gang have taken. E.B. has an extensive database of routes, maps and information which he is more than happy to share with fellow Harley enthusiasts. Give him a call at 800-8310404 or reach him online via www.

Share the experience When you return home from this or any other ride, tell Glory Road about your trip. E-mail a recap of your experiences with photos to 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


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Great eats, best drinks Judy’s Cook House Globe, Arizona Best breakfast in 3,500 miles City Cafe Sterling City, Texas Biggest pancakes in Texas, that’s for sure!


Start planning now The best place to start planning your ride to Daytona Bike Week is to review our Daytona ride reports and photos at the Glory Road blog: daytona/ Here are three websites to assist you in your planning: Official Bike Week Headquarters Daytona Bike Week Daytona Bike Week Events

Chappell Hill Meat Market & Cafe Chappell Hill, Texas Old-fashioned country sausages made by Mike Kopycinski The County Line Austin, Texas Ribs, ribs and more ribs! McGuire’s Irish Pub Pensacola, Florida Excellent food, great decor, an in-house brewery Paul Gant’s Bar-B-Que Port St. Joe, Florida Best BBQ in the Panhandle at amazingly low prices Captain Tony’s Saloon Sloppy Joe’s Hog’s Breath Saloon Key West, Florida Red-Headed Slut, Papa Dobles or Hemingway Hammer, pick your poison Blue Heaven Key West, Florida Extraordinary lobster eggs Benedict dressed with a lime hollandaise sauce Froggy’s Saloon Daytona Beach, Florida Worst of the worst Main Street bars, i.e. really good Hyde Park Steakhouse Hilton Daytona Beach Resort Daytona Beach, Florida Pricey but the best steak in town Wet Willie’s Savannah, Georgia Daiquiris made with 190-proof grain alcohol (take a cab later) Krystal In the southeast Our dubious achievement award goes to …


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Where to sleep well Hampton Inn Anywhere Our Harleys were always welcome Clewiston Inn Clewiston, Florida Great wooden lodge in the heart of sugar cane country, complete with ghosts The Westin Key West Resort & Marina Key West, Florida In the historic heart of Key West Hilton Daytona Beach Resort Daytona Beach, Florida In the heart of all the Bike Week action


Great eats, best drinks Ruby River Idaho Falls, Idaho A mighty fine rib eye for the eve of departure


Planning your trip The best place to start planning your ride to Alaska is to visit Google and search for "motorcycling to Alaska." More than seven million pages will pop up. Studying the first dozen or two will suffice, unless you have an immense amount of time to kill. Be sure to check out our Alaska ride reports and photos at the Glory Road blog: Here are eight sites to assist your planning and route selection: North to Alaska Montana British Columbia Alberta Icefields Parkway Yukon Territory Top of the World Highway Alaska We did not use any books to plan our ride but here is one that many people have found useful since 1949. It's updated annually. The Milepost 22

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Knead Cafe Kalispell, Montana Fast Eddy’s Restaurant Tok, Alaska A tie for the best breakfast in 4,000 miles Tom Wilson Steakhouse Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Lake Louise, Alberta For the best in Alberta beef and game Fairview Dining Room Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Lake Louise, Alberta Quite possibly the most expensive meal of the entire trip The Cellar Steak House & Wine Bar Edgewater Hotel Whitehorse, Yukon Quite possibly our favorite restaurant of the entire trip Braeburn Lodge Klondike Highway Mile 55 North of Whitehorse, Yukon The best cinnamon buns in the world—baked by a Harley man! La Table on 5th Aurora Inn Dawson City, Yukon For food and service, it truly is the Paris of the North Pumphouse Restaurant Fairbanks, Alaska For the best caribou of the entire trip

Fireweed Roadhouse Mile 288.5 Parks Highway Near Denali, Alaska The best hospitality award goes to Robin Crow’s Nest Captain Cook Hotel Anchorage, Alaska For the perfect appletini after two weeks in the saddle Any Tim Hortons British Columbia or the Yukon Because of its mouth-watering sausage and egg sandwiches Any McDonalds anywhere (at least according to E.B. Chester) Squirt If you can find it Slowest service ever Edith Cavell Dining Room Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Jasper, Alberta The pits Belvedere Motel Bar and Dining Room Watson Lake, Yukon The worst Any Westmark Hotel in Alaska or the Yukon

High-end lodge in Jasper National Park. Price is high but accommodations are great. Good Internet, bars and restaurants. Great secure, covered bike parking. Many other hotels located in Jasper. Inn on the Creek Dawson Creek, British Columbia Good. Low price point, clean. Good Internet. Restaurant next door associated with motel is OK for breakfast. Would use again. Bikes parked outside at room door. Woodlands Inn Fort Nelson, British Columbia www.woodlandsinn. Excellent, at modest price. New, clean. Would definitely use again. Good restaurant and bar. Good Internet. Allowed bike parking under covered entry in view of receptionist. Big Horn Hotel Watson Lake, Yukon Territory tourism/bighorn Not so nice but only one of two in town. Sort of clean and cheap. Good Internet. No restaurant or bar. Would reluctantly use again. Outside bike parking, very insecure. Edgewater Hotel Whitehorse, Yukon Territory Very nice, accommodating and clean. Good bars and restaurants. Would definitely use again. Good Internet. Good bike parking in fenced in parking area. Aurora Inn Dawson City, Yukon Territory Very nice and clean. Modest price. Good restaurant. Would definitely use again. Good Internet. Bike parking on street in front of hotel not very secure but in small town with few risks.


Lodging we liked/disliked Cherry Hill Motel Polson, Montana OK. Low price point. No restaurant or bar. No Internet. Bikes parked at cabin door. Best Western down the street may be a consideration. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Lake Louise, Alberta Best of the best, if price is no object. Good Internet. Great restaurants and bars. Great secure, inside bike parking. Many other hotels available in nearby Banff and several in Lake Louise. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Jasper, Alberta

Westmark Inn, Tok Tok Junction, Alaska Never again. Rude, abusive, inconsiderate. But there is not much choice in Tok. Consider riding on to Fairbanks or Anchorage as an alternative. It's around 600 miles total but with 20 hours of daylight it's an option. No Internet in the rooms, surprise. Westmark Hotel, Fairbanks Fairbanks, Alaska The Westmark chain is consistent-consistently bad. No Internet in the rooms, surprise again. Never will return to the Westmark. There are many hotel choices in Fairbanks. Captain Cook Hotel Anchorage, Alaska Consistently good. Great restaurants and bars. Modest price. Secure indoor bike parking in hotel garage. Good Internet. Would return anytime we are in Anchorage. 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD





or a long time, my sons, Craig and Cliff, and I have been long-distance Harley riders. We have made like-minded friends with whom we have shared many really great rides over the last 15 years. We go to Daytona and Sturgis almost every year. We ride from Idaho, Colorado or Arizona and enjoy the trip, even though we have seen the route before. We have old friends along the way whom we delight in seeing. Most of our friends and acquaintances back home cannot imagine what we are doing: “You are riding a what to where?” Well, I just leave it at: “You don’t understand.” I believe that is true, they don’t understand. If they did, they would be along for the ride. As I often say, it’s all about the trip, not the destination. Daytona, Key West, Sturgis. They all certainly are interesting, but once you have been there and done that, you probably would not return if you


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had to fly commercially. But on a motorcycle, it’s the trip you remember, it’s the ride that is the experience. The trip up the Alcan Highway to Alaska had been on our radar screen for some time. My aunt made the trip in the 1950s in a car pulling a small camper-trailer and still relates the great time she had. I had dreamt of riding to Alaska for many years. My brother-in-law, Robert Hobbs, while on a ride together from Phoenix to Nashville, mentioned he wanted to ride to Alaska. In one nanosecond, I replied, “You’re on. Next year.” And here we are, sharing the trip with you in words and pictures. We had such a great time, we’re already planning to return to Alaska in 2010. E.B. Chester, a motorcycle rider since his teens, is an owner of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming.

Text: E.B. Chester Photography: Roy Timm, Carole Bozzato Timm and Georgs Kolesnikovs

North to Alaska Ride of a lifetime to the top of the world

Whether it’s Alaska or the Yukon, pictured here near Whitehorse, the scenery North of 60 is simply spectacular.

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Ready to roll from Idaho Falls Prelude to the adventure


ur Alaskan adventure begins in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on June 4, 2008. E. B. Chester, Robert Hobbs and Bob Esrey have ridden in from Vail, Colorado, E. B. and Bob from their homes in Vail with Robert, who shipped his bike to Vail from his home in Nashville. Craig Chester has a home in Idaho Falls where he oversees Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell, a unit of the Chester family business. Georgs Kolesnikovs has ridden in from another family business, Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Greater Phoenix. All five of us are headed to Anchorage on our Harleys. E.B., Craig and Georgs have ridden


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in March from Phoenix to Key West, then to Daytona Bike Week and Savannah, Georgia. Upon their return, E. B. rode from Phoenix to Idaho Falls via Vail. With the three legs combined, E. B. and Georgs have ridden as far as one can in the continental United States without getting his feet wet—7,000plus miles in a single, three-­segment trip. Craig, who is in the process of adopting a child, had to miss the Phoenix to Idaho Falls segment but has ridden about 6,200 miles. As usual, when looking back, it was not, and is never, enough. Craig and E. B. have ridden with all the participants many times. Some

are new to each other but, with the common bond of riding off on an adventure, become fast friends quickly. We are riding with Georgs, who, besides being a good friend and great riding companion, is publisher of a magazine we are creating in which this story will appear. Roy Timm, the magazine’s photographer, and his wife and assistant, Carole, will meet us in Whitehorse, Yukon, and travel with us to Anchorage for photography along the way. Georgs is taking pictures until Whitehorse, so we are well covered. What is it really like? First and foremost, the roads are not bad at all. The Alaska Highway is paved all the way and generally in better condition than many of our Lower 48 surface roads. Yes, there are “gravel breaks” and “frost heaves” along the way but they pose no issue to a comfortable and safe ride. Any intermediate level rider can head north with no worries.

We did encounter construction areas which required us to ride on packed gravel behind lead vehicles, but road conditions were not nearly as bad as we had read about or feared. Going in June meant that the roads and service providers were absolutely empty. The hotels, however, were full each night, as there are relatively few hotels in the north. Often, we would ride for an hour or more and not encounter another vehicle going in either direction. The absence of traffic could, of course, be due to some degree to the fuel price increases immediately prior to our trip. Gas was plentiful although a little planning was necessary to make sure you purchased it where you should. Generally, you should not have to ride with less than a half of a tank of gas. Ninety or 91 octane is available at most locations but not all. We experienced no problems with mixing a lower octane fuel with the remaining half of a tank of higher octane. No engine pinging or anything like that. We took

on nothing but good gas. The average price of gas was about $6 a gallon. At the time, the U.S. average was about $4 a gallon. Not a big deal at 50 miles per gallon. Let’s see . . . 1,500 miles at 50 MPG equals about 30 gallons at a premium of about $2 a gallon. That’s $60 extra for the northcountry premium. Compared to the overall price of the trip, this seems manageable; however, it sure is enough to trouble RVs, when you do their math. There were many stretches longer than 100 miles without gas. As far as I can remember, no stretch between gas was longer than 150 miles. On some stretches, if you passed up an opportunity to purchase gas, you would then have to ride more than 200 miles to

reach the next gas provider. Too far, so don’t pass one up. Only one location, Boundary, Alaska, on the Top Of The World Highway between Dawson City, Yukon, and Tok, Alaska, was not open as advertised. Many locations do not exactly look like gas stations, as we know them, so anything which looks like human habitation where gas is expected is probably the place. We did not encounter any 55-gallon drums with siphon hoses as I have found in Mexico, but it came close at a couple of locations. Overnight accommodations vary but are plentiful and, with some exceptions, are OK for what and where they are. For our crowd, it certainly beat sleeping on the ground. >>

The Top of the World Highway does get dusty but any intermediate or better rider can head north without worries. The views are worth it.

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First taste of mountain weather Day 1: Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Polson, Montana


ne of the happiest moments of the trip: after a year’s planning and repacking the bike at least 15 times, we finally get on the road. We’re off! We leave Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell in Idaho Falls, heading north to Montana under a cloudy sky. We have about 25 miles of Interstate to cover. Before we leave the Interstate, it has rained on us. The weather continues overcast throughout the morning and gets colder as our altitude increases. By lunch, we are wet and cold in the small town of Leadore, Idaho. Two gas providers and one cafe. We choose the cafe first to warm up and get food. Breakfast isn’t bad in the Silver Dollar Restaurant and Bar and we do warm up at the cast-iron stove. This is where we are introduced to a new soft drink, Squirt, which we ask for throughout the rest of the trip with mixed results. Here we also have our introduction to what turns out being really great pieces of equipment. Several of us had purchased electric underclothes to wear in case of serious cold. This morning seems to qualify nicely. I put on pants, shirt and gloves. These clothes (powered by plugging them into the bike), together with a full-face helmet, create a warm environment that’s hard to beat. Heck, it’s the single best thing associated with bike riding I have encountered in a long time! We pass on gas in Leadore and press on to Salmon, Idaho. Arriving at Salmon, the group, at least the ones with the

We encounter wet snow and fog on the Lost Trail Pass, above, between Idaho and Montana. Earlier, we relish the sound of our Harleys on the open road in the northern Idaho.

Route: North on I-15 to Idaho 33, then west; north on Idaho 28 to US 93 North at Salmon, Idaho; US 93 goes all the way to Polson Stats: 377 miles, 8.5 hours Lesson of the day: Electric clothing 28

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Forgotten boots outside the Silver Dollar Bar in Leadore, Idaho.

electric clothing, agreed to adopt what we call Rule 21. Rule 21 states that whatever the weather or forecast put on the electric clothes. The rule proves accurate almost every day for the first week or so. If Harley-Davidson, which sells the electric clothing, could demonstrate its heated line of clothing to every rider in real world conditions, it could not possibly keep up with demand. This is being said by a minimal-clothing rider who almost never wears leathers or a helmet. I’m sold. Rule 21 rules. While getting gas in Salmon, we

inquire about the road north. We are told the road would probably be good but there may be freezing rain or snow on the mountain pass at the IdahoMontana border. If there was ever a day for ice on the pass, this is it. Thirtythree degrees and light rain at 3,000 feet—and the pass is at 7,000 feet. Well, the ice is there. The road is clear and only wet, as it holds enough heat to resist the ice. The bikes are another matter altogether. There’s so much snow on the bikes that the windshields ice over. When you try to look over the windshields, your helmet face

shield ices over. Luckily, it doesn’t last too long. Probably 15 minutes and then we are moving down to a lower elevation. Pretty miserable riding conditions, but those with heated clothes are really warm. Passing through Missoula, some stomachs in the group growl as we pass a Cracker Barrel. We stop shortly thereafter, before proceeding to Polson, where we have reservations at the Cherry Hill Motel, overlooking Flathead Lake. The “motel” turns out to be a group of private small cabins of 1940s vintage. Really not too bad for what they were. You do have to decide what you will do before you enter the bathroom because once inside turning around is out of the question. But the shower is warm and the room heat works. Actually, the cabins win the trip award for the location that allowed our Harleys to be parked closest to our room doors: about six inches (or less, if you liked). We inquire of the motel owner about eating possibilities and are told of a pizza parlor and a hamburger joint nearby. What about a restaurant about a mile north of town? We’re told, “We never eat out of town, so we don’t know, but if you decide to eat there, please let us know how it was.” As far as we can tell, Raleigh’s Bar & Grill is the best, and only, real restaurant within a short ride. Overall, it is pretty good. >> 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Picture-perfect Lake Louise, above, is the beauty queen of the Canadian Rockies, but it’s drizzling as we park in front of Chateau Lake Louise, right.

Royal treatment at Lake Louise

The Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise is, of course, quite a treat. We are welcomed at the curb, given a preferred parking place indoors, right off the main lobby, and treated like royalty. Over our two-day stay we come to realize that the hotel staff refer to us with some reverence as “the Harley guys.” Great stay, great food and a bill approximately 15 times the nightly tab in Polson at the Cherry Hill Motel. Editor’s note: None of us realized— and, more importantly, no police noticed—that Craig rode the entire first day in Canada without a helmet, wearing only a Playboy knit cap. We did notice that despite the rain E.B. rode in his favorite brown leather jacket and blue jeans without rain gear. Says he: “If you ride at least 60 miles an hour, you don’t get wet.”

Day 2: Polson, Montana, to Lake Louise, Alberta


e are riding though northern Montana and southern British Columbia for most of the morning. Cold, wet and, in the clouds, not extremely scenic. We come to the U.S.-Canada border and begin to clear through. Everything goes smoothly until Georgs gets to the immigration officer. Georgs is a Canadian citizen and happens to be riding a rental bike. Now, there seems to be a rash of Canadians coming into the U.S., renting cars and taking them back to Canada duty-free. I am not sure how these individuals avoid grand theft auto, but be that as it may, Georgs is highly Route: North on US 93 which becomes BC 93 at the Canadian border and then runs through Kootenay National Park to end at Trans-Canada Highway 1 immediately east of Lake Louise. Stats: 358 miles, 8.25 hours Priceless: Bob Esrey recalling radio jingles of the 1950s. His rendition of the famous Ajax jingle—“Floats the dirt right down the drain … bum, bum, bum”—was impeccable. 30

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suspect, especially since he lives in Toronto, more than 2,000 miles away and is traveling to Alaska from Arizona. At first, Canada Customs says Georgs must pay a whack of duties or abandon his Classic at the border. Luckily, we are able to talk our way out of the situation. It helps that Craig and E. B. are Harley dealers and the bike Georgs is riding belongs to one of their dealerships. I promise the officer to make sure Georgs does not keep my bike or shortchange both me and the Canadian government in the process. With a warning that another border crossing location may not be so lenient, we are off. We get to Radium Hot Springs and turn northeast though Kootenay National Park to Lake Louise. This turns out to be a great motorcycle ride and the weather improves accordingly. We lose the rain and ride in fairly great, although chilly, conditions on great roads through the mountains. Local rainstorms dog us for several hours but we are able to miss all of them.


Day 3: Rest day in Lake Louise, Alberta


e had planned to ride into Banff on our day off but it is raining with the possibility of snow. We pass on Banff as everyone has been there before. Three of us—Bob, Craig and E. B.—were there on bikes following Sturgis one year. Chateau Lake Louise was just the place to kick back for a day and cap our stay with an excellent meal in the four-star dining room overlooking Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier. Highlight: The view out the window

© Stieman



he day dawns warmer and drier than we have been experiencing. It is 39 degrees and not raining at the moment. Believe me, 39 degrees is a heat wave compared to the 31 to 35 degrees we have been having. But, once again, Rule 21 is in effect, and in our electric clothes we are toasty. Craig and Georgs, who are not wired for heat, have learned by now to dress for each day’s start with everything they are carrying. We are riding the famed Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper. The good news is the scenery is said to be spectacular. The bad news is we

can’t see it. We ride in a light intermittent drizzle which, when we go up on the passes along the way, turns to ice. But no accumulation and on we go. I know, you don’t want to hear about our electric clothes again but it’s true: They make the ride possible. We are heading to the Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper. Our ride today is really not bad, even considering the weather. The road is great. We ride along the spine of the North American continent as the Parkway parallels the Great Divide. Melt waters from here flow into the Pacific, Atlantic

Into the land of ice

Day 4: Lake Louise to Jasper, Alberta

Bob Esrey takes in Athabaska Falls, south of Jasper, Alberta. Despite the fog and drizzle, top, the ride along the Icefields Parkway is exhilarating.

and Arctic Oceans. Along our route are more than 200 glaciers. Midway to Jasper, we pass the Columbia Icefield, one of the largest accumulations of snow and ice south of the Arctic Circle. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is good, although a little heavy on tour buses. Some of us stay in the main building, others stay in out-buildings. The rooms are good. The bellman has a ramp he has constructed to drive bikes up on the sidewalk in front of the lodge, where he says he parks his bike. Great accommodation. We find a bar downstairs. A dinner reservation has been made upstairs at the Moose’s Tooth, or something like that, but we notice the restaurant is heavily used, while the one beside the bar downstairs is virtually empty. We inquire if we can dine there, in the Edith Cavell Dining Room. A big mistake. Not only did we pay the mortgage payment for the lodge that month, the meal takes forever. After about three hours, we inquire if there is a reason for the slow service. We are told that most of their patrons like to “linger ” and “savor the experience.” We inform our server that we are not into lingering and savoring, but we do like to be fed. Things go more quickly after that. The food is great but the slow service, “Wow!” On our trips, we elect a banker and fund a “kitty” which pays all restaurant and bar bills. After the dinner at the Jasper Park Lodge, it takes the kitty several days to breathe again, but with regular infusions it does recover. As we rode farther north, the number of kitty calls stayed the same but the size of the bills certainly came down. >> Route: A few miles on Trans-Canada Highway 1 and then Alberta 93 north to Jasper. Stats: 145 miles, 5.0 hours Downer of the day: “Lingering” and “savoring” the restaurant “experience” 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




Wildlife keeps coming... and coming Day 5: Jasper, Alberta, to Dawson Creek, British Columbia

When traveling in Alaska or the Yukon, you can count on moose for a photo op just about every day. E.B. Chester, right, does his best to warm up during a cold morning.


e strike out for Dawson Creek, British Columbia, the beginning of the Alaska or Alcan Highway, where we’ll find Milepost 0. The ride is good. We take a more rural road through scenic backcountry. A great ride and the weather is OK—not good, but OK. I had advertised the rural road would cross a vast agricultural area; however, the ride is through dense forests along the Continental Divide, with mountains in the background. Since we cannot see the scenery, we have to be content with the wildlife. The first of which is Mother Grizz and her two cubs. She is along the side Route: East from Jasper on TransCanada Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the intersection of Alberta Highway 40 North at Hinton where a sign proclaims, “Scenic Route to Alaska.” Highway 40 goes through Grand Cache to Grand Prairie, Alberta, where we take Highway 43 West, which turns into Highway 2 at the British Columbia border, to Dawson Creek. Stats: 334 miles, 7.0 hours Joy of the day: No traffic 32

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of the road and, surprise, none of us wants to stop to take a picture. She is big, and I mean big. An RV stops next to the bear, and a gentleman jumps out to take a picture. I don’t know how fast such a bear can cover a couple of hundred feet, but if I were the RVer I would not want to find out. Next come the sheep, actually, Stone Sheep. A herd, gang or gaggle, whatever sheep are, all over the road. And now comes the moose. He, or she, is grazing in an idyllic little pond beside the road eating whatever moose eat from under the water. Not very concerned with us or other vehicles. And along comes the woodland caribou and the deer—whitetail deer, to my surprise. The deer stand by the road and wait for the lead Harley to pass, then dart across the road in front of the next bike. Seems like a game, but we are too smart for them. By screaming epithets and sliding all over the road, we don’t hit a single one. One thing I have not mentioned is speed. We generally ride the speed limit plus five to 10 miles per hour.

That means we ride between 60 and 70 miles per hour in rural settings. No issue with traffic or passing. The entire trip has been one in which we own the road. We go as fast as we like and never struggle behind lines of traffic. A point of interest: In Canada, motorcycles are expected, if not required, to go to the head of the line at construction sites where traffic is stopped by a flag person. We also witness this practice in Alaska. It’s a great feature the Lower 48 should adopt. Coming into Dawson Creek, we find the Inn on the Creek on our right. We quickly realize we are not only coming into town, we are also going out of town. It’s that small. The Inn on the Creek—with Dawson Creek being nothing but a creek bed at this time of year—has the most interesting furnishings we have seen to date. E.B.’s room has a bed and bedroom suite that is literally huge. Much larger than a king and with massive woodwork. The bed blocks the entrance to the bath but, hey, what do we expect? Craig’s room has a full office set up in the corner. Bob’s room has a full kitchen with dining room table. Obviously, all purchased at some sort of a liquidation sale. We seek out the local pub, where we all make friends with Tabitha the server. Georgs just has to ask Tabitha, “Do you have Squirt?” Tabitha informs Georgs she does not and, for that matter, she is not even married. Even after we explain Squirt is actually a drink, I don’t think she buys it. But the wings and drinks are good. We ask Tabitha where to go for dinner and get a couple of recommendations, the best of which seems to be Tony Roma’s in a nearby hotel. We go there. It is good enough for Dawson Creek.

Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. From the left, Robert Hobbs, E.B. Chester, Bob Esrey, and Craig Chester. Georgs Kolesnikovs is behind the camera.

Gravel—the pothole fix of the North Day 6: Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, British Columbia


e have our first experience on the Alcan or Alaska Highway. We had been expecting an unpaved monster with wild animals all over the place waiting to scavenge on bikers who had met their fate at a huge gravel bump of some sort. The road is really just a normal rural highway from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson. The highlight of the day is the local fertilizer company, manufacturer of “Moo Poo,” a local favorite. Good day, tolerable weather and good road. Nothing out of the ordinary. We have our first experience with “gravel breaks.” For some reason, when a pothole develops in the north country, rather than patch it with

asphalt, they scrape the entire road surface away for a small distance and resurface the road with compacted gravel. If a massive truck is coming the other way, you may get some gravel thrown at you, but I didn’t have a single piece of gravel hit my bike on the entire trip. Riding across a gravel break presents absolutely no problems. You just keep going and ride across it. The surface is incredibly solid and smooth. Arriving at Fort Nelson, we locate the Woodlands Inn. No woods remotely close to the Inn, but what’s in a name? This far north we are expecting, as the name might imply, a frontier-type hotel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The hotel is a

new, three-story facility with first-class accommodations. Its restaurant, called One and featuring a contemporary New York décor, serves great food. A complete shock. Now, Fort Nelson has only a few buildings, so we wonder just what prompted someone to construct the hotel. Turns out it is owned by the owner of the local lumber yard. I guess he just needed to display his wares, or had a serious surplus of unused inventory. So far, we have had wireless Internet service everywhere except in Polson, back in Montana. With the exception of Bob’s phone, which is on Sprint service, our AT&T cell phones do not work in Canada. I checked with AT&T before I left and was assured mine would work. Not true. No surprise there. >> Route: North on Highway 97 to Fort St. John, across the mighty Peace River and on to Fort Nelson Stats: 287 miles from Mile 0, 5.5 hours Odd sight: A BMW rider wearing Harley-Davidson rain gear 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




A river runs along Highway 97 in the Northern Rockies in British Columbia. Inset, a snapshot at Sign Post Forest is the only reason to stop in Watson Lake.

Colorful the only polite word for Watson Lake Day 7: Fort Nelson, British Columbia, to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory


s we head to Watson Lake, we experience a more remote country. We stop for breakfast at a log cabin gas station/restaurant that sells only sweet rolls, sausage rolls and coffee. The sign over the door says, “Go on upstairs and take any unlocked room. $75. CU in AM.” The restroom is an old freezer truck body that has the freezer door intact with the large lever on the outside, push knob on the inside. Makes you feel like you might not see the outside world again. Route: North and west on Highway 97, aka the Alaska Highway Stats: 326 miles, 8.0 hours North of 60: We cross the parallel where the North truly begins 34

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We ride for an hour or more and don’t see another vehicle. Gas is plentiful at Toad River, Muncho Lake, Liard River and Coal River. The road is good with some gravel breaks to which we no longer pay much attention. Good riding and almost good weather. Warmer, with just a little rain today. Interestingly, since leaving Jasper, we have seen only two other motorcycles traveling north, one headed to Anchorage, the other to Yellowknife. Arriving in Watson Lake, we realize this may be the low point of accommodations on the trip. We stay at the Big Horn Hotel. At this point, when no recent hotel name has been accurate, we are not surprised there are no big horns around. A long, clapboard box

of a building with no particular distinction. It’s OK, not good, but it does have wireless Internet, and it works. The desk clerk actually sleeps, as in lives, on a cot behind the counter. We eat next door at the Belvedere Motor Hotel, the other local accommodation choice. Bad, I mean, really bad. The bar is the only food source in the town. Indians are going from table to table threatening the tourists. I am not kidding. One comes to our table, drunk as a coot, and asks something we never completely understood. On top of that, service is appallingly slow. It is 600 miles from Fort Nelson to Whitehorse and I would consider riding the entire distance before staying in Watson Lake again. It’s a pretty bad place to stop … but 600 miles is too far, so I’d probably overnight there again.

Chillin’ out in sunny Whitehorse Day 8: Watson Lake to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory


e push on, across the Cassiar Mountains and the Continental Divide, still following the Alcan Highway. Our destination is Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon Territory, and a major city by local standards. Personally, I measure how major a city is by the presence of McDonald’s, which Whitehorse has. I eat three meals there during our two-day stay. The Edgewater Inn in downtown Whitehorse is very good. Nice rooms, good bar and great restaurant. We park our bikes in an enclosed lot just outside the hall our rooms are on. The rooms are really good. The wireless Internet

works. In all, a nice facility. I have stayed in others and this is probably the best in Whitehorse, certainly the best I’ve stayed in. The first night we have reservations in the steak house downstairs. During the meal, and after some libation, we sing to wish a couple happy anniversary, sing Happy Birthday to another guest, and then Bob sings Goodnight, Irene to our waitress, Irene, whom he took to. All in all, we have a great time. The next night when we return, surprise, the table reserved for us is in the bar area, away from the normal folk. Guess we made quite an impression.

Route: West on the Alcan Highway

Day 9: Day off in Whitehorse

Stats: 279 miles, 6.5 hours Highlight: Sunshine


It’s the law: Motorcycles go the front of the line in construction zones in the Yukon.

uring a lay day in Whitehorse, we visit the local Harley dealer and are surprised to be told they’re too busy to look after a 10-minute repair on one of our bikes. It is just a spring on a seat backrest. We fix it with duct tape. In the welcome sunshine, we walk all over town. Robert and I take a tour on the S.S. Klondike, an old-time riverboat beached in the town park. We all ride to a Yukon River overlook, where Roy Timm, the photographer traveling with us, shoots a large number of pictures. Great weather, good pictures. There is hope the warm, sunny weather will continue the next day when we leave the Alaska Highway and head farther on the Klondike Highway to the much-anticipated Top of the World Highway. >> Update: Distance traveled stands at 2,131 miles since Idaho Falls, 3,431 since Mesa, and 6,091 miles from Key West 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




Photo taken at 2 a.m. illustrates the almost endless days of mid-summer in the North. Photographers Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm took the dramatic shot from Midnight Dome Road 2,911 feet above Dawson City, Yukon, looking west across the Yukon River toward Alaska.


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Under the Midnight Sun Everyone on the ride to Alaska agrees that the Top of the World Highway was the most memorable portion of the trip, but opinions vary on the many highlights and few low points:

“The highlight was that 7,000-foot pass into Montana when there was ice on our windshields and snow on our faces. We didn’t get any higher than that, except in the bars.” —E.B. Chester “That day out of Jasper when we saw grizzlies, moose, bighorn sheep, a black bear—that was absolutely incredible. Best of all was the moose in the pond beside the road. That was a classic.” —Bob Esrey “The highlight is riding anywhere with this group of people and, right now, [sitting in the bar atop the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage] this appletini I’m drinking.” —Craig Chester “The low point for me was the 60 miles of gravel (following the Top of the World Highway) that turned into 100 miles of gravel.” —Robert Hobbs “The Westmark chain gets the lowest marks of the trip, but, without a doubt, the lowest point for me happened out in the driveway of the Captain Cook Hotel when we stopped, and that was the end. It was such a great trip I was ready to turn around and ride to Maine.” —E.B. Chester >>

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Dancing with the stars at Diamond Tooth Gerties Day 10: Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon Territory


hoa, Friday the 13th? Thankfully, nothing bad happens. A great riding day. Warm, dry and great scenery. A few gravel breaks, nothing serious. Lots of bridges with metal grate roadways. The bikes wiggle a bit, but if you just give the bike its head, it will generally go straight and make the crossing. One of the best days of riding yet. About 50 miles along the way, we come to the Braeburn Lodge, which advertises itself as the home of the world’s greatest sticky buns. We stop and go inside. There we meet Steve, a typical Harley guy who is also the proprietor of the Lodge. Steve is also the cinnamon bun baker. The buns are huge. About 12 inches in diameter and two inches thick. Delicious. The sad part of the stop is seeing the tear running down Steve’s face as we saddle up and ride off into the sunset. (Well … in this neck of the woods, sunset may be a stretch until two in the morning, but at least we rode off down the road.) One could see that Steve would have liked nothing better than to get on one of three Harleys he owns and ride off with us. Riding into Dawson, we parallel a medium-size creek for about 10 miles. The creek had been completely dug up in the far distant past and nothing remains of the surrounding countryside but large piles of gravel. The work of dredges looking for the gold. At one location, the tops of the gravel piles have been leveled to make a runway and airport. Not a bad-looking facility. I flew Route: North on the Klondike Highway (Highway 2) after turning off the Alaska Highway soon after departing Whitehorse Stats: 340 miles, 8.0 hours Bonus: Simply great riding 38

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into Dawson about 25 years ago and the airport they had then Bob Esrey is roped into trying was nothing as good as this. the can-can. In Dawson, we arrive at the Aurora Inn. Now, this is one clean hotel in a dusty hamlet where the streets are dirt. (I was trying to (It’s retribution time as a few days back think of what is smaller than a village. Bob tried to con us into buying him Hamlet will have to do as there’s not drinks by claiming it was his birthmuch here.) Upon entering, we are day.) Sure enough, one of the performasked to take off our boots in the ers chooses Bob to go up and dance. lobby. Another guest, a nice lady who Bob goes up. While they are waiting for insists her shoes are spotless, asks the dancing to begin, Bob chats with why. The manager informs her that his partner and tells her, as if something in bad weather, the dirt outside gets is going on, that obviously they must very sticky and is tracked in all over know the “whole story.” The enterthe floor. The lady responds, “Yes, tainer says she heard it was his birthbut if you haven’t noticed, it’s not bad day and that’s why she thought he was weather or wet at all outside.” She selected. Bob says, yes, it is his birthtakes off her shoes and enters. The day (which it is not) and that he and his hotel is owned by a German who, as brother Jack (Nicholson) always go on Germans are prone to do, keeps the a Harley ride to celebrate his birthday. place spotless. A good hotel. ProbaHe says to her, “So, how did you find bly the best in town. Certainly better out Jack is in town?” The poor enterthan one I stayed in years ago where tainer could hardly dance but ol’ Bob one could see the ground through the did just fine. Incidentally, Bob is truly holes in the floor! Wireless Internet and the spitting image of Jack Nicholson. all the trimmings. Even barefooted, it’s Just goes to show, a good offense … very comfortable. As we ride farther north, the nights The hotel has a restaurant that goes get shorter. Tonight there is no night. by the fancy name La Table on 5th. It’s broad daylight all night long. Really great dinner with really great At 2 a.m. I have to go out and run servers. Two of the best-looking girls four drunken local youths off the bikes. I have seen in Canada. Unfortunately, They are harmless enough. One just my son Craig, who is young enough wanted to sit on a Harley. They leave to know about such things, says not to easily enough when I show up. get too excited, they like each other, a Editor’s note: Dawson may be small lot. Not obvious to me, but what do I but it was one of most interesting stops know. on our trek. It was at the heart of the After dinner we go to Diamond Klondike Gold Rush, and a walk down Tooth Gerties, a local gambling hall any street is a walk back into time. In and drinking establishment that has 1904, Dawson was the fourth largest a floorshow. Without telling anyone, producer of gold in the world. Today, Georgs has arranged with the manager its 1,300 residents thrive on tourism. to have Bob selected as one of the audi- Although known as Dawson City, it’s ence participants in the can-can show. technically a town. >>

Near Whitehorse, the storied Yukon River winds its way north.

