Posts Tagged ‘Paradise HD’

Corner Saloon

Corner Saloon

As the nation pauses today to remember the lives lost 13 years ago…

I’m reminded of how many times I have ask or answered the question, “Where were you on September 11?

The typical answer is geographical. Meaning, where you were physically attributes to your Sept. 11 comprehension or experience, of course, but try reflecting on where you were mentally and the emotions you felt in the aftermath.

On that awful day like most, I was angry and confused and to be candid some helplessness did seep in.

Thirteen years later my resolve has waned a bit and it’s getting harder to remember a time when we haven’t been at war or gearing up for “counter-insurgency.”  Sure there is ample room for debate on how and why America got to where it is today, but on this day I’m feeling sadness about the thousands of people who died on Sept. 11 and the thousands more since. I’m sad for the families who lost so much, and the Americans who have perished.

Corner Saloon Field

Corner Saloon Field

Yesterday the good folks at Paradise H-D and the Corner Saloon put their talented marketing minds together and along with a bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts we joined together at “Taco Wednesday” to remember the 9/11 anniversary and honor those who choose to serve our great country.

Thank you for your service!

Photos taken by author.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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CCA-Joyride-14It only takes a little to give a lot.

Sure we hear the accusations all the time.  This charity spent less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.  Another charity spent more than half of their fund raising contributions on consulting and publicity.  Another charity paid the charity’s founder and their consulting firm millions.  The claims go on and on and unfortunately some are true.

However, there is one charity, the Children’s Cancer Association – Oregon, that is highly rated, especially in the areas of accountability and transparency metrics.  You can review the information for yourself HERE.  They are one of the good guys and can always use our help/support.

The CCA and Paradise Harley-Davidson are pulling together the 5th annual JoyRide for fundraising and this year it comes together on Saturday, June 21st.

It’s a unique opportunity to join local riders in support of CCA’s Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin program.  The JoyRide benefits a retreat home on the Oregon Coast, which provides families with seriously ill children and teens battling serious illness an extraordinary place to retreat, relax, and create once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Independent of what you ride, bikers of all kinds will gather together for a JoyRide in support of CCA.  The JoyRide will kick off at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Participants will ride to the Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin in Pacific City, where there is a celebration of the rider support. The JoyRide is open to individuals or teams.  Registration information is HERE.

See you there!

Photo courtesy of CCA.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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At Rose City Thunder - 2003

Rose City Thunder – 2003

There were angry and vocal protests to Mayor Vera Katz.  Two appeals were filed seeking a venue change prior to the event.  There were appeals to the city Noise Review Board.  Police were a little edgy.

I’m talking about the Rose City Thunder.

It’s coming up on the 10th Anniversary of the most legendary and controversial motorcycle event in the city’s history.  Portlandia was one of only four cities in the U.S. chosen for the “Ride Home” tour.  And it all happened in the lazy dog days of summer in 2003 in the South Park blocks.  In celebration of Harley’s 100th Anniversary, the motor company and local dealer, Destination (now Paradise) H-D in Tigard sponsored the event with the purpose to send riders off in colorful fashion to the “Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary Ride Home“.

After more than two months of controversy, a unanimous City Council vote along with assists from Harley supporters and the downtown business establishment,  the kickoff party for Harley-Davidson’s 100th anniversary was a go on Friday, August 15, 2003.  There were loud exhausts, public address systems, and rows of the famous “honey buckets” (portable toilets).  Organizers estimated 15,000 visitors, plus 2,000 motorcycles attended pumping an estimated $1.5 million into Portland’s economy.

To be sure, there were inconveniences to downtown residents by streets that were closed, as well as the beer gardens, food, merchandise vendors, live music, motorcycles, and the associated crowds and, teeth-chattering rumble of the hogs’.  The South Park Blocks area residents were not impressed and could give two shakes of a unicorn’s tail that the involved bikers were well behaved and left a lot of their money in the city.

None the less, streets were filled with Milwaukee iron, chaps, bandanas, tattoos and ‘If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand’ t-shirts.  Even the Oregon Lottery got involved with a Harley-Davidson Scratch-It campaign and where a Madras man won a motorcycle.

The Portland event was a lead up to the great trek back to Wisconsin and as it turns out the atmosphere in the Park Blocks on that weekend were surprisingly mellow.  Participants were low-key, drank their refreshments and moved about the event in an orderly fashion.

The so called “incensed residents” returned to their usual way of life when the last Harley departed downtown, but continued to grit their teeth and fight another day on the great Fluoride debate of 2013!

