Harley Showroom’s New Look
General manager of Kauai Harley-Davidson
Please tell us about your business. Harley-Davidson is a company that’s been in existence since 1903. Its whole philosophy is to ride and have fun, and that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to provide people with a lifestyle or to enhance whatever lifestyle they’re in and give them a means to enjoy and experience life. We have three motorcycle lines here: Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Yamaha. We offer a full line of motorcycles both on and off the road, as well as ATVs, four-wheel utility vehicles designed for tours, and small ATVs and beginner dirt bikes for children. We even have full-on touring bikes from the Harley-Davidson line.
Can people come here to service their motorcycles? Yes, we have technicians that are trained in all brands. We can service or get parts for pretty much any motorcycle on the island.
What do you offer as far as merchandise is concerned? We have clothing, safety gear, helmets and personalized accessories. Harley-Davidson is big about personalizing your motorcycle. I fondly refer to the motorcycle as the Harley starter kit. We like to theme-out a motorcycle, so if somebody likes flames, for example, we can do flame grips, flame covers, flame everything for the whole bike, and it becomes kind of an extension of their personality.
Do you rent bikes? Yes, we have a robust rental business here. With a lot of visitors who come, and we have 12 rentals that often are booked. We also have a kamaaina discount, so for people who have never been on a Harley and want to give it a try, we give good discounts.
Kauai Harley-Davidson recently has had a renovation, right?Yes. We used to be located in the building next door for our merchandise, and the building we’re in now was more of a shop and parts facility. We’ve remodeled the interior of the new building, and we have our motorcycles inside in a showroom. We have a new service facility as well.
What is your background with Harley-Davidson? I started with Harley-Davidson in 1980 in Texas. It was a small dealership, and I ran the parts and sales. I’ve been a service manager for a number of years and, most recently, I was the operations manager for two stores in Utah for 14 years. I was looking for something new and started my position here March 1.
How did you get started in this business?
When I bought my first motorcycle, a 1976 Kawasaki 900, I enjoyed riding, and when I moved to Texas I worked at a car dealership where I would often visit the motorcycle store – Harley, Kawasaki and Maico (which they don’t make anymore). I got to talking with the owner who needed someone to help him sell bikes. He hired me and, in the first year, we sold 300 percent more motorcycles than he had sold the previous year.
Do you own a Harley? I have a 2003 Screaming Eagle Road King 100-year Anniversary Edition.
What makes Harley-Davidson special? It’s the pinnacle of motorcycles as far as quality, ride, comfort and performance. When you get on a Harley, you really feel how solid and how quality of a machine it is. They’re easy to ride and they last forever. You find very little plastic on a Harley – all the chrome is triple-plated show chrome, and even in this environment, with just a little care, it will stay looking good. There are 50-year-old Harleys still on the road that people ride on a daily basis, and the brand just keeps improving over the years.
What is one of the most rewarding aspects of what you do? I consider the motorcycle business a dream business. There are people who dream about owning a Harley-Davidson for years and years, and when they finally come in here and we help them pick out the right one for them, we’re more fulfilling a dream than we are just selling a motorcycle. That’s the best part of it for me.
What makes you get up every day and go to work? It’s just a great business. I like the variety, the challenge, the people I work with and the people who come in; I like talking motorcycles and I just love the business. Orange and black are Harley’s colors, and I probably have orange blood running through my veins.
Open Monday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., service closed Sundays, 3-1878 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue, 241-7020