Steve Watson, who owns three Harleys, runs Braeburn Lodge on the Klondike Highway—home of very large, very good sticky buns.

Robert Hobbs like to see clearly. Above, we stroll the wooden sidewalks in Dawson City, once heart of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Fireweed lines the roads everywhere.

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Much of the Top of the World Highway in the Yukon Territory is a gravel road that requires attention but otherwise is a blast.

At last—we’re on top of the world! Day 11: Dawson City, Yukon, to Tok Junction, Alaska


his is the ride we have been looking forward to, the Top Of The World Highway between Dawson City and the U.S. border, and then the Taylor Highway down to Tok Junction, Alaska. The day begins with a ferry across the Yukon River at Dawson. Uneventful, and, as in construction zones in the Yukon, bikes go first on the ferry. Nice to be appreciated. 40

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The 68 miles to the border is supposed to be paved, and it once was. But no more. It’s basically gravel, but well maintained and packed. No problem to ride at all, although it is dusty. The ride is on top of the Continental Divide at about 4,000 to 5,000 feet. Spectacular views in all directions. At the border, U.S. Customs clears us back into the U.S. with uncommon dispatch. Several questions and we are

through. Apparently, they have not yet gotten the word about the trafficking in rental bikes as Georgs and his rental bike are not an issue, as they were on Day 2 when we entered Canada. Immediately on the Alaska side of the border is Boundary, where gas is reported to be available. Well, it isn’t. It’s Sunday and although the proprietor lives on site, he isn’t open. So, on to Chicken. Chicken is named that because back in the Gold Rush days, Route: Highway 2, the Top of the World Highway, to the U.S. border; Highway 5, the Taylor Highway, south to rejoin the Alaska Highway just east of Tok. Stats: 191 miles, 6.0 hours Sour ending to a sweet day: Westmark Hotel

the prospectors could not spell Ptarmigan, so they named it Chicken. Chicken has gas and food. We eat lunch. The unmistakable impression one gets riding from Canada into the U.S. is how horrible the road becomes. The Canadian side has been a well-maintained gravel road. In the U.S., it turns into a two-rut woods road filled with potholes. At one location, there are probably 30 people doing “mitigation” where an accident has happened. It seems not to have occurred to anyone that if this number of people had been working on the road, no accident might have happened in the first place. Only in America. The road is horrible all the way from the U.S. border to Chicken, where it joins the Taylor Highway to Tok. The

dirt road is barely a lane and a half wide. If one were in an automobile, it would be almost impossible to stay enough to the right to avoid an out-ofcontrol truck charging the other way. With a bike, there is obviously more opportunity to stay on the right and leave room for the trucks. We met only one such truck and it was a good thing we were staying out of the way. He was traveling far too fast for the road and could not possibly have stopped or turned to avoid on-coming traffic. The section of the road from the U.S. border to Chicken and the Taylor Highway is the one place I would not like to ride in the rain. It is a clay base that looks like it would be quite slippery when wet. My recommendation would be if it is raining, stay in Tok or

Dawson City, depending on which way you are traveling, until the rain quits. The Taylor Highway from Chicken to the Alcan Highway east of Tok Junction is, once again, a good paved road with gravel breaks. When we reach the Alcan Highway, the road to Fairbanks is very good. We arrive at the Westmark Hotel in Tok, a property belonging to Holland American Line. It’s a complete disaster. The rooms were OK, but management is a joke. Basically, they do not cater to guests who do not ride their buses, a fact they overlooked mentioning when they took our reservation. Because we are not part of a Holland America tour, we end up taking our meals at Fast Eddie’s, a nearby restaurant with good food and true service. >>

A memorable day of riding: Yes, the name of the Alaskan outpost is Chicken; rest stop in tiny Boundary, Alaska; dusty welcome to Alaska; ferry ride across the Yukon River outside of Dawson City; border crossing at Poker Creek, Alaska.

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Westmark needs a makeover Day 12: Tok to Fairbanks, Alaska


n a warm, clear day, we enjoy a great ride to Fairbanks and, ugh, another Westmark Hotel. Surprise, this time we check in without difficulty. We ask the young lady checking us in if we can park our Harleys under the overhang in front of the hotel. She says that will be OK, no problem. We notice nothing is open in the hotel. Not the restaurant, bar or gift shop. We are told everything opens at five o’clock. Strange, but around five, it all becomes clear. A tour bus arrives and everything opens immediately. We decide to go out for dinner. While the hotel has three vans sitting outside and, at their own admission, the drivers are standing by, they cannot take us to dinner. The explanation: “We are not allowed by ‘Corporate’ to take guests to eat elsewhere.” And while we are discussing the transportation, another young lady tells us to move our bikes. She indicates that we were never given permission to park there as it is reserved for tour buses. That was the last straw! In the first place, a hotel employee did give us permission. In the second, we are tired of Westmark employees being rude. We obtain a cab and go to the Pumphouse Restaurant, a delightful restaurant on the river. Worth another visit. Frankly, I would have walked anywhere to avoid eating at the Westmark. On a more positive note: In Fairbanks, we’re the farthest north our travels will take us. We’re only 125 miles from the Arctic Circle, closer to Russia than to Idaho or Arizona. On the way here, we passed through North Pole, Alaska, tacky is it was, and disturbed a lady moose feeding by the side of the highway. >> Route: Northwest on Highway 2, the Alaska Highway, until it ends at Delta Junction, then Highway 2 to Fairbanks Stats: 215 miles, 4.75 hours Highlight: Nicest weather since Utah 42

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We head to Fairbanks and the northernmost point of our journey, only 125 miles south of the Arctic Circle. After 1,422 miles, the Alaska Highway ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, right.

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Somewhere in those clouds, left, towers Mount McKinley aka Denali. Robin Dunnigan at Fireweed Roadhouse, below, exemplifies Alaskan hospitality.

Emotions mixed on our final day

Day 13: Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska


arly in the morning, we are all surprised by a phone call from the front desk of the Westmark Hotel. We are rudely informed that we have parked our bikes in a “loading zone” and that the offending bikes have to be moved within 30 minutes or the hotel will have them moved. The young man is abrupt, rude and demanding. By this time, we have had it with Westmark. We politely note that we did have permission to park our Harleys in front of the hotel. Nevertheless, we get dressed, move our bikes, check out—anything to get away as quickly as possible. To crown our experience, a Holland America employee uses foul language as we prepare to depart. Westmark and Holland America, never again. They should be ashamed of the way they treat paying guests. We are off for Anchorage on the Parks Highway, Alaska Highway 3, and the end of our bike ride. The highway runs through the heart of Denali country with, on clear days, Route: South on the Parks Highway, Highway 3, past Denali, then picking up Highway 1 for the run into Anchorage Stats: 368 miles, 8.0 hours Happiness is: Safe arrival at our destination 44

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spectacular views of Denali. The day dawns with drizzle, but not enough to dampen our spirits. As we ride south, we look for a breakfast spot. Eventually, we stop at Fireweed Roadhouse. Although there are several cars out front, the door is locked. As we suit up to continue, a pleasant lady comes out and says the place is closed but, if we would like, she will fix breakfast for us. In a flash, we accept. It was a really great breakfast in a great, clean facility. Now, here is someone who understands hospitality, totally unlike the Westmark chain, which seems to believe that if they could just get rid of pesky customers their life would be ideal. Unfortunately, low clouds obscure Mount McKinley, or Denali, whichever you prefer. We stop at a viewing platform and take pictures anyway. There we are smiling—with a solid white backdrop of fog. Arriving in Anchorage, we go to the Captain Cook Hotel, check in without delay and strike out to find the bar. The Crow’s Nest, on the 20th floor, offers a great view of the city and surrounding mountain ranges, but bring shoes, not sandals, as they are not allowed in this upscale bar. One of our group is warned that such is the case and then

allowed, as a special consideration, to have drinks wearing the dreaded sandals. Now, that is the way an establishment should deal with the matter: Tell you of the issue and not make a big deal about it, until the second offense. Our sandal wearer attempted to return after dinner and was politely told, while he had been warned and allowed to stay on his earlier visit, this time he was out of there. Off he went, returning the next time wearing boots. All handled appropriately. I have been staying at the Captain Cook for 25 years or more. A great hotel with lots of character and good service. I found it a little strange that T-shirts and jeans were OK in the Crow’s Nest, but sandals, even expensive European ones worn with dress socks, are taboo. Must be some sort of profiling issue relating to a guest’s ability to pay up. In the evening, we had a great dinner at the Glacier BrewHouse down the street from the hotel. We had a reservation for five and arrived with seven. After a minor amount of confusion, the restaurant manager handled the situation smartly and kindly, and we had a happy meal. An excellent restaurant I would recommend. The arrival in Anchorage is tinged with sadness as our adventure has ended: two weeks on the road with a bunch of great guys on a bunch of great motorcycles . . . safe and sound after 3,261 miles from Idaho Falls, 4,561 miles from Mesa, and a grand total of 7,221 miles from Key West.

All good things must come to an end The day after the riding stops


e head for the airport to meet the wives, who flew in for a cruise back to the Lower 48. They arrive on time and we repack right there on the tarmac, putting our bike clothes on the plane and getting the cruise clothes ready to go. We rent a van to get around and then take off to the bike shipper to have the bikes sent home. We utilized a shipper right in the middle of town which specializes in transporting bikes to and from Anchorage. They are first class. They crate the bikes in Harley’s original cardboard-and-pallet shipping containers and really do it up right. They are riders and seem to know bikes well. The shipping, one way, is

quoted at $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the location in the Lower 48. The shipper was Classic Motion, which can be reached at 1-907-272-6863. They are a husband and wife team and do good work. They will even clean, to whatever degree desired, dirty bikes at the end of a trip. One of our dealerships, Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona, has a favorable history of shipping to and from Classic Motion in Anchorage. They also ship classic cars, thus, the name. In the evening, we have a farewell dinner with everyone present, wives included. The last supper, I suppose, at the Crow’s Nest Restaurant, on the 20th floor of the Captain Cook overlooking the city. A really superb dinner

for 11. Everyone is leaving the next day. E.B., Robert, Bob and wives will board a cruise to Vancouver. Craig is flying home on the plane that brought the wives. Georgs is going boating in Seward before flying home. All of us are unanimous in a final word of advice: If you’ve been thinking about riding to Alaska, or if our tale has whetted your appetite, go! We’re definitely going back—in 2010. >>

Alaska has its own character, and sense of humor, as witnessed by Wal-Mike’s in Trapper Creek. Outhouses exist, but mainly for tourists to snap.

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Be prepared

Top 10 tips for your ride to Alaska

E.B.’s daily route cards keep us headed in the same direction.

#3 Look after your ride Take a relatively new, well maintained bike, preferably a Harley, which your local dealer has serviced prior to your trip. Be sure to tell the dealer where you are going and request that he give the bike a thorough going over. Tires should be new, or essentially new, as should brake pads. Even if the tires or brakes have significant wear left, change them. It’s like insurance. Change the oil and forget it for the one-way trip of 3,000 to 4,000 miles. You can change it again when you get back. If you are riding to Alaska and back, there are Harley-Davidson dealers in Fairbanks and Anchorage who will change your oil at about the half-way point. If you do this, I would have the tires and brakes checked also. We saw more “expedition” bikes of other makes than we did Harleys but none of the riders had as big a smile on their faces as we did. Our bikes performed fabulously with no issues and we were comfortable.

#1 Know where you are going Study appropriate maps ahead of time. Because preparation is about as much fun as riding, this should not be too hard. I only did it about 10,000 times over the course of a year, each time visualizing riding along in sunshine with a bear or moose beside the road. The bears and moose turned out to be about as scarce as the sunshine. The routes are simple and straight-forward. Nothing to navigate. The photo shows a sample of the daily mileage and route cards I made for monitoring our progress as we rode. I printed the information on 3-by-5 index cards and had them laminated so that the liquid sunshine would not leave me in the middle of nowhere, guessing what the water-faded card used to say. These worked great and were a hit of the trip. I had a set of cards printed and laminated for each rider and found a clip that mounts on the handlebar into which the cards will fit. Everyone knew where we were at all times and how far to go to the next bar. The cards eliminated all “Daddy, are we there yet?” questions.

#2 To reserve or not to reserve There seem to be two schools of thought about reservations. If you are camping, go without reservations. Plenty of camping places everywhere, with and without bears, your choice. If you are staying in motels, by all means, make reservations. Hotels and motels are limited along the Alcan Highway and can fill up quickly. The towns are generally on about 300-mile centers and represent a day’s travel for motorcycles and automobiles alike. This means everyone gets to the same places at the same time of day. We made our reservations in September of the year before our June trip. We called back on several occasions during the year’s lead time and reconfirmed. Our plan worked without a hitch. See the accompanying list of the lodgings we utilized and our opinion of the various establishments. No recommendations, just our opinions. All of the motels and hotels we stayed in were full the nights we were there. 46

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A broken spotlight — the only casualty in our 19,000 accumulated miles.

#4 Spares and tools We took a small selection of spares and tools. We had a really cheap screw jack to lift one end of a bike, spare tubes and tiny air compressor cylinders to inflate a tire. We also had a selection of tools which would change either tire. The Harley tool kit that comes standard with a bike will accomplish this. Our spares were limited to tubes, sparkplugs, kickstand springs, fuses and taillight bulbs. We did not carry any headlight bulbs as we were riding either Ultra Classics, Classics or Road Glides, which have either three headlights or headlights with a plastic cover. In neither case were we likely to be without at least a single headlight. Besides, it was daylight all night long.

#5 Less is better

Take fewer—not more—clothes than you think you might need. We actually rode all the way in a single pair of jeans and only used several shirts. No need to take an excessive amount of luggage and load the bike down. We found that the tour pack, saddlebags and a sac bag sitting on the rear seat were more than ample for

everything we carried. Next time, it will be two-thirds or less, as it was not much fun lugging all that stuff in and out of a hotel room every day.

#6 No weapons Don’t take pistols or bear pepper spray. Canadian officials will take these away from you at the border. Besides, I can’t think of anything more absurd than spraying a grizzly with anything from a distance of six to eight feet, about the range of pepper spray. Even shooting one with a pistol will probably just make it mad and result in the bear having a nice meal. Their mouths open the size of a galvanized wash tub and they can run 35 miles per hour, covering six feet in three nanoseconds. Best advice is not to get near them at all. Moose are also cantankerous. They can face you down on a trail and charge you. Again, keep your distance.

Final thoughts

Lessons we learned

Even Harley riders can love heated riding gear.

#7 Lids and beam echo All of Canada requires helmets at all times, Alaska does not. British Columbia and Alberta allow the possession and use of radar detectors, the Yukon does not. It says in the literature that radar detectors will be confiscated if you have one in your possession in the Yukon.

#8 Proof of insurance Although we did not experience a need for it, we were told that we should carry a proof of insurance card with our bike’s specific VIN number on such card. Our insurance agent knew of the requirement and readily supplied the desired card. No one asked for it but probably better to have in case of an unexpected interface with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

#9 Passports You are “required” to have a passport although we encountered bikers traveling without them. The individuals without passports said they were hassled but allowed to pass at the U.S. and Canadian borders. Probably better to have one, if possible. [Editor’s note: A passport will be required to make a land or sea entry into the Refueling stops can U.S. as of June 2009.] be scarce, so fill up whenever you can.

#10 Telephones We purchased and took with us a satellite telephone for emergencies in the backcountry. We never used it, but if we had a need, such as an accident, it would have been a lifesaver, perhaps literally. There are emergency numbers for almost every highway we rode which can be retrieved via the Internet. There is little cell phone coverage up there. Until you get into Alaska, and even where there was service in Canada, our AT&T cell phones did not operate on Bell Canada’s service. This was in spite of our checking with AT&T prior to our departure and their assurance that, at least my phone, was authorized for such interchange and would work just fine. Not so. One final thought: If you want the ride of your life, go!


ny intermediate-level rider who is mentally prepared to put up with 10 percent difficulties and 90 percent great riding can make this trip easily. We had riders from age 37 to 66 with us. All did extremely well. There is no technical riding involved, just great, deserted roads. June seems to be an excellent choice of timing. The July-August crowds have not yet arrived and the State Bird of Alaska (the mosquito) is not yet swarming to excess. The roads are not deserted but you have a definite feeling of being remote from the madding crowds. The June weather can be cool, but it is spring and the days (3 a.m. until 2 a.m. the next morning) can be in the 60s to 70s. The lows were around 40 most nights. The gravel on the roads is a small issue but, truly, it’s not as bad as riding on a short gravel driveway down in the States. It’s good packed gravel and just part of the experience. One tends to take it in stride. The weather is not always great but light rain showers and fog are not too bad. Factually, about 75 percent of our trip was in delightful conditions. Heated clothing and full-face helmets make weather a nonevent. In June, sunny days are the norm in the Yukon and Alaska. We did not encounter really bad weather, except on mountain passes. I am one who did not, prior to this trip, even like the thought of riding in the rain, especially cold rain. With this experience, I won’t have the distaste for rain and/or cold I once had. As we discovered, heated clothes are a life-changing event for a Harley rider. G 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Sturgis Perfect excuse to ride the finest roads in the U.S.A.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm


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Riders wind their way through northern Arizona to start a trip to Sturgis ‘08, while E.B. Chester, at right, heads home to Idaho after Sturgis ‘07.

when you’re destination-driven, it’s the end of the ride you remember, it’s what you talk to friends about, bring back photos from. When you ride to ride, it’s all about the open road, the route followed and curves taken, sights seen and eateries visited. It’s the transition through space and time that dominates the moment—and the memories. Zone in on the ride and zero out everything else. The ride to Sturgis is like that. Whether you start out from Arizona or Idaho, the roads you ride to Sturgis are exceptional—provided you stay off mind- and bumnumbing Interstates. If you’re a friend or customer of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships, you’re fortunate that the head of the family over the past 25 years has explored every road worth riding in the western states. In his research, E.B. Chester has checked out some roads with Google Earth, others he’s flown over in his private plane, and most he’s ridden on a Harley. When we say here’s a road worth riding, you can bet on it.


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Great Circle Route

How to ride to Sturgis and see most of the West. By E.B. Chester

i’ve ridden to sturgis on these roads more than 10 times, yet each ride is different and special, depending on the weather and the friends with whom I ride. You can start the circle route to Sturgis in Arizona or Idaho and ride in either direction. If you ride the entire loop, you’ll cover more than 3,500 miles. That’s about 12 days of riding, plus whatever time you spend in Sturgis. Another option is to ride from Arizona to Idaho via Sturgis, or vice versa, and ship your bike home from one of our dealerships. 50

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I generally start from Phoenix, so my narrative starts there. (If you’re starting from Idaho, follow the narrative in the reverse order.) Our favorite route winds north through Arizona and Utah, through Colorado and Wyoming, into South Dakota and Sturgis. Then it heads west through Wyoming into Montana and back to Wyoming and Idaho. We generally end up in Idaho Falls and fly home from there, leaving our bikes at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell to be shipped home. That trip covers about 2,500 miles. In 2008, six of us rode back to Phoenix, totaling about 3,500 miles.


The striking Grand Tetons of Wyoming are one of the many highlights of the roundabout route to Sturgis that we recommend.

It is all about the riding, not necessarily the destinations. Our group stays in nice hotels along the way but sightseeing is not on the agenda except for several special locations. Once there, we base ourselves in Rapid City, South Dakota, not far from Sturgis and the Black Hills, for four nights and three full days, allowing ample time to enjoy both locales. It works out to an average of slightly under 300 miles of riding each riding day. We do not ride in any state that requires a helmet. Here’s how a typical Sturgis ride unfolds:

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Rest stops in Monument Valley on the Utah/ Arizona border always seem to be leisurely, because the scenery is so unique.


& Di Luca’s, a great local Italian restaurant. The second day it’s north out of Sedona, through memorable Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. We breakfast in Flagstaff at the Cracker Barrel and then ride north through Monument Valley and a lot of deserted desert to Moab, Utah, a great town for dropouts on the Colorado River. This is some of the greatest scenery and best open roads in the world. In Moab, the Gonzo Inn is the place to stay (we can park our bikes outside our rooms), with eats at the Slick Rock Cafe. On the third day, we backtrack slightly to La Salle junction and then go east into Colorado past the Bedrock Store (which is a must-see) to the south end of the Gateway Canyon road. It’s a great motorcycle road, virtually all to ourselves, with long sweeping curves and spectacular scenery. After about 75 miles, a development looms up suddenly and remarkably in the middle of nowhere. The owner of the Discovery Channel on Cable TV has constructed a hotel, restaurant and, most amazingly, a world-class automobile museum in Gateway, Colorado. After touring the museum and having lunch, we carry on to Grand Junction, Colorado, and join Interstate 70 for a ride through Glenwood Canyon, the last leg of the original Interstate system completed in the 1960s. It’s a scenic wonder through which flows the Colorado River. The canyon leads us on to the Vail valley. All in all, a really great day.

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The fourth day is going to be our single longdistance dash—a stretch of more than 400 miles from Vail to Rapid City, South Dakota. While it seems a long day, it is really a great ride and the distance is not so burdensome. From Vail it’s north over Gore Pass and on into Walden, Colorado, and then to Laramie, Wyoming. After Laramie, we head north to Bosler Junction and one of the world’s great motorcycle roads, which takes us to Wheatland for lunch. Long swooping curves and not another vehicle in sight. A great ride. There’s a deserted road from Wheatland north to Lusk, Wyoming. The last leg winds through the Black Hills to Rapid City, not far from Sturgis. Rapid City base for Sturgis Our base in Rapid City is the Ramkota Hotel, which has a good restaurant and bar. The Chesters are a known fixture at the Ramkota; we’ve stayed there for the rally for many years. The Ramkota is centrally located between the Sturgis activity, 30 miles to the west, the Rapid City activity and the Black Hills, 10 miles to the south. It’s a really great location—if you can score a reservation. The three-day stay gives one a great opportunity to sample the rally. Ride into Sturgis, park and wander around with the other 500,000 people visiting this normally sleepy town of 10,000. It is bedlam. This is where many vendor displays, bars and other rally activities are located. Outside Sturgis are the Buffalo Chip Campground and the Full Throttle Saloon, two of the most storied establishments associated with the event. The Rapid City Harley-Davidson dealer is another popular venue for vendors and activity. It’s a must visit on the Interstate between Rapid City and Sturgis. Please note that the Interstate is a challenge in its own right, due to the density of motorcycles. It goes along with the old song, “Drunks to the left of you, drunks to the right.” It needs to be approached with caution but is manageable. It seems to get even worse at night. While at Sturgis, we set out on one of the world’s truly great day rides, a structured ride through the Black Hills beginning in Rapid City, through Keystone, the town which grew up during construction of Mount Rushmore, and into the scenic area of the Black Hills ending at Mount Rushmore. It’s a really great tour shared with motorcycles going almost continually in all directions. Wild buffalo are often on the road and other wildlife sightings (other than of humanoids in full bloom) are frequent. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company sets up at

PHOTO: georgs kolesnikovs

Departure the first day is from Chester’s HarleyDavidson in Mesa, Arizona, at 8 a.m. (Everyone should show up with a full tank of gas.) Phoenix is bypassed on State Route 101. Then it’s north on Interstate 17 to the Cave Creek exit and west to Wickenburg for breakfast and gas. Through Prescott and Jerome to Sedona. The roads are really great motorcycle routes, such as Cleopatra Hill into Jerome. The first night is spent at Sedona Reãl Inn & Suites; there’s a good bar next door. Dinner is usually at Dahl

From the Badlands to Devils Tower, there are awesome day rides to be had during Sturgis. Shown here is Spearfish Canyon near Deadwood.

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Buffalo trumps HarleyDavidson every time. Here, bikers backpedal in Custer State Park near Sturgis.

the Rapid City Convention Center in the middle of town and is worth a visit. [Editor’s note: If you’re starting your ride to Sturgis from Idaho, then what follows outlines a pleasant way to get there over three days. Of course, you can ride to Sturgis in one long day, if you want to.] Scenic route between Sturgis and Idaho After Sturgis, on the eighth day, we set off west out of Rapid City. Our road goes through Deadwood, home of the saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was killed while holding the infamous ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ (two aces and two eights). Then it’s north through Spearfish Canyon to Devil’s Tower, a volcanic cone rising out of the plains and a popular destination for the Sturgis crowd. After a stop at Devils Tower, the day ends in Buffalo, Wyoming, and the Occidental Hotel, a historic local hotel owned by a delightful lady. It’s a favorite of the Hells Angels, who on occasion have camped out in the hotel’s library. It has a really great bar and the food is great. The ninth day is a real treat. It starts with a crossing of the Big Horn Mountains and a ride through Ten Sleep Canyon. Past that our route takes us along the Wind River Mountains. All in all, an incredible ride. The day ends in Montana at Red Lodge and the Rock Creek Resort. Red Lodge is a picturesque western town deserving of a late afternoon visit before dinner. An old log home at the resort has a great bar and great food. The Rock Creek Resort (owned by a great friend) is at the base of Beartooth Pass. Day 10 takes us over Beartooth—one of the West’s great passes—and down to Cooke City for lunch; then it’s back into Wyoming and on to Yellowstone 54

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Park. We have been over Beartooth Pass in August in the middle of a snowstorm. Depending on how the group feels, the choice is to visit Yellowstone Lodge and Old Faithful or to ride immediately on to Jackson for a visit to the town square and the Million Dollar Bar, the local Harley parking location of choice. Either way, the night is spent at The Wort Hotel in downtown Jackson. It’s a historic hotel with a world-class bar, the Silver Dollar Bar. Dinner is often at the Gun Barrel Restaurant, a local favorite. It’s only a short ride to Idaho Falls, Idaho, so on the 11th day we hang around Jackson for the morning and leave around lunch. The Wort is across the street from a Chester family Harley-Davidson dealership, Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson. When we arrive in Idaho Falls at another Chester family dealership, Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell, we check in at Fairfield Suites, down the street from the dealership, and have dinner in the Ruby River Steakhouse, next to the hotel. The bikes may be left for shipping at the dealership with transportation provided to the airport, which offers good connections through Salt Lake City to just about anywhere. For those not wanting to stop, riding back to Phoenix is certainly an option, probably as a three-day ride: 255 miles from Idaho Falls to Heber City, Utah, 371 miles to Page, Arizona, and 293 miles to Mesa. It can be done in two days but they are long and hard days. If you have the time, riding the entire distance is less expensive than flying and shipping a bike. E.B. Chester, a Harley enthusiast all his life, is an owner of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. >>

Mount Rushmore watches over Ed Leclere, E.B. Chester and Georgs Kolesnikovs as they wait for stragglers on a day ride on amazing Iron Mountain Road during Sturgis.

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Is it Zen?

Or simply the freedom of the open road? By Georgs Kolesnikovs

when you fly across the land on a harley, you are so connected to the road and the environment that even when the mind wanders, you’re always alert, always looking ahead, always looking behind. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy—and so addictive— to zero in on the ride and zero out everything else. Your magic carpet is the blur of the asphalt below the bike. The sound of the V-Twin is a captivating concert. The wind in your face is the tonic that keeps you awake and alive, wanting one more mile after another, one day following another on the open road. When you ride to ride, it is the ride that dominates the moment—and the memories: 56

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How the switchbacks come one after another, relentlessly up and down Cleopatra Hill leading into Jerome, Arizona. How the highway sweeps and curves for miles upon miles without another vehicle in sight near Bosler Junction, Wyoming. How great it is to ride the Iron Mountain Road out of Sturgis early in the morning, before the other 499,999 rally attendees are out and about. How riding US-93 in Montana seems like a reunion with an old friend whom you last saw in Nevada, sweeping across the contours of the land into Idaho. How hot and dry and perfect it was on AZ-89A, crossing the desert between Marble Canyon and Kanab, Utah.

The ride through Ten Sleep Canyon in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming is locked forever in the Editor’s memory bank.

How phenomenal Monument Valley looks, how awesome are roads that arc through red canyons. The fresh smell of verdant fields, the ribbon of honeysuckle along the side of the highway, the intoxicating fragrance of sage after a downpour— these are among the memories that linger. Then there’s a chuckle when it’s obvious the guy on the foreign motorcycle doesn’t know the difference between a friendly wave and the Harley salute. Riding solo provides the high that only independence and self-sufficiency can foster. Riding in a group leads to the good times and fun that come only with camaraderie. You notice the smallest things: How, after a rain

shower, the riders ahead kick up spray from the wet pavement making it look like they are riding along on little white clouds. How, when you’ve ridden with someone for many miles, all it takes is the slightest nod of the head to say, “Go on, you ride ahead.” You notice the tug inside near the end of the day: You want to keep riding, yet you want to kick back with like-minded souls, hoist a brew, enjoy a meal and sleep well, so you can do it all over again the next day. >> Georgs Kolesnikovs, Editor of Glory Road, has been a motorcycle rider since his university days. 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Main Street

Evening comes to the unconventional convention that attracts 500,000 riders, most of them Harley enthusiasts. >>

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Where we eat and drink When riding from Arizona: Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano Sedona, Arizona We can’t ride to Sturgis without eating here Slick Rock Cafe Moab, Utah Good eats, good service

The Bedrock Store has been a rest stop in southwestern Colorado since 1876.

When riding from Idaho:

If you plan to go A good place to start planning your ride to Sturgis is to peruse the ride reports and photos at the Glory Road blog: You can also contact E.B. Chester at Chester's Harley-Davidson. He is always eager to discuss Harley riding and trips taken by him and the gang. E.B. has quite a database of routes, maps and information which he is more than happy to share with fellow Harley enthusiasts. Give him a call at 800-831-0404 and contact him online at Here are additional sites to assist your planning: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally When you return home, tell Glory Road about your trip. E-mail a report and photos to Class of Sturgis ‘07 in the Ramkota Hotel bar: From left, seated, Larry Pisacka, E.B. Chester, Jay Peterson, Craig Chester, Dan Godec; standing, Ed Leclere, Greg Warrington, Brandon Peterson, Georgs Kolesnikovs.

Silver Dollar Bar & Grill Wort Hotel Jackson, Wyoming html Good drinks, good service Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse Jackson, Wyoming The bar at street level ain’t bad either The Virginian Restaurant The Historic Occidental Hotel Buffalo, Wyoming One of the finest restaurants in the West The Pollard dining room Red Lodge, Montana The menu is in plain English In Sturgis: Full Throttle Saloon Sturgis, South Dakota The world’s largest biker bar

Where we sleep When riding from Arizona: Sedona Reãl Inn & Suites Sedona, Arizona A hotel that has never let us down Comfort Inn Blanding, Utah Parking lot is paved, rooms are clean The Gonzo Inn Moab, Utah A comfortable overnight stop When riding from Idaho: The Wort Hotel Jackson, Wyoming Historic, hospitable, pricey Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole Jackson, Wyoming A nice alternative to the Wort The Historic Occidental Hotel Buffalo, Wyoming A must-stay when riding through Wyoming The Pollard Red Lodge, Montana Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane slept here Rock Creek Resort Red Lodge, Montana On the spectacular Beartooth Highway Our home away from home during Sturgis: Best Western Ramkota Rapid City Hotel Rapid City, South Dakota Book well in advance, way well in advance G

Class of Sturgis ‘08 at Beartooth Pass: From left, Lon Carruth, Ray Valle, E.B. Chester, Ed Leclere, Matt Lenox, Flip LeResche.


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Photography: Roy Timm, Carole Bozzato Timm, Georgs Kolesnikovs and anon

The roadside sign in Wyoming says it all.


Visit a CVO expert at your local Harley-Davidson® dealership. Chester’s Harley-Davidson ~ Mesa AZ ~ 800 831 0404 • Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell ~ Idaho Falls ID ~ 800 863 5297 • Snake Harley-Davidson ~ Twin Falls ID ~ 888 788 9809 •


See all four limited-production motorcycles at Chester’s Harley-Davidson ~ Mesa AZ ~ 800 831 0404 • Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell ~ Idaho Falls ID ~ 800 863 5297 • Snake Harley-Davidson ~ Twin Falls ID ~ 888 788 9809 •

Damon Nichols, Service Advisor at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell, test-rides an XL 1200N Nightster.


GUIDE Your style, your choice There’s a distinctive Harley-Davidson for every personality, every type of street and road riding By the Editors of Glory Road


he Harley-Davidson motorcycles offered by the Chester family of dealerships are as different as the people who buy them.

Where do you live? How do you ride? Where do you want to

ride? Is it out on the open highway with your destination over the horizon? Do you like to tour two-up? You can enjoy the freedom that those in cars will never know—

Softail . . . . . . . . Page 67

the cool stillness of early morning air, the scent of honeysuckle at

Dyna . . . . . . . . . Page 70

night, an unobstructed view of mountains for 360 degrees, a redtailed hawk hovering overhead. Maybe you rode when you were younger and you want to get back to it, recapture that thrill you felt the first time you soloed on a bike. Once the sound of that big twin got in your head, there was no getting it out. Perhaps belonging to the worldwide brotherhood of Harley-Davidson riders appeals to you? After all, people on Harleys still salute each other. For many riders, their bike is a rolling statement of their personal style. Are you a knee-dragging canyon scratcher? Do you rip from stoplight to stoplight? Perhaps you’re looking for an economical and fun way to get around. There’s a certain satisfaction in being Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Touring . . . . . . . Page 64

Sportster . . . . . . Page 72 VRSC . . . . . . . . . Page 74 Tri Glide . . . . . . . Page 75 CVO . . . . . . . . . . Page 76 Your Harley, your way . . . . . . . Page 78 Getting started . . Page 83 Performance! . . . . Page 86

the only guy who arrives at work with a grin on his face. There are as many reasons why people ride motorcycles as there are people, but there’s one thing they have in common: their individuality, the compulsion not to be part of the herd. Which Harley is the right bike for you? With five basic motorcycle families and lots of model variations within each family, you can bet the Motor Company has you covered. The perfect machine is there for you. Maybe you already know what it is. If you don’t, this

Visit a Chester dealership to get your copy of the most current Harley-Davidson catalog. Online, start your research at

buyer’s guide will help you narrow your choices before you see the experts at the Chester dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. Don’t be surprised if you find more than one perfect bike.

