By DAN HEATH
---- — PLATTSBURGH — North End Harley-Davidson now offers a line of motorcycles with sidecars designed to be ridden all year long.
Owner Casey Spiegel said the dealership started to sell Ural motorcycles last month. The Russian-made motorcycles have sidecars that allow for two-wheel drive for stablity in all weather conditions.
“They are on a big push to develop their dealer network,” he said. “They are very cool machines.”
The retro style harkens back to the World War II-era motorcycles used by the military. The motorcycles are powder coated, which enables the finish to stand up to harsh weather conditions.
Spiegel said he usually rides every day, weather permitting. The new Ural models will enable him to ride year-round.
“I think it will be popular up here,” he said.
Spiegel said his sales territory for the Ural models extends throughout Northern New England and New York state.
Spiegel said they have already proven popular. One customer from Vermont has used his to scout the woods for moose throughout the summer, while another plans to use it to get to his tree stand and will be able to carry his kill out of the woods in the sidecar.
Spiegel said Deuce, his British red lab, loves to ride in the sidecar. He said Deuce also likes to ride on boats, ATVs, waverunners and even a golf cart.
“He loves to ride anything,” Spiegel said.
North End Harley Davidson offers equipment for all levels of riders, from beginners to experts. Spiegel said they offer instruction, working closely with Rick Potiker of the Northern New York Driving Academy. That is especially important when someone is learning to operate the two-wheel drive Ural models.
In addition to Ural, the business carries motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft and snowmobiles from Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Suzuki and Arctic Cat. Harley-Davidson is by far the most popular line they carry, he said.
Spiegel said the business became a licensed manufacturer of custom motorcycles, Lake City Choppers, last year.
The staff at Lake City Choppers can work with a customer to design anything they can imagine. They work with you to determine what type of bike you want and what type of rider you are to design that special machine.
Spiegel’s own custom-built chopper features overlapping leather scales. They were created by a friend who designs body armor like that from medieval times and is designed to resemble the scales you might find on a dragon, or in this case, the Lake Champlain monster.
Spiegel said he also deals in muscle cars and trucks.
“We just sold a Ferrari last week. We have a Lamborghini coming in next week,” he said.
North End Harley Davidson has a full line of parts, accessories and clothing. It also has a full-service repair shop.
North End Harley Davidson and Lake City Choppers has about 25 employees, Spiegel said. They opened a satellite office in Lake Placid in 2007.
Spiegel said sales are boosted by rising gas prices.
“It’s an incentive for people to get a toy and save some money on gas,” he said.
That is largely offset during tough economic times such as at present, Spiegel said.
Former owner Tom Wyand bought North End Harley Davidson in 1978. Spiegel bought the business from him in 2005 and moved to its present location in the former Ward Lumber building in 2009.
The interior of the shop features rough-cut siding and a wide variety of mounted wildlife, including moose, deer, antelope, buffalo, boar, foxes and more. Spiegel said it took them about three months to gut the interior of the building and remodel.
“It’s all thanks to Lamberton Construction — they were amazing,” he said.
North End Harley-Davidson is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The business accepts cash, checks and major credit cards.
For more information, call 563-4360 or visit www.lakecitychopers.com.
Email Dan Heath