Fox River Harley is HOG heaven for bikers
By Paul Sullivan For The Courier-News October 3, 2011 5:30PM
Ozzie Giglio, CEO and Dealer Principal of Windy City Harley Davidson Dealer Group, on one of the 70 plus motorcycles on the showroom floor at Fox River Harley in St. Charles.| Paul Sullivan photo
Fox River Harley-Davidson
Where: 131 S. Randall Road, St. Charles
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Updated: January 23, 2012 4:08AM
At Fox River Harley-Davidson, the former Zylstra dealership in St. Charles, salesman Joe Manning and four other men employees lifted a Super Glide motorcycle from a 2-foot-tall display pedestal and set it gently on the showroom floor. A customer from Missouri soon would arrive to sign over title to his 22-year-old Harley and drive away with this brand new Super Glide.
“This is an interstate deal,” Manning said. “The guy wanted this particular color. They’re not making it in 2012. People will go to great lengths to get the one they want.”
The Super Glide customer, 74-year-old Tony Brown, is a retired aircraft mechanic who’s been riding motorcycles for 35 years. Online, he found Fox River Harley had the medium-blue and black Super Glide he wanted. “It’s probably the only one around in 500 miles,” he said.
Joe Beth, general manager at the 80,000 square-foot Fox River dealership, said motorcyclists are passionate about their sport and their bikes. “Everybody who buys a bike wants something unique, wants to make it their own. You start with the basic bike ($7,995) and then add $4,000 to $5,000 in accessories. Now it’s ‘my bike.’ It all depends on how much chrome you want. Any part you want, we got.”
Fox River Harley-Davidson is one of four full-service dealerships in the Windy City Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealer Group. The others are in Villa Park, Palatine and Berwyn. The group also has a store at O’Hare selling Harley-Davidson clothing and related items.
There is a mystique attached to the world-famous Harley-Davidson name, Beth said. “Before I bought a Harley, I bought a Suzuki for about $2,000 less than a Harley I wanted. I regretted that (decision) every day I rode that Suzuki. When I sold it, I told myself I’d not have another bike until I had a Harley. There’s something about the sound, the ride, the looks.”
A motorcycle license is required to ride. Fox River Harley offers a rider’s education class called Rider’s Edge. It consists of two days of classroom work and two days on the bike. Cost for the class is $350, including use of a motorcycle for the road work. “Basically,” Beth said, “you have to know the gears, the clutch, the brakes, and be able to hold it up. The rules of the road are the same.”
Anyone with a motorcycle license can rent a Harley at the Fox River dealership or at any of the other Windy City Harley dealers.
Motorcyclists share a common bond in their love of riding, Beth said. “We’re brothers of the wind. We always wave to each other, even people riding a Suzuki. You don’t see that with two guys driving Fords. And women who ride along fall in love with riding and want their own bike.”
The Fox River Harley dealership, which has a HOG (Harley Owners Group) club, offers numerous social activities for its customers, Beth said. “We’re always doing something to bring people together. Every other Wednesday we have a dinner ride. Last week, we went to The Pub in Oswego.”
Ozzie Giglio, CEO and a principal of the Windy City Harley-Davidson Group, said the group’s principals had talked for the last four years with the Zylstra family about buying their St. Charles dealership. “We felt we could enhance our capacity to better serve our customer base,” Giglio said. “We came to an agreement that was good for both of us.”
And what does a guy ride whose new Fox River dealership is the largest in the Windy City Group? “I have a Road King and Heritage Soft Tail I bought new in ’96 before I became a dealer,” Giglio said.