To be honest, I always wanted a Harley. The journey to buying my first ever motorcycle, a Pearl Black Indian Chieftain Limited, is a long and interesting one and began with the simple desire of a boy combined with a love of all things American.
First things first, I am very honored and proud to be an American. No doubt about it. I am fascinated with red, white, and blue, or you can say addicted to it. I collect all types of things that are USA branded/colored, like socks, pens, a gun, car, boots, T-shirts, cufflinks, hats, flip flops, shorts, etc. Even my love (my wife Amanda) is made in America! You name it, I have it. If not, then I will add to my list!
Having grown up in India, I learned riding when I was 15 years old. India is a place where two wheelers are a necessity in everyday life and cars are considered a luxury. And just like other teenagers, I always wanted a motorcycle, but I only had a chance to own a Vespa/scooter. An American built motorcycle was never a choice, especially an Indian or Harley. Why? Because they are so expensive in India that you could buy two cars instead!
I tried many times to get a motorcycle when I was still in India, but circumstances kept preventing me from realizing my dream. And the only person who said that I shouldn't be sad because better things were waiting for me in America was my sister-in-law (Julie).
The day I landed in Phoenix, I knew America was the place for me to experience all the things that were unavailable to me in India. For example, the first thing I did was go sky diving in 2011. The second major thing I did was get a motorcycle endorsement in 2012 so that I could test ride and buy a Harley motorcycle. Since then, I have visited all of the Harley dealerships in the Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale areas (Florida), and I test drove all models. I almost bought a Harley Low Rider in 2017 from one of the dealerships but ultimately had to walk away from that due to negotiation issues. I then had another bad experience at a different Harley dealership. I was again disappointed, and it seemed like some external force was trying to keep me away from owning a Harley at that time.
In 2018, my wife finally convinced me to test ride an Indian motorcycle. She had been trying to convince me to try Indian for many years, but being from India, my brain was stuck on Harley because of the advertisements I grew up seeing in India. Plus, all of my Indian friends back home would have teased me, saying things like, “Ah man, you bought an INDIAN (as in India the country) bike.” What many don't realize is that Indian is the first American made motorcycle, having begun in 1901.
After couple of test rides of Indian, I was amazed with the look of it, riding quality, shocks, how clean the engine and wiring is put together, etc.. Again, I waited for two years because I heard a new model of Chieftain Limited was launching. In January 2020, my heart was stolen, and I bought my first motorcycle, an Indian Chieftain Limited.
During the pandemic, when everybody was staying home, I went for rides every Saturday, 300 plus miles every weekend. In that first year, I added 9000 miles to my bike, which includes every corner of Arizona and Route 66 bike week with my wife. So far, the two biggest achievements since getting my motorcycle are (1) joining the IMRG Grand Canyon Chapter and met so many wonderful people, and (2) finishing the Iron Butt Challenge, 1000 miles in 24 hours, in September 2020.