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‘American thunder’ rolls west


American Thunder and the Harley-Davidson mystique hasrolled into West Knoxville this summer.

With a new three-story location at 605 Lovell Road, Knoxville Harley-Davidson and its parent company continues its ongoing expansion across East Tennessee.

When Dile Brown opened Knoxville Harley-Davisdon on Clinton Highway in 1968, the brand name was only familiar to small circles of cycling enthusiasts in the region. Today, with multiple shops spanning across Knox County, Maryville, Sevierville and Morristown, the name Harley-Davidson is rapidly gaining popularity in the community.


Managing the Lovell Road store is Dile’s son, David Brown.

David Brown said, “East Tennessee has some of the best two-wheel motorcycle riding in the eastern part of the United States. [Cyclists] come down here for their vacation so that they can spend it riding through the mountains.”

With this immense potential in its corner, Brown said it is no surprise the Lovell Road location of Knoxville Harley-Davidson is sparking so much interest throughout the area.

The 51,000-square-foot building will have anything that a cycling fan could want. From biking fanatics to those just recently interested in motorcycling, Brown said, “any visitor to the store will find what they are looking for.”

“We hope to cater to everyone,” he said. The first two floors host a service department, bike sales, parts and accessories, motor clothes and H-D collectibles ranging from leather jackets to Harley belt buckles to martini glasses.

Along with administration offices, the third floor features ample room for the monthly meeting of H.O.G (Harley Owners Group), a nationwide club comprised of Harley owners with chapters in hundreds of cities.

Brown said the service department at the store features highly-trained technicians. Adding, each Harley-Davidson employee will be trained by the company’s own Harley-Davidson University.

A four-day course done in the winter, H-D University trains each employee in retail and overall knowledge of Harley-Davidson equipment. Harley bike technicians are mandated to stay updated with training films and Harley-Davidson’s own on-site satellite training.

Brown added that the Harley-Davidson stores are not only about the bikes, they are about promoting the Harley-Davidson lifestyle. Brown said he hopes to reach out to the West Knox and Farragut communities with family oriented events similar to other Harley dealerships throughout the country.

“I’ve got kids myself, and if it is not something I can bring my daughters around, I’m not going to be a part of that here as far as the store,” he said.

The Clinton Highway location of Knoxville Harley-Davidson holds annual fall carnivals and other such events generated towards the family.

“A lot of the other dealership concerts cater to the adult, we are going to try to cater to the family,” Brown said.

With a growing network of Harley retailers in the area —such as Brown in Knoxville, Scott Maddux in Maryville and Ernie Bolger in Morristown — as surprisingly positive bond between Harley-Davidson stores has developed.

Maddux said concerning the Harley business in the area, “a rising tide lifts all ships. As we bring more awareness to motorcycling, it has a positive effect on all business.”

Knoxville Harley-Davidson of Lovell Road is currently open for business. While still putting the finishing touches on the store, Brown and his staff are planning a grand opening celebration within the next couple of weeks.

 

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