Biker Lifestyle

With Harley-Davidson betrayal, the time for the working man has come. With America First comes the rise of the blue-collar worker.

Motorcycle Madhouse

By James “Hollywood” Macecari

America is in a pivotal point in history right now. A point in our history where we can finally take back this country for the working man. Right now we have a President in the White House who cares deeply about this country and putting it first. Regardless what the so-called pundits like spewing. We have a President who is not bashful about putting America First. Especially when it comes to trade and strength. 

Right now President Trump is in the midst of renegotiating NAFTA. For those young ones who do not know what NAFTA is. NAFTA was the nail in the coffin to many industries. Steel, Coal, Automotive, Textile and the list goes on. Many of these industries employed Union Workers. Many of which jetted to third world countries as soon as that ass-monkey of an agreement was agreed upon. 

NAFTA under this President is being renegotiated. “Fair Trade or No Trade” should be the slogan. Sure, you have the Never Trumpers out there screaming and crying “No Tariffs.“Claiming it will hurt the American Consumer. Bullshit. They are defending the companies and lobbyists who fill the campaign coffers. On the other side, you have them protecting Illegal Immigrants so they will have future votes. 

No other time in United States history besides Andrew Jackson, have we had a President who actually put the people first. You know he’s accomplishing his job against the establishment when you have the propaganda media arm of the Democratic Party (CNN and MSNBC) criticizing him daily. President Trump has upset the entire establishment. He’s got every one of them crooks running for cover right now. 

TIME FOR THE WORKING MAN TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED

Many were surprised when Harley-Davidson took the savings from its Tax break and decided to pay out its shareholders. I wasn’t the least bit surprised by the companies actions. I’ve long ago stopped being loyal to the company. Why? Because of the lack of loyalty from the company to its base. The last Harley I‘ll ever own will be a 2001 Fatboy. After this one, I‘ll move onto an Indian. 

One thing I will not do is support a company that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about its employees. When the Kansas City Plant Closed the jobs from there was supposed to move to York. Instead, another bullshit line from the company. Only 150 of those jobs went to York. The rest is heading overseas to Thailand. 

The reason so many of us chose to ride Harley-Davidson was that it was an American Company. The new excuse after they started using parts made overseas was ” Well the money is going to this country.“Bullshit! It’s going to the stockholders. Many of which are overseas companies. So what is the next excuse for why Harley-Davidson is the best?

Bikers are supposed to be some of the most loyalist people on earth. Especially those of us who are blue collars. Where is the outrage? Where is the disgust when Harley slated the Kansas City jobs for Thailand? Let me guess. Go out and buy a new 2018 right? It doesn’t affect you so keep up the pipe dream of Harley-Davidson being the working man’s bike. Little secret. Hasn’t been a working man’s bike since the mid-1990’s. 

If it was a working man’s bike than people wouldn’t have too second mortgage their house for a new one. And the company wonders why the used market is kicking the hell out of the new sales market. Maybe this is the reasons why new sales are way down you “Wizards” at corporate. 

The problem with this country has become “No Pride” in itself. People have become conditioned to think this is the way the country has always been. This is the furthest from the truth. America was the land of the trades. We had the best of the best in construction, mechanics, electrical and tons more. It wasn’t the suits that sat behind a desk which made this country great. No, it was the hard-working men and women who stood on the assembly line. Or ones who sat under a lift and wrenched all day that made this country. For those who are young. 18-25. Those are the ones you want to look up to. Without those people, this country would come to a standstill. 

It wasn’t so long ago. Before the times of these Liberal Ass-Monkeys, this country used to have pride in itself. Hopefully, the times will return when people have pride in their work. Have pride in their country and most of all, have pride in being American. If America is going to remain the greatest country on earth, we have to support those who keep the engine going. Those people are the American Blue Collar Worker. The base that Harley- 

Age old Question- Is a member of the Military Police considered a Leo when it comes to Motorcycle Clubs? How about Correctional Officers?

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‘Every piece had a story’ — for longtime Harley dealer, final sale is personal

Journal Star

Before he and his wife sold their sprawling store on West O Street and retired three months ago, Dave Fischer spent more than three decades selling Harley-Davidsons.

But the former co-owner of Frontier Harley was also buying his own motorcycles, scouring the country for rare, valuable and simply strange Harley makes and models.

