The Brain Bucket

Daniel O // 20 Years of Owning Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Jan 12, 2021 3:23:24 PM / by Kelly Kawasaki

Harley Davidson Dyna, Harley Davidson Road Glide,

Why did you choose your Harley-Davidson Motorcycles?

I bought my first Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2000. My friend was selling his 2000 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy with only 1,300 miles on it. I had never even ridden a bike on the street when I agreed to buy it. I lived in an apartment and didn't even have a garage. The day I got it, he delivered it to my apartment for me, but I needed to ride it to my parents garage for the night. 

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The moment I fired it up with its chrome Thunderheader exhaust rumbling down the road, I was immediately hooked forever! It spent many nights parked in the living room of my apartment. I currently own and ride 3 models which are a Dyna, Road Glide, and a Road King. I have had a Harley at all times for the last 20 years which exception of about 6 months. I have owned around a dozen or so in that time.

How did you get into riding motorcycles?
I have loved motorcycles since I was a young child. When I was under two years old, I would wait for my dad to get home from work everyday on his bike. It really sunk in was when I was 12 or 13 years old and I was on vacation with family in Southern California and a HUGE group of sport bikes surrounded our car on the freeway as they flew by us. There must have been 50-75 bikes and at that moment I knew I wanted one!

Harley Davidson Road King

What inspires you to ride?
There are many inspirations that cause me to love to ride. The easy answers are stress relief, comradery with friends and other riders, being able to see the country when touring, and expressing myself through customizing my bikes, but ultimately it is the the feeling of acceleration and control when hitting twisty roads. I have a couple fairly high performance Harleys and the feeling you get when riding them is absolutely addicting.

Why did you decide to make your Instagram?
I have been into magazines my whole life. I would go to the book store or grocery store for hours and read up on all my interests mostly tied to bikes and cars. One day my fiancé wanted me to vote for something she was trying to win and created an account for me. My Instagram handle is one of my personalized plates on my bike and she used it for my name. I had zero idea what instagram was and didn't have any other social media accounts. As I began to use it I soon realized it was the digital version of magazines, except you can follow and be followed by like minded people. I also love capturing photos of my bikes in cool places and being able to share those is something I enjoy.

Harley Davidson Road glide
What is the best life lesson you've learned from owning/riding a motorcycle?
After almost 20 years of riding, 18 months ago it happened. I went down. I ended up severely breaking my wrist as the most major of issues. I have permanent limited movement and a plate and screws in it still to this day. The life lessons from seeing your life pass in front of your eyes and for a split second having to contemplate whether or not you will live in the midst of sliding across the road changes your perspective on many things.

The vulnerability of riding was something that really has changed me. I have and will always still ride very aggressively, but I do it with a different level of calculation and less riding like I am invincible. I also have a 14 year old daughter and some amazing friends and family that I want to be here for long term, so this is a constant thought as I ride these days. My bike has been rebuilt and is more amazing than ever thanks to my closest friend Greg.

What is the most exciting adventure you’ve taken on a bike?
Summer of 2018 myself and 3 friends (Greg, Marty, and Chris) shipped our bikes from California to Portland, Maine, which is pretty much the furthest you can be from coast to coast in the US. We flew out and picked the bikes up at the Harley dealer in Portland and from there spent the next 17 days riding them home. 22 states and almost 5,000 miles of riding. This was the trip of my life to date.

Harley Davidson Dyna, Harley Davidson Road Glide,
What does being a part of the motorcycle community mean to you?
I have friends who love to golf. I don't get it. It is a sunny day and you can hit a little white ball or get on a high horsepower Harley and smash the twisty roads while seeing and smelling the trees, mountains, or the ocean. The bike community understands this. You cannot tell someone what it is like to be on a bike thousands of miles from home, riding next to a close friend, in the middle of nowhere, as the sun sets. You either get it or you don't. Cheers!


Follow Daniel and his Harley-Davidson lineup on his Instagram.

Topics: Rider Diaries, Harley Davidson

Kelly Kawasaki

Written by Kelly Kawasaki

Bringing you all things motorcycles.

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