Photo taken by the author.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Darrin Sprechar

Driving a motorcycle in the northwest is an exciting experience. The views, the freedom a motorcycle gives you, the expression of individuality that comes from going down the road on two wheels vs. four, are all attractions that thousands of Oregon motorcyclists experience most every day.

Unfortunately, there’s a darker side to driving a motorcycle. Accidents involving motorcycles are more dangerous to the rider than those involving people in automobiles.

That was the situation last week when Paradise Harley-Davidson (PHD) employee, Darrin Sprechar (43) was involved in an accident on Oregon 217 and sustained serious injuries.  Darrin was transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center after he rear-ended a vehicle on the highway between Southwest Walker and Canyon roads. The crash occurred in the southbound lanes at about 2:35 p.m.

Although Darrin was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, he 
suffered a traumatic head injury and remains hospitalized and in the ICU.  According to Beaverton Police (Yazzolino) the helmet wasn’t one approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
So, let’s reframe the debate — many of us know Darrin from the PHD Service Department — He’s really a nice guy, has a great sense of humor and is 3-dimensional, just like a real person!  Right now he remains in the ICU and it’s unknown when his condition will improve — so is it really time to debate DOT merits?! Really? I’ve read the posts on the forums and press pages.

Instead I suggest it’s time for a good deed.  One that will help bring some happiness to this family during the hazy shade of winter.  The Sunset HOG Chapter is sponsoring a collection for Darrin to help with medical expenses.  You can bring a donation to the next chapter meeting or mail a donation to PO Box 2078, Beaverton, OR 97075.  Or if you prefer you can make a donation HERE however, be advised that 100% of your donation will not go directly to the Sprechar family after the site takes it’s hefty percent of overhead.

We all hope and pray that Darrin’s injury will quickly heal. If you visit this link the family is keeping Darrin’s status updated daily.  For those of you who do contribute,  I’m sure that Darrin and his family would like to personally thank you for your support.
Picture courtesy of Caringbridge and Sprechar family.
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HD_StormNow more than ever, Harley executives say that customer experience is critical to how motorcycle firms compete.

They’re right: research indicates a high correlation between good customer experience and increased customer loyalty.

Unfortunately not all dealers get high marks from their customers. And that translates into lower sales, higher churn, and lost business that goes to competitors.  Does the customer experience become less important during an economic downturn? Absolutely not!!  Building loyalty and catering to the needs of customers is even more important in these very challenging times.  And HD is doing much more than paying lip service.

PiperAccording to the newly released (.pdf) 2009 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study, Ducati dealerships ranked highest.  This is one of a series of annual benchmarking studies which measure how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, motorcycle, RV or boat. The independent study sent 2,100 hired anonymous “mystery shoppers” into motorcycle dealerships nationwide, then used the patent-pending PSI process to compile the results into accurate measurement of how each brand’s dealerships treat motorcycle shoppers.

Following Ducati was Harley-Davidson—whose dealers were ranked first in 2007 and 2008—then BMW, Victory, Buell and MV Augusta all above the industry average. Overall motorcycle industry performance improved from 2008 to 2009, with eleven of the fifteen major motorcycle brands achieving higher PSI scores.  Harley-Davidson dealers performed substantially above the motorcycle industry average, but 2009 marked the first time in three years that dealers from another motorcycle brand were ranked higher.

A powerful brand needs to convey a long list of qualities; often, a brand may find itself stuck trying to represent too many — even conflicting — things. It seems that Harley is faced with this very situation. Social media interaction with the company will continue to grow in this downturn due in part to its ability to reduce the cost of customer acquisition, service, and transactions. Motorcycle consumers have many places to discover products. In fact, consumption of digital media and the Internet is shifting to cell phones and other portable devices. This proliferation adds complexity to an already highly competitive marketplace, and changing demographics. Keeping the customer central in retailers’ strategies will be difficult given the short attention span.

They have yet to ask for my viewpoint, but I believe Harley-Davidson can improve business results by developing deeper connections with us consumers and independent bloggers. It begins with the recognition that blogs are a new motorcycle “voice” and that the customer experience is a wide-range set of activities, not just an isolated event.  It’s a multiyear customer experience with the end result for any organization dependent on how effectively it navigates through multiple stages of the customer experience maturity.

Congrats to Ducati and the HD dealers!