He ended up with a museum-quality collection, so that’s what he built: a Harley history museum on the second floor of their dealership.

It meant something to him, sharing his showpieces with his customers.

“I’m not the guy who wants to go to the biker bar and just talk about what I own,” he said. “It was important to me for them to see it.”

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Then, in March, they couldn’t. His personal collection wasn’t part of the sale to H&H Automotive Group of Omaha, so all of the bikes were wheeled to a storage shed next door. The thousands of rare and spare parts, vintage signs and collectibles were crated and forklifted onto shelves, out of public view.

 

They’ll make a brief reappearance this month, and then they’ll be gone for good: Fischer is selling the contents of his museum at a auction Saturday that is expected to draw hundreds of bidders to Frontier Harley.

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Potential buyers from Japan, Switzerland and South Africa have expressed interest, and Fischer expects a strong local crowd. He was in the business long enough that he’s sure every biker in Nebraska, and many in Iowa and Kansas, have heard about the sale.

“It’s bringing in a lot of interest,” said Glenn Bator of Bator International, which specializes in selling classic motorcycles. “I would say the caliber of what Dave has is very high, and there are certain motorcycles he has that are very rare.”

 

Fischer will keep four bikes, but the rest of his collection — 33 motorcycles spanning more than 70 years and all the parts and memorabilia — will scatter.

So will his so-called anomalies, like his Harley snowmobiles and his Harley scooter and his Harley bicycles and his Harley golf cart and the rarest of them all — his 15-foot Harley boat.

 

It hasn’t been easy, but he’s ready to see his collection go.

“When we pulled it out of the museum, it was hard. Every piece had a story.”

* * *

Dave Fischer had a secret past he didn’t disclose to many of his biker friends: He was a lawyer.

 

He worked for the Nebraska Legislature and the U.S. Senate and, later, Union Pacific. He was living and practicing in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1980s when he decided to make a change.

 

“I was just bullheaded enough,” he said. “I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to own my own business. And I thought, it should be something that I know and enjoy.”

At the time, Lincoln had been without a Harley dealership for two years, and he convinced the company to let him take the territory.

“I had no business background. I had never taken a business class. If they wouldn’t have been desperate, they wouldn’t have given me the dealership.”

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He and Deb opened Frontier Harley-Davidson in 1987 at 27th Street and Cornhusker Highway, selling and servicing bikes in a 15,000-square-foot store. They nearly tripled their space in 2006, when they built their new shop and museum on West O Street.

Deb Fischer handled most of the business side — the books and the personnel and the problems. “And I got to do the fun stuff,” Dave Fischer said.

 

He didn’t think he’d ever retire, but when they explored the possibility last year, H&H Automotive’s interest and eventual offer was too good to ignore. More importantly, they felt they were leaving their store and its employees in good hands, he said.

“We just kind of stuck our toes in the market, and we caught a trophy bass,” he said. “I woke up one day and found myself retired.”

 

But the deal left him with no place to share his collection. And his pieces deserve more than a storage shed. Some of the old bikes are still new, rarely ridden. Others have been restored. All of them run. Keeping them that way takes work.

 

“You can only ride so many bikes. You can only maintain so many,” he said. “I don’t want to spend my retirement working on bikes.”

When Fischer decided to sell his collection, he hired Bator, who flew to Lincoln and spent a full day examining the bikes. Then he sat down with Fischer and told him how to make the most money.

 

Let his company consign them. Or run them through a big sale in Las Vegas. Both would attract deeper pockets, and Fischer would likely make $100,000 more than at auction in Lincoln.

 

It’s not all about the money, Fischer told him. He wanted the bikes to sell at Frontier.

“Basically, he wanted to have a nice local auction, have all of his buddies around him, watching all of his babies go to new owners.”

 

Bator has come to see the upcoming sale as a farewell party for Dave and Deb Fischer after 31 years in the business.

 

“It gives them the final departure from their place in the Harley-Davidson world.”

* * *

Dave Fischer wasn’t a random Harley hoarder. He had a plan as a collector, and he stuck to it. Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903, so he narrowed his focus to bikes built in years that ended in three.

 

“That was the framework,” he said. “That was the backbone.”

His oldest is a 1933, his newest, 2003, and he owns Harleys from every decade in between.

He spent a decade trying to buy a 1913 from a Canadian collector, and had even reached a deal. Then the seller demanded cash.

