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‘02 Softail Deuce
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I want to hear about the first time you knew you had to have a Harley Davidson. Give me the story, how old you were and, when did you have means to get one? I was 14 when a friend of my parents rolled up, and I could feel that bike from down the block I swear... Awesome guy, his name was Frank and his girl on the back well... her name was Suzie!
Suzie was about 30 and yes, smokin hot! But when the teenage hormones calmed down I would stand outside and just soak that bike in.. Ask him to start it for me about every hour or two. Time went by and he quit showing up, not sure why.
But from that day I knew that's what I wanted. I went through many years riding the rocket bikes mostly because I thought I flat couldn't afford a Harley.. And felt like I needed to go 150 mph all the time. Anyway in '08 at 37 I bought my first Harley! A brand new Fatbob. After taking it out for a test ride, I knew that was it for me. This is the bike I've been searching for!
I aint been right ever since
 

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Always knew I wanted a bike. I grew up in a run down trailer in Pennsylvania, alcoholic parents. I am in no way complaining, I have very epic memories of childhood and still love my parents. However, as alcoholics they were not abusive, just distant. Plus I live off Rt30 in the mountains and loved the constant packs of bikers thundering by.

We were far from any other kids and most of my time growing up was trekking through the woods, exploring mining or logging trails seeing where they lead and hoping they never ended. Content with isolation, but still watching those packs drive by in awe.

Joined the military, got to travel and met some amazing folks. But I was never comfortable in group social settings. Work settings, no problem, I will just simply never be that social butterfly. Early on, mid 90s I came back from my first Deployment and bought a Honda Shadow, I love it. A Harley wasn't in my budget, I wasn't too concerned I just rode her.

Started finding others in the unit that rode and I found it calming. Most were like me and noticed the Harley folks were very welcoming and just easy folks, they seemed more real. Conversation wasn't forced, hell or even required. They seemed to ride for the same reasons. After my first reenlistment, saw a used Heritage just put up for sale and jumped on it.
 
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Crazy Cat Man
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I saw new 883 Sportsters being rolled out of a truck in Dayton, OH in 1986. I was 21 at the time and asked what these bikes were all about (or something like that), and the guy said these were the new EVO Sportsters. I didn't know what that meant I just stared at them for what seemed like an eternity, and then I knew that one day I would have one. I wasn't even riding yet at the time. The next year, 1987, I started riding and on a bike that was almost free. Full on terror for about a week and then it all started taking over me and was hooked hard. Rode many different bikes through the years, but never a Harley-Davidson. While active duty at Ft Bragg I did not own a bike so I was doing crazy thing do fill that gap, even jumping from planes didn't quite do it. Back on a bike after the Army helped finally. Fast-forward to 2019, yes that many years later, and I finally got my first Harley-Davidson, and a Sportster at that. It's customized a bit but it's mine all mine. Then a month later a bought another one, a 2019 Iron 1200. One fun-as-hell bike. Then traded it this past summer for Daisy, my 2014 Deluxe. LOVE THAT BIKE! It, to me anyway, is a gorgeous ride and everywhere I go I get compliments on her. Still have Cat-Rat, the first Sportster, and I'm not done with it yet. Might even paint it again next year, who knows. I love all bikes but honestly there is nothing like the sound of a Harley-Davidson V-twin engine, especially carbureted. It gets my heart pounding a bit harder and I feel one with the universe while riding them.
 

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‘02 Softail Deuce
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Discussion Starter #4
Ematicic, and RJ thanks for the story. Also thank you for your service!
 

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Growing up, I had a neighbor that owned a 1970 Honda Trail 70 and a couple snowmobiles. Needless to say, I was hooked. My first "Motorcycle" was a 1969 Sears motorcycle (Sears sold motorcycles for a couple years in the late 60's/early 70's. It belonged to a neighbor and was sitting behind his barn because it didn't run. I took the ignition coil I had just replaced from my 1978 Dodge Aspen, duct-taped it to the frame under the fuel tank, hooked it up, kicked it over, and I had spark. A few minutes later, I had a running motorcycle of my own. My first real motorcycle was a 1982 Yamaha Maxim 550 inline four with four carburetors. Great bike but eventually I had to sell it because I moved from Minnesota to South Texas (Harlingen) to start my teaching career in 1992. Fast forward a "few" years and back in Minnesota, I purchased a brand new 2009 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 in 2011 for $5,000. Another great bike but my dream (or so I thought) was to own a Honda Goldwing. At this point, my wife was riding a 2009 Honda Rebel as a starter bike. She sat on a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 at the Minnesota State Fair and fell in love. We walked into our local Harley-Davidson dealership and the folks there could not have been more nice and welcoming. My dream of owning a Honda Goldwing quickly shifted to owning a Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited. In 2016 that dream became a reality and it is the best bike I have ever owned! Harley-Davidson is not just a brand, but an "Experience" and nothing has compared . . . walking into a Honda dealership is nothing compared to walking into a Harley-Davidson dealership. It's so much more. My wife loved Harley-Davidson so much that she upgraded to a 2016 Forty-Eight. Our brand new puppy's name is Harley-Dee.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guys! These are the kind of stories I can’t wait to hear about. Keep them coming, let’s hear them!
 

