Live to ride, ride to live

ELKO – Spring brings an increase in outdoor activities in our neck of the woods and, in particular, the desire to hop on a motorcycle and hit the road. Things have really been hopping at Elko’s Harley-Davidson store in the nearly two years since it opened.

“We are in a community that has embraced us,” said sales and finance manager Chris Estridge. “There are a lot of Harleys here. Our owners were trying to get a dealership open down here for a long time, especially for the convenience factor of not having to go to Twin Falls, Reno or Salt Lake City just to get service.”

Because of local needs, the parts inventory line has been expanded since opening to accommodate buyers. The business has a full-time technician who can take care of most repairs. Major motor jobs do get sent to the dealership in Twin Falls, but the local company will transport the motorcycle for the client.

“Harley-Davidson is a lifestyle,” said general manager Tom Burr, who came to that life many years ago. “I have been on motorized vehicles since I was 10 years old. I went through all of the other brands and now I am Harley. My jeans, boots, and jewelry are Harley.”

Both men lament the fact that the Motorcycle Jamboree will not be happening this year but it does not change things for the business.

“We will always remember that as the weekend of our anniversary and we will have an event here,” said Estridge.

Harley-Davidson is the number one touring motorcycle in the United States by a big margin, according to Burr.

The shop sees a tremendous amount of business in early August when the migration to Sturgis, South Dakota occurs. Elko is on the main thoroughfare for bike enthusiasts traveling northeast and many of the riders stop in to check out the store.

Plans in the future include expansion, including a bigger floor area for bikes and an extended clothing line.

“The parts section will stay next to the shop,” said Burr, indicating an increase in that area as well.

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Some may feel that owning a Harley-Davidson might be an impossible dream, but Estridge assures folks that people can get into a Harley for the entry market.

“We carry used bikes that are extremely practical,” said Estridge.

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The business also offers in-house financing, which makes it a one-stop shop.

The Street Glide model is the most popular bike locally and in the country, according to Estridge.

“The bike looks good and it’s comfortable,” said Eldrige. “It’s the perfect bike for anything you want to do. It performs well on the freeway and in town.”

Both men agree that Harley Davidson is about the coolest thing on this earth, pointing out that Harley is one of the few companies that people tattoo on their bodies.

The Harley-Davidson logo is probably the most recognized outside of Coca-Cola, Burr pointed out.

Gold Rush and Snake Harley-Davidson will be hosting a free concert June 10 on the lawn of the Horseshu Casino in Jackpot. Foghat and bands out of Twin Falls will be there. Details can be found on the website or stop in the store to ask about the event.

“This is our third year doing this,” said Estridge. “This is a time for our customers and employees.”

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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