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Road King

Big bikes for a big country

There are seven members in the Harley-Davidson Touring family—two Road Kings, three Electra Glides, a Street Glide and a Road Glide. Low, wide and hefty, they’re affectionately known as “baggers” because they come with saddlebags as standard equipment. Millions of miles driven and years of feedback from long-distance riders have ensured they provide the comfort needed for the long haul. They’re the bikes you usually see out on the highway—alone or in groups, two-up and solo. It’s the ride you want when your plans feature a 300-plus-mile day and an evening socializing with your friends. Sit back, relax and let the miles roll by. “Harley owners in our part of the world like to do as much riding as possible,” says Cliff Chester, one of the owners of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. “The convenience of having adequate storage compartments is a big plus. Then there is the stability of the motorcycle and the ability to travel two-up.” Here are features that make them the world’s best

FLHR Road King The Road King combines all the comfort and long-distance capabilities of a big Harley-Davidson touring bike with enduring big-twin styling. Out in front there are clear-lens auxiliary passing lights and a chrome headlamp. Other styling touches include chrome engine covers, a deep-skirted FL front fender and white-stripe tires. For roadwork the King has colormatched, locking hard-shell saddlebags, a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission, air-adjustable suspension and a big comfortable seat. The windscreen lets you rack up the miles or you can easily detach it for riding in town or when you feel like having the wind in your face. It’s good to be the king. ROAD KING HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • 28-spoke cast aluminum wheels: 17-inch front/16-inch rear • Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread 180/65-16 rear tire (white stripe) • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire (white stripe) • Two-piece touring seat • Weather-resistant and lockable GTX hard saddlebags

touring bikes:


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Road King Classic

FLHRC Road King Classic Do you like your touring bike with a little nostalgia and a lot of style? The Road King Classic is reminiscent of the Electra Glides of the past. The Classic features laced wheels, whitewall tires, auxiliary passing lights and tooled leather on the seat and on the


• High-performance Brembo brakes with available, factoryinstalled anti-lock braking system (ABS). They’ve got all the stopping power you can use, whether you’re descending a mountain grade or haulin’ it down in traffic. • Large fuel tanks: Six gallons of fuel combined with the standard six-speed Cruise Drive transmission translate into road-eating range on the highway. • Electronic Throttle Control: Yes, fly-by-wire, just like an F-16. Or make that ride-by-wire. Combined with electronic fuel injection, it means precise fuel metering and instantaneous throttle response in virtually any riding condition. It also means no mechanical cables to wear out or adjust, a cleaner look, and incredibly accurate cruise control. • Adjustable Fairing-Mounted Wind Deflectors: These come standard on the Ultra Classic Electra Glide model. They improve ride comfort by allowing the rider to direct oncoming wind flow. They’re also available for the Electra Glide Standard, Street Glide and Electra Glide Classic models. • Isolated Drive System: Located in the bike’s rear sprocket, and sometimes referred to as a cush drive, it improves ride quality and reduces noise and vibration for the rider when accelerating, shifting and cruising. • Six-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission: Just what you need for quick acceleration and effortless cruising on the highway. Drop it in sixth gear and enjoy the rumble.

ROAD KING COMMON FEATURES: Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Brembo triple-disc brake system • Large Hiawatha headlight and chrome nacelle • Auxiliary passing lights • Detachable windshield • Large tank-mounted speedometer • Optional ABS • Optional chrome aluminum profile laced wheels

hard-shell saddlebags. When it’s time to eat up the road, there’s that big 96-inch engine, air-adjustable suspension, a removable windshield, a six-gallon fuel tank and standard cruise control. Everything you need to tour in comfort and style. ROAD KING CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • Dunlop D407 multi-tread 180/65-16 rear tire (wide white stripe) • Dunlop D407 130/80-16 front tire (wide white stripe) • Chrome laced steel wheels • Leather-wrapped, hard saddlebags • Tooled leather seat trim with chrome accents • Chrome tank and fender emblems • Slash-cut mufflers • Electronic cruise control Electra Glide Classic

Electra Glide Standard

FLHT Electra Glide Standard Don’t let the word “standard” fool you—the Electra Glide Standard comes with all the touring features you need to hit the open road. Out front, there’s a Glide fairing and windshield, with instrumentation. The comfort-stitched saddle and airadjustable suspension let you roll up the miles, auxiliary lights add illumination for night riding, and locking hard saddlebags mean you can securely carry what you need. ELECTRA GLIDE STANDARD HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • Silver powder-coated engine with polished covers • Brembo triple-disc brake system • Dunlop D407 multi-tread 180/65-16 rear tire • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire • Fairing-mounted speedometer and tachometer

FLHTC Electra Glide Classic When you and your wife toured last year, you met other couples doing the same thing—kindred spirits who share the same love

of freedom and adventure. This year you’re all meeting at that bed and breakfast in Boulder and then you’ll tour Rocky Mountain National Park as a group. It’s the kind of story you hear from couples who ride the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic. It’s the ideal two-up touring bike. In addition to standard touring features such as air-adjustable suspension, color-matched saddlebags and a fork-mounted fairing, the Electra Glide Classic includes a passenger backrest pad for long-distance comfort and the added luggage capacity of the color-matched King Tour-Pak. There’s also more saddlebag and fender trim to please the eye and a 40-watt Advanced Audio System by Harmon/Kardon to please the ear. ELECTRA GLIDE CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Brembo triple-disc brake system • Tour-Pak rack • Dunlop D407 multi-tread 180/65-16 rear tire (white stripe) • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire (white stripe) • Full instrumentation • Adjustable King Tour-Pak with passenger backrest

FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide When it comes to a fully equipped, turnkey two-up touring bike, there’s only one: the top-of-the-line Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide. Its air-adjustable suspension, big touring seat and backrest let you and your companion ride all day in comfort and style. A fully instrumented, fork-mounted fairing and vented, frame-mounted lowers, with storage compartment, form a

ELECTRA GLIDE COMMON FEATURES: 28-spoke cast aluminum wheels: 17-inch front/16-inch rear • Bat-wing, fork-mounted fairing • One-piece, two-up Electra Glide comfort-stitch touring saddle • Clear-lens reflector-optics auxiliary lamps • Locking GTX saddlebags

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


BUYER’S GUIDE Touring Ultra Classic Electra Glide

LED lighting. The Street Glide looks good on the highway and in town. For the road, it’s got all the features that make it a great touring bike, like redesigned frame and swingarm, air adjustable shocks, deeply dished seat, fork-mounted fairing and big twincam 96 engine with the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. FLHX STREET GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • Black Slotted Disc Cast Aluminum wheels • Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread 180/65-16 rear tire • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire • Batwing fork-mounted fairing • Fairing-mounted rear view mirrors • Custom bucket seat with perforated insert

ULTRA CLASSIC ELECTRA GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Brembo triple-disc brake system with ABS • Tour-Pak rack • Dunlop D407 multi-tread 180/65-16 rear tire (white stripe) • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire (white stripe) • 80-watt Advanced Audio System by Harman Kardon • CB radio and intercom system • Adjustable King Tour-Pak with passenger backrest • Custom-fit soft luggage liners • Tour-Pak mounted tail/stop light • Vented lower fairing with integrated storage compartments • Adjustable fairing wind deflectors • Mid-frame air deflectors • Cruise control

Street Glide

FLHX Street Glide In the Street Glide, Harley-Davidson combined the classic features of the dresser with modern custom styling cues, like a cutdown, smoked windshield, low-profile rear suspension, lowhung license plate mount, hidden plate illuminator and Tri-line

Road Glide

FLTR Road Glide One of the nicest touring models, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide is the bike you want when your plans call for breakfast in Steamboat Springs and dinner at the lodge at Yellowstone. The distinctive, aerodynamic frame-mounted “shark-nosed” fairing, with its twin-headlights, provides outstanding protection from wind and weather. Slashing graphics, back-slash muffler tips, black nine-spoke cast-aluminum wheels and a sharp-looking black-and-chrome engine, underscore the Road Glide’s stylish good looks. The Road Glide is a favorite of Craig Chester, one of the owners of the Chester family of H-D dealerships, “due to the stability, comfort, and the customizing ability to create a smooth looking motorcycle with great lines.” FLTR ROAD GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • 28-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 17-inch front/16-inch rear • Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread 180/65-16 rear tire • Dunlop D407 130/80-17 front tire • Frame-mounted, aerodynamic fairing • Dual clear-lens, reflector-optics headlights • One-piece, two-up Road Glide Classic seat • GTX hard saddlebags with chrome latches • Electronic cruise control

STREET AND ROAD GUIDE COMMON FEATURES: Rubber mounted 1584-cc Twin Cam 96 engine with ESPFI • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Brembo triple-disc brake system • Six-gallon fuel tank • Electronic Throttle Control • 40-watt CD/AM/ FM/WB/MP3 Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon • GTX hard saddlebags with latches 66

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010


pocket of calm, whether you’re in cool mountain air or the hot desert winds. The fuel-injected, 96-cubic-inch twin-cam engine and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission have what it takes to deal with anything from the Badlands to the Rockies.



Easy rider cool There’s nothing else like the classic hardtail. You sit low in the saddle—more in the machine than on it, a wide rear tire putting down power. High bars and a kickedout front end complete the picture of an easy rider. “If you look at what the World War II veterans did, they really started the biker culture when they came back from the war,” observes E.B. Chester, a principal of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships and a life-long rider. “The Softail line has carried on that culture.” The Softail combines that timeless low-rider style

leather saddlebags. Out on the highway, the FL front suspension makes for a smooth ride; the full windshield parts the wind. Large studded saddlebags hold all your road gear and a sculpted, tooled saddle with backrest lets you and your passenger relax and enjoy the scenery. HERITAGE SOFTAIL CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount, 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Fuel tank graphics and glass-filled 3-D tank badge • Retro speedometer face • Chrome nacelle style • Retro “Cat Eye” fuel tank console • Half-moon rider footboards and oval brake pad • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • 150-mm (16-inch rear)/MT90 16-inch front tire • Chrome laced steel wheels • Five-gallon Fat Bob tank • Detachable king-size Lexan windshield • Leather saddlebags with quick-detach buckles • Optional chrome aluminum profile laced wheels with wide whitewall tires

with modern suspension and handling and plenty of custom features. At the very core of the Softail is its engine, a 96-inch Twin-Cam engine with the power,

Fat Boy

sound and feel nobody else can match. And the great part is there’s a Softail model for every kind of rider. The custom enthusiast will like the Rocker, Fat Boy and Night Train models. Those who want something that says classic Harley can look at the Softail Deluxe, Softail Custom and Softail Springer models. If you like to mix some open road in with your riding, there’s the Heritage Softail Classic. For something more radical, the Cross Bones is the Softail with attitude. For more performance, the CVO version of the Softail Springer is your choice.

FLSTF Fat Boy Heritage Softail Classic

FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic Want a bike that will go the distance in style, and at a moment’s notice? The Heritage Softail Classic does it all, whether you’re cruising around town or cruising down the highway. Done in the classic dresser style, it includes custom touches like chrome passing lamps, chrome laced wheels and studded

If your tastes run toward the classic stripped-down, no-nonsense custom look, you’ll like the Fat Boy. No other bike has the same look or feel: Big 140-mm front and 200-mm rear tire on 17-inch bullet-hole disc aluminum wheels. Additional custom features include, laced leather and bullet stud trim on the two-up seat and tank strap, a bright chrome fork nacelle and a chrome over/under exhaust. FAT BOY HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount, 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Chrome over-under Shotgun exhaust • Chrome horseshoe oil tank • 200 mm-17 rear/140 mm-17 front tire • Silver Bullet Hole disc cast aluminum 17-inch wheels • Two-tone seat with bullet laced valence • 1.25-inch custom internally wired handlebar with Bare Knuckle risers • Custom graphics package on fenders and fuel tank • Five-gallon traditional Fat Bob fuel tank with laced triple bullet strap • Large chrome headlight 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


BUYER’S GUIDE softail Softail Deluxe

G.-autographed skull graphic. The bright chrome straight shot exhaust with chrome slash-cut mufflers contrasts with the dark frame and powertrain.

FLSTN Softail Deluxe Retro styling never looked more righteous than it does on the Softail Deluxe. Classic touches include a full-skirted rear fender with tombstone taillight, wide whitewall tires on chrome laced steel wheels and full-length footboards. For cruising comfort, there’s a pullback handlebar and a low seat height. For power, there’s a chrome and black fuel-injected 96-inch Twin Cam engine and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. SOFTAIL DELUXE HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Chrome over-under Shotgun exhaust • Narrow profile seat with low 24.5-inch seat height • MU85B-16 rear/MT90-16 front wide whitewall tires • Chrome laced steel wheels • Two-piece, two-up seat with detachable passenger pillion • Five-gallon Fat Bob tank • Distinctive headlight nacelle • Integrated luggage rack • Tombstone taillight

SOFTAIL CROSS BONES HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with polished covers and pushrods and untreated fins • Gloss Black round air cleaner cover, painted Springer front end with chrome springs, mini ape-hanger handlebar, cat-eye tank console with new speedometer face, oil tank and rear fender supports • Willie G.-signed horseshoe oil tank skull graphic • Straight shot exhaust with chrome slash-cut mufflers • Adjustable sprung solo seat with leather lacing • 26.6-inch seat height • Chopped front fender with pinstriping • Bobtail rear fender with pinstriping • Distinctive five-gallon fuel tank with hand-laced leather tank panel and pinstriping • 200-mm rear tire

Softail Rocker

Softail Cross Bones

FXCW Softail Rocker

FLSTSB Softail Cross Bones The dark FLSTSB Softail Cross Bones cuts the profile of an authentic custom bobber—a stripped-down and chopped custom with raw finishes. Cross Bones leads with the Gloss Black Springer front end and follows with other post-war styling cues, including a Gloss Black round air cleaner cover, sprung solo seat, half-moon rider footboards and chopped front fender. The Gloss Black oil tank features a new Willie 68

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

SOFTAIL ROCKER HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Silver powder-coated engine with Satin Stainless Steel powdercoat covers • Chrome Shorty Dual exhaust • Finned cast-aluminum, horseshoe oil tank • 240 mm-18 rear/90 mm-19 front tire • Satin Stainless Metallic powdercoat cast aluminum tapered fivespoke 19-inch front/18-inch rear wheels • Solo saddle • V-Bar handlebar on five-inch curved risers • Satin Stainless Metallic powder-coat fork lowers, oil tank, headlamp bucket, swingarm and other components


The Rocker FXCW combines the custom chopper look with factory quality and reliability. It features a massive rear tire, a rear fender mounted directly to the swing arm, low saddle, stretched-out deuce tank and V-Bar handlebar on five-inch curved risers. The kicked-out fork has 36.5 degrees of rake, giving the Rocker the longest wheelbase of any Harley-­Davidson motorcycle. The level of detailing will turn heads, from the silver powder-coated engine with metallic powder-coat covers to the horseshoe oil tank and color-matched frame.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

forward foot controls, combine with the badlands seat to put the rider down low in the bike. Out front, a raked-out FX fork with a narrow 21-inch laced front wheel complements the giant 200-mm rear tire, mounted on a slotted, cast disc wheel.

A customer learns his options at Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell.

FXCWC Softail Rocker C Stand out from the crowd. The Rocker C model adds an even higher level of finish to the Rocker. The headlamp, triple clamps, handlebar riser, fork lower tank console and speedometer are done in brilliant chrome. The swingarm and finned aluminum oil tank are color-matched and the sheet-metal features a swirling pinstripe flame from fender to fender. There’s also a clever seat design, which conceals a passenger pillion and struts under the solo seat cushion. ROCKER C HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Chrome Shorty Dual mufflers • 240 mm (18-inch) rear/90 mm (19-inch) front tire • Polished cast aluminum tapered five-spoke 19-inch front/18 • inch rear wheels • Stretched fuel tank with recessed cloisonné medallion • Trick two-in-one seat with concealed passenger pillion • Independent V-Bar handlebar on five-inch curved risers • Console-mounted style speedometer • Deluxe pinstripe flames standard

Night Train

FXSTB Night Train No other bike captures the minimalist custom look like the ­Harley-Davidson Night Train. The engine, air cleaner, gearbox, oil tank, rear fender supports and fuel tank console all feature a no-nonsense, black wrinkle finish. Flat, aggressive drag bars and

NIGHT TRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with wrinkle-black and texture black covers • Black oil tank, drive belt sprocket, tank console, air cleaner, oil tank and rear fender supports, cast aluminum rear wheel • 200-mm-17 rear/MH90-21 front tire • Low-profile front fender • Chrome Staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • Bobtail rear fender • Low-slung Badlander style seat • Drag-style handlebar on six-inch risers • Five-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank

Softail Custom

FXSTC Softail Custom The Softail Custom features classic ape-hanger, kicked-out, long chopper styling. Custom touches include a chrome, staggered shorty dual exhaust system, 200-mm rear tire, Bobtail fender and Fat Bob fuel tank, with custom-sewn leather strap. For the highway there’s all the power of the black powder-coated 96-inch engine with chrome covers and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. For your passenger, there’s a chrome button, tufted two-up seat with chrome backrest. SOFTAIL CUSTOM FEATURES: • Rigid-mount 1584-cc Twin Cam 96B balanced engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Profile ape-hanger handlebar with custom risers • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • 200 mm-17 rear/MH90-21 front tire • Polished, slotted disc forged aluminum 17-inch rear wheel • Chrome profile laced aluminum 21-inch front wheel • Bobtail rear fender • Button tufted two-up seat with chrome backrest • Five-gallon Fat Bob tank with custom-sewn, leather strap • Optional chrome profile laced aluminum rear wheel

FEATURES OF ALL SOFTAILS: Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission • Optional Smart Security System

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Bold and exhilarating The Dyna reaches back to the first factory customs developed by the Motor Company. No bike is truer to the look, the sound, the feel, the soul of a Harley-Davidson, than the Dyna series. Make it into the machine you want. It’s a touring bike for the long haul. The smooth-running, rubber-isolated Twin-Cam engine has the power to go two-up and the

tire on cast 16-inch slotted aluminum wheels, twin-beam headlights, black drag-style handlebar on black risers, polished aluminum triple clamps, classic Fat Bob fuel tank and a bobtail rear fender. In between, a black and chrome Twin-Cam engine and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission give it the grunt. The Fat Bob definitely walks the walk. DYNA FAT BOB HIGHLIGHTS: • Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 96 engine • Black powder-coated engine with polished rocker boxes • High Performance “Full Metal Jacket” chrome-covered shock absorbers • Chrome Tommy Gun exhaust with Staggered Dual mufflers • 180 mm-16 rear/130 mm-16 front tires • Cast aluminum slotted disc 16-inch front/rear wheels • Bobtail rear fender • 5.1-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank • Dual headlamps • Forward or mid-foot controls

standard six-speed Cruise Drive transmission has the legs. Responsive FX front suspension and proven twin-shock rear suspension give you a ride like the big touring models. “The Dyna is really a comfortable bike,” notes E.B. Chester, a principal of the Chester family of Harley dealerships. “You sit on it, your feet hit the ground. The geometry of the front end is like a touring bike. It’s just a good all-around bike.” With such a great foundation, it’s easy to make the Dyna into the bike you want. Does your taste run more toward a custom bike? What better place to start than the classic Fat Bob fuel tank and chrome console. Or perhaps your tastes run more toward a lean, fast stripped-down road burner. Dynas are known for their performance and handling. But regardless of how you ride, the Dyna series has you covered.

Dyna Street Bob

FXDB Dyna Street Bob

FXDF Dyna Fat Bob Urban cool meets the open road. The Dyna Fat Bob is a study in power—a road-eating 130-mm front tire and 180-mm rear 70

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Just like the original “Bobbers,” the Dyna Street Bob has the same mean, stripped-down, minimal look—ape-hanger bars, laced wheels and a solo saddle, all wrapped around a 96-cubicinch engine and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission done in black powder-coat with polished covers. STREET BOB HIGHLIGHTS: • Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 96 engine • Black and silver powder-coated engine with non-highlighted cylinder fins • Gloss Black steel laced wheels: 19-inch front/17-inch rear • 25.6-inch high solo seat • Chopped rear fender • Low-profile front fender • Straight-cut chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • 160-mm (17-inch) rear/100-mm (19-inch) front tires • 4.8-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank • Mini ape-hanger-style handlebar • 29-degree fork angle


Dyna Fat Bob

FEATURES OF ALL DYNA MODELS: Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission • Silver-faced speedometer with range countdown • Optional Smart Security System

Dyna Super Glide

FXD Dyna Super Glide It’s your basic Dyna. The Super Glide is the most affordable big twin and a great platform for whatever you have planned. A rubber-mounted Twin-Cam engine and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission are at the heart of the matter. Dressing it up are distinctive 10-spoke aluminum wheels, staggered Shorty Dual exhaust, Fat Bob tank, mid-mounted foot controls and a solo seat. Throw on a set of bags and a windshield and hit the road. Or accessorize it to suit your taste. The Dyna Super Glide is pure Harley-Davidson.

rise handlebar and a chrome tank console with leather strap. The go comes from the big 96-inch Twin-Cam engine and sixspeed Cruise Drive transmission. The mini pullback handlebar over the console give the front end a clean look. The Dyna Super Glide Custom will stand out on any street. DYNA SUPER GLIDE CUSTOM HIGHLIGHTS: • Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 96 engine • Silver powder-coated engine with chrome treatment • Two-up ribbed seat • Mini pullback handlebar • Console-mounted speedometer • Silver-faced speedometer with range countdown • Low profile front fender • 5.1-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank • 160-mm (17-inch) rear/100-mm (19-inch) front tires • Chrome laced steel wheels 19-inch front/17-inch rear • Wrap-around rear fender • Mid-mount foot controls • Optional chrome aluminum profile laced wheels

Dyna Low Rider

DYNA SUPER GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 96 engine • Silver powder-coated engine and polished rocker boxes • Fuel tank graphics • Silver 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels • 4.8-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank • Low-rise handlebar • Handlebar-mounted speedometer • Solo seat

Dyna Super Glide Custom

FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom Like your Super Glide with a little more show? The Dyna Super Glide Custom adds classic laced wheels, a two-up seat, low-

FXDL Dyna Low Rider Low is cool, and the Dyna Low Rider, with its 25.8-inch seat height, is one of the lowest bikes in the Harley-Davidson lineup. In addition, it uses lower rear shocks, mid-mount foot controls and low-rise handlebar. For added comfort on the road, there’s a raked-out front fork and even highway pegs. Fly low! DYNA LOW RIDER HIGHLIGHTS: • Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 96 engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Low-profile front fender • Fuel tank graphics • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • Black 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels 19-inch front/17-inch rear • Wraparound rear fender • 4.8-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank with new decals • Low-rise handlebar on pull-back risers • Lowered rear suspension • Two-up Dyna Classic seat

FEATURES OF DYNA SUPER GLIDE: Low-profile front fender • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • 160 mm-17 rear/100 mm-19 front tires • Wraparound rear fender • 29-degree fork angle • Mid-mount foot controls

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Uninhibited essence of motorcycling

The Harley-Davidson Sportster is for the rider who knows that a straight line may be the fastest route between two points but it’s not the most fun. It’s a sport bike with the look, sound and the feel only a Harley-Davidson has. There’s a group of people that you can’t qualify by their demographics that ride a Sportster, says E.B. Chester, one of the owners of the Chester family of Harley dealerships. “They like them because they’re lighter weight and a little sportier bike.” Adds Craig Chester: “The Sportster, historically, is the entry-level Harley-Davidson. There is no question that a new or smaller-stature rider can introduce his/her riding career on a Sportster and progress through other models. But recent variations of the Sportster, such as the Nightster, have become some of the coolest platforms for customized ‘old-school’ motorcycles.” The Sportster has history, too. It’s the bike that dominated the half-mile tracks at Springfield, Du Quoin and San Jose. The rolling thunder of a V-twin echoing on

XL 1200N Nightster Stripped down and black as a shadow, the 1200 Nightster is straight from the era of hot rod bikes, something you can picture Lee Marvin or Steve McQueen riding. A sharp-edged street fighter with no frills: slash-cut staggered mufflers, solo seat and a lowered suspension. The no-nonsense black-finished wheel rims, hubs, fork and handlebar, don’t distract from the essential power of its 1200-cc Evolution engine. 1200N Nightster highlights: • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200-cc engine • Medium Gray powder-coated engine with polished covers • Black laced steel wheels, 19-inch front/16-inch rear • Sportster Classic solo seat • Chrome slash-cut staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • Lowest-profile rear shocks and front fork • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank • Side-mount license plate holder • Combination rear brake/tail/turn lights

the high banking at Daytona was its signature. It’s the bike that’s carried the Harley-Davidson racing torch for more than 50 years. The Sportster doesn’t need to explain itself. Either you get it or you don’t. The bonus is it’s among the most

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

affordable of Harley-Davidsons.

A customer has his ­ uestions answered at q Chester’s Harley-Davidson.


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Features of all Sportsters: Low-profile front fender • Optional Smart Security System

883C Sportster Custom

XL 883L Sportster Low and 1200L Sportster Low The low versions of the 883 and 1200 Sportsters feature an ergonomic package that gives smaller riders the control they need—lowered suspension, mid-mount controls and a lowered seat that’s only 25.3 inches high on the XL 883 Low model and 26.3 inches off the deck on the XL 1200 Low.

XL 1200C and 883C Sportster Custom Like your Sportster with some flash? The 883 Sportster Custom and its big brother, the 1200 Sportster Custom, have what you’re looking for. Up front there’s a 21-inch laced chrome wheel and a lighter-weight 16-inch cast aluminum rear wheel (slotted on XL 1200C), chrome headlight, polished handlebar on pullback riser and a staggered Shorty Dual exhaust. Go fast and look good doing it.

1200L Sportster 1200 Low highlights: • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200-cc engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • Black 13-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 19-inch front/16-inch rear • One-piece, two-up Sportster Classic seat • Low-profile rear shocks and front fork • 4.5-gallon fuel tank 883L Sportster 883 Low highlights: • Rubber-mounted XL 883-cc Evolution engine • Silver powder-coated engine with polished treatment • Silver 13-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 19-inch front/16-inch rear • Reduced-reach solo seat • Lowest-profile rear shocks and front fork • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank

1200C Sportster Custom features: • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200-cc engine • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers • A lighter chrome slotted disc aluminum 16-inch rear wheel • Chrome bullet headlight • Polished fuel tank console • One-piece, two-up Sportster Classic seat • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • Forward foot controls • 4.5-gallon fuel tank

1200C Sportster Custom



Legendary XR750 spawns XR1200 Sportster The newest Sportster is inspired by the legendary XR750, the most successful American dirt-track racing motorcycle of all time. It earned the Number One plate in an unprecedented 26 AMA flat-track seasons. Introduction of the XR1200 to the U.S. market demonstrates the Motor Company’s intent to attract new, performance-oriented customers with an allAmerican sportbike. 883C Sportster Custom highlights: • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 883-cc engine • Silver powder-coated engine and with polished rocker boxes • Lighter Silver solid disc cast aluminum 16-inch rear wheel • Chrome low-rise handlebar on pullback riser • Chrome laced steel 21-inch front wheel • Recalibrated suspension • One-piece, two-up Sportster Classic seat • Chrome staggered Shorty Dual exhaust • Forward foot controls • 4.5-gallon fuel tank

XR1200 HIGHLIGHTS: • Isolation-mounted high torque 1202-cc Evolution V-Twin engine finished in silver powdercoat • Downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and electronically controlled active intake system • Upswept, high-volume 2-1-2 straight shot exhaust system finished in satin chrome • Wide, black handlebars for dirt-track looks and superb control • Semi-rearset footrests for excellent cornering clearance • Unique, lightweight cast wheels with a flat-track inspired threespoke design, finished in black 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




V-Rod Muscle

Ultimate power cruiser Maybe you were at Daytona or Sturgis or Pomona or any of a dozen quarter-mile tracks around the country when you first heard it. Nothing else sounds like a HarleyDavidson VRSC when the revs begin to build. It’s like what people say about the sound of earthquakes and tornadoes. Words can’t describe it: “You just had to be there.” For sure, nothing else looks like a VRSC, with its low seat, its kicked-out fork, wide rear tire and drag-bike styling, a more aggressive riding position for, well … more aggressive riding. You can bet nothing else runs like the VRSC. Its 1250-cubic-centimeter, liquid-cooled Revolution V-Twin generates between 121 and 125 horsepower (depending on the model), puts down a tire-smoking 84 foot-pounds of torque and pulls like a locomotive. “The V-Rod appeals to the younger professional, the younger rider whose focus is on performance,” says Cliff

V-Rod Muscle highlights: • 122 hp at 8250 rpm/85 foot-pounds torque at 7000 rpm • Pewter powder-coated powertrain with polished covers • Satin Chrome dual side exhaust with turnout mufflers • Five-spoke cast aluminum 19-inch front wheel • Five-spoke cast aluminum 18-inch rear wheel • 43-mm inverted fork • Stylized rear shocks with black springs • Front fender with black-out section • Smooth rear fender • Side-mount license plate • Black frame • Teardrop reflector-optic headlight V-Rod

Chester, one of the owners of the Chester family of Harley dealerships. But, he notes, Harley-Davidson has a full line of accessories for this line of bikes and riders don’t hesitate to take them touring. Here’s the rest of the high-performance hardware: four valves per cylinder, dual overhead camshafts, electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI), fivespeed transmission, hydro-formed steel perimeter frame, and optional ABS. It’s Harley-Davidson performance engineering at its finest.

VRSCF V-Rod Muscle With sculpted bodywork stretched taut over a powerful new physique, the V-Rod Muscle arrived on the power cruiser scene with a broad-shouldered presence. Gaping air scoops, sweeping side-pipe exhaust and a huge rear tire spinning under a clean, clipped fender speak to a contemporary, urban sense of style and performance. Features of all VRSC models: Assist/slipper Clutch with reduced lever effort • Brembo triple-disc brakes • 240-mm wide rear tire • Optional ABS • Optional Smart Security System 74

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VRSCAW V-Rod The V-Rod, the original power cruiser, combines the kicked-out riding position of forward controls, pullback welded handlebar and a low solo saddle. Out front there’s a brushed aluminum profile laced front wheel and in back a fat 240-mm rear tire and die-cast aluminum rear wheel. In between is the groundpounding power of a sturdy Revolution engine played through chrome slash-cut dual exhaust pipes V-Rod highlights: • 121 hp at 8000 rpm/84 foot-pounds torque at 7000 rpm • Two-tone silver and pewter powder-coated cylinders with chrome covers • Brushed aluminum profile laced 19-inch front wheel • Machined slotted disc cast aluminum 18-inch rear wheel • Chrome slash-cut Dual exhaust pipes • Black hand controls • Teardrop reflector-optic headlight • Five-gallon fuel tank


slipper clutch, triple-disc brakes, with Brembo calipers

VRSCDX Night Rod Special The Night Rod Special is the closest thing to the all-conquering Harley-Davidson Destroyer drag bike you can legally ride on the street. Its drag bars, forward controls, low-down, high-backed saddle are all meant to hold you against monstrous acceleration.

Night Rod Special

The fork legs, straight-shot dual mufflers and components are in deep black because nobody on the track is impressed by chrome. But you can bet they’ll be impressed by the black strip the 240-mm rear tire puts down when you uncork the Night Rod Special’s 125-horsepower Revolution engine. Night Rod Special highlights: • Liquid-cooled, 1250-cc Revolution V-Twin engine • 125 hp at 8,250 rpm/85 foot-pounds torque at 7,000 rpm • Black powder-coated engine with highlighted fins and black covers • Brushed straight-shot Dual exhaust with black end caps and covers • Blacked-out mirrors, rear shocks and controls • Black steel frame • Drag-style handlebar • Round reflector-optic headlight • Black machined slotted disc cast aluminum 18-inch rear/19-inch front wheels with orange pin striping • Contrasting racing stripe paint scheme • 25.2-inch seat height


Tri Glide Three-wheel touring

Harley-Davidson brings original-equipment design, quality and service to the three-wheel motorcycle market with the introduction of the Tri Glide Ultra Classic motorcycle.

other road inputs during turning. A new rear axle assembly was designed for the Tri Glide that uses an aluminum center section with steel axle tubes. The Tri Glide retains the high-strength and low-maintenance advantages of belt final drive, and the smooth operation of a rubber-cushioned, compensated rear drive. The rear suspension ­features dual air-adjustable rear shock absorbers. The Tri Glide is powered by a Twin Cam 103 V-Twin engine with electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI), rated at 101 foot-pounds of torque. It retains the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission used on the Touring motorcycles, but adds an optional electric reverse integrated with the rear differential assembly that is engaged with a handlebar-mounted reverse module.

The Tri Glide offers the classic styling and popular touring features of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide in a three-wheel vehicle sold and serviced by the network of Harley-Davidson dealers and covered by a two-year Harley-Davidson limited warranty.

TRI GLIDE ULTRA CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS: • Three-wheel specific frame • Rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 engine with ESPFI • Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission • Brembo dual-disc front brake system • Hayes dual-disc rear brake system with integrated park brake

FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic Harley-Davidson launched a “wheels-up” strategy in the development of the Tri Glide, creating a frame and associated chassis that is engineered specifically to handle the loads generated by the steering forces and weight of a three-wheel vehicle. Changes to the front-end geometry enhance steering control by reducing steering effort up to 25 percent. The fork has been lengthened by 1.775 inches compared to the regular Touring models, and rake is increased from 29.25 degrees to 32 degrees. A steering damper controls wobble and minimizes bumps and

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The power and the glory The Harleys that emerge from Custom Vehicle Operations are the pinnacle of bike customization at Harley-Davidson. They are exclusive — only a limited number are produced every year. They sport bigger engines, making them among the most powerful motorcycles out there. “CVOs are a distinct family of Harleys. While based on individual models, they have different engines, different paint, different accessories,” says Cliff Chester, a principal in the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships. “About all they share is the frame and sheet metal, both of which have a different finish than the standard models.” What makes CVOs even more special is that different— and only a few—models are chosen for CVO treatment each year. For example, the four spotlighted below are 2009s. Here’s to power and glory!

