• WHAT: Eagle’s Nest Harley Davidson
• WHERE: 13900 South Harlan Road, Lathrop
• HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• CONTACT INFO: Call (209) 941-0420 or visit www.eaglesnestharleydavidson.com
• WHAT YOU’LL FIND: A sprawling, 49,000-square-foot warehouse that pays tribute to one of America’s most iconic brands. A huge selection of bikes, complimented by massive parts and apparel departments, is accented by a service department capable of handling any project can throw at it and adds to scope and dimensions of the wide-body building.
LATHROP – David Tenney rides a steel horse.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 105 degrees outside or the spring rain is falling, Tenney is always at the helm of his Harley Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra – opening up the power of the Screaming Eagle 110 cubic-inch twin-cam motor and feeling the rumble as he thunders down the road.
Such is life as the General Manager of Eagle’s Nest Harley Davidson in Lathrop – allowing him to relate to the lifestyle the massive 49,000-square-foot dealership provides to enthusiasts and new customers alike.
But Tenney knows that it’s not the stereotypical “wind in the hair” that people talk about when it comes to climbing on to a motorcycle that draws people in.
It’s a tangible thing – something that can’t be described unless it’s actually felt and experienced.
“There’s a feeling you get when you get on and start a bike – it’s a physical thing,” he said. “You wouldn’t expect a guy to buy a Ferrari if he gets in and starts it up and it sounds like an Oldsmobile. He wants a car that sounds like a Ferrari. It’s the same thing here.
“There’s that exact sound that lets everybody know that you’re on a Harley. It’s all about the rumble. If you’re looking for the wind in your hair go out and buy a convertible.”
Unlike import motorcycles that are popular with commuters, Harleys are all about the journey – traversing the open road with the American spirit that is instilled in them when they’re still at the factory.
Some of those that walk away with shiny new bikes, Tenney says, will ride them every day. Others might keep them covered in their garage and pull them out once a month for a weekend trip up to the foothills.
Regardless of the frequency, that spirit is exemplified by the fact that not every rider has a route in mind when they throw their leg over the seat.
“People will climb on and have no idea where they’re going to go,” Tenney said. “It’s not about the destination. It’s about the experience and doing what it is that you want to do.”
And the concept that it takes a mint to be able to afford one isn’t necessarily the case.
Eagle’s Nest, Tenney says, sells as many used bikes as they do new bikes and offer something for every price range – unloading a quality Road King recently for just under $8,000.
The dealership also prides itself in being able to fit customers to the right bike based on their stature – making sure that a big guy doesn’t bog down in a small bike and a small guy doesn’t have problems keeping a big bike stable at a stop sign or a red light.
More women are in the marketplace today that have been in recent years, he said, which adds a new dimension to riders on the road – proving that it’s not just a man’s world. Tenney also said that he’s seen people as old as 87 years old walk away on a new bike and as young as 19 – something that shows the wide appeal of Harley Davidson across the generations.
“It’s an experience that appeals to everybody,” he said. “Right now everybody has a new level of stress with the economy and how everything is playing out. But when you fire up your bike and ride away all of that just seems to disappear.”
— JASON CAMPBELL
209 staff reporter