 

“I said, ‘Bill, I’m not going to cross the Canadian border with 75,000 U.S. dollars.”

The negotiations continued for years until Fischer walked away. The last he heard, that same bike had sold for $250,000.

 

He branched out from his framework. For the company’s key anniversaries — its 50th and 100th — he collected one bike from every model family. So he owns seven built in 2003 and three from 1954 (the company officially marked its 50th anniversary a year late).

 

He also hunted rare Harley bikes and the company’s other vehicles — bicycles, scooters, golf carts, snowmobiles and the rare boat.

He found a 1920 bicycle at a ranch sale in Hooker County; the seller gave him a photo of her grandfather as a young boy, posing with his new bike.

 

He found the boat in a Wisconsin barn. Harley-Davidson had bought the Tomahawk Boat Co. in the 1960s because it needed a fiberglass factory to build fairings, saddlebags, sidecars and other motorcycle accessories.

 

But it sold Harley boats for a few years. Fischer bought his 20 years ago from a widow, who said her husband bought it, put it in the barn and died before he could use it.

When his auctioneer told him a bidder in Japan is interested in the boat, he said: “You got to tell him to not ever put it in the water. It’s too nice to get wet.”

 

A Swiss buyer is interested in his 1972 Harley Sportster, the company’s first and last attempt at a minibike. It abandoned production after one year.

 

Fischer can tell each bike’s story. The 1958 three-wheeled Servi-Car used by Lincoln meter maids. The 1973 Electra Glide, the Cadillac of bikes, with every available option, including a cigarette lighter and eight-track player.

 

The 1999 off-road MT500, built for the first Gulf War but ultimately unnecessary, because the battle ended before it could be useful.

 

There’s the first year of the Screamin’ Eagle, the trio of 50th anniversary bikes — painted more “puke yellow” than golden anniversary — and his rarest motorcycle, a 1943 Knucklehead.

That year, Harley-Davidson devoted its production to the military, building bikes for World War II, and few were sold domestically. The Knucklehead was one of just dozens made, and Fischer doesn’t know of any others that exist. That could be a six-figure bike, he said.

 

But, really, he doesn’t know what to expect when bidding starts. He knows what it’s like to be a buyer who doesn’t want to make the long drive home with an empty trailer. Or what can happen when two bidders pursue the same obscure item.

 

He’ll find out soon. “I used to tell Deb that when I die, you’re going to have a hell of an auction,” he said. “Now here’s my chance to prove it, but I don’t have to die.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

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2 replies »

  1. God bless Dave Fischer. He had a dream for himself and the balls to step out and do it.
    But he had more, much more. I have no doubts as each piece sells a part of him goes too. The money is good but how many could tell about their 1943 knuckle?
    The good times of Harley Davidson motorcycle is gone. This era that Dave knows is a past and the reality is Harley Davidson has turned their backs on the same people who brought them back from another company AMF who took the reins and I think made many upgrades to the factories and motorcycles. I actually owned 2 1977 Electraglides. Both were great bikes. Very little money spent on a keeping it running, quality was good and most importantly, they were ready to ride at anytime needed. Always got me there and back.
    But it was not Harley Davidson until it was family owned. So we were all glad when they came back into majority ownership. Little did we know that this is when they started the March to WHERE we are now.
    I am 61 years old and I have never even sit on another make of motorcycle. Only Harley Davidson.
    But they have done something that is hard to take. Twenty or so years ago they forgot who or why made them strong.
    We who worked and rode hard. They thought the 90’s grey beards were going to be the way. They had money but no heart. Bikers are different than the norm and we are normally loyal to the end. But too much bullsjit and no respect has cost them.
    Raising prices and giving less was their idea of a plan to sell motorcycles. Everything you paid big money for is extra, an accessory that we are happy to sell you. At a big price BTW.
    Look I am tired if being ripped off and now blaming others for their failure. Moving to Asia with our workers sitting . They know more about the HD motorcycle than anyone outside these borders. Yet another knife in the backs of the American people and blue color workers.
    Time to let them fall again. Maybe this will be the wake up call…MAYBE.

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  2. That’s so true about putting pride in to your work. If you don’t take pride in your work it will show. We should be held accountable for our actions and how we represent ourselves in public. A virtue that was ingrained in the children raised in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s, but not today. Today kids are entitled, big difference.

    Sent from my Verizon Motorola Droid

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