FLHTCUSE4 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide

for enhanced maneuverability, a new 180-mm rear tire with a higher weight rating, a new 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust system and other next-generation enhancements. The CVO Ultra is powered by the CVO-exclusive granite coated Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110-cid (1800-cc) engine, the largest displacement production engine offered by Harley-Davidson, producing 113 foot-pounds of torque at 3,750 revolutions per minute, as well as the smooth-shifting six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. As discerning and well-traveled motorcyclists, CVO Ultra riders appreciate extra amenities, such as a Tour-Pak mounting rack with increased carrying capacity, mid-frame air deflectors, and lighting and electrical updates that include shorter antennas. These features complement the commanding Ultra design, along with mechanical features like electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI), a six-gallon fuel tank, Brembo brakes and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). CVO ULTRA CLASSIC ELECTRA GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted, air-cooled, Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine with granite and chrome finish • Deluxe Ultra King Tour-Pak with Air Wing luggage rack, increased load capacity, new inserts, map pocket, plush liners, LED interior light and color-matched wraparound lights • Choice of paint: Ruby Red and Typhoon Maroon with Forgetone graphics; Autumn Haze and High Octane Orange with Forge-tone graphics; Stardust Silver and Twilight Blue with Forge-tone graphics • Unique Harley-Davidson CVO gold key with box

CVO Road Glide

The CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide melds custom paint, a potent power train and a well-chosen array of top line HarleyDavidson Genuine Motor Accessories to the redesigned HarleyDavidson Touring chassis. The result is perhaps the most exciting touring motorcycle ever to roll over the horizon. The skeletal structure of the CVO Ultra is all new, from the front wheel to the wide rear tire. It has a modular frame

CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide

A sleek, lean muscle machine, the Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) Road Glide is a bagger loaded with style and attitude. From its lowered front fender and skirted saddlebags to its vivid paint and massive power train, the CVO Road Glide is ready to romp down the highway or raise a ruckus on the boulevard. The CVO Road Glide is a limited-production motorcycle created by the Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations group and based on the redesigned Harley-Davidson FLTR Road Glide. Only 3,000 of these CVO Road Glides will be produced by a team of top technicians in a special assembly area at the Harley-Davidson facility in York, Pennsylvania. We want one!

CVO FEATURES: Electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI) • Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission • Indoor storage cover with embroidered CVO logo 76

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010


FLTRSE3 CVO Road Glide

CVO ROAD GLIDE HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted, air-cooled Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine with granite and chrome finish • A choice of paint and graphics schemes: Electric Orange and Vivid Black with Ghost Feather graphics; Yellow Pearl and Charcoal Slate with Ghost Feather graphics; Stardust Silver and Titanium Dust with Ghost Feather graphics • 2-1-2 exhaust header pipe design • Frame-mounted aerodynamic fairing with cockpit-style wraparound instrument cluster

in a special assembly area at the Harley-Davidson Kansas City facility. CVO DYNA FAT BOB HIGHLIGHTS: • Rubber-mounted, air-cooled Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine with granite and chrome finish • Powder-coat and chrome cast Fang wheels with bolt-in inserts • Leather seat with Alcantara accents • Two paint options with quartz graphics: Sunrise Yellow Pearl with Platinum Quartz; Black Diamond with Fire Quartz • One paint option with the first-ever CVO combination of denim and gloss: Denim Granite with Electric Blue Fade

CVO Dyna Fat Bob CVO Softail Springer

FXSTSSE3 CVO Softail Springer

Displaying pro-street presence, the Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) Fat Bob rolls with a high-performance rumble and the flash of custom chrome. From its beefy front tire to its twisted Tommy Gun exhaust to the arrogant flip of its Bobtail rear fender, the CVO Fat Bob will stake its claim to a wide stretch of asphalt. Below the distinctive Fat Bob fuel tank that gives the model its name rests the largest engine produced by Harley-Davidson, the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110. Available only on CVO models, the electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI) Twin Cam 110 produces 114 foot-pounds of torque at 3500 revolutions per minute and features a heavy-duty, self-adjusting clutch with hydraulic actuation and the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. The Heavy Breather intake with exposed highflow conical filter features a special chrome end cap, a 110 SE emblem and a sculpted trim ring. The CVO Fat Bob-exclusive Tommy Gun 2-1-2 exhaust snakes around the engine before exiting through chrome bluntcut mufflers. The header pipes, which are exposed through the exhaust shield slots, are finished with a black coating. The power train is finished in CVO-exclusive granite powder coat with chrome covers, and features new a “110 Cubic Inch” badge on the chrome billet derby cover. The CVO Fat Bob is a limited-production motorcycle created by the Harley-Davidson CVO group, based on the HarleyDavidson Dyna Fat Bob. A limited number of the CVO Fat Bob model will be produced by a team of highly skilled technicians

CVO SOFTAIL SPRINGER HIGHLIGHTS: • Air-cooled, Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam • 110 counterbalanced engine with granite and chrome finish • Three new exclusive color combinations with metal grind fire graphics: Black Diamond with Emerald Ice Flames; Candy Cobalt with Blue Steel Flames; Sunrise Yellow Pearl with Volcanic Fury Flames • Color-matched headlight bucket with custom matched graphics, powder-coated frame, rigid fork and upper triple clamp, frame inserts, seat post and muffler support bracket G Photography by Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm


It could have been a ’57 Chevy or early GTO, but it was a Harley springer hardtail. The moment you saw it you said, “Someday I’m gonna have one.” If you were one of those dreamers, Harley offers up the CVO Softail Springer. There’s the classic kicked-out springer front end, Softail rear suspension, a fat rear tire, mag wheels, plenty of chrome and a special metal-grind paint finish. All that plus the ground-pounding power of a 110-cubic-inch CVO engine.

Harley talk at Snake Harley-Davidson

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Accessories give H-D owners — legendary for their individualism — the freedom to create their own style

By JAMES H. COOPER Senior Contributing Editor


t comes as no surprise that a Harley rider should want to personalize his or her bike. By nature, bikers are individualists and their bikes reflect that individuality. Just look at the bikes wherever riders gather and, like fingerprints, no two will be alike. Nothing else makes so powerful a statement about who you are.

There’s no end to the Motor Company’s accessories for dressing up your Harley.

If you’ve been riding for any length of time, you’ve probably already put a few accessories on your Harley and are thinking about adding more. If you’re getting a new bike, chances are you’ll personalize it to some degree. “Everybody wants to make a statement. Nobody wants their bike to look like the other guy’s,” says George Catena, Chrome Consultant at Chester’s HarleyDavidson in Mesa, Arizona, one of the Chester family of dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. Where do you begin? The best place is the free Harley-Davidson parts and accessories catalog available at any Chester dealership. Don’t be surprised if you feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store. The catalog is more than 800 pages long, so you’ll be reading it for a while. The first part of the catalog divides the

Motor Company’s seemingly endless list of accessories into three basic categories: Fit, Function and Style. If there’s a specific look you want to achieve, there’s also a section that divides accessories by bike styles: Touring, Cruising and Custom, with an explanation of each. You can narrow the choices even more by looking up your model. It’s still a lot to look at. In the Internet age, the Motor Company has developed a site that makes the selection process easy. Go to and start in the Inspiration Gallery, with its examples of customized and accessorized bikes. Then move on to the Customizer section, where you can see what major accessories will look like when they are added to each Harley-Davidson model. It’s entertaining—but be warned, you can easily end up spending a couple of hours

This Dyna has been transformed with accessories like the custom paint job, the bullet headlamp and the Screamin’ Eagle exhaust.


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Your harley, your way

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

playing with the many options. When you finally decide what you want, it’s time to create a parts list with prices. After that, simply show up at the parts department at one of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships with your order. As always in life, cost is a factor. Few of us can afford everything we desire for our bike. On top of that, there are the installation costs. Are you going to do it yourself? An owner with average mechanical skills can easily install most accessories. However, with the more complicated items, such as those involving electrical or suspension work, you want to be safe. If it’s beyond your capabilities, or if you don’t have the tools or the time, you must factor in the cost of somebody else doing the work. One advantage of having everything installed at the same time is you get the bike you want right away, not weeks or months later, as parts trickle in and you find the time to do the work. If you’re new to riding and really don’t know what you want or need, it’s best to seek out advice. Friends who ride are usually generous with their opinions, but their experience might be limited to one type of riding. A good way to get all your questions answered in one place is to talk to somebody who specializes in accessorizing bikes, such as the parts and accessories managers at the Chester H-D dealerships. These managers spend a lot of time poring over accessory catalogs, surfing on-line sites and listening to customers. They know what accessories are available for your bike. They also know how much something costs, including installation, which accessories are the most popular and what problems can potentially crop up. If you’re buying a new bike, the parts

and accessories department is definitely one of the stops you’ll make on your way along the dealership customer path, together with finance, motor clothes and service. Few purchasers walk out emptyhanded. “The majority of people get something,” says Catena.

George Catena, the Chrome Consultant at Chester’s in Mesa, Arizona, can find the right look for any rider.

Jimmy Vaughn, the parts and accessories manager at Snake Harley-Davidson in Twin Falls, Idaho, estimates the average new bike customer spends about $1,000 to $1,200 on accessories. Roy Richards at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls feels $2,800 is closer to the average at his dealership. In Mesa, E.B. Chester, an owner of the Chester dealerships, says store customers store spend on average about $3,000 on their bike over the first year. “How much a customer spends when

buying a bike has a lot to do with their budget,” says Catena. “For example, $1,000 worth of accessories will only add about $18 to a buyer’s monthly payment.” When parts are installed at the time the bike is bought, they’re covered under the new-bike warranty. Some purchasers have to wait; it’s easier for them to come up with the lump sum later or to buy accessories over time. But now and then there are buyers who go whole hog (if you’ll excuse the pun) and load up their bikes right away. “I had a guy recently who wanted to outdo his buddy’s bike, so he’s after every piece of chrome I can put on the bike,” Catena recalls. “I met him the day before (the purchase) and we went through the parts and accessories book together.” Vaughn, up in Twin Falls, occasionally sees the hard-core customizer. “We will get folks who will have us strip the bike right to the chassis and start there and spend as much as $10,000 or $12,000,” he says. “But it doesn’t happen very often.” The average customer wants “a sound and performance upgrade,” says Richards at the Grand Teton H-D dealership in Idaho Falls. “Stage I performance kits, exhaust and air cleaner—that’s the biggie. Probably 80 percent of the bikes go out of here with that. Different seats, passenger uprights, followed by chrome parts, are the next most popular items.” One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Few things in the world are so much an extension of your body, reflexes and mind as a motorcycle. Like a cybernetic suit or a good horse, your bike should respond to your thoughts with minimal physical intervention. You should always feel confident and in control. If it’s a new bike, or if you’re new to 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


BUYER’S GUIDE ACCESSORIES riding, it’s important the bike fits properly. The first accessories that a good parts and accessories specialist will discuss are those that adjust the riding position. Riders with a short inseam must be able to sit comfortably on their bike with both feet firmly on the ground. They must also reach and operate all the controls

comfortably. For them, the Motor Company makes lowering kits, low-cut narrow saddles, mid-mount foot controls and handlebars with more pull back—all available at the Chester family of HarleyDavidson dealerships. If the rider is long-legged, there are accessories to match, such as a Tallboy

seat, extended foot controls and higher bars. “We want to make sure there’s plenty of room for that guy to get aboard and be comfortable,” says Vaughn. Even touring models must be fitted to the rider. “They all come with windshields, but every person who sits on a bike sits on it a lot different than the next person,”

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

The dream job Custom beauties come easy to Chester exec


he next time you’re at the Mesa dealership in the Chester family of Harley-Davidson centers take a moment to really examine the bikes on display. Most appear stock, which in itself represents a tremendous variety of styles and colors. But they’re all pretty much the way they came from the Motor Company. Somewhere, however, usually on a display stand, you’ll see a custom bike or two for sale. It might have a striking paint job in a vivid color or chrome trim that catches your eye. You move in closer to study the details — chromed fork lowers; a particular theme, such as flames or skulls or the H-D logo, for the engine pieces, mirrors, levers, shifters and grips. There will be practical accessories too — more lights, a different seat, saddlebags, maybe a backrest for a passenger. As you stand there, something clicks and you say to yourself, “You know, that’s exactly how I’d customize my bike.”


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Lon Carruth, left, COO for the Chester dealerships, admits basic black is his favorite color for the bikes he personally customizes.

Chances are you’re looking at one of Lon’s Bikes. Most of us know and admire the work of the famous customizers, like Jesse James or the Teutuls. It would be great to own one of their creations, maybe even have them build a bike to our specifications. Better still if we could have their job, devoting one’s waking hours to the design and building of bikes that are the envy of all. Or if not a job, at least a hobby. Lon Carruth lives that dream. When it comes to accessorizing or customizing a bike —paint, chrome, engines — Carruth can pretty much do anything he wants. Yet chances are you haven’t heard of him and you won’t find

his signature on the gas tank of one of his bikes. That’s because his main job is Chief Operating Officer of the Chester family of H-D dealerships. Building customs is his hobby — with the full backing of the Mesa dealership. It began a few years ago when Carruth customized his own Road King. He quickly realized other people want to customize their bikes too. So he chose a few new bikes at the dealership and accessorized them. “I found people were willing to pay a little more for a customized unit,” he says. “So I had the latitude to spend a little more money on that bike, knowing the motorcycle would sell with those accessories.”

says Vaughn. “We’ll make sure the windshield fits. We’ll make sure they can see the mirrors around their shoulders, and we make extensions there if we need to.”

Once the fit is taken care of, the parts and accessories specialist will find out more

about the owner. “I ask them what kind of riding they’re going to be doing,” says Catena. “Touring, bar cruising? Do they want to go fast? Some guys are happy with the stock setup performance-wise. If they’re a seasoned Harley rider, I ask them if there are accessories they’re thinking about. Is there a way you want this

bike to look? I start there.” If they plan on touring, they’re most likely buying a bagger, such as a Glide, Road King or Heritage Softail. A two-up rider might want to add a backrest for the passenger. Highway pegs are always welcome. If they are purchasing any of the other Harley-Davidson models, such

Carruth aims for a package that not only interests customers but stays in a price range they can afford. To maintain the bikes’ exclusive appeal, he has done only seven customs in about two years. “I don’t hurry it,” he says. “I never

He prefers a pulsing system: the brake lights flash three times, then as the brakes are applied further they go solid. The rest of the changes are esthetic. On a touring bike, Carruth will put on what he feels is an adequate amount of chrome,

and you say, well, gee whiz, that many people can’t be wrong. There must be something that they like or is certainly eyeappealing, so I might incorporate it into one of my bikes,” he says. Much of it is getting into the customer’s

have more than two on the floor at a time because I want to make sure that the appeal continues for the potential customer.” Carruth does mostly touring bikes, the Glides and Road Kings. The themes change from bike to bike, but he tries to incorporate the same basic features. For instance, if it’s a touring bike and doesn’t come with bags, he will add them. Other must-haves include creature comforts like a windshield and, in the case of a Road King, a removable touring pack that can serve as a backrest for the passenger. Maybe he will change out the seat and install highway pegs, radio, extra gauges and cruise control. He also likes what he calls a “sound package,” a set of aftermarket slip-on mufflers to get that mellow exhaust sound he is looking for. Carruth typically lowers a custom bike. “Sitting closer to the ground gives the rider a sense of security,” he explains. “I know from personal experience, getting it through curves, or if you’re on twisty, windy roads, or lots of switchbacks — the kind of riding we do out here in the West — it’s very helpful to have the center of gravity lower.” Safety equipment is a priority. “A motorcycle, despite what folks may think about its size, is still a speck on the highway. I like to have all of the lights on the motorcycle lit up as much as possible,” Carruth says. So he will put halogen lights on the front and ensure all the lights on the back are lit up.

including a chrome front end, engine cover, levers, floorboards, luggage rack, maybe a sprocket cover or swing arm. Depending on the look he wants, he may change out the wheels for laced ones or perhaps a designer set available through the accessories department. “I’m always looking for accessories that I think will be attractive and make the bike appealing to the guy or gal who comes in and wants something that looks a little different,” he says. Carruth feels the bike’s eye appeal is crucial. “Basically, a customer can go into any dealership in the country and see a stock motorcycle right off the truck,” he says. “It’s what you do to the bike that makes it stick. The thing I always like to hear first from a customer is, ‘Wow!’ That’s a good response.” Sometimes he will order a custom paint job, but black remains his favorite color. “I think black and chrome just scream HarleyDavidson,” he says. “They have a quiet elegance that enables you to do things that I don’t believe you can do with some colors. Black with chrome gives you a lot of opportunity to come up with contrast.” He feels this is important from an esthetic point of view. Nonetheless, the metallic red bike he did with chrome trim is a real head-turner. How does Carruth come up with the inspiration for his bikes? Part of it comes from riders themselves. “As you ride around the countryside and see things that people are putting on their motorcycles, if you see it enough times, something clicks

head and figuring out what they want in practical and esthetic terms, then putting it on the bike so they don’t have to. “All they have to do from the time they leave the store is ride,” Carruth says proudly. Apparently he is good at figuring out what customers like. As a general rule, his custom bikes sell quickly. There were two instances when one of his bikes went on the sales floor in the morning and sold that afternoon. Another one went on the floor on a Friday and was sold on Monday. His next project is a Road King Standard. He likes the Standard because it is a basic model with a lot of potential for accessorizing. “On that particular unit, I’m going to do a skull theme. And where [in the past] I have been so involved in doing chrome accessorization, on this one I’m going to do black.” Harley-Davidson, he says, is coming out with a lot of black accessories, such as fork covers, engine guards, headlight trim, air cleaner covers, handlebars and levers. When this slick black custom model is seen sitting next to a group of all chrome bikes, he feels it will stand out. It’s part of that contrast esthetic Carruth believes is so important. So if you’re in the Mesa dealership, take a moment to check out one of Lon’s bikes. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s the one that inspires you to add those accessories you’ve been thinking about. You might even just decide to buy that very bike and hit the road. – James H. Cooper

The Right Tool for the Job

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as a Dyna, V-Rod or Sportster, they might not realize how much bags, highway pegs and a windshield add to long-range comfort. “One of the best things Harley has ever done is produce the docking approach to windshields,” says E.B. Chester in Mesa. “It gives the owner the capacity to have several bikes in one.” Protecting Your Investment

There are other accessories a buyer might not consider that would be to his or her benefit to install—for example, safety features. Catena always tries to convince customers to go with a brake light kit, maybe upgrade the horn or add a light kit. Of course, louder pipes are popular. “Riders want to be heard and they want to be seen,” he says. Then there’s security. A Lo-Jack kit can help protect the rider’s investment from thieves. Get More for Your Money

Catena points out an experienced parts person or chrome consultant can save the customer on labor costs by showing how to bundle several accessories into the same installation. “If they’re thinking of lowering the front end, I tell them if they’re already thinking about adding a chrome front end, now’s the time to do it. It’s the same exact labor for the lowering kit as it is for the front end,” he says. “Or if they’re changing the bars, they might want to do something with the controls at the same time.” A good example of what he is talking about occurs a little while later when a customer comes in looking for a seat with a backrest and some bags. Catena and the customer leaf through the accessories and parts catalog together and pick out a seat and some bags. But they’re more than the customer’s budget allows. Catena suggests an alternative. The Rally Runner seat complements the skinny style of the customer’s bike and it has the backrest he wants. By adding a luggage rack to the back of the seat, he will get some carrying capacity. 82

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Guardian angel bells on a bike owned by Jim Wilson, Service Manager at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell.

“It’s great that HarleyDavidson has taken the time to develop the nostalgic look for bikes that have all the new technology.”

The customer agrees, Catena talks to the service department about installation, and 10 minutes after the customer walked in Catena hands him an itemized list of parts and labor. Dress it up!

Now that you’ve taken care of all the functional accessories, what about the fun stuff? Chrome, paint, wheels—all the details that give the bike a distinctive look. It’s back to your specific model in the parts and accessories catalog. “HarleyDavidson makes a lot of styling accessories and they make them so the owners can install them themselves,” Vaughn says. “It

gives the owner a sense of being able to create his own style.” Catena can’t say enough about Harley-Davidson’s wide variety of styles in accessories. “What Harley was nice enough to do was make themes,” he says. “So if somebody is really into the skulls or flames, we can do a whole bike with that theme. If they have flames on their grips, there’s enough options to put on a primary cover and air cleaner cover with flames on it. They can change out the foot pegs and brake and shifter pegs, so they all match.” Vaughn says every once in a while someone comes in who really likes the nostalgia look—the big whitewalls and the older style of lights and accessories. “It’s great that Harley-Davidson has taken the time to develop the nostalgic look for bikes that have all the new technology,” he says. Harley-Davidson makes an impressive list of styling accessories, but you may be looking for a particular piece it doesn’t carry. Catena always starts with the catalog, but if the item is one Harley-Davidson doesn’t make, he’ll steer the customer to other quality accessory suppliers, such as Drag Specialties, Performance Machine or Kuryakyn. Then there’s custom paint. If you’re that deep into customizing, you probably have a good idea of what you want to do and who you want doing it. But, here again, any one of the Chester dealerships can help. They usually know reputable customizers and paint shops. “We occasionally get customers who want to do their own one-off thing and we’ll direct them to capable artists who can create what they have in mind,” says Vaughn. “I have three or four painters in this area that I have no problem recommending.” So go ahead and personalize your bike, whether it’s just a few pieces or a complete customization. In a world where people go out and buy iconic products like cars and clothes in the hope of acquiring distinction, Harley-Davidson riders remain individualists whose personal styles shine through in their bikes. G

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm



KEYS TO THE HIGHWAY The Chester dealership family helps customers stay protected— financially, mechanically and physically By SCOTT HIMELHOCH Contributing Editor


t started the first time you heard the distinct exhaust note of a HarleyDavidson motorcycle. You’ve thought about it countless hours, dreamt about it in your sleep, sometimes while awake. You’ve gone as far as selecting the perfect motorcycle with the expert guidance of a sales representative at one of the Chester family Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. What’s next? How do you grab the dream by the handlebar and make it reality? Fortunately, your Chester family

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Chris Farney, the Business Manager at Chester’s in Mesa, outlines some of the great Harley-Davidson options for a customer.

Sales Manager Dave Fisher explains features of the CVO Road Glide to a customer at Snake H-D.

H-D dealership will help you navigate the road, avoid potholes and set a course for lifelong motorcycling enjoyment. Becoming a member of the Harley clan involves more than simply purchasing a motorcycle. The Chester dealerships are dedicated to helping their customers stay protected — financially, mechanically and physically. “Financing a motorcycle is different than financing a car,” says Chris Farney, Business Manager at Chester’s HarleyDavidson in Mesa, Arizona. “Most of our customers add chrome or engine upgrades before they leave the dealership.

By including this in the financing, the modifications are covered under the factory warranty.” Applying for financing is as simple as completing a two-page credit application at one of the Chester H-D dealerships. Approval typically occurs within 30 minutes or less. In addition to chrome and engine upgrades, customers can finance safety apparel, motor clothes, extended service plans, prepaid maintenance and accessories. “Your approval is based on your credit score and disposable income,” says Farney. “So don’t let your credit be pulled repeatedly prior to your purchase. Some lenders will send your application to multiple companies. This can result in a threepoint decrease in your score each time a company pulls your credit. That’s why we never send your application to more than one lender without your approval.” Farney also offers guidance on selecting the best insurance coverage. “We recommend coverage that makes sure genuine Harley-Davidson replacement parts and accessories are guaranteed. Many plans allow the insurers to use whatever parts they want. Also, make sure your soft goods are covered and that there is a rental benefit. You don’t want to have a problem halfway to Sturgis and not have a bike to ride.” GAP, ESP and LoJack

For complete motorcycle protection, Farney suggests a Harley-Davidson GAP

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BUYER’S GUIDE GETTING STARTED and ESP give the customer protection on all fronts. GAP (guaranteed asset protection) pays the difference between fairmarket value of your motorcycle and the outstanding balance with your lender in the event of a complete loss due to accident or theft. ESP (extended service plan) gives you additional coverage that your factory warranty may not offer. “An example of additional coverage is Wheel and Tire replacement should your bike become disabled due to a flat tire or bent rim from any sort of road hazard you may encounter,” he says. “There’s 24-hour roadside assistance, as well as rental vehicle, lodging and meal reimbursement, if the customer happens to have a breakdown while they are traveling.” Farney really recommends the GAP plan. For example, suppose you leave a local biker hangout and discover your beloved four-month-old Harley is missing. With only a few payments made, the loan balance on your chromed masterpiece is $20,000. Your insurance coverage most likely reimburses you for the NADA used market value of $17,000. This leaves you with a shortfall of $3,000 that you still owe to the financing company. The GAP plan pays the $3,000 difference to your lender. In addition, the GAP plan may pay up to $1,000 of your insurance deductible and offer a $1000 credit towards the purchase of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Of course, most of us would rather see our motorcycle returned than get an insurance check. Money just can’t replace a one-of-a-kind paint job. However, with more than 55,000 motorcycles stolen each year in the United States and Canada, that takes more than wishful thinking. So a little prevention may be needed to avoid a lot of pain. LoJack is a motorcycle-specific vehicle recovery system which works directly with local and state law enforcement. The system is installed in an undisclosed location on the motorcycle and is always in signal-receive mode. If your motorcycle is stolen, the police ping the LoJack device, activating the tracking mechanism. The police then pick up the signal and locate your motorcycle. For those interested in a higher level 84

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of protection, LoJack offers an optional early warning system, which uses a motion sensor and unique key fob, to notify you of a potential theft. “When the motion sensor detects movement it checks to make sure the key fob is nearby,” says George Catena, Chrome Consultant with Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa. “If it can’t detect

“Most of our customers add chrome or engine upgrades before they leave the dealership. By including this in the financing, the modifications are covered under the factory warranty.”

the key fob, an alert is sent to the owner by e-mail or text message.” Some insurers may offer a discount if your motorcycle has LoJack installed. The installation takes about two hours and can be financed with your Harley purchase. Prepaid maintenance

Proper maintenance and care of a motorcycle should be a top priority for all owners. Besides added peace of mind, scheduled maintenance performed by an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer will maximize your bike’s performance and longevity. H-D dealerships make it easy and affordable by offering a Prepaid Maintenance Option. The plan allows a customer to purchase their first five regularly scheduled maintenance services (usually after 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 miles) at 10% less than standard rates. “By purchasing your maintenance at today’s rates, you don’t have to worry about future price increases. You’re protected,” says Jim Wilson, Director of Service for both Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell of Idaho Falls, Idaho,

and Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell of Pocatello, Idaho. “Plus, there is an additional 10% taken off of today’s standard service rates when you purchase the prepaid maintenance option.” Prepaid maintenance can be rolled into the financing of a Harley- Davidson motorcycle and is transferable should you sell your motorcycle. As an added benefit, if you are away from your local Chester’s H-D dealership when a scheduled maintenance is required, you will be reimbursed for the standard cost included in the Prepaid Maintenance Plan. Pricing for prepaid maintenance varies by Harley model. Extended Service Plan

Today’s quality-built Harley-Davidson motorcycle is the result of advanced engineering and manufacturing. Although mechanical failures are rare, they do occur. There is always a possibility that you could experience a breakdown or need a major repair. The H-D Extended Service Plan provides additional coverage during your factory warranty and extends specific coverages beginning the day the factory warranty expires. The core of the extended service plan is the mechanical coverage, which allows for worry-free riding. The plan covers more than 1,100 parts, all of which are replaced with genuine Harley-Davidson parts by an expert at your Chester Harley dealership. No need to worry about the increasing costs of parts or labor either. Extended Service Plan participants pay only a $50 deductible per visit for covered repairs. There is even an option to include wheel and tire coverage. “The Extended Service Plan includes an expense reimbursement package in case of a covered breakdown. This coverage starts the day of purchase,” says Mandy Jo Wardle, Finance and Insurance Manager at Snake Harley-Davidson in Twin Falls, Idaho. “Towing is reimbursed up to $200. There’s $75 a day for motorcycle rental, and travel reimbursement up to $450 in case a breakdown occurs in the middle of a trip.” When purchasing a new motorcycle, the Extended Service Plan can be added any time before the factory warranty expires although, as Wardle points out, it’s best to

buy the Extended Service Plan at the same time as a new motorcycle purchase. “If you decide to add the Extended Service Plan later, there is typically a $150 surcharge after 90 days or 2,000 miles,” says Wardle. “When the factory warranty expires, it’s too late. You’re no longer eligible to purchase the Extended Service Plan. That’s why I suggest people include it in their financing.” The plan is flexible and lets riders choose the length of the extended coverage. Whether you want just an extra year of coverage or five years, the plan can be tailored to your needs. Rider training

Newcomers to the sport of motorcycling are sometimes intimidated by the thought of their first ride. Although there is no magic tonic to transform you into a more proficient rider, Harley-Davidson offers rider training at all skill levels. Whether you’re a new rider who has never been in the saddle or you have 20,000 miles behind you, the Rider’s Edge courses will help you achieve your motorcycling goals. The Rider’s Edge New Rider Course is designed for novices. It follows the proven Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum but adds extra time in the classroom and on the practice range. “The more practice the better when learning a new skill,” notes Mark Weiss, Rider’s Edge Program Manager for Chester’s Harley-Davidson, who has been involved in motorcycle training for 26 years. The New Rider Course typically has eight to 12 students per class and 24 hours of classroom instruction and range practice. “We give the students the information they need to develop safe riding habits,” Weiss says. “We spend time in the classroom talking about riding. We know what it is they need to know.” Unlike other courses, which use a variety of motorcycle makes within the same class, Harley-Davidson went with the Buell Blast, a 500-cubic-centimetre motorcycle with an adjustable seat to accommodate riders of various builds, as the standard vehicle for its course. “Because we only use the Buell Blast, everyone is on a level playing field,” says Weiss. “The motorcycle you practice on

is the same as the motorcycle you test on. You don’t have to worry about failing your test because of differences in handling.” Rider’s Edge also offers a one-day Skilled Rider Course in which students use their own bikes. “This course is for someone who rides with confidence,” says Weiss. “They typically aren’t the rider who avoids freeways or restrict when they ride by time of day or weather.” Rider’s Edge instructors are required to attend 70 hours of Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum training. Harley-Davidson provides an additional 30 hours of instructor training focused on student learning styles. “The most important thing about the Rider’s Edge course is that the student leaves with a good attitude about safety and is committed to riding safely and smartly,” says Weiss. Many states waive some or all testing requirements for motorcycle licensing if the applicant has successfully completed a Rider’s Edge New Rider Course.

Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming waive the written and rider skills tests. Love to ride

The Harley-Davidson family grows more diverse each day. Some riders prefer an early-morning outing through the back roads; others take pride in attending rally after rally and commemorate their adventures with patches on a leather vest. Many make a ritual of meeting up at the local bike night. However, all members of the Harley-Davidson family have one thing in common: a love for the unique experience of riding a Harley and the open road. Whatever your vision of the Harley lifestyle, the team at the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships understands what it takes to fulfill your motorcycling dreams. Protecting your investment financially and mechanically and through improved riding skills are the keys to lifelong riding enjoyment. Kick stands up and keep the rubber side down. G

Smooth roads ahead When we power your business insurance


Jim Webster, Account Executive at 865.691.3714 for more information

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rley Dealership Ad.indd 2


8/28/08 8:22:29 A


ULTIMATE POWER TRIP The Dynojet will maximize your torque, drivability, gas mileage—and bragging rights

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Chopper monitors the performance of a customer’s bike on the dynamometer at Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell.


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It’s been a long day. You roll the bike out of your garage, after taking apart the carburetor, rejetting it, then getting it back together. Now, with everything ready and a fresh set of plugs in the heads, it’s time to see if all that work actually helped. Choke it, bring one of the cylinders up on its compression stroke and jump on the kick starter. It fires after a few furious kicks, so at least you haven’t messed up the carburetor idle circuit or the ignition timing. When the beast is warm enough, you stomp it into gear and head out for the empty two-lane. Before you rejetted, there had been a nasty off-idle stumble when the throttle was cracked open and the clutch was engaged. You know why. It was the result of a leaner mixture after you installed those low back pressure pipes and the free-breathing air cleaner. It’s gone now, an encouraging sign. On a deserted stretch of road, you roll the throttle threequarters open. The carb is on the main jet now, and the bike’s acceleration feels stronger than before. You’re too busy to fiddle with a stopwatch. The only gauge of performance is your familiarity with the bike. It’s what they mean by seat-of-the-pants tuning. Things feel good, so now it’s time for a WOT (wide open

throttle) run. You roll the throttle to its stop and soon you’re past 100 miles an hour. You’re eating up highway pretty fast; hopefully, there are no deer out, or a farm tractor crossing the road. With any luck, you’ll get about a minute at WOT, which is what’s needed for a plug check. After a mile or two you kill the engine, chop the throttle, and silently coast in neutral to the side of the road. Out come the spark plug wrench and gloves from the back pocket. Maneuvering around dangerously warm cylinders, you unhook the spark plug wire and unscrew the plug. It’s as hot as a charcoal briquette. Holding it in your gloved fingers, you examine the electrode insulator, analyzing its color. The porcelain around the electrode looks too dark. Yeah, you overcompensated on the jetting and now the main jet is too rich. The good news is the engine won’t overheat and seize from running too lean. But it’s not kicking out the power it should. The plug is too hot to hold any longer. You set it on the ground. When it’s cool, you’ll put it back in the engine and head back to the garage for another carburetor teardown and rejetting. Maybe you’ll get to it next weekend—if it doesn’t rain.

By JAMES H. COOPER Senior Contributing Editor


or bikers of a certain age, that was the story of your life when it came to high-performance tuning in the days before EFI (electronic fuel injection) and chassis dynamometers. Today, at one of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships, the bike goes to the dyno technician, who rolls it into the dyno shed, plugs in connectors and fires it up for a few runs, all the while tapping at the computer. A couple of hours later you get back a perfectly tuned engine. It’s almost a miracle, and what goes on in that shed is fascinating. “It’s a Dynojet 250, with an eddy current brake and dual O2 sensors,” says Dan Klann, describing the motorcycle test dynamometer at Chester’s HarleyDavidson in Mesa, Arizona. Chester’s H-D in Mesa, Snake H-D in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Eagle Rock H-D in Pocatello, Idaho, are certified Dynojet/ Power Commander Tuning Centers. Klann is Shop Foreman in Mesa and is certified as a dyno technician there. He also works with the dealership’s race

A printout from the Dynojet dynamometer shows the difference in torque before and after tuning. Fuel-injected Harleys come dialed in from the factory, but when you throw on a set of pipes or make other mods, it’s time for a retune.

bikes and pilots their Destroyer drag bike in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) series. The dynamometer sits inside the dyno cell, which is a room about 10 feet square, with perforated metal walls and ceiling to absorb the sound. Inside the cell are hoses to expel exhaust gases. A rolling dyno drum, about a foot wide, sticks out of a low platform on the floor. The motorcycle’s rear tire rests on the drum, while the front tire is secured by a builtin stand. The engine spins the tire, and the tire spins the drum. Not to be overlooked is the big fan

in the room. "Cooling fans are very important, because we have to maintain temperature," says Chopper, Service Manager at the Eagle Rock dealership. "We monitor the actual engine temperature because your air-fuel ratio varies with temperature. If the engine temperature rises above a certain point, we actually shut the bike down and let it cool back down. Then we'll go back in and pick up where we left off." A dynamometer is also called a brake because the drum is “braked” to provide resistance to the engine. (It’s the B in BHP, or brake horsepower.) The engine’s torque output is calculated by that resistance. The Dynojet 250 works on electromagnetic resistance; there’s no mechanical brake, like the old dynos had, to wear out. The electrical signal produced is fed into a computer, which interprets it as torque and then calculates horsepower. The Dynojet’s capabilities, however, go beyond measuring simple horsepower and torque. The computer can control the resistance to match any speed and load the bike would encounter on the road, allowing the technician to diagnose a problem without having to take 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Shop Foreman Dan Klann, who races a Screamin’ Eagle Destroyer on weekends, is certified to run the dyno at Chester’s.


