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Object of Desire

Buzz Kanter Columns Harley Magazine Blog This Months Column

Object of Desire

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter
Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

After 40 years of buying and selling motorcycles I sure have met some interesting people…

Most Americans buy and ride the bikes we do because we find them fun, exciting, and they often lead to adventures. Each of us has his own idea of what’s cool — chopper, bobber, rat, classic, or bagger. Personally, I prefer older classic machines as I feel they ooze character (and usually some fluids, too) and take more skill to start and ride well.

Over the years I have been fortunate to buy and sell some great classic motorcycles. But I’ve often had to sell one or more bike to finance and make room for another, better one. After 40 years of buying and selling motor-cycles I sure have met some interesting people and heard all kinds of stories.

I recently offered a rare 1942 Harley Knucklehead for sale on Facebook. It’s rare because Harley built only 799 1942 FLs before America was drawn into World War II in December 1941. They were pretty much all built before December 1941, when Harley’s efforts were directed to the war efforts. Mine was redone years ago with bold red and white paint and wide whitewall tires. Some love the look, others don’t. It’s a great rider, starts easily, and goes down the road well. The last ‘42 FL I saw sell went for a staggering $77,000 at a motorcycle auction, Mine is not as nice or correct, so I priced mine at $45,000.

I immediately was swamped on Facebook with comments about how beautiful and cheap it is for a pre-war Knuck. Others said they’d snatch it up if they had the money or were not in the middle of remodeling their house, a divorce, or other demands. And I got a lot of PMs with low-ball offers, all of which I politely declined.

I am not in a rush to sell this bike but would like to see it go to a good new home at a reasonable price. A few people suggested replacing the whitewalls with a pair of fresh black wall tires, and possibly repainting the bike black to make it more saleable. And I am thinking of this if it does not sell soon. What would you do? Tell me at Letters@AmericanIronMag.com.

Sturgis 2019
We are still working on our plans for Sturgis in early August, but expect to be involved in at least two custom bike shows. One is a No Pros Garage Build show Saturday, August 3rd at the Iron Horse Saloon. The details are still being worked out as we go to print, but you can check the AIMag.com web site and our American Iron Magazine Facebook page for updates.

Barber Classic Races & Our Kickstart Classic
Our staff and I love to meet and ride with our readers. So we create events or join others where we can meet up. This October we are supporting AHRMA’s 2nd Annual Handshift Shootout, a classic Indian vs Harley motorcycle tank shifter race at Barber Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports in Alabama.

All racers need to be licensed to road race and have competed with a recognized race association in the last 12 months. Full tech for the bike and riding gear are required. There will be one race Saturday, October 5, and another Sunday, October 6, and the racer with the most combined points will be declared the winner. The winner will receive a trophy and a full feature article in the pages of American Iron Magazine. For more info visit the AHRMA web site at www.ahrma.org.

A few days later, we will be at Dale’s Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, for the start of our Motorcycle Kickstart Classic. Open to riders of all makes, models, and years, not just kickstarters. Registered riders have the run of the museum Tuesday, October 8, and a welcome reception and dinner that evening. The next day we leave on a two-day ride to Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch and the Tennessee Motorcycles & Music Revival, where all Kickstart riders get special treatment. Preregister for the Kickstart and save $50 per person at www.AIMag.com or call Rosemary at 203/425-8777 x114.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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