Getting Back on the Road
As most every motorcyclist knows, the maintenance of the machine itself is one of the more mentally, physically and fiscally exhaustive parts of motorcycling.
So much so that breaking one’s bike out after a long Idaho winter could easily leave you in need of a hug.
Thankfully, in a space NOT stereotypically associated with comfort and compassion that’s exactly what I got.
“C’merre,” High Desert-Harley Davidson Sales Manager Jason Weinel bellowed immediately as I walked into the showroom. “…I’m more of a hug guy. Welcome.” We had met only once before.
After regaining my breath, I explained to Weinel that I was bringing my 2011 Triumph Scrambler for annual maintenance. I explained that this was the first time that I had to put the motorcycle away for the winter and I was ready to get her (Phaedrus I call her (her being the motorcycle)) out of the garage and back on the road.
Triumph- Boise opened in late 2018, and it as well as Indian-Boise are managed by Zeb Ernest, formerly of Sawtooth Indian Motorcycles.
Freshly unloaded Triumphs of all kinds littered the sidewalk outside and the same for the interior of the space separated only by a dividing wall from the Indian showroom. Both have a familiar and comforting clean garage feel.
Ernest explained that he feels this location is a perfect fit for Triumph enthusiasts in the Treasure Valley.
“Triumph has done an amazing job of offering a range of bikes that appeal to not just motorcyclists, but people who just want to have fun riding a motorcycle,” he said. “Young people looking to rip around downtown, those looking to learn to ride, men, women, children, anyone looking for something to really hit the open road can find something. It feels like the right place at the right time.”
That everything includes top-level service and maintenance done by factory trained technicians using only the latest tools and motorcycle maintenance gadgetry. I had recently surpassed the 10,000-mile mark on my first bike, and although I am relatively handy, I was eager to ensure I was getting the best care I could. I don’t have kids, but I might compare it to nurturing your first-born child while it is young to ensure it is guaranteed a fantastic future. One day, I want this bike to take care of ME.
“There are a lot of great bike shops out there,” Ernest said, “but no one can give you the guarantee of the highest quality work done by the highest quality technicians as we can. Our mechanics are trained by Triumph’s own staff to work on these bikes.”
Walking into any niche lifestyle shop can be an intimidating act, but the High Desert, Triumph-Boise and Indian-Boise were staff were extraordinarily welcoming. In fact, they’re working specifically working hard to eliminate the stigma of the brow-beating bike-shop.
“This is a community,” Weinel said. The Kentucky transplant has been overjoyed with the passion and liveliness of the riding community here in his new home of Idaho. “We have something for everyone, and we want everyone to feel welcome to come and be a part of this family. ”
Lance Lee is the service, parts and accessories man at Triumph-Boise and Indian-Boise. He seemed to perfectly embody Weinel’s “family” ethos.
Lee took the time to explain what services he would suggest for my bike’s mileage and make, as well as assured me I was welcome to review any suggestions with a simple phone call before action was made on my bike.
Easy as that.
He was personable, easy to talk to and didn’t make me feel silly when I asked questions. Somehow, even if, yes, I was about to drop some serious coin on getting my gal’ up-and-running, I was able to smile, shake his hand and feel confident when I did it.
That’s a rare feeling leaving a vehicle for “service” if you ask me.
After dropping off my bike with Lee, I continued to walk around and drool at all the bikes and accessories of the three showrooms. It really was too much to handle.
Walking back to my truck to head home- my brain littered with how I was going to spend my next paycheck customizing my Scrambler for moto-camping, I realized I had not left the key to my bike and stopped by Triumph-Boise hopping to catch Lee and Ernest before they closed.
I caught Ernest outside, parking freshly unpacked 2019 Street Scrambler’s.
“Oh hey, long time no see,” Ernest laughed. It had only been a few hours since we had last spoken, so obviously, I was fresh in memory, but it felt familiar like he cared. He laughed as I handed him my key, and proceeded to walk over to where my bike was stored among others in line for maintenance. It wasn’t much, but for someone who was expecting this whole experience to go VERY differently, that evidence that he was listening meant everything.
“I’ve seen grown men brought to tears in this place,” Ernest said before I left, reflecting on powerful moments that he and his staff have shared with customers; friends, that maybe have saved their whole lives for the bike of their dreams.
I understood the feeling. I came in need of a hug, and I left understanding how someone could be brought to tears. In the best of ways.
Long live the road. See you out there.
You can visit High Desert-Harley Davidson, Triumph-Boise and Indian-Boise on 2310 & 2374, E. Cinema Drive in Meridian.
Triumph-Boise is hosting a Grand Opening party on April 20th.