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Three or four hours on a Dynojet with an experienced tuner yields an engine with strong torque output throughout the RPM band. the bike out of the shop. “We can load that dyno up, which will simulate what’s happening on the street,” says Klann. “So a customer comes in and says, ‘Well, I’m going this fast and at this RPM. This is what’s happening.’ Rather than taking it out on the street and duplicating it, we can duplicate it in the dyno cell.” A dyno tech starts by calibrating the bike and setting up a baseline. The computer that controls the Dynojet also reads data from the engine’s ECM (electronic control module), which is programmed to monitor revolutions per minute, ignition timing and fuel injection rates. The ECM, effectively the engine’s brain, also monitors airflow in and out of the engine, and oxygen sensors indicate how lean or rich the engine is running. “We can look right into the ECM and see what exactly is going on,” says Klann. If there is a problem, the data will usually pinpoint it, whether its electronic or fuelrelated. “There’s really so much we can address on these bikes,” adds Chopper. “Spark timing and [ignition] advance, cranking fuel [ratio] from starting to warm-up— everything on them.” More importantly, the Dynojet lets a Chester technician reprogram each bike’s ECM for optimum performance. This is critical when a bike has been modified for more power output. For example, if you change the mufflers, reprogramming the ECM is usually not necessary. However, if you add a high-flow intake, then you should reprogram. “If you have done any significant performance work on the bike, say increased the displacement or compression, then it is absolutely essential that the bike be reprogrammed in order to run properly,” says Kane Seiller, Dyno Technician at the Snake H-D dealership. “If somebody has modified the engine, we will recommend the installation of an EFI Race Tuner program,” says Chopper. “We actually go in and install a base [airfuel ratio] map.” Colleague Ryan Zimmerman, Dyno

Technician at Eagle Rock H-D, will “start at the top end and work his way back down. He gets a nice flat line on it by basically changing the values,” says Chopper. “He can address it for any RPM to any manifold pressure. You either just raise or lower the value and adjust it to where, when you do a fourth-gear rollon, you have a nice flat line right about 13-to-1” In essence, they program a two-stage fuel injection map into the bike’s ECM, he says. When the bike is running at 80 to 100 percent throttle, they lower the airfuel ratio to 13-to-1 so that the fuel injection system pumps more fuel for added engine cooling as well as performance. But when the bike is out on the interstate, running at 3,000 revolutions per minute, or cruising around town, and is operating at lower throttle positions, they

change the air-fuel ratio to an optimum 14.7-to-1, so that it delivers stock-like fuel economy. If it’s a carbureted bike, the dyno tech can do the same thing by monitoring the air-fuel ratio with the dyno’s oxygen sensor. “The only difference is instead of tuning it with a keyboard, we actually have to tear the carburetor apart,” says Chopper. “Generally, what we install is a Screamin’ Eagle Dynojet kit and we can adjust the [main jet] needle and change the jets” Whether it’s a rejetting or an ECM reflash, the final step is to use the dyno to verify the results and fine-tune the system. “You have the dyno to see what the engine’s doing, as far as what is being commanded and what the bike is putting out,” Klann says. >>

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BUYER’S GUIDE PERFORMANCE! “We can do a before-and-after to actually measure your upgrade,” Chopper points out. Klann emphasizes this fine-tuning is a process, however, not an automatic program. During the run, the dyno tech loads the bike at different throttle positions and revolutions per minute. For example, he could start with 100 percent throttle and 15 percent load, then switch to 80 percent throttle at the same or varying loads. Then it may be 50 percent load and 40 percent throttle, or various load settings. While this is going on, the dyno tech fine-tunes the program in the ECM to ensure the engine is burning at an optimum air-fuel ratio (13-to-1). The results of this process are well worth the effort. Three or four hours on a Dynojet with an experienced tuner yields an engine with strong torque output throughout the RPM band, especially in the 2,000 and 3,000 RPM range where Harley engines operate most of the time. “The primary advantages are good fuel economy and drivability,” says Seiller. “Peak numbers are great, but how many people actually ride their bike at 6000 RPM? We try and concentrate more on where the bike is actually driven. Twenty-five hundred to 3,500 RPM is where a bike spends 95 percent of its life.” In the case of a modified bike, the power characteristics will be determined largely by the choice of high-performance components and how they interact. No amount of tuning can compensate for mismatched components. But even a stock engine will benefit from dyno tuning, leading to optimum torque, enhanced drivability, maximum fuel economy and minimal pollution. The Dynojet also provides a nice printout showing horsepower and torque curves for your bike’s engine—and the right to make inarguable statements about your bike’s performance: “Yep, it dynoed at 98 horsepower.” “The nice thing about the dyno,” says Chopper, “is that it gives you a true measurement. There’s no BS involved. What you see is what you get.” Best of all, you never have to hold another hot spark plug! G 90

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The SOUND AND THE FURY A drag-racing bike is almost as much fun as an F-18 — and a lot more affordable


t’s a grueling game, just as hard on the mind as it is on the body. But for those on the staff at Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona, who play the drag racing game, they wouldn’t give it up for anything. “We’ve been at it for about three years now,” says Dan Klann, whose Butthead Racing team can be seen at drag strips around the West competing in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA). Klann runs one of the Chester’s Race Team VRXSE Destroyers. In 2007, he also ran a Super Gas bike and a Sportster in the Screamin’ Eagle Performance class. Fellow team member Terry (“Vicious”) Vaughan runs a Destroyer in the series and until this year also raced a V-Rod. Like most racers, Klann and Vaughan worked their way up through the ranks. Klann began in 1995 with an 883 Sportster, racing in the NMRA (National Motorcycle Racing Association), gaining experience as he went along before joining Chester’s as Shop Foreman. In 2006 he won the Super Gas class at Sturgis on the Destroyer and was runner-up in the Screamin’ Eagle class on

his Sportster. He also made it to the semifinals in the Destroyer class. In the West Coast division of the AHDRA, he finished seventh in 2006 in the Super Gas class. Vaughan’s experience is similar. He started in 2000 at local races and NMRA events. He was one of the first racers to campaign with the V-Rod when it was introduced in 2002. Klann’s team, Butthead Racing, is a typical crew. Officially it consists of four to six people, including Klann. However, he is quick to point out that underpinning their team spirit is the goodwill of the entire dealership and all their colleagues. The weapon of choice The VRXSE Screamin’ Eagle Destroyer drag bike, weighing in at no less than 730 pounds for bike and rider and putting out 160 rear wheel horsepower, sits near the apex of quick-accelerating vehicles. It completes a quarter mile at a tick over nine seconds. Only rocket sleds, catapultlaunched fighter jets and dragster brethren (cars and bikes) accelerate faster. The engine at the heart of the beast starts life as an off-the-shelf, 60-degree V-Twin Revolution unit: liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight valves. A 75-mm stroker crank and 105-mm high-compression pistons (Would you believe 14.5:1) bump the displacement up to 1,300 cubic centimeters. High-flow heads house the larger-than-stock 42-mm intake and 34.5-mm exhaust valves, actuated by high-lift cams. The rest of the intake tract consists of 58-mm throttle bodies topped off with velocity stacks. Why so big? Because at 8,000 revolutions per minute, fuel and air don’t spend much time in the engine. Most of it is converted into the 97 foot pounds of torque applied to the slick’s contact patch. The rest is converted to heat and a wall of sound. Standing at the track during a run, you feel the bike as much as hear it. The only instrumentation is the red shift light on the handlebar. With five gearshifts in less than 10 seconds, you don’t have time to look at a tachometer! Nor do you have time to operate a shift lever with your foot. Instead you punch a button on the


Smoke billows as Terry Vaughan revs up his V-Rod with the front wheel braked in a “burnout” to warm up the rear slick.

handlebar to make a shift. Your feet simply stay put on the billet foot pegs attached to the wheelie bar. “The transmission is stock,” notes Klann, “which says a lot about its robustness.” The clutch, used only during the initial launch, is a multi-stage lockup unit. “A big part of the game is the clutch.” Like its engine, the Destroyer’s chassis starts out as a stock V-Rod. However, the Motor Company adds a beefy CVO aluminum swing arm to accommodate the fat Dunlop racing slick. Extending behind the slick for nearly the same length as the bike itself is the wheelie bar—there to keep the front end down when the slick hooks up. The shortened front fork and threespoke wheel look delicate, even spindly, compared to the rear tire and low stocky frame. But the springs, dampers and brakes are up to the task of steering and stopping

the bike from 140-plus miles per hour. The Destroyer is almost as much fun as an F-18 and, with a price tag of just over $31,000, a lot more affordable. What’s it like? A race between two bikes begins with a “burnout.” Sitting about 50 feet back from the start line, each contestant locks his bike’s front brake, runs the engine up to about 4,000 revolutions per minute and engages the clutch. Smoke billows from the now spinning rear tire as it comes up to racing temperature. That’s crucial, because hot rubber ensures maximum grip. Both riders then “stage,” rolling forward to the start line. When everything is ready, they rev their engines to their optimum RPM range, while the “tree”—a series of lights—counts down through yellow to green. The bikes explode off the line.

The launch is everything. Anticipate the green light too soon and you will “red light” and disqualify. Hesitate too long and your competitor can get the jump on you. After that it’s simply a matter of trying to aim a land missile straight down the track while the spinning rear slick tries to steer the bike every which way but straight. A fraction more than nine seconds later, it’s all over. You’ve won and move up to the next round against an even tougher competitor—or you’ve lost and you pack it up until next time. Either way there’s nothing else like it— you’ll be back … To follow watch the Butthead Racing team, go online to or the All Harley Drag Racing Association site at www. If you make it to the track, say hello to Dan and Terry. – James H. Cooper 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Inside your ride


Big Bore E

ither you’re the kind of rider who is happy with his engine the way it is or you’re the kind who wants more power. If you’re the first guy, then there’s certainly good reason to keep your engine stock. For starters, most riders think the Harley motor has ample power and torque and, as engines go, it’s certainly a proven product. The men who designed it considered rugged simplicity a virtue, and the passage of time has only served to underscore the rightness of their thinking. Add the efficiency and durability that modern metals and computer-controlled machining bring to a Harley engine and you have, arguably, the perfect motorcycle engine. By JAMES H. COOPER Senior Contributing Editor 92

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Power is good, more power is better—to know it’s on tap, or to beat the other guy, or to easily haul touring gear and a passenger

In a stock Harley V-Twin, you’re getting the best of everything—power, durability, a distinctive look and a unique sound—often copied but never equaled. Why mess with success? Well, maybe because you’re the other guy, the guy who wants more power. There are many reasons you might want to modify your engine for more power. Maybe you’re the kind of guy who likes putting his own stamp on the mechanical side of things. There are few experiences as rewarding as the sense of accomplishment you get from building your own engine. There’s also the satisfaction of having all that extra power on tap. Or knowing you can beat the other guy. There are also some practical reasons to want more power: You ride two-up, or you tour in the mountains or pull a trailer. Where do you start in your quest for

power? One place is with your favorite dealer and ours. The Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships has everything you need to increase your motor’s performance in the way of parts and, more importantly, in needed expertise. But regardless of who’s doing the work, the first step is to decide what level of performance you want, then pick the parts you need to get there and do the build. Parts are not just parts!

Want to save yourself a lot of headaches right from the start? Open the HarleyDavidson accessories and parts catalog (available at all Chester dealerships) to the section that says Screamin’ Eagle and read. What you get is a short course in Harley performance tuning—a straightforward explanation of the different levels of performance you can get from a H-D engine and what parts you need

Go whole hog: The 110 Stage I big displacement kit has everything you need to push your 96-cubic inch motor to the max (shown here with accessory air cleaner and slip-on mufflers).

to achieve each level. Screamin’ Eagle even goes the extra step of laying out everything you need in comprehensive kits: No hunting for pistons in one place and then having to look for an air cleaner or a compatible set of bigvalve heads somewhere else. No unanswered questions like: Should I use forged or cast pistons? Or how much should I bump the compression ratio? Just take your pick from the available kits. Be sure to note items marked with crossed flags. They are not street legal. There’s something for every HarleyDavidson model and engine in production. The Motor Company has done the homework for you, so it knows what parts work best and what you need, and, if the installation is done at a Chester dealership, it comes with the HarleyDavidson warranty. Life should be so simple! Which to pick? It depends on a couple of things. How much power do you want? Sure, all you can get, but how committed are you to the build process and how much do you want to spend? The old adage is still true: “Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?” To help you decide, the factory kits are offered in progressively more powerful performance stages that involve progressively higher levels of modification to your engine. Here’s the list:

result is a surprising amount of bang for your buck. Even if you plan to go on to more performance mods later, it’s still where you need to start. And it’s simple: The Screamin’ Eagle Stage I Air Cleaner kit includes a reusable, free-breathing replacement element for your stock air cleaner and all the necessary hardware. Move up to even more performance with the trick-looking Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather Performance Air Cleaner

and Intake Tube. This kit includes a big, reusable open-mesh air cleaner and a high quality, polished chrome-plated, diecast aluminum intake tube. It’s something you’ll be proud to put on your engine, not some flimsy piece of tubing welded to a base plate. To fully realize all the benefits of free breathing, add a set of great sounding, low back-pressure Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance slip-on mufflers. They come

• Stage I: Air Cleaner and Street Performance Mufflers combination. • Stage I: Big Bore Cylinder kit. • Stage II: Big Bore and Cam kit. • Stage I: Big Displacement kit (basically everything from the first three kits rolled into one package only with maximum displacement). Breathe deep

The least expensive performance modification you can do to your engine (and the least involving) is the Screamin’ Eagle Stage I: Air Cleaner and Street Performance Mufflers kit. This increases the engine’s volumetric efficiency. Or as hot rodders say, its ability to breathe. The

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Inside your ride

if you’re interested in bigger numbers, then it’s time to go big bore.

Twin Cam 96 Powertrain

in an impressive variety of styles to suit just about anybody’s taste. There are even models with built-in catalysts if that’s what you need. Sure, you could go out on your own and buy somebody else’s low restriction intake and low back-pressure exhaust, but Harley engineers have dynotested and tuned these pieces so they actually do increase power and torque. In case you haven’t heard, intake and exhaust tuning is still as much a black art as it is science, so don’t be surprised if your off-brand exhaust actually lowers your engine’s power and compromises its drivability. Happens all the time. When you go the free-breathing route, there’s one additional step you have to take. The motor’s electronic fuel injection (EFI) system needs to be reprogrammed to take advantage of all that heavy breathing. That’s where a Chester dealership can really help. Their mechanics are guys who build race bikes. Their Dynojet dynamometer is a major advantage when it comes to testing and retuning your 94

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

engine to get every last bit of power. All without compromising its drivability. So what do you end up with after you’ve made the Stage I air cleaner and muffler mods? How much bragging rights does it get you? According to Dan Klann, who does the dyno work at Chester’s HarleyDavidson, the Arizona dealership in the Chester dealership family and also runs a bike in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA), you’ll get about a 5 percent increase in horsepower and torque. For a 96-cubic-inch engine, that’s about 4 horsepower and 4 foot pounds of torque across the motor’s entire RPM range. Some of the older designs benefit even more, seeing as much as a 15 percent increase at certain RPM ranges, according to the Motor Company. The resulting increase in acceleration is something you’ll notice no matter what gear you’re in or what speed you’re doing. Not bad, considering how little time and money you’ve invested. However,


Bigger is badder

In case you haven’t heard the old sayings, here they are: “There’s no substitute for cubic inches” and “there’s no replacement for displacement.” They’re basically true. There are a few other avenues to increased power, such as turbocharging, nitrous oxide or higher RPM, but they’re more expensive, more complicated and, in the case of higher RPM, not very practical for a big twin. Moreover, they don’t use genuine Screamin’ Eagle parts. So we’re limiting this discussion to increased displacement as the route to go. You’ll like the results better, anyway. A displacement increase gives you instant acceleration. There’s no turbo lag, no running out of nitrous and no tap-dancing on the shifter every time you want to pass. The first step in the displacement game is the Stage I: Big Bore kit. The Chester dealerships sell complete factory kits for all Harley-Davidson engines currently in production except the already poweredup V-Rod. Practically everything you need is included: an air cleaner kit, big bore cylinders and a set of state-of-the-art pistons with rings, wrist pins and circlips. There’s a Screamin’ Eagle Big Bore Stage I kit for the 96-cubic-inch motor that takes it to 103 cubic inches and a kit for the 88-cubic-inch motor that increases its displacement to 95 cubic inches. The Sportster kit brings the 883-cc motor to 1200 cc. It even includes a set of 1200-cc heads. These big bore kits will give your bike about a 10 percent boost in horsepower and torque, just what you need for pulling a trailer up a grade or passing a car in the slow lane. If you want more power and torque for the 96-cubic-inch and 88-cubicinch engines, then it’s time to go to the Screamin’ Eagle Street Legal Big Bore Stage II kit. Stage II includes all the parts from Stage I Heavy Breathing and Big

The Street Legal Stage II Big Bore kit for the Twin Cam 88 motor will bump it out to 95 cubic inches and even includes a set of hot cams.

Bore kits, including cylinders and pistons, and it replaces the stock camshafts with a more radical set. The idea is that since you’ve got a whole bunch more displacement now, why not add a cam grind that takes advantage of the greater volume of air and exhaust gases being pumped through the engine. The Stage II kit will get you as much as an 18-percent increase in usable horsepower and torque over stock, with the same levels of reliability and durability. You might be tempted to go to an aftermarket cam. There are a number of good cam grinders out there selling their wares, but how good are they? Will that cam work with your particular intake or exhaust system? Remember, we’re back into the dark world of intake and exhaust tuning, where things can go horribly wrong and you can spend a lot of time and money straightening them out. On the other hand, the factory performance cam grind has been thoroughly tested to ensure it works with the big bore kit. “There are more cams than you can shake a stick at out there,” says Klann, “but the trick is knowing what works with what combination and still meets EPA standards.” Another way to go is the Bigger Bore kit for the Twin Cam 88 and 96 motors. It has everything from the Heavy Breathing, Big Bore and Hot Cam kits, but substitutes maximum displacement pistons and cylinders and adds a new crankshaft, rods and heads. Even CVO mufflers are included in the 49-state kits. This kit will raise the Twin Cam 96 engine’s displacement to 110 cubic inches (just like the factory 110 motor) and the 88 motor goes to 103 cubic inches. With the 96-cubic-inch motor, the horsepower goes from 68 to 80, and torque increases from 84 foot pounds to around 95 foot pounds. A healthy jump, you’ll definitely notice. Time to dig in

Now that you’ve picked the stage you want and ordered the parts, who’s going to do the work? If you’re just installing

the Stage I intake and exhaust system, chances are you can do it yourself some afternoon over a couple of brews. However, if you’re going big bore, you’ll need to be a skilled and experienced engine builder, with access to special tools and jigs. In that case, there are few things as satisfying as building your own engine. But if you don’t have the requisite mental and physical tools, let an expert build it for you. People connected to the Chester family of dealerships have been building and racing Harleys for years. Racing demands that they be on top of their mechanical game and that’s something you can benefit from. Here’s an example of what we mean. The cylinder bore holes, where the cylinders fit into the crankcase, need to be precisely bored to the diameter of the Big Bore kit’s oversized cylindersstraight, true, within tolerance and perfectly aligned with the crankshaft throws. Otherwise, the cylinder base gaskets will leak and the rods, crank, pistons and cylinders will wear out prematurely. To do this right, you need a shop with the right machine tools and experience. There are many things you’ll also need to know how to do. Will you have to shim the valve gear? Does the bottom end need a rebuild? What about reprogramming fuel injection? Having an experienced shop build your motor will cost you a little more but the results are usually guaranteed. And if you buy the parts and have the Chester dealership do the work at the time you purchase your bike, it’s all covered under warranty for two years. Also, the turnaround time at a Chester dealership is probably shorter than the time it will take you to farm out parts to different machine shops and then do the assembly work in your garage (or living room). The upside is you’ll have more time for riding. Regardless of how you go about it, adding performance to your engine will give you tremendous satisfaction every time you twist the throttle. You never hear anyone complaining about having too much power. G

“There are more cams than you can shake a stick at out there, but the trick is knowing what works with what combination and still meets EPA standards.”

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm Text: Rebecca Crosgrey and Blake August


Faces in

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Bill Davis

2006 FLHRS/I Road King Custom Bill Davis, 60, a teacher, union leader and poet in Pocatello, Idaho, goes by the nickname Uglicoyote. Why do you ride?

My job sometimes can be stressful but the stress just falls away when I’m on the road. I love to ride and experience the feel, smells and sounds of the road. Riding is Zen—you live in the moment. What got you started?

When I was 16 years old, a fellow let me ride his brother’s bike, a ’62 BSA Lightning, and I was hooked. I ran that bike up to 105 the first time I rode it and I have been a rider ever since. Why do you prefer Harley?

Harley-Davidson—an American motorcycle made by unionized American workers at plants in the U.S.A. Comfortable, reliable, dependable. What’s not to like? Customer since 2006 of Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell For biker poetry by Uglicoyote, visit

the Wind

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Faces in the Wind

Dennis Bowman

2008 105th Anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide Dennis Bowman says he wants to ride every road in Idaho at least twice. In other words, he loves to ride. Denny, 55, lives in Pocatello and oversees stack tests for emissions at a fertilizer company. Do you ride much?

The odometer sits at 12,500 miles, which I have ridden in only six months. What got you started?Â

I started riding back in 1968, around 40 years ago. A friend of mine had one so I wanted one. After a year, I started racing motocross and cross-country. I went through a lot of bikes, around 10, as I remember. My first Harley, three years later, was an XLCH Sportster that was chopped. I went through several other Harleys until I upgraded to a Softail Custom in 2007 and the 105th anniversary Ultra Classic in 2008. Why Harley?

I prefer Harleys because of the style and distinctive rumble. Customer since 2007 of Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Tina M. Heintz

2005 XL 1200C Sportster Custom Six years ago, when Tina Heintz was 24 and lived in Chicago, it was tough to find a Rider’s Edge Course in the dead of winter. So she and her boyfriend (now husband) taught themselves how to ride on the small narrow “roads” of the storage facility where they kept their bikes. Now an Arizonian, “T” is a tour and event manager for an outdoor adventure provider.

orange paint job, all the chrome, to the guardian angel bell attached tightly to protect my ride. Ever since I was little, I always said, “Someday I will have a Harley.” Why Chester’s?

Everyone on staff is very kind and willing to help, but not pushy. Clean store, great service, excellent location. Why do you ride?

What’s the attraction?

I ride to clear my head and let all the worries go away, for the fun of it and to see cool places. Plus, the looks a woman on a nice bike gets . . . heck, ya!

My 1200 Custom Sporty is all me! From the custom

Customer since 2004 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Lyle Waggoner

2005 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2002 FLHR Road King If you’re old enough to remember The Carol Burnett Show, you’ll remember the name Lyle Waggoner. He was an announcer and performer on the show from 1967 to 1974. You may also recall that he was the first centerfold in Playgirl magazine. Now 73, Lyle keeps the Road King at a home in Westlake Village, California, and the Ultra Classic at the house in Jackson, where the photo was taken. Why Harley-Davidson?

With my wife, I checked out Honda and BMW as well as Harley. Sharon said she liked the Harley best. When I asked why, she said she liked the sound. What kind of riding do you enjoy?

Near our home in California, there are wonderful canyons with twisty and hilly roads, but we mainly ride two-up in Wyoming now, lots of day rides and a few longer ones. A great ride is through Yellowstone to Mesa Falls for lunch, returning to Jackson through Moose, about 200 miles in all. Customer since 2005 of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Rodderick Whitehead 2007 FLHX Street Glide

Rodderick Whitehead, 36, Sales Manager at a Phoenix furniture store, has been riding Harleys for 13 years. The number may explain the bad news: He wrecked the Street Glide several months ago. The good news is “Big Rod” has healed and is shopping for a new Harley. Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson?

It’s a better motorcycle, it has style. Customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson PHOTO: COURTESY OF laura moore

Bill Torrance

2007 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic Bill Torrance, 57, is City Manager of Vidalia, Georgia, the home of sweet Vidalia onions. He’s been riding since he was 12, starting with an Allstate scooter, then moving on to a Yamaha and Kawasaki and other bikes until he graduated to a Honda 1100 Shadow four years ago. Then, his brother-in-law, E.B. Chester, lent him a Harley for a ride across Death Valley to Las Vegas and the rest is history. Why did you switch to Harley-Davidson?

Harley is the pinnacle. The performance, sound and mystique make me feel great when I’m riding. What do you like about riding?

I ride for excitement and solitude. I enjoy back roads and sights along the way, but mainly I just enjoy the handling and feel of a really great bike. It’s a wonderful release from the pressures of work. Customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Kristy Woodhall

2003 FLHRC Road King Classic

“I love the way Harleys look, the way they sound … the way mine fits me. It’s so comfortable.”

Kristy Woodhall has been hooked on motorcycles since she was 11 years old, some four decades back. Her husband, TJ Woodhall, is GM at Snake Harley-Davidson in Twin Falls, Idaho. How did you get started?

I have been riding since I was about 11 years old and growing up in Orange County, California. Started out riding dirt bikes. I was one who enjoyed what the guys did, not girl stuff, so I hung out watching them work on cars and bikes. When I was about 15, I would take off on a friend’s motorcycle and ride around town. I was not licensed at the time but I’m not one to follow rules. I would grab my girlfriend and off we would go. The looks we got! Back then, it was rare to see one on a bike, let alone two. Why Harley?

I love everything about them. The way they look, the way they sound … or should I say the way you can make them sound. I love the way mine fits me. It’s so comfortable. Why do you ride?

When I have had a bad day, I can jump on my bike and within minutes the stress just disappears. Taking a trip on a bike is so much different than in a car. Feeling the wind and sun makes me feel good. In the mountains, taking the curves makes a ride so enjoyable, exciting, and sometimes challenging. Customer since 1998 of Snake Harley-Davidson

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Faces in the Wind

Helen Misner 2002 FXSTSI Softail Springer

After 26 years as a passenger behind her husband, Helen Misner, 47, a real estate agent in Chubbuck, Idaho, has been riding her own Harley for two years. Why Harley?

My husband got me hooked soon after we were married 28 years ago and I have been in love ever since. I like the looks, feel and sound of the Harley. Now that I have really been riding, on my own bike, “Wow!” is all I can say. Why Eagle Rock?

They’re just so helpful, in every way. After I put a down payment on a bike for my husband as a Christmas present, the staff at Eagle Rock helped keep it secret. Although he stopped by several times to look for a new bike, they found ways to divert his attention until Christmas. Any recent trips?

My husband and I just came back from vacation, riding through Yellowstone, over Beartooth Pass, through Glacier National Forest, down Highway 12 and Lolo Pass to Lewiston. Then through Hells Canyon to MacKay and Highway 55 to Boise, ending with back roads to home. It took us six or seven days to cover about 1,600 miles. Customer since 2002 of Eagle Rock Harley­Davidson & Buell 104

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Mayben Cole Johnson, MD

1979 FXDL Dyna Low Rider 1997 FLSTC Heritage Softail 2003 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2006 FLHTCUSE Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2009 FLHTCUSE Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide on order Cole Johnson delivers about 100 babies each year in Twin Falls, Idaho. The 53-year-old physician says he rides to maintain his sanity and to feed his insanity. Medicine is a second career for “Doc,” who ran a specialized firefighting crew called the Hotshots during 20 years with the U.S. Forest Service. What attracted you to motorcycles?

The thought of the unfettered vagabond in Then Came Bronson on television and, no doubt, the movie Easy Rider.

I bought my first Harley-Davidson, a 1976 Sportster, at the age of 22 and have ridden Harleys ever since. Why Harley-Davidson?

Harleys have a heart. They are more a part of you than a piece of machinery. They maintain the feel of a motorcycle with some comfort versus a two-wheeled vehicle with a car engine, i.e. Honda. Anything else?

As an aside, I built a new home two years ago and the recreation room is themed Harley-Davidson, with the bar and shield inlaid in the hardwood floors and the tile in the shower. I have a Harley-Davidson pool table, card table, jukebox, and a quilt made by my mother. I also have a six-foot-tall, custom-made, stained-glass Harley logo mounted in the vaulted entry way to my home. Customer since 2003 of Snake Harley-Davidson 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Robert Hobbs

2005 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide 1998 FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide When he was younger, Roberts Hobbs of Nashville made a promise to himself that by the time he turned 50 he would learn to play a guitar and ride a motorcycle. Now 63 and chief financial officer of a national hotel reservations service and representation company, he succeeded on both counts, with a room full of guitars and two Harleys in the garage. Why so late in life?

My motorcycling started in my mind when I was a teenager. I took my mother to the Harley dealership in Nashville, tried to talk her into letting me buy a motorcycle. She wouldn’t let me, said they were too dangerous. Why Harley?

Harley-Davidson started in 1903, they have been building motorcycles for 105 years, they are still in business and, until recently, they were making more money than ever. The point is they have perfected the product. They are great bikes, with a great image, with great accessories and excellent resale value. Any memorable rides?

The ride to Alaska (described in this edition of Glory Road) was fantastic, really fantastic. I ride for the peace and the quiet, the scenery and to be with other bikers. I couldn’t have asked for more on the trip to Alaska. Customer since 2005 of Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell 106

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Jay and Brandon Peterson

Father: 2007 FLHX Street Glide and 2008 Buell Ulysses XB12XT Son: 2008 Buell Ulysses XB12XT When the photo was taken in historic Keystone near Sturgis in 2007, father and son both rode black Street Glides. When spring came to the Vail Valley, where they live, talk turned to new motorcycles. They decided to keep one Harley and buy two Ulysses touring Buells. Jay is an attorney and developer. Brandon works in property management. They ride together whenever they can, including heading to Sturgis or Daytona. Any long rides in the planning stages?

For a change of pace from Sturgis and Daytona, E.B.

Chester has invited us to ride to Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire in June. That will be some ride, through the Ozarks, into Nashville for the Grand Ole Opry. After Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ride Parkway and Gettysburg National Military Park, we’ll ride north through New York and Vermont to Laconia, some 3,300 miles in all. What made you buy the Buells?

We love our Harleys and have ridden them for many years, but it was time to try something new—but within the extended American V-Twin family. We’ve had a ball with the Buells! Customers of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell and Chester’s Harley-Davidson

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Shirly Barron

2006 FLSTN Softail Deluxe/Champion trike conversion Shirly Barron, who still lives on the farm near Castleford, Idaho, which she farmed with her late husband for many years, says her desire to get into motorcycling has been building a long time. She’s 77 years old. Why did you chose Harley-Davidson?

The look and the sound, and I liked what I have read about H-D. I cannot say enough about Mike McClure at Snake HarleyDavidson, who sold me the bike and helped me with it. He spent the winter of 2006-07 teaching me how to ride. What’s with LORELI on the license plate?

My bike is called Lorelei because she sings so sweetly. She’s got those pipes. Why do you ride?

It’s fun, I really enjoy it. I like the people involved in the Magic Valley H.O.G. chapter. They are the nicest bunch of people you could ever find anywhere. Customer since 2006 of Snake Harley-Davidson

Bret West

1998 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide Bret West, 47, otherwise known as Bam, is a plumber who lives in Apache Junction, Arizona. His words speak for themselves: My Harley, my house, my wife, the dog… I have my priorities in order. The ol’ lady, she understands, she’s great, a biker chick from days ago. My bike, I call her The Bitch. She’s my true love. I worked hard, and waited many years to buy my bike… Could never afford it, but I came to a point in my life and decided no matter what the cost, I’m buying myself a Harley. There is no other bike on the road that compares with a Harley. The style, the sound, the ride, there’s nothing greater than when I’m riding my Harley. It’s an investment in sanity for me. When I ride The Bitch, all my troubles seem to go away, my mind clears of all the day-to-day crap that clutters and builds up ­creating tension and stress. Why the name The Bitch?

It was a bitch to raise the money, it’s a bitch to make the payments, but now it runs like a bitch. Customer since 2006 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Faces in the Wind

Jason Rivera

2007 FLHR Road King Jason Rivera, an administrative assistant in Pocatello, Idaho, has been riding for almost half of his 37 years. Why Eagle Rock?

I’m always telling my non-Harley buddies they need to 110

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trade up, because they will be treated as family members by the Eagle Rock staff instead of just customers. Why do you ride?

The freedom of the road. There’s nothing like it in the world. Customer since 2007 of Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell

Greg Neumann 2007 FLHR Road King

An estimator for a fence company, Greg Neumann, 55, of Chandler, Arizona, has been nuts about bikes since he saw the film The Wild One when he was seven years old: I could not get the movie out of my head. I started building models and drawing pictures of motorcycles. My parents told me to get those thoughts out of my head, that only hoodlums ride motorcycles and wear leather. That just made my passion to ride even greater. I have become the guy my parents warned me about—and I like it. What’s the appeal 48 years later?

I ride because it feels right. I ride because I work hard all week and deserve to feel free as often as I can. I am Harley and Harley is me. Customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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Faces in the Wind

“It was my midlife crisis. Fortunately, it was a motorcycle and not another woman.”


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Nelson Reininger

2006 FLHTCUSE Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Guide 2003 FLSTC Anniversary Heritage Softail Classic His friends call him Hazey, his CUSE is painted Autumn Haze, the license plate reads HAZEY, but Nelson Reininger assures GLORY ROAD none of this has anything to do with Purple Haze. The 55-year-old Tempe, Arizona, resident has worked in consumer lending, collections and risk management for 35 years. What brought you to Harley-Davidson?

