Safety important to those who sell cycles as well
August 27, 2004
Richard Tapia is enjoying the boom in motorcycle sales. But more than most, he has a stake in making sure those riders learn how to ride safely.
Tapia owns and operates Carson City’s Harley Davidson dealership on North Carson Street.
“With all our customers, we tell them even if they’re an experienced rider, take a safe- driving course,” he said.
Tapia said his discussions with a customer include everything from riding lessons to safety gear, but most often start with choosing the right bike.
“We have individuals who want a bigger bike than they can handle,” he said. “We always consult with them and get them into the right bike – not the bike their friend wants them to buy.”
He said that applies to men as well as the growing number of women who come in with a boyfriend to get a motorcycle.
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He tells many new riders they should get some experience before trading up to a bigger bike – sort of grow into it, rather than starting off with something too big to be comfortable on.
But for others, he said, it’s a matter of size.
“It has nothing do with your abilities and your skills,” he said. “Personally, I don’t drive an Electroglide. That’s too much bike for me personally, and I’m in the business.”
He said buyers need to listen to a knowledgeable salesman, especially if they aren’t experienced. They’ll not only be safer, but happier in the long run.
He said it’s especially important for older riders returning to the sport to take a class and take it easy while redeveloping their riding skills.
“It’s a love they’ve been wanting, maybe waiting for the kids to leave home and now that they have, they want to enjoy motorcycling again.”
And he said that includes not only riding classes but proper safety clothing and a real helmet – not just a skull cap that meets minimum requirements in Nevada law.
“We want people comfortable and having fun,” he said.