Johnson Creek WI to Milwaukee WI – 2nd August 2021
I have been researching used bikes locally and have come up with a dealer nearby in Big Bend so I will go and have a look.
They have loads of bikes. I chat with the salesman MJ, who asks if their mechanic can take mine for a spin.. sure no problem. I take all the luggage off as I don’t want the handlebar wobble to be evident.. I’m not completely stupid.
While he is gone I have a good look around, predominantly Harleys of course and almost all out of my price bracket, however there is one possibility. It’s an old Heritage, yes the same as I bought in 2016 on my first trip here in Virginia. In fact this bike also has a limited edition official Harley paint job so it could be the same bike, except it is purple and a little bit pink; hardly my colours, but it is $6,750 so just about doable if they will give me a good price for my bike.
MJ calls me over and we go out to my bike, he points out the missing petcock switch, I say yes it’s around $25 to replace. He also thinks there is a leak from the petrol tank.. err no that is where I have spilled petrol topping the tank off. The bike is actually really dirty, which MJ does mention… seriously… anyway what is the offer. He umms and ahhs then says maybe they can give me $2500.. oh well that is better than Honda, but not enough for the Harley, I need more like $3-3500 really. He says he will go and speak with someone and get back to me. A very short time later he comes and says he’s sorry but the Heritage is actually sold, another of the sales guys took a deposit this morning. I must say I am a little bit gutted.
I take another look around and there is a Kawasaki 900, the same as I test rode in Billings, I can’t be sure, but I now think it probably weighs as much as my bike with the luggage off so there is not really going to be any weight advantage, however I do still have the wobble problem, which I don’t mention of course. I ask how much they will give me part ex for this one as it is only $4500 so if I can get $3000 then perfect really. He says he will have to talk to someone again. I am sitting on the bike when a guy comes over and asks if I am buying it, I think he is interested; I say yes I think so, but not made my mind up yet. I get off the bike and am sitting waiting for MJ to come back and suddenly decide, no I’m not going to bother… really better the devil you know, I mean the wobble is heart stopping sometimes, but I have kind of gotten used to it.
MJ comes back and before he can say anything I thank him for his time and sorry if I have wasted it, but have decided to keep the Honda. He is a little taken aback, but accepts it of course. Now to put everything back on the bike and ride over to the HD Museum.
Last night I also identified some of the Harley dealerships, one of which is Wisconsin Harley in the wonderfully named Oconomowoc so I decide to visit there on the way to get a chip of course.
At last it is time to go to the Museum. When I arrive there are loads of Harleys parked up, I’m the only Jap Crap, bothered?? Not.
I make my way into the Museum and am pleasantly surprised to find that as a HOG, (Harley Owners Group), member my ticket is free and I can return as many times as I like, for free, as long as I am a HOG member; not only that, but I get a couple of pin badge souvenirs for free too… amazing!
It is only now that I realise I am starving so decide to go into the restaurant first for something to eat. I order a baked potato with chilli beef, butter and cheese and a Doctor Pepper.. it comes pretty quickly and is absolutely delicious, I mean seriously good.
By the time I have had that the Museum is only open for another half an hour.. ok… since my admission is free I instantly decide to come back tomorrow so that I can fully do it justice. I check out booking.com and find a reasonably priced motel out by the airport, just 6-7 miles away, great.
Instead I have a browse around in the shop… OMG the prices are astronomical even for Harley. They are pushing the 1903 theme so a lot of the clothing is based on old fashioned designs from the early 1900’s when Harley were the king of Flat-track racing. Some of the gear is really nice, but I’m not paying $190 for a woolly jumper.. no way. I do get a couple of poker chips of course and scan the sale racks for something cheap, I get a Museum tee shirt for $25.. that will do.
There is also a machine where you can order a silver metal stud that you can have engraved with your name or a name of your choice and inscription, which will be permanently displayed in the museum archive. Ok, I’m intrigued, how much is this then… I ask the assistant. There are two sizes, the small one is $250 and the large $15.. oh $1500 that is…. I mean STOP IT! Some people obviously have more money than sense!
They are now ushering people out as it is time to close. Ok so I take a couple of photos outside and then get on my way to the motel.
The motel is absolutely excellent, I have a full size fridge, microwave, two ring hob, and believe it or not a bloody dishwasher!!! There is a seating area with leather sofa and TV, a business area with desk and office chair and a separate sleeping area with a massive bed and another TV. The bathroom is huge and very nice indeed… am very impressed.. it has been a good day my friends, all is right with the world… for now.