It was my midlife crisis. Fortunately, it was a motorcycle and not another woman. My dream machine was the silver and black Anniversary Heritage Classic. I shopped around but no one would sell for MSRP. I took a rider training class before my purchase (best decision I ever made!) and then found out Chester’s would provide me with H-D merchandise credits equal to the cost of the training. They have me as a customer for life! How did you end up with two Harleys?

My neighbor purchased a Road King and then upgraded to an Ultra Glide. Not to be shown up, I saw the segment in my parts manual for H-D’s CVO program and thought with a 110 motor, the wife and I will be able to haul all our ‘stuff,’ even her makeup. It took a while to get out of the dog house after she saw the “what the hell did you need this one for” FLHTCUSE in the garage. Customer since 2003 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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Faces in the Wind

Jo Donovan

2008 FLSTN Softail Deluxe Controller of a sheet-metal fabrication company that she owns with her husband in Phoenix, Jo Donovan, 48, has been riding solo only a few months. She’s known as Harley Chick among her family and friends. For the 27 years she rode behind her husband as a passenger, her kids called her the Cling-On. How’s life as Harley Chick?

Chester’s is our home away from home, and we like it that way. We basically live at the dealership. If they’d just set us up a cot in the lunch room! Honestly, we are at the dealership a minimum of three times a week. I consider the staff some of my closest friends. They are always welcoming with a “hi” or a hug. The knowledge they share with us is immeasurable. Any question or comment I have is always met with open concern and an answer is always available. We recommend Chester’s to all our friends, riders and non-riders alike. Customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson PHOTOGRAPHED AT USERY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK


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Dan Godec

2001 FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide 2005 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic Dan Godec, 51, Chief Lending Officer for a group of 43 banks in Colorado and California, bought his first bike out of a mail-order catalog with earnings from a newspaper route when he was only 10. How often have you ridden to Sturgis?

Probably 10 times, The Black Hills are gorgeous. Even better is Monument Valley, which I’ve ridden 20 times. It’s absolutely gorgeous every time. What about Daytona?

Seven or eight trips to Daytona. I can’t help but walk down Main Street with a smile on my face. It’s worldclass people watching, and great bike watching as well. When it’s snowing back home in the Vail Valley, it’s good to be down in the sunshine. Customer since 2000 of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell

Bob Esrey

2005 FLHTCU 100th Anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2007 FLHTCUSE Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide After many years in commercial real estate, Bob Esrey, 70, who describes himself as semi-retired, divides his time between homes in Kansas City, Missouri, Vail, Colorado, and Indian Wells, California. He keeps one Harley in Missouri and the other out west. Why the anniversary model?

In 2003, my wife and I were making plans to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. Unbeknownst to me, Sue traded in a three- or four-yearold Road King that I had decked out on an Anniversary Ultra Classic for me. My first clue came when I opened a box she presented to me and saw a picture of the bike and all the manuals. Across the picture, she had written, Happy Anniversary, Bob! Why Harley-Davidson?

Even as a kid, I figured Harley was the only real motorcycle. Owning seven or eight Harleys over the last 10 to 15 years has only enhanced that belief, especially in light of the rise to excellence in design and reliability. Customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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Faces in the Wind

Terrell Fletcher

2006 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide Terrell Fletcher, 59, is a professional landscape architect retired from the U.S. Forest Service. His H.O.G. friends in Twin Falls, Idaho, call him Fletch. Why Snake H-D?

I can’t imagine a better group of folks to do business with. It’s perfectly natural to stop by and joke, tease and carry on because we’re friends. Why do you prefer Harley?

I like riding an American legend. I like the sound and feel of a Harley. In spite of our winter weather, I manage to ride at least some in all 12 months of the year. Why do you ride?

There’s a greater camaraderie with Harley owners than any others. I’m very happy with the H.O.G. chapter. I’ve been a member of Snake H-D’s Magic Valley H.O.G. Chapter since 2001, an officer continuously since 2002 and am now completing my second year as Director of the Chapter. Customer since 2001 of Snake Harley-Davidson


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Sue Beverly

2007 FLSTN Softail Deluxe Sue Beverly, EZ Sue to her friends, is a production co­ordinator in Phoenix. She’s 49 and rides almost every day. What’s the attraction?

My Harley is a part of my daily life. I love riding. Maybe it’s the roar of the engine. Maybe it’s the feeling of being in control. Maybe it’s the grandma next to me giving the thumbs up. Me and my bike, what more do I need? Besides, chicks on bikes get lots of attention.

Why Harley-Davidson?

You don’t just buy a Harley; you become part of a very large family. It’s about the relationships you build with others who are as passionate about riding as you are. Harley-Davidson encourages it, the dealerships support it and the H.O.G. members live it. Where else can you buy a motorcycle and gain a family? Harley-Davidson is an American tradition, the heart and soul of motorcycling. Customer since 2006 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Faces in the Wind

Bob and Lynn Bull

going to do, just where we are going to do it. I’m getting close to retirement and I feel these new bikes will take us further and longer into retirement.

Residents of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Bob, 62, is operations manager for a company that decontaminates and removes radioactive nuclear equipment, and Lynn, 50, has been a buyer for a farm and ranch store for 10 years.

Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson, Lynn?

His: 2006 FLHX Street Glide Hers: 2007 FLSTN Softail Deluxe

What’s the appeal, Bob?

My wife and I have met so many people because riding a Harley opens the door for communicating with others. We now have so many friends that it’s hard to decide who to ride with on a given weekend or holiday. When we go on vacation, we don’t have to decide what we are 118

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People say they don’t know how someone my size can handle a big bike. I tell them it’s easy and just feels right. I had a Low Rider, but when I saw the Softail Deluxe at the shop I knew that was the bike for me. I drove by the shop one day and it was no longer there. I thought someone had bought my bike. It was my husband, who gave it to me for Christmas. Since then, I have put over 8,000 miles on it. Customers since 2002 of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell

Ed Leclere

2000 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide One of the partners in Arizona Bike Week, Ed Leclere, 50, is a Harley man through and through. His wife Brenda often rides with him, with teenage son Jeffrey not far behind on a Buell. He owns a design and construction company that is involved in the expansion at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson?

There is something nostalgic about riding a Harley. They have been around all my life. They are American as American can be. The feel of them as you ride, the camaraderie of the other riders, the looks you get from people passing you with their thumbs up. And we can’t forget that sound. Why do you ride?

I ride for the relaxation, the great outdoors and the other riders, no matter what they ride. It is great to just meet another rider and the next thing you know you’re on a ride with them as if you’ve known them all your life. My wife loves to get on the back and just ride with me forever. We also have a teenage son who rides a Buell and he rides with us as a family—which is great! Customer since 1997 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

Antoine Whitfield 2007 FLSTN Softail Deluxe

Antoine Whitfield, 49, of Arvada, Colorado, is a training instructor contracted to the Department of Energy. Whit’s first bike, some 30 years ago, was a 1968 Triumph Bonneville that he seriously customized. Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson?

I believe that it is the ultimate American riding machine. When I returned to riding—because I have many friends and family who ride—it was the only choice for me. Why do you ride?

Strictly for the pleasure that motorcycle riding provides. When I’m on a relaxing cruise, all seems right with the world. Customer since 2007 of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell PHOTO: SHANNON WHITFIELD

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Faces in the Wind


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Stan Turkovich 1999 FLHR Road King

Stan Turkovich, who goes by the nickname Turk, is a 70-year-old retired tool and die machinist who lives in Twin Falls, Idaho. Have you been riding long?

Fifty plus years. What got you started?

It’s in my blood. I have worn out a couple of Harleys over the years. Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson?

If I have to tell you, you won’t understand. Why do you ride?

I can lose myself entirely in the riding. The freedom, the smell of everything around you. It’s a different way to travel. Customer since 2006 of Snake Harley-Davidson

Travis Metcalfe

2003 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2008 FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide Do you know anyone who rides as many miles as Travis Metcalfe? Last summer the police detective put on a total of 16,000 miles in two months on his 2008 Electra Glide Ultra. With friends, he rode from Phoenix to Anchorage, then headed to Sturgis, where he met up with his wife, Debbie. She rides a 2005 Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide and is Office Manager at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. Together they rode to North Dakota, Minnesota, Ontario, Quebec, Michigan and stopped in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Harley’s 105th birthday party before returning home. What’s with all the miles?

I just like to ride a lot. I like to see different places and not ride the same road twice. I keep my original 2003 H.O.G. map and highlight the roads I ride. That’s how I keep track of the roads I haven’t ridden yet. Altogether I’ve have ridden in three countries, seven provinces or territories and 35 states. How far have you ridden since 2003?

About 150,000 miles. My original Ultra Classic has 116,000 miles on it. Customer since 2003 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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H.O.G. in the spotlight Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G., was established a quarter-century ago in response to a growing desire by Harley riders to hang out and share their pride and passion for the Harley way of life. Today, more than a million members around the globe make H.O.G. the largest factory-sponsored motorcycle organization in the world. There are nearly 1,000 members in the four chapters sponsored by the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming.

Magic Valley Chapter Sponsor: Snake Harley-Davidson Meeting place: Meet at Snake Harley-Davidson and ride to dinner in the summer. Winters are at a designated gathering place. Meeting time: Third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. How to make contact: Tel: Snake H-D 208-734-8400 E-mail: Chapter director: Terry Fletcher Number of members: 50 core members, swelling to 175 by late summer each year. First formed: Magic Valley Chapter was originally chartered in 1999 and has been in continuous operation since. Website:

The skinny on the mascot Terry Fletcher, a recent Chapter Director of the Magic Valley Chapter H.O.G., recalls how he and fellow director Terry Greene were brainstorming on how to spice up everyday Chapter life and came up with the idea of a mascot. “He and I think alike—on the edge—so we reasoned that if the chapter is sponsored by Snake H-D the ideal mascot would be a snake. Well, maybe not a snake—more a hog with really short legs! It’s name was a natural, given our dealership family name. “Each month we hold a 50-50 draw to see who gets to take Chester everywhere and document his education and cultural upbringing. “Chester has been to symphony concerts, bike rallies, suicide prevention training, the Mustang Ranch, Sturgis, Thanksgiving gatherings, and nearly all Chapter events and H.O.G. functions. He has kissed strange (but nice) girls and snuggled up with small kids and dogs. “Our Ladies of Harley group, not to be outdone, came up with Poly-Esther to keep Chester company. They were entangled at our original Three-Legged H.O.G. event in 2007 in Challis, Idaho. “The crazy just keeps flowing!”


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According to Chapter Director Terry Fletcher, “MV H.O.G. tries to keep a balance between charity work and living up to the H.O.G. mantra: ‘Ride and have fun.’ That said, we annually participate in a local event known as 60 Hours To Fight Hunger, which feeds countless underprivileged families at Thanksgiving. We usually come up with over 400 pounds of turkey to donate to the cause.” Another event—a bike ride with game stops—raised cash for six Quick Response Units in their rural area. In addition to MV’s monthly social/ meeting dinner ride, they have an organized ride on the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month from May through October. They have traveled probably every asphalt ribbon within 500 miles of home and often explore neighboring states. Each season there are two to three overnight rides.

East Valley Chapter

Portneuf Valley Chapter

Sponsor: Chester’s Harley-Davidson

Sponsor: Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell

Meeting place: Chester’s Harley-Davidson

Meeting place: Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell Shop

Meeting time: Second Saturday of the month

Meeting time: 6:30 p.m., the third Thursday of each month

How to make contact: Tel: Chester’s H-D 480-894-0404 E-mail: Chapter director: Ed Leclere

Grand Teton Chapter Sponsor: Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell

Number of members: 186

Meeting place: Meeting places vary, currently Stockman’s Restaurant


Meeting time: First Wednesday of each month 7 p.m.

The East Valley H.O.G. Chapter of Mesa, Arizona, gets together once a month for its general meetings. Friday evenings and Sunday mornings are set aside for riding. “We ride every week and do a Lost Dutchman ride each year for charity,” says Ed Leclere, the Chapter Director. “East Valley H.O.G. raises thousands of dollars for several different charities in the east Valley such as the Child Crisis Center, Seeing Eye Dog Foundation and more.”

How to make contact: Tel: Grand Teton H-D 208-523-1464 E-mail: Chapter director: John Katri Number of members: 200-220 First formed: 2001

When you’re this close to the mountains, a short riding season is something you must take in stride. Even snowstorms in the middle of June don’t stop the Grand Teton H.O.G. chapter from its dinner rides, monthly meetings, Saturday rides and a few overnight rides. With only three months of summer riding, and the recent reorganization of their chapter, the members still find time to help charitable groups. “We go to Sam’s Club and pick the names of 10 children from their Christmas tree,” Chapter Director John Katri says. “The names include a list of items of what the children want and also what they need. Last year we were able to buy everything on the lists for the 10.” The Grand Teton H.O.G. chapter also joins with its sister chapters sponsored by Chester dealerships in the area for the Three-Legged H.O.G. Chapter Challenge. The chapter that tallies the most member-miles in attendance wins the opportunity to launch the planning for next year’s event. To make it more fun, the formula to determine the ­member-miles changes yearly with the addition of a secret factor (e.g. divide by the number of whitewalls in a chapter’s attendance).

How to make contact: Tel: Chapter Director 208-851-2886 E-mail: Chapter director: Rocky Ramos Number of members: 105 active First formed: 2003 Website:

The Portneuf Valley H.O.G. schedules rides for almost every summer weekend, highlighted by the Who Let The H.O.G.s Out Summer Picnic and, in recent years, a float in the Thanksgiving Light Parade. There are winter dinners once a month to keep everyone active during the dark months. The Mountain Man Ride and the POW/MIA Rodeo Fun Run are two major events, but former Chapter Director Gary Oneida says, “Our Fall Color Ride is our big charity fundraiser. The proceeds from it, as well as additional monies, go to different needy organizations that the group votes on. Foodbank, Toys for Tots and Angel Tree are a few examples.” Some of the money comes from a monthly raffle with prizes donated by the Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell dealership. G

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Vaughn Beals, now 80, enjoys summers in the cool air of Forest Highlands near Flagstaff, Arizona.


By Georgs Kolesnikovs, Editor

saved The man


In 1975, Vaughn Beals had been fired for the second time

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

in his career as an engineer and executive. He was in his late 40s and unemployed—with two daughters in college. Life was not looking good. By chance, he heard that American Machine & Foundry Company, which owned ­Harley-Davidson at the time, was looking for management help for its expanding motorcycle business. Beals was offered the position but almost immediately alarm bells sounded: “I told my wife, I think I screwed up again. I have never ridden a motorcycle, I don’t know beans about manufacturing motorcycles.” Also, the casual atmosphere at the H-D plant bothered him: “Everyone was just ambling around, talking, having a cigarette. Productivity was terrible.” Motorcycle sales in the United States had taken off with the arrival of Honda and other Japanese makes. Harley production had soared to 50,000 units per year from 15,000. Since its acquisition by AMF in 1969, manufacturing facilities had been expanded and the workforce doubled. The Milwaukee-based company, which had been a relatively small family-run business was growing rapidly, while quality and market share slipped badly. AMF was investing millions in the Motor Company but expertise wasn’t keeping pace with accelerated growth. Beals and another key hire, Jeff Bleustein, were recruited by AMF’s Ray Tritten. Beals was to provide management while Bleustein was to head ­engineering and develop new models. >>

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Flip of the coin Vaughn Beals describes how the deal was struck on February 26, 1981: “When we were negotiating the purchase price, it must have been 10 o’clock at night. We were in Manhattan and had been at it for hours and hours. We were half a million bucks apart in a $70-million deal, stalled on the final price. “I finally pulled a quarter out and said, ‘We have been sitting here arguing for hours about a half a million bucks. I’ll flip you for it.’ “AMF’s guy was as straight and proper as they come. He kind of looked appalled. The AMF attorney assured him it was a legitimate option. “I insisted they flip the quarter and that they call the toss. It was my quarter but I didn’t want to touch it. I wanted to make sure that there was never any interpretation that I had called it wrong or done something shady. “So they flipped—and won the half-million bucks. I got to keep the quarter.” At the time of the management buyout, Beals was AMF’s group executive in charge of the motorcycle division. Prior to joining AMF in December, 1975, Beals had indeed had his “butt fired,” as he puts it, twice. It had nothing to do with his competence as an engineer and executive, and everything to do with politics. Simply put, he was too successful.


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Beals, now 80 and happily retired with his wife in a grand home overlooking the desert near Phoenix, recalls AMF’s lack of focus at the time—it had 40 companies, all in totally different areas, but was doing only $1.5 billion worth of business a year. Harley was $300 million at the time, making it 20 percent of the company. “AMF had been making tennis rackets and skis or things like that, for which the product development cycle is pretty darn short. They just plain did not understand the complexity of making an engine, a chassis or series of chassis. But their heart was in the right place. They wanted to grow Harley and the market was there,” Beals says. “AMF wasn’t aware that no one at Harley had decent blueprints for the motorcycles. The blueprints were out of date but the guys all knew how to make the models because they had been doing it for years. When AMF increased production and doubled the workforce, the new guys coming in from the street didn’t know how to make these things. So quality went into the tank.” There was no one in the company with a professional degree. The engineering department got the work done, but the staff weren’t trained in modern technology. “The problem was the scale of what had to be done,” Beals says. “AMF was superbly generous with cash. They were extremely generous in investments. But then I started to notice that the atmosphere had changed.” New engine ready for production

Engineering for a new engine had wrapped up. Tooling was to start, but AMF balked at investing the tens of millions of dollars needed. Soon it became apparent AMF—on the advice of an outside consultant—had decided to favor its industrial divisions over its leisure products divisions. Beals foresaw Harley would wither away in such a corporate environment. He flew to AMF headquarters in Connecticut to suggest AMF sell Harley-Davidson to fund expansion of its financial divisions. He told AMF: “Harley cannot succeed unless there is going to be a major, major capital investment to get all this stuff we have designed into production and out on the streets. It would be absolutely fatal to Harley to not put in the capital necessary.” AMF agreed to sell Harley. So Beals set about retaining an investment banker and planning how to proceed, not for a second imagining he could be the buyer. Six weeks later he got a call from the No. 2 man at AMF: “He wanted to know why the hell we hadn’t sold the company yet!”

The men who started Harley-Davidson in 1903; the men who saved the Motor Company from oblivion in 1981 with Vaughn Beals seated lower right.

About the same time a friend he had made at AMF asked why Beals and other managers don’t buy the company. “I said, ‘Holy cow! How are we going to buy a $300-million company?’ He said, ‘Do a leveraged buyout.’” Beals had been involved in such deals earlier in his career, in the $20-million range, with “financially sophisticated guys doing the tough part, but that’s a long way from buying a $300-million company.” But several banks expressed interest when they saw there were big earnings for them and Beals and his partners ended up buying the company. “If anybody but AMF had owned it, it would have never happened. They were just not bright people. AMF was not well run,” Beals says. “We ended up buying a $300-million company for $70 million in cash with only $1 million in equity.” Except for a Milwaukee lawyer who had handled Harley-Davidson affairs and asked to join the deal, the buyout participants were all management: “We all knew each other, we knew strengths, we knew weaknesses. You should have seen them when I called them into a room and said, ‘Hey, we have an opportunity to buy a company.’ They thought I was absolutely looney tuney, but they chimed up the money. “My guess is that most of the million dollars was borrowed from parents. The lowball was one guy who only had 25 grand, but that was good enough as we needed everything we could get.” It was an extraordinary achievement. Thirteen determined men and one friendly bank. A debt ratio of 70 to 1. That’s what you call leverage!

American icon

Leadership today James Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Company, started his career with Harley as a freight elevator operator. He’s been riding motorcycles since age 16: “Harley-Davidson is truly a universal language. One of the great things about any ride on a Harley is the chance encounter with riders you’ve never met before. Whether at a gas pump or back at the dealership, the connection is immediate. There’s always something to talk about.”

The turnaround became a success story for the ages


The years right after the 1981

­ anagement buyout were not for the faint of m heart. Despite his casual manner and folksy language, Vaughn Beals obviously had guts of steel for the battle ahead: “The alternatives were so bleak we couldn’t conceive of not succeeding.” Faced with the onslaught of Japanese brands and its own quality problems, ­Harley-Davidson had difficulty selling motorcycles. Production dropped to 30,000 units from 50,000. “It was the first time since the ­Depression that Harley lost money,” Vaughn Beals recalls. “We just couldn’t do anything to get the market going.” >>

Vaughn Beals greets President Reagan at the York factory when he visited in 1987 to congratulate the Motor Company on its stellar turnaround.

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The investment bankers were amply rewarded when the work that Beals and senior managers started in 1981 paid off handsomely within a decade. So were the shareholders after Harley went public: $1,000 invested in Harley stock in 1986 was worth $34,880 a decade later.


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Four years later the Motor Company was again on the brink of bankruptcy (the first time was in the late 1960s when AMF rescued it). In alarm, Citicorp, which had financed the management buyout, wanted its money, some $40 million. Days before the plug was to be pulled, Beals and two associates—Richard Teerlink and Tom Gelb—convinced Heller Financial to provide funding. It helped that the No. 2 man at Heller was a Harley rider. The investment bankers were amply rewarded when the work that Beals and senior managers started in 1981 paid off handsomely within a decade. So were the shareholders after Harley went public: $1,000 invested in Harley stock in 1986 was worth $34,880 a decade later. At the heart of that success, now the subject of university courses in business management, was unending customer enthusiasm for the brand. Even when quality was at its poorest, the devoted rider was known for saying “I would rather push my Harley than ride a rice burner.” Tapping into that loyalty and promoting excitement and lifestyle over hardware truly started during the Beals era at Harley-Davidson. “What really worked is how all those management guys got on motorcycles and went to rallies. There was no rally of any size that wasn’t attended by one or more of those guys. Pretty soon the customers know who’s who. If they have a problem, they are going to look for the president or head of marketing or whatever and tell them what their problem is. “Monday morning, when the guys get back to the office, they know what the heck is happening out in the field. They weren’t just sitting at desks, waiting till they had five or six problems from each of 600 dealers to know they had a major problem.” Another critical moment came in 1983, with the creation of H.O.G. — the Harley Owners Group. The idea was born at a meeting with an acclaimed marketing consultant in Florida, who asked the managers what they did with the riders, apart from riding at rallies. “What evolved was the concept of a club for owners and how we could get the dealers and the customers together on a

routine basis. We could also get officers in the company involved in riding with these local groups. “Clyde Fessler [later, a Motor Company vice-president] came back with the name H.O.G. How much better could it get than that?” In 1984 Beals and his wife flew out to the Los Angeles area for the first H.O.G. rally: “I think we had 28 people and half of them were factory people.” Twenty-five years later H.O.G. boasts more than one million members worldwide, making it the largest single-make motorcycle organization on the planet. H.O.G. has had a huge impact

“I can’t think of any single decision that has had more impact [on the company’s success] to this day,” Beals says. In 1983 Beals took the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to court seeking protection from imports, especially “dumping.” It was a desperation move as Harley struggled to stay alive. “Our law firm said it’s a great law in concept but nobody has ever got any material benefit from it. We said we don’t really care. What we are trying to do is just keep the Japanese off balance and get through this spring. Then, maybe, we will make it through the year.” The petition to the International Trade Commission was successful, and President Ronald Reagan imposed additional tariffs on heavyweight Japanese bikes. An even greater moral and PR victory came four years later when Harley asked for the tariffs to be lifted, signaling it had regained its competitive edge. But in the background of this American success story there have always been the motorcycles, and the Beals years saw improvements in quality and productivity. The introduction in 1984 of the Softail design with its concealed rear shocks had “an immense impact on success,” says Beals, giving credit to Jeff Bleustein, head of engineering. That year also saw the debut of the V2 Evolution engine, after seven years of development started in the AMF era. The 1,340-cubic-centimeter Evo pumped out more horsepower, ran cooler, cleaner—and was oil-tight. Within the walls of Harley factories,

unseen to the customer but crucial to the success, there were changes going on to company culture: 1) Employee involvement 2) Just-in-time (JIT) production 3) Statistical operator control Employment involvement is simply that. During the AMF years, the expertise and experience on the floor of the factories were largely ignored. Starting with the Beals era, quality circles receive the full commitment of management and employees have genuine influence. Harley’s take on JIT is called MAN (for Materials As Needed). Parts and raw materials are purchased and built only as they are required, dramatically lowering costs and improving quality. Statistical operator control means employees are given the training and tools to monitor the quality on their own. Problems can be rectified at the source, quickly and efficiently. Beals and his fellow executives, as

much as they were locked in a fierce competition with the Japanese, had no qualms about touring rival plants in the United States and Japan and learning all they could. A quote from Beals reported in Forbes magazine tells it all: “We discovered the key reason for our lack of competitiveness was poor management, by world-wide and not just U.S. standards. We were being wiped out by the Japanese because they were better managers. It wasn’t robotics, or culture, or morning calisthenics and the company songs. It was professional managers who understood their business and paid attention to detail.” Manufacturing must be automated

More than anyone, Beals understood that “you can’t achieve high standards by the old fashioned way of manufacturing. You have to automate it.” He gives all credit for that to Tom Gelb, who ran manufacturing at Harley. His own role in the turnaround Beals downplays, but clearly there is pride:

“There are few companies in the U.S. that can point to as long a run of profitable years. Even this past year, the company made 16 percent after-tax profit, with a strike—and it shouldn’t have had the darn strike. The year before it was 18 percent.” His greatest satisfaction comes from the market share. Harley has close to 50 percent of the heavyweight market. “To beat the Japanese was one heck of an accomplishment, because it took productivity and quality to do that.” What about the possibility of a takeover with the Harley-Davidson stock price dropping sharply in the recent economic turmoil? “God, I hope it stays independent. The price is cheap enough now that that’s a real threat. It would be a disaster. The Harley style of customer relations is such an inbred thing with those who are going through this. They know what it takes to make it work. There aren’t many companies that have ever accomplished what we have.” G


Get out to ride

Vaughn and Eleanore Beals in rally mode.

First, Vaughn Beals had to learn to ride a motorcycle, then get his wife involved. After that, getting senior executives and managers out there was easy: “I figured the only way you can understand who the customers are is if you ride with them. I can’t conceive running a motorcycle company and not being an active rider. “I had never ridden a motorcycle, and I don’t think I ever would have ridden one if I hadn’t gotten in the business. I started there in Milwaukee in December and obviously it wasn’t a good time to practice. “By spring, I went around the parking lot a few times and finally hitched up my britches and rode home one morning, Sunday morning about seven o’clock, before traffic started. That almost produced a divorce. My wife, Eleanore, didn’t think that was the smartest thing I ever did.” At first, Eleanore would agree only to short rides, generally with friends like Jeff Bleustein and his wife, who loved to ride. “We finally decided we had to get more serious about this. So I said why don’t we take a long weekend and go to a place in northern Wisconsin 100plus miles away. I took a Friday off—and of course it was pouring. We rode mostly in rain and that didn’t add to her interest at all. But, on the return trip, “God was nice to us. The sun came out and it was one of those great days. After the rains, everything twinkled. By the time we got home, she was an enthusiast who wouldn’t stop. So we rode coast to coast and to many rallies. We even did most of Europe on a Harley.” Beals gave up his last Harley, a Liberty Edition Electra Glide, when he was about 75 years old: “We just figured we were too old to be falling off motorcycles.”

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Selecting the most significant events in the history of Harley-Davidson is akin to choosing a favorite ride: So many great choices that leaving some off the list seems sacrilegious. Here is Glor y Road’s take on the most memorable moments in Harley-Davidson history. While some may debate our picks for the top 12, all can agree that there are many great moments still to come. By Scott Himelhoch, Contributing Editor

1903 The Motor Company introduces the first V-twin powered motorcycle with a displacement of 49.5 cubic inches and seven horsepower.

William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson make available the first production Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The “Bar & Shield” logo first appears and is trademarked a year later.



The teardrop gas tank becomes a Harley-Davidson signature and is included on all models.

Rear View Mirror


Great moments in the Motor Company’s 105-year history


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

The “flathead” is introduced, a 45-cubic-inch engine so reliable that variations are produced until 1972.

The modern cruiser is born when HarleyDavidson introduces the FX 1200 Super Glide.


Thirteen Harley-Davidson senior executives complete the buyback of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company from AMF.

1929 H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) is born, eventually becoming the largest such motorcycle organization in the world with more than a million members.



1971 Harley-Davidson MotorClothes is launched with an expanded line including leather jackets, casual sportswear and small leather goods for men, women and children.

1990 2001


The Fat Boy is introduced and immediately becomes a modern design legend.

The VRSCA V-Rod is introduced. The V-Rod is HarleyDavidson’s first motorcycle to combine fuel injection, overhead cams and liquid cooling, and deliver 115 horsepower.


More than 150,000 enthusiasts gather in Milwaukee for the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration and Party and opening of the spectacular Harley-Davidson Museum.

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Motorcycle legend Erik Buell, left, designed an electric guitar for rocker Mike Stone of Queensryche after learning about their mutual love of guitars and bikes.


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Buell: Engineer, rocker, family man

A life in balance

Erik Buell and the art of motorcycle design: an American story


Every single day that Erik Buell walks into the motorcycle company in East Troy, Wisconsin, that displays his name over the door, he comes face to face with the twin angels of his inspiration. One is the sublime karmic reward that comes from creating clever machinery, good jobs and a motorcycle community. The other is a darker sort—a jagged-toothed demon ready to bite him in the butt should his efforts fall short. Buell sees himself as an underdog, in constant motion, drawn and driven by those angels. As unlikely as it may seem, the late U.S. President Herbert Hoover is a good guide to the psyche of engineers such as Buell. Hoover took more pride in his engineering career than his presidency; he recognized the angels that drive men like Erik Buell and described them in his memoirs. He talked about the

By Peter Swanson / Contributing Editor

satisfaction of “watching a figment of the imagination emerge through aid of science to a plan on paper … to realization in stone or metal or energy.” Hoover was most poignant, however, about the downside— the engineer’s total accountability. “His acts, step by step, are in hard substance,” Hoover wrote. “He cannot bury his mistake like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny that he did it.” What is it that Erik Buell has done? He and his team have taken the standard stuff of modern motorcycles­—the metal, rubber, plastic and energy—and put it together a little differently. The result is a family of motorcycles generally classed as sportbikes, the only bikes of their type made in the U.S. 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Critics describe Buell’s bikes as “quirky”— which means, of course, they incorporate innovations that other manufacturers will eventually imitate but haven’t done so yet.

Always a hands-on guy, Erik Buell, left, and two of Buell factory technicians look for a way to improve a part on the 1125R.

Critics describe Buell’s bikes as “quirky”—which means, of course, they incorporate innovations that other manufacturers will eventually imitate but haven’t done so yet. Erik Buell, 58, is a great interview, a fact glory road knew before ever speaking with him. In interviews others had done, Buell comes off as at once articulate, humble and heroic. His story sounds like that of the exceptional guy in the Hollywood movie who seems ordinary until his triumph over adversity proves otherwise. Which brings us to the launch of the most powerful manifestation of Buell engineering ever wrought. Buell has announced the second coming of its successful launch of the 1125R, an exotic racing machine. The new iteration is called the 1125CR, initials that stand for “café racer.” Here it should be mentioned that Erik Buell has an alter ego. He is lead singer and guitarist for the Thunderbolts rock band. Buell and a changing cast of musically inclined compadres tour the Milwaukee area, belting out a bluesy mix of original motorcycle-themed songs and a wide range of covers. Thunderbolts originals sound like a cross between Steppenwolf (Born to be Wild) and ZZ Top, not to mention a strong dose of Jimi 134

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Hendrix, whose music Buell absolutely adores. Buell’s lyrics also have been compared to Neil Young’s. Buell was traveling the day we spoke to him by telephone. We were wrapping up the interview because checkout time at his hotel was approaching. What do you think of Richard Thompson, we asked, referring to the British singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known in the U.S. for the popular motorcycle tune 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. As a question, this one was just an afterthought, but it got Buell revved up. Funny you should ask, he said, because that song has a connection to the 1125CR. Buell tells how he and some of the honchos at Harley-Davidson were meeting about the new lineup when conversation turned to the “café racer” designation proposed for the new incarnation of the 1125. For those unfamiliar with the history, a café racer was an informal designation for stripped-down street-racing bikes in Britain during the 1950s and early ’60s, when young riders would race from a café to a set point and back, trying to complete the round trip before a particular tune had finished playing on the jukebox, which back then was rarely longer than a couple of minutes. The café racers were

aspiring tough guys, if not actual criminals—just like the protagonist in 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, an armed robber named James Adie. At the meeting, Harley execs were questioning the appropriateness of the CR designation. Harley, after all, is supreme master of nostalgia marketing, and because there had been a Café Sportster XLCR in 1977-78, the term café racer meant “antique bike” to the boys at H-D. Buell prides himself on thinking “rider down,” and to him it seemed the Harley guys were failing to understand the 1125 customer. So how did Buell defend “café racer?” He turned the meeting into a musical. He transformed himself into James Adie, rider and armed robber, and started spewing lyrics from 1952 Vincent Black Lightning: Now I’m twenty-one years, might make twenty-two, And I don’t mind dying but for the love of you.


As Buell recalls: “Some folks were claiming that the old H-D XLCR was what represented a café racer, which was a nostalgic kind of bike all about image. I said the spirit was alive and well in young riders today riding streetfighters, and that although the XLCR was one of the last bikes to carry the designation and was not fast in its day, the real café racers in the ’50s and ’60s were as badass as a bike could be and were very much a young and wild man’s motorcycle. So I started singing the song. I’m sure that convinced them I was rational.”