Photo courtesy of PSI and Forester.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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paradisehd_snowYesterday was the first day of winter.  Fierce winter storms and unusually cold temperatures smothered the northwest these past few days.  Portland, OR recorded the most snow fall on record since 1968!

Sure it’s not like the -40 degrees which northern Maine is experiencing, but none the less it’s cold with gusting winds, power outages, more than a foot of snow with ½ inch of freezing rain crust across the entire metro area.

I fired up the 4×4 and drove through the wintery mix to Paradise Harley-Davidson and took the above photo.  A memorable photo as it’s not something we see unless you’re in Montana or Northern Idaho!

Clearly this does not help the motorcycle sales situation…but does make for a great snow filled Christmas.


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It’s a major anniversary year and the Northwest started the 105th Anniversary celebration today at Paradise HD in the form of a Luau!

As Portland’s only starting point for the “Ride Home”, Paradise HD combined a 105th celebration with their annual Luau party.  A luau is a Hawaiian feast and it typically features food, poi, kalua pig, poke, beer and some entertainment.

I did a drive-by and enjoyed the “HOG”, the luau show, the beer garden and watching bikers (mostly male) compete to be first in line for the bikini bike wash.  In talking with one of the staff they estimated more than 1500 people managed to cycle through the place for some food.  The day wouldn’t be complete without “colors” and a number of Brother Speed M/C members spent much of the afternoon milling around and enjoying the celebration.

Most notible was the high 80’s and Florida like humidity which is not often seen in the Northwest, but the aroma of food, the hula dancers and Ukulele sounds brought back memories of being in the islands rather than Oregon.  

Hat’s off to the crew at Paradise HD for pulling together a great afternoon!

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Sunset HOG Poker Run

Sunset HOG Poker Run

Mark your calendars. 

What:           16th Sunset H.O.G Poker Run

When:           September 7, 2008 – (Sunday)

Where:         Paradise HD, Tigard Or.

411:             Sign up 8-10am.  $10 fee.

I’ve done this poker run a couple of times previously and the Sunset HOG folks put on a nice poker run.  The weather is typically great and the routes are awesome through the Oregon countryside.

There is also something called a “Beaver Hunt” which means there will be signs on telephone polls, light posts etc., that will have a picture of a Beaver and a number on it.  You add up all the numbers and turn in the grand total at the end of the poker run.  Prizes will be given away.  For the “hunt” its best to have a passenger…I came upon a biker who went right off the road last year.  Not sure if they were trying to write a number down or what, but play it safe and let the passenger do the tally!

See you on the route.


Poker Run poster photo courtsey Sunset HOG.

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Unless you live under a rock you already know it’s the 105th Anniversary at Harley Davidson.  If you’re unfamiliar with Harley then you’ll be stoked to learn that they throw a great party at the “factory”.  This year will be especially grand because Harley opens a new museum and the Harley Owners Group (Club H.O.G.) turns 25 years old.   

As is the case this year (and every fifth year celebration), there are several rides that converge on Milwaukee, WI. from all points across the U.S.   

In the Northwest, Paradise Harley Davidson (Owner: Mike Durbin) was selected as the Portland area departure point for the “Ride Home”.  The official Northwest departure point is from the Cascade Harley dealer in Bend, OR, but maybe every Harley dealer throws a name in the hat to participate and make a claim as the “departure point”?  Not that it matters because there are no special event pins or patches or new motorcycle discounts.  Just the fun of claiming you started at a departure point and made the ride home. 

So what’s a Ride Home?  Basically you join up with a bunch of riders who enjoy motorcycles and caravan to Milwaukee, WI.  If you start at the departure point with a dealer there is potential in coordinating motel rooms for the over night stops.  Or you can just get on your bike and head out solo…stopping where ever your want.  There is merit to both options. Once you’re in Milwaukee and arrive “Home” the festivities include music, street parties, vendor booths and refreshments. 

Above is a map of the riding route from Paradise Harley.  The dates and stopping destinations are: 

A. August 20 – Tigard, OR – 0 miles

B. August 20 – Boise, ID – 425 miles

C. August 21 – Idaho Falls, ID – 285 miles

D. August 22 – Cody, WY – 250 miles

E. August 23 – Rapid City, SD – 400 miles

F. August 25 – Sioux Falls, SD – 350 miles (+ day in Black Hills)

G. August 26 – La Crosse, WI – 310 miles

H. August 27 – Milwaukee, WI – 225 miles 

If you’re interested in joining this group stop in at the dealer and talk with Jason Ross.  If not then maybe we’ll see you on the road.

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