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One of my first memories of my Mom's uncles farm just outside of Chicago was the HUGE yellow motorcycle in the barn. Uncle "Bud" would let us play on it as he didn't ride it anymore. Looking back now, I think it was a panhead. Tank shift, buddy seat, leather bags and a windshield. Roll the clock forward, I'm 20 and bought my first bike, a Honda 305 Super Hawk chopper. Yep, rigid frame, springer front end. Weird, but it was mine. Follow that up with a Triumph Tiger. 1984, scrimped, saved, financed a 1984 FXRS. Brand new, and I fell in love. I never looked back. 1992 came and my then girlfriend, (now wife) took the MSF course. Passed on a Monday, got her "M" license on Tuesday and added her name to my insurance...lol. Then she asked the "question" "do you mind if I use the bike this weekend?" The look on my face must have answered for me. "Are you worried about me, the bike?" she asked. I said no, you can ride and the bike is insured. "What is it then?" I said there a lot of things in this life we can share....a motorcycle ain't one of 'em. She then said "you have been talking about buying a bagger for a few years now, get off your ass and find one". Found one the next day at Chicago H-D. Brand new 1992 Ultra. That was stolen in 1995 (41,000 miles later) and replaced by an Electra Glide Classic in '96. Rode that until '03 when I got another Classic. 100th Anniversary in Gunmetal Pearl. 2019 I picked up a used 2014 Street Glide with 9,500 miles on her. I still had the '84 FXRS until 2019, riding her a few times a year, but it was time to let her go. That was harder than I thought. May 2020, I sold the '03 with 102,000 miles on her. August 2020 I was rear-ended on the Street Glide at a red light after the driver had stopped behind me. Light turned green, I started to go, bam, he hit me. Bike totaled. By October I picked up a 2014 Street Glide Special with 2,800 miles on it. It all started with the '84 though. Over 30 years in my local H.O.G. Chapter. Made a lot of friends, became an MSF certified Rider Coach, and kept a whole lot of memories. Wife still rides, on her 4th bike if you count the '84. All because of that 1984 FXRS.
 

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I started riding at the age of 7, on an italjet 25. Worked my way through the dirt bikes and then street and trail bikes, then the old kz Kawasakis. Always wanted a Harley but just couldn't afford it.
Took a long break from riding while raising a family then a few years ago got back into it.
Started back on a Vulcan 800 (Grace) that runs great and gave me that woohoo feeling that I remembered. Took my girlfriend on her first ride and she's hooked! That's when I discovered that I had already outgrown the metric.
I started looking at baggers, bought a big yamaha and it just didn't cut it.
Went to a demo truck event at the local harley shop and rode everything they had and decided that I NEED either an electra glide or a road king.
A few months later I found a deal that I can afford on an 07 FLHTCU (Sophie) and have never been happier with any other bike except for the first on over 45 years ago.
 

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My soon to be brother n law showed up on his Harley and took me for a ride when i was 13. My Mom and Dad hated it, thought it was dangerous. But I fell in love with the sound. At 19 i found a bike that I wanted but the problem was I needed a Co-signer for the loan.. NO WAY, was my Dad`s answer. In 1981 I walked into the Harley dealership just to look around. found a brand new sportster with a king/queen seat. Told the salesman that I cant get a loan because I needed a Co-signer and my Dad wasnt going to do it.
Her asked Me how long I had been at my job, I said almost 4 years, He said he will get me a loan. SOLD that day. Had to call my brother n law to ride it back to the house since I didnt have a MC license.
Boy was my Dad was Pissed. Oh well.
Traded it for a 1983 FXWG. brand new. $6395.00 out the door, people thought I was crazy to spend that much, (10 1/2 %) intrested!!!!!
Been married 36 years and on our second date, I asked her if she wanted to go riding? She was confused when I handed her a helmet,She thought we was going to ride horses. She was holding on so tight riding down the hiway, thinking Im loving this.
Needed a bigger bike down the road and bought a 2000 heritage. She complained the seat wasn`t big enough. Bought bigger seats and back rest. Still not enough. Traded it for a 2010 EGC. Perfect now.
We did a weekend trip to the Harley Museum this summer and found 1984 FXWG on display. HEY BABE, how did we put on the miles on this bike with this seat? She said The older we get the bigger seat we needed.
She`s right.. Looking at a trike now
 