“pasta burners” and doesn’t much like the more neutral term “metrics” either, especially now that the 1125’s motor is supplied by Rotax, an Austrian (and therefore metric) enginemaker. In fact, it may surprise many of his customers to learn Buell looks to the late Japanese engineer/industrialist Soichiro Honda to inspire his work in the same way he looks to Hendrix to inspire his music. “He’s definitely a guy I admire,” Buell said, referring in particular to Honda’s design of the Honda 50 step-through, often described as the Volkswagen Beetle of motorcycles. “The Honda 50 was fundamentally a great design. There have probably been more step-through Hondas made than any vehicle ever made. And I think they are still being produced in some Third World countries. Soichiro was an interesting guy who did interesting things in the way he ran his company, the way he treated people. And he was a hands-on guy. Now it’s a big company with its foibles but back then …” Racing days

But the story has moved ahead of itself. By the late 1970s, Buell was working as motorcycle mechanic by day while putting himself through mechanical engineering classes at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1979. He turned down job offers at General Motors and others and flew to Milwaukee on his own nickel to present himself to Harley-Davidson at a time when the company was down in the dumps. He got the job and distinguished himself, particularly in chassis design. Here’s Harley-Davidson’s official take on Buell’s Tinkering in the barn contribution: Hard to believe, for someone born as recently as 1950, but “Buell was able to put the big bikes to the test, riding the Buell’s childhood belongs to a lost world—before comput- cruisers well beyond the limits on test tracks that any normal ers, computer games and round-the-clock adult supervision rider would be able to duplicate on the street. Buell’s rigorcreated a nation of listless, light-deprived children. ous test riding, along Erik Buell’s formative years couldn’t have been more with the state-of-thedifferent—he grew up on an actual farm in Western art electronic chassis Erik Buell at speed back in his racing days. Pennsylvania. testing instrumentaFor teenagers in those days, the place to spend tion and development time wasn’t in their bedroom with the Game Boy, but test methodology he in the garage or barn, playing loud music with their implemented, helped friends and messing around with engines. Many were to greatly improve the riding motorcycles before they were old enough for handling of Harley’s a driver’s license—which, if you think about it, made street bikes.” them entry-level outlaws. So it began with Buell and Harley was still his first ride, an Italian Parilla 90-cc moped. struggling in the early Like many young people who go to college right 1980s, and Buell felt it from high school, Buell felt directionless. He dropped out to would be unseemly to race an Italian or Japanese machine, play in a rock band for a few years. One bike led to the next. but he didn’t put off his dream entirely. He bought an obscure He raced motocross before getting into road racing. By his British 750 with the intention of competing in the Formula One mid-20s he was privateering in national competitions held by class, but soon learned the bike was a clunker. Not long afterthe American Motorcycle Association. He was good enough ward the manufacturer went out of business. Buell bought the for top ten finishes, and his rides bore the logos of Yamaha tooling, presumably at a bargain price, and had it shipped to his and Ducati. home workshop, confident he could turn that crazy machine Perhaps that’s part of the reason Buell doesn’t go for the into a contender. jingoistic world view of some American riders, the ones who He did, and it was—it was the contender from hell. “The are quick to put down foreign products. He respects his com- bike was incredibly hard to ride,” Buell says in the official H-D petition too much to deride foreign bikes as “rice rockets” or history. “The power was like a light switch. This thing was a

2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Buell looks to the late Japanese engineer/ industrialist Soichiro Honda to inspire his work in the same way he looks to Hendrix to inspire his music.

monster. It was terrifying to ride.” Buell had found his passion. He left his job at Harley and put his Buell 750RW (for road warrior) on track for Formula One glory. But the sanctioning organization, the AMA, had other plans and dropped the class in favor of the more popular Superbike class, which left Buell with neither a race venue nor a market for his product. It was a body blow, erasing nearly his entire effort. Despite this crushing disappointment, Buell had created something tangible and salvageable from the 750RW experience—a superb racing chassis. Harley had surplus 1000-cc engines and a surplus of affection for Buell himself. They struck a deal. In 1985 Buell launched the RR1000, combining the H-D XR1000 motor, Buell’s Grand Prix-style chassis and exotic bodywork. As you may recall, the media then was predicting that Japan would soon rule the world, not just the motorcycle world, so the sheer counterintuitive direction taken by Buell caught the audience by surprise. His breakthrough bike became a modest success. Enter Harley-Davidson


GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

Erik Buell, rear left, met up eight years ago with his college flame, Tish, rear centre, and they married. Here they are with three of their six children.

every skill, every bit of talent of everyone on the team.” Buell’s philosophy is to build bikes “from the rider down,” machines capable of inducing a state of enlightenment. Nowhere has he explained it better than in his remarks to a Canadian newspaper writer: “I want the bike to disappear when I’m riding. I want to feel like I have wings on my feet. I want to be in that Zen zone.” Trilogy of Tech

All well and good, but how does one make that happen? What alchemy allows someone to combine “science and metal and energy” into the sublime experience described by Buell? Back down to earth, he calls the principles behind his philosophy the “Trilogy of Tech.” It being a trilogy, you would expect three principles, but like the Three Musketeers (about four guys with swords, not muskets) there are actually four. The first three are mass centralization, low unsprung weight and chassis rigidity. The fourth is multifunctional design, which means designing components to do more than one job. Fewer parts mean greater simplicity,


Again, from the official H-D history: “Over the next several years, Erik Buell refined those concepts into his own line of street motorcycles, while maintaining close relations with Harley. And in the ’90s, Harley began to invest in the motorcycle company its former engineer founded, eventually increasing its ownership to 100 percent of the Buell brand by 2003.” The day we spoke to Erik Buell coincided with his company’s celebration of 25 years in business and the launch of his café racer for the new millennium. Buell says he has rarely felt that he could ever afford the luxury of looking back. Running scared might seem an undignified way to put it, but even under the protection of Harley-Davidson, success was never guaranteed. As every H-D securities filing reminds its investors, the vast financial resources of overseas competitors means that they can always outspend Harley. “I don’t have time to think about the successes we have had, but about what we’re doing for the future,” Buell says. “And even though there is really some substance in what we’ve done, I’m always focusing to make sure that next thing will be something better. It wasn’t like we were ever leading the pack. First we had to catch up. “Here we were, the first American sport bike company. How can we pull this off? We don’t have a lot of money, government support, and we don’t have low wages, but that’s okay. It was the real pioneer spirit that brought out the best in America, and we knew that if we were going to be better, we would have to be different and not just in the product but how we engineered things. And we don’t have a big team so we would have to use

which makes for fewer problems and lower costs. Buell’s trademark underslung exhaust system is an easyto-explain element of mass centralization. Too bad the Buell website no longer shows the video of Erik Buell swinging a muffler from his outstretched arms, then making the same movement while hugging the pipe close to his body. The bit of theater made the centralization point very convincingly. Buell’s engineering team also pioneered an “inside out” brake system that allowed them to use a front wheel that was several pounds lighter than conventional wheels, thus vastly reducing unsprung weight. Buell chassis are robust aluminum spars, and the 1125 integrates the motor for added strength and rigidity rather than just holding it bolted in place. Chassis sections also take the place of a fuel tank. Not only do these spar components hold a great volume of fuel, they do so down low. A lesson from the track: Buell the racer never liked the unbalanced feel of his ride when its traditional high-set fuel tank had just been topped. No balance, no Zen zone. Pitching the product

Besides his role as chief engineer, Erik Buell is the company front man, traveling the world, talking up his product to a tech-savvy consumer base. “We know we’ve got to sell to the more technology-oriented people because our bikes are different. We’re not well known, and we don’t have a big ad budget,” he says. “We need to appeal to a thinking person, not ‘Hey dude, my buddy got a 600G. I’m gonna get one, too.’ Plus I have got to do innovative solutions to make the business work. I want to build great motorcycles, and I also want to build a great business with high wages. Innovation helps because it can be patented, so it isn’t easily copied.” Buell’s impulse to innovate is not confined to his bike factory. Besides his extracurricular activities with the Thunderbolts, Buell is also good pals with rider and guitarist Mike Stone of Queensryche, who returned to his native Wisconsin to raise a family. Together they designed a futuristic electric guitar that they plan to see go into production. The collaboration seemed logical to Stone, who says, “Erik’s thing is balance, and his designs tend to be very unique and forward thinking. For this collaboration I wanted a modern, crushing guitar that can do everything, but be very curvy and sexy.” For inspiration, Buell studied some old Vargas pinup girls on the Internet. “There was one with a woman looking over her shoulder and her body’s twisted,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I thought that’s cool because it’s dynamic, it’s got that motion, not that classic hourglass shape. So I wound up making this guitar that’s twisted a little bit. It’s offset, and then I carved the shape of it so it would be comfortable everywhere you touched it.” The Thunderbolts, by the way, have released a new CD, Riders of the Edge, with nine original tunes on board. Music is another force that complements and balances Buell’s hectic life. Much of the Thunderbolts playlist may be bike-related, but plenty are just the songs we all grew up listening to in the 1970s and ’80s.

Angry stage presence

Buell is a different guy on stage. He says he adopts a musical persona very much unlike his own easy-going self. Music is an emotional release for him, his lyrics edgy and occasionally angry. One track, Alive, pays homage to a couple of rider friends who lost their lives on the highway but does so not by memorializing them as individuals but by railing at social forces that Buell says threaten freedom and imagination. I’m alive, and I’m gonna ride Right through your plans to break our pride, ’Cause freedom is the power, destroy your ivory tower It’s the ever-growing flower of our mind. “We pull it off pretty well live because it means a lot to me. In short, you don’t need to have a great voice to pull it off, just the passion to scream,” Buell says. “The next CD we do will have a lot of songs full of old-man teenage angst!” The back-story to a life of racing, engineering and rock ’n’ roll may well be the most dramatic one of all—a tale of love lost and regained. Buell is father to six kids, ranging from 15 to 25 years old, two of whom have last names different than his own. He calls it a “blended family.” “I was divorced several times. However, my wife, Tish, was my college sweetheart and the love of my life. She was the golden child of her family, and I was her black sheep brother’s friend. Despite her family’s horror, we were very much in love and planned to be married. But Tish left me because she thought I was going to kill myself racing,” Buell recalls. “She was raising two young sons with a very nice man, when he was struck down with cancer. I ran into her by the most amazing set of circumstances, and we have been together for eight years and married for nearly six. The whole story of our relationship would be worth many chapters, if not a novel. There are a number of very spiritual and miraculous things that have happened during it. She is absolutely wonderful.” Erik, you should write a book, we say. He laughs and says he would never be able to find the time. He says he has a crazy 200-year The artwork for the Thunderbolts’ new CD Riders of the Edge has a business plan for Buell sci-fi biker theme Motorcycle Company that needs his attention. “We could be building motorcycles for tooling around the asteroids,” he says, revealing that he’s a bit of a sciencefiction fan. Before you dismiss Buell’s futuristic vision, take a look at the concept drawing. It’s the cover art for the ­Thunderbolts CD. G 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Buell: Superbike, streetfighter, adventure bike

Radical departure Liquid-cooled Helicon engine makes the 1125 an instant success The 1125 series may well mark the most important step Buell Motorcycles has ever taken, strategically distancing itself even further from Harley-Davidson in technology and marketing. Buoyed by the 1125R’s instant success at the racetrack, this 146-horsepower superbike has been an immediate sales success. With the By Peter Swanson / Contributing Editor 138

GLORY ROAD I 2009-2010

launch of the 1125CR (for Café Racer), Buell has brought the same performance and “sinister” looks to the streetfighter market. With the 1125R, Buell went with a liquid-cooled engine, departing from a 25-year tradition of using Harley-Davidson-style powerplants. Buell developed its new Helicon engine in a collaboration with BRP-Rotax in Austria. The decision to go

with liquid cooling was driven by business considerations as much as anything. Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, said that while he is proud of the performance achieved by Buell with American-made air-cooled V-Twins, the sportbike market is overwhelmingly inclined to liquid-cooled engines. If Buell was going to appeal to a larger market beyond its current “niche within a niche,” it had to respond to the demands of the consumer. A domestically produced liquidcooled powerplant would have been years away—Harley’s engine development teams are booked solid—so Buell’s team cast about for a partner that would build an entirely new engine to Buell’s detailed specifications. In BRP-Rotax, Buell said his company had found a soul mate. It didn’t hurt that the three-year effort was headed by a “German kid” who had worked at Buell as an intern

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Matt Lachman, Sales Manager at Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell, takes on twisties with the 1125R.

before finding a job at Rotax. “The fit of culture was extremely important to us. It was very important to find someone who shared our vision of quality and how you execute things,” Buell told an Australian audience at the unveiling of the 1125R. “We went to Rotax with a spec book that was huge and thorough. It didn’t tell them everything they had to execute in the engine, but it did tell them what we wanted the engine to do in great detail—more than from anyone else who had ever given them a spec sheet, according to them.” The Helicon engine uses four vertical valves per cylinder, dual overhead cam in a 72-degree V-Twin displacing 1125 cubic centimeters and producing 146 horsepower. With a six-speed transmission, the combination makes for “a wide, flat power band”—from 3,500 to over 10,000 RPM—that requires less shifting on twisty roads. “What I don’t want is to be in the middle of a turn and have the tire light because I'm right on the edge of the power band,” Buell told one interviewer. When Rotax crunched the numbers, the bottom line was 1125 cubic centimeters. This might have been bad news—the Superbike racing rule limited displacement to 1000 cubic centimeters—but Buell did not care. He had been burned by racing rules before [See the Erik Buell


Top: The new 1125CR (Café Racer) takes the sportbike styling of the 1125R, below, and dresses it up in a sinister, streetracer black.

profile] and refused to let them be a factor. In one of the great ironies of his career, the American Motorcyclist Association, a governing body for American superbike racing, revised its 2008 rules to allow twins of up to 1200 cubic centimeters to compete—just in time for the 1125R. The AMA taketh, and the AMA giveth away. Accidental contender or not, the 1125 was headed for the tracks. Buell, a former “privateer” himself, believes in showing “competence through racing.” “We’re hoping more folks will be racing 1125s next year, and the guys racing them this year are doing pretty darned well. I would expect race success will definitely help sell these 1125s,” Buell told Glory Road.

In March 2008, the only two 1125Rs in a field of 32 racers finished third and fifth in Germany’s Hockenheim 1000. These surprising performances were followed a few days later by more of the same— second- and fourth-place finishes in the French Top Twin event against a field heavy with bad-boy Ducatis. In June, the 1125R won its first major North American event, the MOTO-ST 500K in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Since then, the victories have kept on coming. As a marketing strategy, triumph at the tracks is a winner. “That will convert the youth over,” said Matt Lachman, Sales Manager at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell (part of the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming), who noted Buell already enjoys a following among older, savvier riders. The new model line-up sees the 1125 move from its superbike incarnation to a streetwise hybrid that Buell says is “part superbike, part streetfighter.” The new 1125CR café racer harkens back to the badass street racers of 1960s Britain. Unlike the 1125R, the position of the rider is more upright for comfort in general riding conditions. Soon after its debut, riders discovered some 1125Rs throttled a tad unpredictably at low RPM so the engineers went back to work and came up with new targeted fuel injectors, relocated O2 sensors, and updated engine spark and fuel maps. (The new spark and fuel maps are available for the previous model as well.) >> 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Buell: Superbike, streetfighter, adventure bike

Nimble, reliable, easy to own The world knows of two fantastic rides called the Firebolt. The fact that Harry Potter’s favorite mode of transportation is a broomstick called Firebolt may not be entirely coincidental. The motor­ cycle media has suggested Buell must have used some kind of Wisconsin wizardry to create its XB12R Firebolt, claiming the bike performs far better than the specs suggest possible. “The frame geometry is far too radical to be stable. The engine is too heavy and slow revving,” one critic wrote on his way to concluding that the Firebolt was nevertheless “one of the most potent track bikes you ever imagined.” The Firebolt is a superbike powered by the Thunderstorm 1203-cubic-centimeter, 45-degree V-Twin, churning out 103 horsepower. Yes, it is derived from a ­Harley-Davidson engine, but Eric Buell bristles a bit when someone says the Thunderstorm is a Harley engine. Buell’s team has refined the Thunderstorm to tease out every bit of performance without sacrificing the engine’s cast-iron reliability. It may 140

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be air-cooled, but it is also oil-cooled with a fan assist, and thanks to a sophisticated engine control module, the Thunderstorm passes even California’s stringent emission standards without requiring a catalytic converter. “It’s not about specs. If you want to go see who has the highest top speed, that doesn’t take any experience at all,” says Erik Buell, the Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell. “But if you want to ride twisty roads and really stretch a bike to the limit, you can ride this bike for a very long time without getting tired. It’s so nimble, flicking through the corners with very little effort.” The same agility that makes the Firebolt fun to ride on the streets also accounts for its track performance. After all, there


Firebolt XB12R

are two ways that one motorcycle can pass another-on the straight or in a turn. Guess at which the Firebolt excels? One commentator said the bike’s ability to lean into a turn was limited only by the courage of the rider. Nimble and balanced, the Firebolt XB has been the ultimate test bed for Buell’s Trilogy of Tech: mass centralization, low unsprung weight and stiffness of chassis. That’s why the frame is configured of massive aluminum spars, which double as the 3.8-gallon fuel tank, thus positioning fuel weight down low. Mass centralization is the reason too for the underslung exhaust system. Trilogy of Tech is the philosophy behind the Buell ZTL (zero torsional load) front brake system, which uses an “inside-out” rotor to spread braking force along the rim and not concentrate it at the hub. As a result the spokes require less material, so less unsprung weight is required. Minimizing unsprung weight also explains the choice of a drive belt over a drive chain. These and other innovations have spread throughout the Buell line, including the 1125R and CR models. Happily, these ideas don’t make the bikes more complicated. Quite the opposite, the use of reliable air-cooled engines in the XB series, and of engineering components that do double duty, lowers initial costs and maintenance by virtue of simplicity. According to the 2006 J.D. Powers survey (the last that mentioned individual motorcycle brands by name), the cost of owning a Buell XB series motorcycle is lower than most all others in its class. —PS

Large aluminum spars form the Firebolt frame, and double as its 3.8-gallon gas tank.

Full-frontal attitude

XBs make a statement, fashion and otherwise


With its twin headlights and its skeleton on the outside, the XB looks like a predatory insect on steroids.

hollywood likes naked. Drama thrives on menace. That’s why the naked, menacing styling of the Buell Lightning streetfighter has earned the XBs their share of leading roles and bit parts on the big and small screens. Granted, some of these may have been real stinkers, but don’t blame the bikes. Their movie credits include Ghost Rider, Blade: Trinity, 88 Minutes, Ballistic and Nitro. On the small screen, there was the sci-fi TV show Sliders, the sitcom The Collector and even a cameo in the classic French series Josephine, Ange Gardien (Guardian Angel). Says Matt Lachman, movie fan and Sales Manager for Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell: “Any time you have

a naked bike that’s all motor and wheels, you're going to create that really tough impression for people. Also when you get that sound, that exhaust sound, growling and rumbling, you’re going to create that impression.” Beginning in 2009, Buell’s naked styling crossed over even further to the dark side. Black finish was applied to the engine, frame, swing­ arm, powertrain, fork and other visible components of the Lightning series (as well as the Firebolt), reinforcing the XB’s aggressive look. With the twin headlamps and the wearing of its skeleton on the outside, it looks like a predatory insect on steroids. Besides the liquid-cooled 1125CR, Buell sells three streetfighters built around an air-cooled V-Twin engine—the XB12Ss, the XB12Scg and the XB9SX. Unlike Buell superbikes, these street machines feature an upright position for the rider, better to see and be seen. The XB12Ss is designated as the Lightning Long for its 53.7-inch wheelbase, compared to the XB’s usual 52, and a seat height of 30.6 inches. The result is a better fit for taller riders—or more correctly, riders with long arms and legs. More room also for a passenger and more frame for fuel (4.4-gallon capacity). The

net result is a comfortable ride and extra range desirable in a commuting bike. The XB12Scg (for center of gravity) achieves the same comfort, except in this case for riders less long of limb. By lowering the suspension and reshaping the saddle, the XB12Scg achieves a seat height of only 28.6 inches, appealing to streetfighters of the fairer sex. Bodywork on both the XB12Ss and XB12Scg comes in three colors—Midnight Black, Cherry Bomb Translucid or Hero Blue Translucid—and both are powered by the 1200-cubic-centimeter version of the Thunderstorm V-Twin. Not so the XB9SX or “City X,” which carries a 984-cubic-centimeter ­Thunderstorm V-Twin, geared for the urban environment. Calling it a “middleweight class” streetfighter, Buell publicists imagined a scenario right out of one those movies mentioned earlier. “The quick-revving nature and broad power band … lets the City X pull briskly away from traffic and accelerate past pesky cabs, while an upright rider position, wide Supermotostyle handlebar and intuitive handling help the City X scat around potholes and dodge through back alleys.” The City X has a seat height of 30.1 inches and comes in two colors, Cherry Bomb Translucid or Hero Blue Translucid. Naked indeed! —PS 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD


Buell: Superbike, streetfighter, adventure bike

Ulysses a versatile on- and off-road warrior

all the other Buell XBs are named after forces of nature. The Ulysses is named after a guy repeatedly beset upon by those forces, not to mention a few monsters. He was a Greek warrior who got lost coming back from the Trojan War and wandered for 10 years in a hostile world before finally coming home to his wife. (That’s what he told her anyway.) Because the Ulysses XB12X and XB12XT are designed for journeys to the ragged edge of civilization, should you decide to go with one of these bikes, consider mounting a GPS on the handlebars so you don’t end up like our wandering hero. Alaska or bust! Baja, baby! 142

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Marketed as adventure sportbikes, “Ulys” are Buell’s best selling aircooled models. Product-wise, they can best be described as in-betweeners. They are lighter than touring motorcycles but have many of the same luxury features found on the big boys. They are heavier than dedicated off-road machines (so you won’t be climbing rocks) but nimble enough to negotiate dirt paths with panache—particularly aboard the X model. Nothing suits off-pavement riding better than a machine whose balance is near perfect. As you might have read elsewhere in this section, Buell’s Trilogy of Tech (chassis rigidity, mass centralization, and low unsprung weight) is the engineering mantra that imbues the Ulysses and every other Buell bike with legendary agility. Much of the Ulysses versatility is due to the Buell Thunderstorm 1203-cubiccentimeter air/oil/fan-cooled, 45-degree, four-stroke V-Twin engine. The engine’s broad power band lets bike and rider negotiate slower dirt roads with minimal shifting, then morph into an acceleration beast once back on asphalt.

The XB12XT (below) comes with hardshell top and side cases, while the XB12X is more of a dual-purpose machine.

As mentioned, the XB12X is a dualpurpose machine, while the XB12XT is designed specifically for touring or commuting. Naturally given their missions, these bikes seat their riders upright for comfort on long trips or, if need be, to stand on the pegs. One major difference is in the suspension—the XB12X has more than six inches of travel, front and rear. The XB12XT, meanwhile, comes standard with hardshell top and side cases, which competing manufacturers offer as expensive options. The XT also comes with a taller windscreen and a lower seat height than its sibling. One nifty feature shared by both bikes is a three-position, dual-purpose luggage rack which Buell calls a Triple Tail system. Folded forward over the passenger seat, it is a luggage rack with tie-down hooks. Upright, it becomes a cushioned passenger backrest with grab rails. Folded back, it reverts to a luggage rack—but this time extended over the rear fender. Buell is now also offering the Ulysses as a police model with the designation XB12XP, designed for use by government agencies whose officers need to travel over unimproved terrain. —PS


Riders of the edge

if you can’t pass the road test for your motorcycle license on a Buell Blast, you probably don’t belong on two wheels. The Blast is a beautifully simple piece of engineering, designed to attract a new generation of riders, preferably turning them into lifelong Harley-Davidson or Buell customers. Right now the average Buell or Harley buyer is a man in his forties. Looking toward the long haul, Harley knows continued growth depends on promoting its vision of the motorcycle lifestyle to younger and more ethnically diverse riders and to women. Those words come right out of the company’s strategy book. The Blast was conceived to help achieve those goals. For example, the H-D Rider’s Edge Program uses Blasts to teach basic riding skills to novices, who make up many of the more than 140,000 students who have passed through the program since

its inception in 2000. (That happens to be the same year the Blast was launched.) The Blast is Buell’s only single-cylinder product. The air-cooled engine, displacing 492 cubic centimeters and developing 34 horsepower at 6,500 RPM, has been described as one half of a Harley Sportster V-Twin. It certainly preserves the same throaty sound identified with the Harley-Buell heritage. Few bikes this powerful are so well adapted to new riders and riders who are 5-foot-8 or shorter. For one thing the Blast is 360 pounds light. For another, it has two saddle heights to keep you off your tiptoes at the stoplights. The standard is 27.5 inches, fairly low to begin with, while the low-profile model is a ground-hugging 25.5 inches. To veteran riders, this may seem trivial, but being able to plant both feet flat on the asphalt is a real confidence builder. Those trying for their license attest to

Your first ride

The Blast has two saddle heights to give new riders a solid stance at stoplights.


The Blast combines economy, performance and easy handling

the ease with which a Blast negotiates the pylons and braking course of the road test. After years of riding on the road without a license (and without getting caught), a Glory Road writer finally decided to go legit a few years ago and get his motorcycle endorsement. Riding a Blast actually made taking the test enjoyable. This bike is no crotch-rocket to be sure, but if you keep up the revs in the low gears, the Blast will demonstrate respectable acceleration. It will cruise sufficiently fast for the Interstate—70 to 80 miles per hour—but you wouldn’t want to do so all day. Buell designed this bike as an entry-level trainer but also as economical transportation getting roughly 70 miles per gallon—say, for your average college student. The Blast is a reminder of an almost forgotten chapter in the history of Harley-Davidson, when it owned the Aermacchi motorcycle factory in Italy, and imported small bikes under the Harley brand to compete with the flood of small Japanese bikes. —PS

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Scott Norman with Alexa and Kendall, age 3 and 5.

Scott Norman of Idaho Falls is a compulsive striver, party animal and connoisseur of badass machinery. He is manager of a lumber yard, owner of a home audio shop, materials director for a residential construction company and co-owner of a dance school. He’s also assistant fire chief in the nearby town of Ucon, Idaho, and a family man. Work hard, play hard? You might say that. Street legal since his teens, Norman, now 33, initially favored Japanese screamers. However, the Buell brand began to enthrall his imagination. Performances at Laguna Seca and other tracks won the American sportbike a closer look. Recently Norman rode away on the latest and greatest—a Buell 1125R—purchased at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell. “I would characterize the performance as outstanding. It is phenomenal,” he says. “It’s one thing to take it for a test-ride at the dealership, but you don’t really know how good it is until you ride it day in and day out. It outperforms every other bike I’ve ever had.” He and his wife now like riding to places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sometimes mixing with the Harley crowd. They have even done the 10 hours plus to Vegas. “She says it’s the most comfortable bike of any I’ve had.” —Peter Swanson 144

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Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

It outperforms comfort!

Glenn Geddes is not a motorcycle fanatic. He just happens to own a motorcycle—in his case, a Buell Lightning XB12Ss—the way others own a stereo or a BlackBerry. It’s a bike as an accessory, as entertainment. “I don’t ride every day. I just hop on it every once in a while for fun,” says Geddes, 39, of Jackson, Wyoming. He was at a Buell dealership when the Lightning caught his eye. He would have preferred a Ulysses but it lacked one thing: the right color. “I liked all the weird innovative stuff on these bikes, but it was the Lightning’s color that sealed the deal. I just fell in love with the translucent cherry bomb red and the red rims. Just think red. If I could have had a Uly in that color, I would have bought it.” Geddes, who works in the family hotel business, likes to ride to Yellowstone National Park, two hours from Jackson. Friends have counseled him to stay away from motorcycles, saying they are dangerous, but Geddes laughs at the notion. For him the biggest hazard is the wildlife. Yellowstone is the land where the buffalo roam . . . right onto the asphalt. —Peter Swanson

Riding where the buffalo roam

Glenn Geddes with the Grand Tetons.

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No longer just a store The next time you visit Chester's Harley-Davidson,

you won’t recognize the place. A 20-year-old building on three acres of land has been transformed into a sparkling state-ofthe-art motorcycle dealership spanning eight acres. A three-year, $4-million expansion was scheduled for completion by late March 2009. The result is much more a destination than a retail store. It’s a genuine motorcycle playground! Designed to take advantage of the outdoor nature of the Phoenix market, the new Chester’s is truly an indoor/outdoor dealership as befits the Valley of the Sun. When you visit, you will be amazed how the entire facility is motorcycle-friendly, tailored for you, the customer, aimed at making your time at Chester’s more enjoyable. Here’s what you’ll find at the new and expanded Chester’s: • A 20,000-square-foot canopy will protect you and your ride from the weather. Ride right in under the canopy (or into the designated parking lot if you’re on four wheels), park the bike, and choose what you wish to do next. • Fanned out around you you’ll see New Motorcycle Sales, 146

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a new Nearly New Motorcycle Center, the new expanded entrance to Service with kiosks and service associates right there, Rentals and Fly & Ride counters, and a brightly illuminated new-bike delivery area. • The canopy area is a motorcycles-only environment, protected from the weather, but man’s best friend hasn’t been forgotten. Beyond the canopy, you’ll find Doggie Park, a natural-grass area with two antique fire plugs for use by pooches. • A mural has been erected where new owners of motorcycles can have their photos taken with images of the Harley legacy as a backdrop. • A rectangular two-acre training site has been paved for Chester’s active Rider’s Edge, the motorcycle training program sponsored by Harley-Davidson with involvement by Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Classroom facilities are nearby in a new multipurpose meeting space. • There also is a new outdoor grill area complete with the Cook Shack, a weathered old grill house, and picnic tables for cookouts, a regular feature of the dealership on weekends.


Chester’s is the hub of the Harley lifestyle in Greater Phoenix

• Across from the Cook Shack is a large area for parking bikes under cover. No organization or parking lines here, park anywhere you wish. • Back inside, adjacent to the Service area, there is a new customer lounge with a large flat-screen television and leather chairs and sofas. A pool table is located in the lounge with high pool-hall seating along the wall—Harley-Davidson branded chairs, of course. • A glass wall separates the lounge from the new-bike delivery area. “What a mouthwatering experience,” says E.B. Chester. “Your current scoot is in the shop and here are lucky people getting new ones. And look at the new ones! And if that isn’t enough temptation, just raise your eyes a little and you are looking directly into the used-bike pavilion containing more great bikes.” Conveniently, the customer lounge is adjacent and connected to Parts, Service and a refreshment area where vending machines and restrooms are located. • A novel feature of Rentals (for everyone) and Fly & Ride (for members of Harley Owners Group) is highly lighted area complete with packing tables for customers to utilize in changing their luggage from the airline to the bike configuration. Chester's also offers rental customers a secure storage area in which to store luggage they wish to leave behind while riding. • One of the hopes of the dealership is that rental customers

will discover the great motorcycles and special lifestyle of Harley-Davidson, thus, the rental check-out and -in area is located directly beside the new-bike delivery area and across from the used-bike pavilion. Explains E.B., “Renters get a firsthand look at the big smiles on the faces of new owners.” What hasn’t changed is the location of Chester’s, right downtown on a major state highway, at 922 South Country Club Drive in Mesa, Arizona. A bonus of all the expansion, and purchase of the adjoining five acres, is that the dusty, vacant lot next door has vanished. But there’s more to the expansion project, some three years in the making: • At the rear of the site, a new warehouse building has been constructed. The upstairs offices house the Chester family business interests, freeing up valuable space within the dealership. But the exciting news is downstairs on the main floor. The warehouse obviously needs a loading dock. The loading dock is four feet above ground—which happens to the the twoacre fenced area dedicated to Rider’s Edge. Make the loading dock about 20 feet by 30 feet and— Bingo!—you have a professional sound stage in front of a two-acre spectator area fenced in a manner allowing liquor sales at events. Yes, concerts and other outdoor events have found a proper 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




venue right at the dealership! Watch for the announcements on the calendar page at Inside the warehouse building is a meeting room with an adjacent kitchen and rest rooms. The meeting room is utilized for the East Valley H.O.G. Chapter sponsored by Chester’s and as a Rider’s Edge classroom. And—Bingo!—it’s also a green room to accommodate performers using the stage. There’s a story being the 20-foot high sign with dancing neon flames marking the entrance to the new Chester’s. When expansion was being planned, the subject of the main signage for the dealership was discussed. A large, Las Vegasstyle sign with the Harley Bar & Shield and Chester's name complete with dancing neon flames was the concept. With much trepidation, the City of Mesa was approached about such a

sign. The response was a shocker. The question asked by the City was, Why not real flames, driven by natural gas, in place of the neon? “Wow, how unexpected!” says E.B. Chester, but “in times of four-dollar gasoline, the neon won out in the end.” What about the future? You may have heard that a restaurant was one of the ideas considered by the Chester family for the southeast corner of the expanded property. The family was hesitant about getting into a business where it had no experience. Then, along came the Indian Motorcycle Company. [See adjacent story] The restaurant idea hasn’t been canned. Beside the Rider's Edge training course is a large, undeveloped pad which can accommodate additional motorcycle-related businesses or a restaurant, possibly a diner. Time will tell. G

This is the Chief Vintage model in the resurrected Indian line.

Chester’s goes Indian Chester’s Indian Motorcycle of Phoenix is open for business as a result of Chester’s being selected as the authorized Indian dealer for the entire Phoenix market. A new Indian dealership is being developed directly across the parking lot from Chester’s Harley-Davidson. The new facility is planned to open in late 2009. In the meantime, the Indian dealership and motorcycles will be located in the usedbike pavilion. The original Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company started in 1901, two years prior to Harley-Davidson, but went out of production in 1953. In the late 1900s, another company purchased the rights


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to the Indian name and began to build and sell basically kit bikes: No real manufacturing, just assembly of aftermarket components. The business failed in 2003. In 2005, another, much more sophisticated group purchased the Indian name and the leftovers of the former effort. The new group has established the Indian Motorcycle Company, based in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Indian now truly manufacturers components and assembles motorcycles and began shipping them to dealers in late 2008. The new Indian comes with a new generation 105-cubic-inch Power Plus engine designed and certified by the new owners. Site see:

PHOTO: indian motorcycle company

Revered brand is older than Harley-Davidson



Say hello to the Chesters The freedom to ride is at the heart of the business

E.B. Chester with his sons, Cliff, center, and Craig.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Ask E.B. Chester about the business structure of the

Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships and he’ll tell you: “It’s a family business. Craig is the president who oversees the daily operations. Cliff is the new business development and finance officer. The wives are directors and really call the shots. I’m the chief rainmaker and quality control fanatic.” The family runs a growing motorcycle business in five locations: • Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona, aka Greater Phoenix; • Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and its satellite stores, Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell in nearby Pocatello and Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson across

the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming; • Snake Harley-Davidson in Twin Falls, Idaho. Plans to open a sixth location in Gilbert, Arizona, are simmering on the back burner while major expansion has more than doubled the size and scope of Chester’s H-D. [See story on Page 146] Additionally, Chester’s Indian Motorcycle of Phoenix has been opened. Cliff, now 30, is an aeronautical engineer with an MBA in business Although Cliff has joined in the big rides to Daytona and Sturgis, he rides less than his father and brother. His personal passion is stock-car racing, not spectating but racing. Running his own car, Cliff’s rookie season in semi-pro went well, with car and driver intact and eager for more. 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD




E.B. Chester at his Colorado ranch with wife Kay, and on the road in Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming.

