There is something very special about owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It’s difficult to describe to anyone who doesn’t ride and/or own one of their own. When people hear that I own a Harley, a typically get remarks like “are you trying to be one of those Hell’s Angels”? Of course, there’s always one in the crowd who wants to remind how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be, but that seems to be something I don’t hear quite as much anymore. Regardless, owning a Harley and the bond that is created between rider and motorcycle is special indeed.
I purchased my first Harley in December, 2010. I had just returned from a week-long visit with the in-laws in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I’d taken my brother-in-law’s 2nd Harley (a Sportster) out for a little ride in the brisk, winter air. It was cold but enchanting. It reminded me of why I love to be on the edge of out of control. Well, that one little 10 minute ride in the dead of winter got me hooked. Upon returning home to Florida, I had done all my research and exchanged some emails with local dealers, gone in and looked at what kinds of motorcycles Harley had for a “newbie” like myself. On the very last day of the year, December 31, 2010 I purchased a 2010 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic (FLSTC).
Something I learned rather quickly is that purchasing a Harley and owning a Harley were 2 very different things. The key difference between Harley’s and other brands is the incredible amount of flexibility regarding how extensible a Harley Davidson motorcycle can be. Immediately, as an owner you start thinking about all the upgrades and changes you can and want to make, in an effort to make this Harley yours. You want to make it unique and feel you will stop at nothing to do so.
Here I sit proudly on my first Harley. I had already done a lot of upgrades to it at when this photograph was taken.
Another interesting tidbit of information about owning a Harley is the amount of love and patience that is put into keeping it clean and in pristine condition. Harley’s are known for their chrome, and that’s something you’ve really got to stay on top of to keep the shine and the glisten.
I’m washing my Harley in this photo, which becomes a pattern when I ride my Harley. I always make sure that if I’m going to ride it and know that it’s going to get dirty; I need to set time aside afterwards to get her back to showroom shine. The toughest part is always keeping all the water spots off of the chrome. There are so many little crevices and places where dirt and water can accumulate.
I recently decided, after putting only 7500 miles on my first Harley to upgrade. It wasn’t entirely spontaneous; however the day I made the switch turned out to be exactly that. It was very uncharacteristic of me, but I wanted something that would give me the same joy I’d always had with my first Harley; however provide me the ability to take much longer rides and be more comfortable while doing it. I went from this…
This is a 2013 Harley Davidson Street Glide (FLHX). As I said above, my primary reason for upgrading to this motorcycle is comfort on long rides; however I had another motive which is based partly on laziness. I’m tired of cleaning the chrome!
Anyway, hopefully there will be many thousands of joyful riding still ahead of me. ‘Till next time.