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For me it was the television series "Then Came Bronson" in the 60's. From that point on, I knew I wanted a Harley. In '75 I was a poor, single, 21 year old guy living in Orlando FL and working for minimum wage at Walt Disney World. Couldn't afford a HD so I settled for a Yamaha XS650. Had it 6 weeks and was hit by a drunk driver. Bike was totaled. Didn't own another one until 2016 - a 2003 Honda VTX1800R. Cheap way to get back into riding after 41 years. Rode that one for about 4 years. It was a solid, dependable scoot, but it still wasn't a Harley. One day last August, after deciding it was now or never, I drove over to the local HD dealer and started looking. Rode a Heritage, and was almost ready to buy it, but decided to go home and sleep on it. After looking online that night and realizing that the Road King wasn't a lot more $$ and seemed a better bang for the buck, I went back the next day and asked to ride one. They had one 2020 left, and I signed the papers that day. Even though I had to wait till I was 66, it's one of the best decisions I ever made. If I only get to ride it for 8-10 years, I'll be happy.
 

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I got my first Harley after riding dirt bikes and superbikes for 40 years, 2015 Streetglide Special, had it a year and a half when I got a deal that couldn't walk away from, the 2015 Ultra that I still have.
 

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The story is pretty simple and rather usual.
I was with my day at a campsite near the grand canyon. I was 14 at the time. And I saw him in all its glory, standing near a bunch of other bikes that do not hold the candle near him. Shiny like the royal knight and beautiful. It was the 1975 H-D FLH model and it was glorious.
 

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I knew I wanted one when I was maybe seven or eight years old. My Ole Man (RIP) always talked about wanting one but never owned one. When I was fifteen, I stayed home from school one day saying I was sick. The Ole Man worked swing shift and when he woke up and saw me lying in the couch watching T.V, he asked me why the hell I wasn't at school? I told him I was sick to which he replied and I remember this like it was yesterday, "Oh Bullshit! you're not sick. You wanna go look at Motorcycles?"

I got dressed and off we went.. We hit damn near every bike shop in the greater Seattle area and our last stop was Seattle H-D downtown on Lake Union. Long story short, I rode home on a 64 Duo-Glide that day. I wasn't even old enough to have a drivers license yet. I sold my Ole Man a 69 Suzuki T 500 Titan that I had owned for about six months which gave me the coin I needed to buy the Pan. My Mom was pissed beyond belief when she found out about it and she later told me that him helping me to buy that bike was the "straw that broke the camels back" leading her to divorce him a couple years later.

Here is a pic of me on the Pan and my Ole Man on the Suzuki I sold him.

My First Panhead 001.jpg
 

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I rode Jap bikes in my younger years. Always wanted a Harley, but could not afford it. Used to stop by the old Jim's HD in St. Pete to look at the bikes after an early morning ride and breakfast at Hickory Smokehouse (about a block or two away.) Saw the New Road King when it first came out. Wanted one so bad it hurt. I seriously started saving and doing what I could to be able to afford one. Life, marriage and $$ kept me on Rice burners until 03 when all I could get a 100th anniv EGC. Loved that bike too. Tried for an RK, but the 100 anniv bike were scarce. All of the bikes were hard to get back then...
 

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I rode Jap bikes in my younger years. Always wanted a Harley, but could not afford it. Used to stop by the old Jim's HD in St. Pete to look at the bikes after an early morning ride and breakfast at Hickory Smokehouse (about a block or two away.) Saw the New Road King when it first came out. Wanted one so bad it hurt. I seriously started saving and doing what I could to be able to afford one. Life, marriage and $$ kept me on Rice burners until 03 when all I could get a 100th anniv EGC. Loved that bike too. Tried for an RK, but the 100 anniv bike were scarce. All of the bikes were hard to get back then...
Yep, I know what you mean. My wife rode an Electra Glide Sport at demo rides in Milwaukee at the 90th Anniversary and decided that was what she wanted so we ordered one when we got home. Dealer called 2 weeks later and told her they discontinued the FLHS and that it would be replaced by the Road King for 1994. She fell in love with it the first time she saw the pics. Got the Turquoise and Silver. They got rid of the somewhat ugly gauge pod on the bars and put the speedo on the tank. She is still riding one to this day.
 
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