Craig, 38, started riding when he was seven years old, trail riding at first, then racing motocross as a teenager. He began riding Harleys more than a decade ago, often on long rides with his father to Daytona and Sturgis and, recently, to Alaska. Craig has undergraduate degrees in fine art as well as business. He was born with the ability to draw freehand, a talent that manifests itself in the cool way he builds custom motorcycles. Craig started working with his father early on, first in real estate, then a jet center in Vail, and started the motorcycle business with him in 2002 with the purchase of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls and its satellite, Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell, in nearby Pocatello. They opened another satellite store in Jackson, Wyoming. As the business expanded, Cliff and his father purchased Snake HarleyDavidson in 2004 and Chester's Harley-Davidson in 2005. The wives, E.B.’s wife, Kay, and Craig’s wife, Tracy, have passed motorcycle training courses but when they ride, they prefer to ride two-up with their men. When newspapers and magazines write about E.B. Chester, 150

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often they describe him as a serial entrepreneur. It’s an apt description for a man who prefers to be known simply as a Harley dealer who loves to ride. With the charm that befits a man born and raised in Georgia 66 years ago, E.B. downplays his accomplishments in business but they are legion—starting from the time he was 16 years old. How many teenagers can say they had a newspaper route that contributed to the purchase of two new cars, several motorcycles and one boat? E.B. Chester can, and that’s even before he sold the route for a handsome fee. Since then, he has bought and sold more than 200 businesses, serving as chairman, president or CEO of more than 100 privately owned corporations. He’s owned, sometimes with others, banks, cable television

Cliff Chester at the family’s Harley dealership in Mesa, Arizona.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Craig Chester at Devils Tower in Wyoming, and with wife Tracy and daughter Ava at the Mesa dealership.

systems, software companies, outdoor advertising companies, newspapers, television stations and a jet center, and found success as a venture capitalist. A mechanical engineer, E.B. began work designing machinery and was involved in developing antenna technology that helped send man to the moon in the Apollo space program. Today, motorcycling is the passion that has center stage in his life but one could hardly call E.B. one-dimensional in his recreational pursuits. Over the years, he’s owned and raced drag and road race vehicles, owned and operated two large motor yachts, been a water skier and spelunker, an advanced snow skier who was an early participant in heli-skiing, a race horse owner and breeder, a world-class hunter and a self-described “bad golfer.” Did we forget to mention he loves to fly? Over the past 35 years, E.B. has logged more than 8,000 hours of flight time as a licensed pilot in many types of aircraft. He’s owned and piloted 18 personal airplanes including eight jets. In his spare time, E.B. acted as the lead partner in developing a Colorado ranch that is owned by seven families including the Chesters and now covers more than 6,000 acres. How does he do it, accomplish so much and still find time to take his Harley on long rides 30 to 60 days a year? “When I’m working, I work intensely, I’m consumed with

what I’m doing,” E.B. explains. “I’m a project-oriented person who can see the beginning and end of what I’m working on, and then let others carry on. And I don’t schedule projects so densely that I can’t take off into the blue. “I’ve been like that all my life. I can’t do something halfway.” For E.B. Chester, the freedom to ride is the greatest thing. Enabling others to enjoy that freedom is what motivates him most as the head and heart of the Chester family of HarleyDavidson dealerships. G 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Lon Carruth

Lon Carruth Chief Administrative Officer Chester Group Like just about everyone employed in the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships, Lon Carruth, 62, the Chief Administrative Officer, has been a motorcycle enthusiast for many years. In Lon’s case, motorcycling started in 1972 BC. That’s BC as in Before Children. Soon after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Lon “got the bug.” He started with a Honda 250, then moved up to a Honda 550 and later a Suzuki 650. “After a run-in, literally, with a huge dog and a stern warning from my wife, who was very pregnant with our first child, I put motorcycling away until my first grandchild came along in 1999,” Lon recalls. “I purchased a Softail Standard, and four Harleys later I’m enjoying the riding more than ever.” The GI Bill helped Lon earn a bachelor of science degree in business administration—over eight years in night school. In North Carolina, where he grew up and lived with his family for much of his life, Lon’s sonorous voice landed him a job as a radio announcer and eventually the position of chairman of the broadcast technology department at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, North Carolina. In 1981, when E.B. Chester owned four cable television systems in North Carolina and neighboring states, Lon went to work for him the first time. That lasted until 1991, when he was Vice-President of Operations at First Carolina 152

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Chris Farney

Communications. During that period, neither had any knowledge of the other’s passion for motorcycling. Imagine their surprise when they met the next time, in 2006, at a Harley-Davidson dealer meeting, when E.B. was several years into the motorcycle business and Lon was General Manager of a dealership in Greenville, North Carolina! A few months later Lon moved to Arizona with his wife, Carol, to be the Business Manager at Chester’s Harley-Davidson, then General Manager. When Ray Valle was hired for the GM’s position, Lon became Chief Operating Officer for the group of dealerships owned by the Chester family. He now serves as Chief Administrative Officer. “Having had the opportunity to work with E.B. twice in my career, at very different times in our lives, is very satisfying,” Lon says. It’s a dream job, giving him an opportunity to play a vital role in the business, ride his tricked-out Road Glide to rallies such as Sturgis, and let his creative juices flow in customizing Harleys for customers [see related story on Page 80]. Chris Farney Business Manager Chester’s Harley-Davidson Chris Farney relishes the competition. “With five other dealers in the Valley, we are constantly working on separating and individualizing our dealership from the rest of the pack,” says the Business Manager at Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona. “Getting to the top was

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm


Matt Lenox

Mark Weiss

a tough and great challenge, but maintaining our dominance and staying on top is even tougher.” Even before the business was purchased by the Chester family, Chris’s first job was detailing bikes there. Then he moved into sales at a large Toyota dealership and returned to Chester’s in 2004 as a sales representative—a very good one, it turned out, as he became the top producer. Now he’s the Business Manager, responsible for completing the financial details of a purchase, including financing, extended service plans and prepaid maintenance, as well as completing titling paperwork and helping a customer obtain insurance. “Chris has grown up in our Chester’s family,” says Ray Valle, the GM at the dealership. “We have years of history with Chris and love him as much as we respect him.” Owner of a 2004 Road Glide, Chris has been around motorcycles all his life. His father was an avid rider for 30 years plus and his mother logged more than 73,000 miles on her own Heritage Softail. “I used to enjoy bar-hopping on my 1988 Softail Custom but have grown as a rider over the years,” says Chris. “Now, more than anything, I enjoy a quiet two-lane highway with my tunes turned up.”

different manner.” So says the man in charge of sales and finance at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. “Our customers get to see and feel a truly friendly, family-run business that has the best interests of the customer at heart. No gimmicky sale here. It’s about customers finding the right bike for them. Price is the easy part.” Matt has been in the motor vehicle industry since 1993 and with Harley-Davidson since 1998. He joined Chester’s in 2006. He’s been into motorcycles for more than 20 years, currently owns a 2002 Road Glide and has ridden across much of the country. His most notable ride, he says, was a trip to Sturgis with E.B. Chester and other dealership employees: “What a blast it was to experience riding the most beautiful roads and scenery I’ve ever had the chance to see—with a great group of guys!” What Matt enjoys most about his position is the excitement customers show when they fulfill the dream of owning their first Harley. “Matt is a professional who displays a total commitment to the passion of motorcycling,” says Ray Valle, the GM at Chester’s.

Matt Lenox General Sales Manager Chester’s Harley-Davidson

A motorcycle enthusiast for 30 years with involvement in rider training for more than a decade, Mark Weiss has an extensive depth of experience. It shows in the positive manner with which he trains instructors and teaches classes as the Rider Training Program Manager at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. >>

“Far too many dealers sell Harleys like they would a car. No offence to the car biz, but a Harley should be sold in a far

Mark Weiss Rider Training Program Manager Chester’s Harley-Davidson

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These boots were made for bikin’

Debbie Metcalfe Office Manager Chester’s Harley-Davidson


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Jon Perkins

“Seeing students realize the dream of riding a Harley-Davidson (is the bonus),” Mark says. “Getting them to be able to do that is special.” Unlike his experience before joining Chester’s in 2007, Mark is delighted that he now sees students after graduation, mainly because the dealership holds a full program of activities for customers. “Now I see the students before they take a class, after they take a class, shopping for their new bike, and after that for store events. It’s great!” Mark’s ride is a 2008 Buell Ulysses with which he makes long trips, short trips and commutes. Jon Perkins Sales Associate Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell “As cheesy as it sounds, making dreams come true” is what gives Jon Perkins the greatest satisfaction from his work in sales at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell. “When people come in to buy a Harley, they have that allAmerican dream of owning a Harley-Davidson,” Jon says. “When they leave on a Harley, I love to watch them ride off, so satisfied with what they’re riding.” His biggest challenge is “converting metric owners over to Harleys. In the wide scheme of things, it’s not that hard

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

When she starts speaking at a Garage Party for women, Debbie Metcalfe places a pair of blue boots on the table and tells the story of how she fell head over heels for Harley-Davidson. Most men won’t understand—but women will. Debbie bought her first Harley because it matched her boots. In 2003, her husband, Travis, wanted to buy a Harley. Debbie, who worked in banking, wasn’t excited by the prospect but went along with the idea, making sure he bought a model, an Ultra Classic, with a comfortable ­passenger seat. After a few rides with Travis, Debbie purchased a pair of blue flame boots because the Ultra Classic was blue. Much to Travis’s surprise, Debbie started to show more and more enthusiasm for motorcycling. Three months later, when they were at Chester’s Harley-Davidson (in its earlier incarnation as Chosa’s), Debbie spotted a 1999 FXR3 Screamin’ Eagle on the floor. It was light blue with dark blue flames. She decided immediately to buy the bike—before she even had a motorcycle endorsement on her driver’s license. Less than a year later, after thousands of miles on the road, Debbie resigned from Bank One and applied for a sales position at the dealership with the proviso she could have two weeks off in August for Sturgis. That August, Debbie sold more bikes than anyone else—despite being away at Sturgis for half the month. Today, Ray Valle, the GM at Chester’s, praises her work ethic and commitment: “Deb Metcalfe is among the top five managers I have ever had the pleasure to work with. She is without fear, totally competent at any task.” “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Debbie says. “What could be more fun than working at a Harley dealership?”

Roy Richards

Jack Hilby

to do, but you get people that are in love with their metrics, their Hondas and bikes like that. Getting them to buy into the Harley culture and to realize what they are buying is exceptional beyond any other standards for bikes—that can take time.” Greg Warrington, the GM at Grand Teton, says Jon’s most outstanding quality is his ability to identify the customers’ needs. Jon joined the dealership in 2006 after spending 11 years in the restaurant business, the last four as manager. Before then, he was a whitewater rafting guide. He has been into motorcycling for 22 years and owns a 2008 Dyna Street Bob, mainly for short trips to Yellowstone, Jackson, upper and lower Mesa Falls and day rides through the desert. Roy Richards Parts Manager Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell If you’re old enough to remember the Tote Gote, then you’ve been in motorcycling as long as Roy Richards. He owned one of the five-horsepower wonders four decades ago. Currently, he rides a 2004 FLHRS Road King Custom. He’s ridden to Harley dealer meetings in Denver and Las Vegas but mainly enjoys shorter trips in southeast Idaho. Roy’s job is, simply put, to ensure the dealership has the parts

customers want or need when the customers need them. He also advises customers interested in customizing their bikes. “Customers are fun,” Roy says. “They don’t like to put a set of tires on their truck, but they are so proud when it comes to the first set on their bike!” Roy is a veteran employee, having worked for Grand Teton Harley-Davidson since 2001, when it was located in Blackfoot, Idaho. He’s spent most of his working life in parts management, the first 20 years in the automotive field. Greg Warrington, the GM at Grand Teton, praises Roy’s devotion to the company and its customers. Jack Hilby Parts Manager Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell Jack Hilby is “a Harley-Davidson fanatic.” So says his boss, Otto Anderson, the General Manager of the Eagle Rock dealership. “He came to us with a background of service/tech, but he picked up parts really quick. He has a great attitude and he’s great with customers.” Jack is responsible for maintaining the parts inventory in Eagle Rock’s Service Department. Before joining the dealership in 2008, he was “a mechanic for two independent motorcycle 2009-2010 I GLORY ROAD



Molly Mason

Tarren Andrews

shops, mom and pop shops, for a total of 15 years.” Jack rides a 2002 Road Glide and his wife has a 2004 Dyna Super Glide: “We take mostly short trips, day trips or a threeday weekend to Boise to visit family.” He’s been messing around with motorcycles for 20 years: “My brother and I had little Hondas. We rode those things till we burned them up;” he recalls. “I enjoy being able to help customers with parts and accessory needs,” says Jack, “finding the proper fit and application, having the part available when they need it, so the customer doesn’t have any downtime.” Molly Mason MotorClothes Associate Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell Meeting people is what Molly Mason enjoys most about her work. “I love the variety of customers who come in. Many people have the idea that Harley is all about rough-and-tumble bikers. That’s part of it, but as a group they are far more diverse than that. I have seen everybody from rough-and-tumble bikers to my dentist in here.” Molly’s job at Eagle Rock is to assist with all the general merchandise that goes along with the purchase of a Harley156

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Davidson—“educating them on what kind of gear is right for them as far as helmets, leathers and everything else.” She says she got the job purely by chance. “I fell into it and loved it right away. I wouldn’t do anything else.” Otto Anderson, Eagle Rock’s GM, says Molly “dove straight into it. She’s very good at displays. She’s very likeable, customers love her.” For Molly, the biggest challenge is keeping up with the knowledge. “Harley-Davidson renews itself every year. They are always moving forward, and you just have to keep up.” Tarren Andrews Assistant Manager Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson Tarren Andrews is only 18 years old but already she’s an experienced retailer of Harley-Davidson clothing and gift items. That’s because she started work as a part-timer at Jackson Hole H-D when she was 14. Says Tom Burr, General Manager at the store, “She’s been working for me for four years and basically it’s the only job she’s had. She’s very bright for an 18-year-old. I trust her more than most 35-year-olds.” Tarren has owned dirt bikes but no Harleys—yet.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm


Dave Fisher

Fuzzy Worster

“I enjoy interacting with customers and having people be real happy with the ride they are on and with the service we provide,” Tarren says. “But working in Jackson is hard because the winters are so long. It makes for a slow work day for nine months out of the year.”

the Harley lifestyle. His biggest challenge? “It’s earning the trust of a customer.”

Dave Fisher Sales Manager Snake Harley-Davidson

Fuzzy Worster is the type of employee that all dealerships would like to have, says TJ Woodhall, the General Manager at Snake H-D. “He’s considerate, understanding, always there to help, and meticulous and thorough.” The service writer’s job is to understand the customer’s needs, answer questions about service, parts and accessories, and prepare the paperwork to get the job started After a 30-year career in the printing business, Fuzzy joined the dealership in 2005. He’s been a biker for more than 40 years and currently owns a 2007 Street Glide and a 2008 Road Glide. He likes to tour all over the Southwest, avoid freeways whenever possible. It’s not uncommon for Fuzzy to head out on a 5,000-mile ride. In his work, Fuzzy says, he derives satisfaction from helping people solve their problems, acknowledging that occasionally means “helping customers understand they may have a preconceived notion that is not realistic.” G

Chances are excellent that the first person to greet you when you walk into Snake Harley-Davidson will be Dave Fisher. “He’s always there to help in any way possible,” says TJ Woodhall, the General Manager at Snake H-D. “He does whatever it takes to get the right bike for the customer.” Prior to joining the dealership in 2007, Dave spent 14 years in the automobile business, most recently as manager of an auto dealership. He’s been riding for 17 years and currently owns a shiny 2009 Road King. He’s ridden as far as Seattle and Portland, but most recently “it’s been around town, due to working and family, with some 120-to-150-mile trips.” The biggest kick Dave says he gets as Sales Manager is when he watches a customer who has never ridden before experience

Fuzzy Worster Service Writer Snake Harley-Davidson

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Chester’s Harley-Davidson Ray Valle is dedicated to ethical sales.


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Chester’s Harley-Davidson 922 South Country Club Dr Mesa, Arizona 85210 Tel: 800-831-0404, 480-894-0404 Site: Acquired: July 2005 Total area: 45,000 sq ft After expansion: 80,000 sq ft Total employees: 78 Number of service bays: 15 New bikes on display: 100 plus Used bikes on display: 30 to 40 Buck stops here: Ray Valle

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

People often ask him why Chester’s Harley-Davidson has so many customers from outside Greater Phoenix. His answer is simple: “We treat customers well. Our sales system is called ‘honesty.’ We look our customers straight in the eye when we sell a motorcycle. There is no high pressure, no manipulation, just honesty to get customers what they want.” Ray signed on as General Manager of Chester’s H-D in 2007 after a successful stint as General Manager of a Mercedes-Benz dealership. Earlier in his career he was in the top two percent of sales reps at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Before that he founded and operated Straight Sell, a sales training organization focused on professional and ethical sales. Ray got hooked on motorcycles as a 16-year-old growing up in Arizona. Since then he has ridden “all over the United States,” including two trips to Sturgis. Daytona Bike Week will be next on his 2009 Road Glide. As Chester’s GM, Ray says he loves “providing an opportunity for our employees to ‘Live the Dream’ and financially support their families. It really is all about family! Our extended family includes our employee family, the Chester family, and our family of loyal customers and friends.” In tough economic times, one advertising theme that Chester’s H-D will be using is that “riding a Harley makes financial sense—and it’s just about the most fun you can have!” Ray has worked out the math: “According to, a car will get you 16 miles per gallon. Our Harleys get 50 miles per gallon, our Sportsters get 60 miles per gallon on the highway. If you do 16,000 miles per year, in five years you will save more than $8,000. Our Sportsters start at $6,995 so it makes financial sense to go with a Harley over a car.”

Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell Last year Sturgis, next year Daytona, Greg Warrington likes to ride

his Road King Classic. “Living in Idaho, I have the privilege to tour some of the most scenic highways in North America, including Beartooth Highway, Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park,” says Greg, the General Manager at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell. And if those, and the longer rides to Sturgis and Daytona, are not enough, Greg, who has been involved in motorcycling for 35 years, aims to ride to as many H-D dealer meetings as time permits. In recent years, he’s run his Road King to San Diego and Las Vegas “on business.” He’s a native of Baltimore, Maryland, but spent most of his life in the Los Angeles area before moving to Idaho. Greg, a business college graduate, spent 20 years in the automobile industry, running some of the largest and most successful dealerships in Southern California dealing in brands such as Land Rover, Porsche, Audi, Ford and Mitsubishi. He joined the Chester family of Harley dealerships in 2006. Today, Greg oversees the day-to-day operations at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls as well as the satellite dealerships, Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell in Pocatello and Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson in Jackson, Wyoming. What gives him the most satisfaction in his work? “Exceeding my own expectations.” What’s his biggest challenge? “Exceeding my own expectations.” Despite the difficult economic times, Greg says the level of customer service at the dealerships under his wing must remain high because every customer counts more than ever before.

Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell 848 Houston Ave Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402 Tel: 800-863-5297, 208-523-1464 Site: Acquired: September 2002 Total area: 19,717 sq ft Total employees: 21 Number of service bays: 4 New bikes on display: 30 Used bikes on display: 20-25 Buck stops here: Greg Warrington

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Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell Nothing makes Otto Anderson happier than when a customer is happy.


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Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell 1444 North Yellowstone Ave Pocatello, Idaho 83201 Tel: 888-448-7433, 208-237-7433 Site: Acquired: September 2002 Total area: 5,700 sq ft Total employees: 12 Number of service bays: 3 New bikes on display: 18 Used bikes on display: 6 to 8 Buck stops here: Otto Anderson

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

“When you make a customer very happy with their purchase and how they are treated in the dealership, that just gives me goose bumps,” says the General Manager of Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell. “There’s nothing like knowing we have done everything we can to make this customer happy.” Otto has been in “the retail end of play toys for many years,” more than two decades now, selling motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels as well as snowmobiles, ATVs and personal watercraft. A native of Idaho, Otto joined Eagle Rock H-D in 2001 and stayed aboard when the Chesters purchased the Pocatello dealership a year later. Otto first got involved in motorcycling about 25 years ago, riding dirt bikes. He owns a 2008 FLHX Street Glide and his riding is mainly local: “I have a young family so I don’t get to go on a lot of big rides. Maybe an overnighter, once in awhile, to Jackson. The longest ride was with the Chesters when we rode from Pocatello to the Vail Valley in Colorado.” Eagle Rock is a satellite store of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls so he has to be a multi-tasker: “With the great help from the managers I have here, I do more than just manage the store. I do probably 40 percent of the sales, and 90 percent of the financing and insurance, whereas the bigger stores have people in place to do that.” He says his wife, LaDawn, calls his day off the toughest part of his job: “Wherever I go, my wife says I’m always trying to sell something. One of my biggest challenges is to step away from the work ethic on my days off, be with my family and not talk about motorcycles and stuff.”

Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson Because of the unique nature of Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson,

General Manager Tom Burr is truly a jack-of-all-trades. It’s mainly a retail outlet for Harley clothing and gift items in Jackson, Wyoming, a small town surrounded by the majestic Teton mountains that attracts millions of visitors a year, especially during the summer months. “I do everything from the back door to the front door,” Tom says. “We are just a retail outlet, so I do everything, shipping, receiving, ordering (and everything else needed to keep the store up and running seven days a week).” The seasonal nature of the outlet—“keeping things moving as well as we can in the winter time, looking for ideas to attract business”—is an ongoing challenge, he finds. But his goals are similar to those of general managers everywhere: “Pleasing customers so they will return.” Tom joined the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in 2004 as a service writer at Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell in Idaho Falls, then moved to manage Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson the following year. His working life started in farming in Idaho. Before joining the Chester Harley family, he was Service Manager at a John Deere dealership. Tom has been involved in motorcycling ever since he was old enough to hang on to a handlebar. His current ride is a 2003 Road King. He joins in local rallies, often riding to Red Lodge, Montana, and has been to Sturgis more than once. “We take off mainly in the winter time,” Tom says. “Up here, we don’t get riding like they do in Arizona, so we load up and haul our bikes to southern Utah and farther down in the winter.” As a satellite store of Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell, Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson occupies only 2,300 square feet—the smallest location in the Chester family of dealerships—yet the volume of its T-shirt business is staggering. Its location right in downtown Jackson means every one of those millions of visitors a year passes by its doors, with many entering to shop.

Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson 40 South Millward Street Jackson, Wyoming 83001 Tel: 866-739-5443, 307-739-1500 Site: Acquired: May 2004 Total area: 2,300 sq ft Total employees: 3 New bikes on display: 3 Buck stops here: Tom Burr

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Snake Harley-Davidson When you’re in TJ Woodhall’s office, you may spot a photo on the


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Snake Harley-Davidson 2404 Addison Ave East Twin Falls, Idaho 83301 Tel: 888-788-9809, 208-734-8400 Site: Acquired: January 2004 Total area: 15,200 sq ft Total employees: 18 Number of service bays: 4 Number of detail bays: 1 New bikes on display: 22-26 Used bikes on display: 10-15 Buck stops here: TJ Woodhall

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

wall of a 14-year-old kid on a Harley. No, the kid isn’t TJ—it’s his father. Small wonder then that TJ grew up with Harley and why today, as General Manager of Snake Harley-Davidson, he lives and breathes Harley. For many years, he was a general contractor in his native California, where he built many of the Chili’s restaurants on the west coast. He joined the original Snake H-D in Twin Falls about 10 years ago, then left to start his own independent motorcycle shop, returning to Snake in 2005, the year after the Chesters acquired the dealership. TJ’s own ride is a 2007 Road Glide which he’ll be trading in on a 2009 Road Glide in the spring. He’s ridden to Sturgis many times and tries to ride to Harley dealer meetings if possible. Despite a busy schedule, TJ aims for several three- to five-day trips a year, often riding with his wife, Kristy. [See profile on Page 103.] TJ’s other passion is racing stock cars, and he’s quite good at it on the semi-pro circuit. So good, in fact, that he’s qualified to race against some of NASCAR’s best in the Toyota All-Star Showdown. Rumor has it that it was TJ who helped get Cliff Chester started in stock-car racing by offering to let Cliff take his race car for a spin around the track near Twin Falls. TJ will joke that the biggest challenge in his position is keeping his desk clear of paperwork, but he does derive pleasure from his role as head of the team at Snake H-D: “The most satisfaction is seeing a truly happy and satisfied customer, one who has no regrets about giving us his business and who feels we did our job perfectly.”



Covering all bases... and then some At the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming, we obviously sell motorcycles—but there is a lot more we offer customers. Service

Our convenient hours and fully staffed facilities allow us to do most routine maintenance or minor repairs while you wait. For larger jobs, we will schedule an appointment for you. Due to our participation in national and state rallies and events, we recommend you call ahead for scheduling your appointment during those times. Our Service Departments offer our customers the very best quality service and repair. Each of our locations is equipped with a full complement of tools and professional know-how to handle all of your service needs. We employ teams of Harley-Davidson factory-trained technicians supported with continuing education and training on each technical advance developed for your particular HarleyDavidson product. Understanding how important your “ride” is to you, we strive for quick turnaround times, tempered by our commitment to produce the highest quality work. Our service bays are state-of-the-art to provide you with an array of services from a basic scheduled maintenance to a complete engine rebuild or replacement. In addition, we do installation of performance packages, including a wide range of Screamin’ Eagle performance parts. We also offer crash estimates and work with numerous insurance agencies to provide our customers a complete restoration of one of their most prized possessions. Should you need the use of a rental unit while yours is being repaired, we have motorcycles available at reduced rates while your bike is in for any service. Many of our locations provide complimentary shuttle service to assist you with the pick-up and/or delivery of your motorcycle. Our dealerships are certified Dynojet/Super Tuner Tuning Women riders enjoy the dealerships’ garage parties.

A tuneup with the dynamometer is among the services available.

Centers. A dynamometer allows us to make accurate adjustments that maximize the performance of your motorcycle. [See related story on Page 86.] Customization

Each of the Chester’s dealerships features genuine HarleyDavidson parts and accessories. They fit your bike and you. We enjoy the challenges our customers present us with for the tough-to-find items. We carry a large variety of chrome accessory kits, fender conversions, hard and soft saddlebags, bike covers, bike security systems and much more. We specialize in keeping many Screamin’ Eagle performance parts on hand for your needs. We encourage all of our customers to individualize their bikes and to keep them roaring with help from our friendly staff members. [See related story on Page 78.] Rentals

The Chester family of dealerships offers a rental program at most of their locations. Our rental programs use only current model year Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Security locks, helmets that meet Department of Transportation specifications, short-term luggage storage, emergency roadside assistance and low-cost insurance coverage are all part of the services provided for rental customers. If you want additional insurance coverage for peace of mind, our rental customers can choose from upgrades. (Services vary by state or market.) Our primary concern for our rental customers is safety. Protection on the road is a good thing and we encourage all of our customers to ride responsibly. Customers and any passengers must sign an agreement that states they will wear a helmet that meets DOT specifications at all times while on the bike for the duration of the rental, even if they’re traveling in states without mandatory helmet laws. For more info

Visit and select the dealership nearest you.

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Reaching out to riders and beyond From rides to benefit charities, from open houses to garage parties for women, there’s always something going on at the Chester family of Harley-Davidson dealerships in Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. Anyone involved in or curious about the Harley lifestyle is welcome.



We strive to be the leaders in our markets when it comes to service and attention for our family of riders. We know. We ride. We are professionals hooked on the passion and freedom that Harley-Davidson motorcycles bring to our lives. We’d like to share that lifestyle with everyone. As a family-owned business, we personalize the HarleyDavidson dealership experience to create a tight-knit community of free-spirited friends. All of us live for the fun of the motorcycling on every workday and every road trip and every event. Events hosted at the dealerships range from H.O.G. DOG Days to charity poker runs. A popular event is the Ladies Only Garage Party, which provides women an opportunity to hear from women riders about the experience and lifestyle that lies ahead for them. The party is for ladies who are interested—or just not sure if they want to become a new motorcycle rider. Discussions and demonstrations include the Harley-Davidson lifestyle, learning to ride, gearing up for the ride, motorcycle safety, fitting your motorcycle, and a photo opportunity on your favorite motorcycle.

About 1,600 riders show up for Chester’s Annual Torch Ride in support of the Special Olympics.


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Our dealerships believe in community involvement and actively sponsor events and rides to benefit charities. At Chester’s Harley-Davidson, our largest event is Chester’s Annual Torch Ride in support of Special Olympics. Last year 1,600 participating riders raised more than $20,000 for the Special Olympians. We support East Valley Charities. In partnership with the East Valley H.O.G. Chapter, in excess of $10,000 is contributed each year. Additionally, Chester’s is involved with American Heart Association, the Shriners, Coast to Coast Youth Football League, Disabled American Veterans, Liberty Wildlife, Choirboys United Fund for Fallen Officers, and Bikers Against Diabetes. At Snake Harley-Davidson, we organize fundraiser events and rides throughout the year to benefit our four chosen charities: Magic Valley Humane Society People for Pets, Disabled American Veterans, Magic Valley Toys for Tots and Magic Valley Toys for Kids, and Quick Response Unit Fundraiser. We try to make our events fun happenings for the entire family. For example, our Humane Society fundraisers include photos with an Easter Bunny in the spring and with Santa in the winter. In November, we host a Soldier Packing Party with gifts. Our summer Quick Response Unit event includes a challenge run, raffle, dinner, live music and carnival-type activities. Our annual Open House for new models is held every September with demo rides, refreshments, opportunities to win prizes and more. It’s often a two-day event. In the past, our largest event at Grand Teton H-D & Buell has been our All American Show. It combines a fashion show of the latest motor clothes and accessories with great entertainment like a concert or Las Vegas hypnotist. It has also served as an opportunity to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). In 2008, we replaced the All American Show with a block party celebrating the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Next year more activities for riders and families are planned. The first Friday of each month, we host Friday Night Live at our dealership. This event is two hours of live music by a local band and free food for all who attend. In addition to MDA, we support the United Way, Toys for Tots, and assist in numerous fundraisers and benefits for local charities. At Eagle Rock H-D & Buell, our largest event is the local POW/MIA Awareness Rally. We support the three-day rally each July, which is sponsored by a non-profit organization dedicated to the financial support and public awareness of the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) issue, the Idaho State Veterans Home in Pocatello, Idaho, and special charities in the local community that need support. Our local H.O.G., the Portneuf Valley Chapter, is active in the community, sponsoring events and rides year round, weather permitting. Our Jackson Hole H-D outlet, located at the foot of the Teton Mountains in Jackson, Wyoming, receives overwhelming

traffic each July and August as riders travel through to see ­Yellowstone Park or are on their way to Sturgis. In the nonriding season, we keep busy supporting local events like the Annual Fireman’s Ball for the Volunteer Fire Rescue Association of Jackson and the Ducks Unlimited Banquet. We also support other local fundraisers and this year even sponsored a demolition derby car at the county fair. We believe in being active in each of our communities, from the large cities like Mesa, Arizona, to the smaller towns of Idaho and Wyoming. FIND OUT

For up-to-date information on events at the Chester family of dealerships, click on your nearest location at or telephone the number provided. G



The pursuit of excellence Our Harley-Davidson dealerships regularly receive awards for excellence from Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Chester’s Harley-Davidson has been honored with the Circle of Excellence Silver Bar & Shield two years in a row, while Grand Teton HarleyDavidson & Buell and Snake Harley-Davidson received the Circle of Excellence Bronze Bar & Shield. Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell and its satellite stores, Eagle Rock Harley-Davidson & Buell and Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson, also have been recognized as Promoter of the Year as well as General Merchandise Retailer of the Year. The awards are based on outstanding quality levels in motorcycle and related product sales, an evaluation of customer service and satisfaction, facilities, skilled and well-trained staff, and overall operational measures. “We are thrilled to receive these awards,” says Cliff Chester, one of the owners. “National recognition for our customer service and sales is very much a reflection of the caliber of talent and dedicated employees we have at our dealerships.”

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Ride Safe

Dressed to live

One rider’s brush with death By Chris Arbogast

After many years of waiting for children and grandchildren to grow up, I went with my urge to ride the wind again. Because it had been a while since I’d been in the saddle, I ended up buying a 2007 Sportster 883C, just to get my “feel” back. I also started looking around for the proper gear to wear. This was a first for me. In all my riding days I had never worn proper gear before. Besides, I was older now. So I had Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona, outfit me with FXRG riding gear and I was ready to roll. Little did I know what lay in wait . . . I was headed to Montrose, Colorado, along Route 145. Coming into Rico, I drove across some snowmelt. I had already slowed to 50 miles an hour but the rear tire slid onto the gravel shoulder and all control was lost. I had to make a snap decision—stay with the bike or bail. I jumped off at 50 miles per hour. I rolled across the asphalt and was knocked out for a split second. The Harley, which traveled 600 feet along the road and down the embankment, was totaled. Miraculously, 166

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however, I seemed to be okay. There was no blood. My full-face helmet was badly damaged—the point where it hit the road was scraped down through two layers of carbon—but it had been so properly fitted by the girls at Chester’s that even though I was wearing glasses, the glasses did not bend or break. The back of my FXRG leather jacket was ripped between the shoulders and the leather along the arms was chewed up. But all the protective pads stayed in place. In the hospital, numerous x-rays and CAT scans (23 in all) found no broken bones and no road rash. During my travels as an inventor and distributor of energy-saving products, I visited a lot of different Harley dealerships across the United States, but I was never treated as nicely as I was at Chester’s. Whenever I went in to check on clothing items, someone was right there to answer my questions. The gear I bought not only fit like it should but I truly believe it saved me from serious injury. I will never ride without FXRG equipment. I’m 64 years old. I started riding in 1963—a ’54 Harley—while doing a naval tour of duty in Charleston, South Carolina. But this was my first serious accident. The proper riding gear is as important as the choice of your ride. G Chris Arbogast, a customer since 2007 of Chester’s Harley-Davidson, is shopping for a new Harley.

Photography: Roy Timm and Carole Bozzato Timm

Chester’s staff, from left, Kristen Laws, Jenna Wood and Lesleigh Meisenzahl with customer Chris Arbogast and the FXRG gear that saved his life.

Pictured: The restyled Heritage Softail® Classic.

Copies are 39 cents at the copy shop. Copies get a big red F from the teacher. Copies hang over the bed on cheap motel walls.

We’ll stick with building the original.

eyewear and protective clothing, and insist your passenger does too. Never ride while under the influence of alcohol rley-Davidson, Heritage Softail and the Bar and Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan, Inc.

Chester’s Harley-Davidson ~ Mesa AZ ~ 800 831 0404 • Grand Teton Harley-Davidson & Buell ~ Idaho Falls ID ~ 800 863 5297 • Snake Harley-Davidson ~ Twin Falls ID ~ 888 788 9809 •

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