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Harley-Davidson: A chiseled purchase?

Ariens Harley
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Then you have a few tensions: Factory originals are rare. Plus the well-known statement “You don't write anything off on a Harley”. The bike in the photos started life as an 883 Sportster. The block grew to 1200 cc and was further tuned. In the conversion to 'high-performance', the builder was about twenty years ahead of Harley's official entry into that market.

Built by a professional

That builder was once the first mechanic at one of the previous reincarnations of Harley-Davidson Amsterdam. That company went bankrupt a few times due to success. That's possible! And it happens when you as a company have too many customers who pay large amounts in cash. The lack of documented payment transactions makes banks, importers and the tax authorities highly nervous. And that's all because those sweethearts are all terrified of money laundering and the lack of tax revenue. I am reminded of my Blessed Grandmother, who had an appropriate saying for every situation: “As the innkeeper is, he trusts his guests”.


Money is not an issue

But to the left or to the right, if – according to Olivier B. Bommel – 'money is no object'. Then you can do the best things as a Harley technician if you are given a free hand. The rear frame was modified to accept the KTM plastic and the lower mounting points for the FXDX rear shocks were moved forward 10 inches to get the butt up. Up front, 8-inch overstock legs were fitted, plus a Screaming Eagle fork brace, just above the front wheel. The case was topped off professionally by a Dyna Glide FXDX tank and a single seat. Oh yeah; passenger footpegs were retained. A joke maybe? There is a tiny analog clock on the front brake reservoir and an oil cooler tightly along the front frame tube. On the dynamometer, the V-twin delivered 71 horsepower to the rear wheel. And the seat height? That one is impressive.

Then we are talking about a 'classic' Harley that has been adapted to personal taste

There is no arguing about taste, but the job was handled in a highly professional manner. And with the increased suspension, you can blindly hit all traffic calming measures with this Sportster. On the negative side, it says that the center of gravity has moved above the line between the axes. That makes the Harley very top-heavy when moved by hand. And the ex-owner also noticed that this approach made it almost impossible to get the fallen bicycle back on the rubbers.

After the pain in his back disappeared, he was a little afraid of his animal

The V-twin was stabled. For several years. Then he decided he had to say goodbye to what was his dream bike. The fat Sportster was brought back to life and went on sale. Completely fresh again, the 1200 was pinned with an asking price of € 7.600. And that brought him into the eternal field of tension between dreamed asking prices and final selling prices. Because after being on the market for half a year, the special went away for € 3.800. The new owner was someone who wanted to take it to hill climb competitions…

So did this story have a happy ending?

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9 Comments

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  1. The more expensive a product, the higher the depreciation (I always laugh when they say that a Porsche 911 does not depreciate, you have to see those bills if they have only driven 70-80dkm, I laugh even harder!). Until now, because the raw materials are also becoming more and more expensive, the depreciation of a HD is not that bad. But eg a random Japanese motorcycle of around 2-3 years old, 10 mille new, with say max. 10dkm., : you are shocked by the prices!!
    But the above is mainly a matter of herd behavior, but also the name, and marketing plays a role….

  2. What a pity to drag such a strange thing off on a hill climb.
    Had I known it was for sale, I would have made an offer.

  3. Unfortunately, I know several Harleys that are gathering dust in (whether or not) heated garages or living rooms…for years.
    Stuff is made for the miles, I say; to do!

  4. Great story know someone where a Harley is dusting.
    The owner doesn't want to get rid of it, he sleeps more peacefully with the idea that the Harley is there

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