I had a road glide, which I loved, then moved on to a newer Road Glide. That was an awesome tourer and I've done every cool road from the Pacific Coast Highway to Sturgis and from the Mexican Border and through British Columbia.
Another couple we ride with decided that big touring Harleys weren't for them. They bought a couple of Triumph adventure bikes, which they thoroughly enjoyed. My wife and I were watching their adventures and she became a little envious because we couldn't join them on the dirt roads. Also, there's the Baja and Alaska Highway on my bucket list, which are a bit less "Harley Friendly". I came across a killer deal on a KTM 1190 so we could join them on some of their dirtier trips and I could dip my tow in the adventure bike pool. Having two bikes was awesome, but insurance is stupid expensive here. Any time I wanted to ride the other bike I would have to go to the insurance agency and swap it over.
The thing about the KTM is that is was a serious kick in the pants. The power and handling of the bike was just way too much fun. What would happen for the next couple of years is that I would start by insuring the Road Glide, ride it for a month then switch over to the KTM and never switch it back. Dirt adds a whole new set of adventures, plus on the pavement the handling was incredible.
I had bought the KTM used and cheap. It was already a high miler, but was well maintained and a great bike, however it was getting up there in age and kilometers. My Road Glide was a 2010, so it too, was getting a tad long in the tooth. Switching back and forth was a pain, so I started considering one, newer adventure bike. Along comes Harley with the Pan America. I put my name on the demo lists, did my research, and for the most part forgot about it. Spring of 2021 arrives, and just for fun, demoed a KTM 1290 (Nice. Fast... But tall and felt awkward.) A BMW GS1250 (a very refined bike that almost rides itself. It takes up a LOT of real estate, and just didn't seem to be all that much fun.) Ducatis were even more expensive, Triumph or the Tenere 1200 didn't do it for me. There were still no Pan Ams available, which didn't really matter because they were probably going to suck anyway. I was pretty skeptical, however all the positive reviews were intriguing.
Finally in June of 2021 I got a call from a local Harley dealer. They had a Special in that was spoken for but they guy's financing fell through. I headed out to give it a go. This was no organized kiddie ride, so I actually got to take it around Chilliwack Mountain and give her a run for her money. As I was riding though the twisties, I was screaming like a kid on a roller coaster. What a blast! I fell in love. When I got back to the dealer, I asked how much I could get for a trade on my two bikes. They came in okay on the KTM, but the Road Glide was insulting, so we couldn't make a deal. I wasn't in any hurry so life went on. It was an unproven bike, I had two great bikes, I should just shut up and be happy. I did another kiddie demo at a different dealer, which I got to know the electronics a bit, but that silly group ride did nothing for me. Still, I couldn't get that other demo out of my head.
Summer comes and goes. No deals to be had. I figured I'd just wait until next spring to worry about it. Maybe try and sell the two bikes first, demo a few more... Save a few bucks and maybe get a leftover '21 in spring of '22. Of course, being the Craigslist and Marketplace junkie that I am I kept seeing this one Pan America Special, in black, with spokes at a dealer about 3 1/2 hours away, that was another location of one of the dealers I did a demo with. It was exactly the bike I was looking for, but I could wait.
Then I got a call, out of the blue from the dealer I did the kiddie ride with. They asked if I was still interested. I told them that there was no deal to be had, because they'd offered me a lowball trade on my Road Glide. They came back and said that winter was approaching and they wanted to move bikes, so what would it take to get me on a new Pan America? I said 'a lot more that you're offering'. They asked for some pictures, so I took them and sent them. There's another, third dealer right near where I work, so I decided to check in with them to make sure I was getting a square deal. Sure enough, dealer #3 came in with a $8500 trade. Plus they didn't have any with spokes, spokes were impossible to get, might not even have them in '22... Anyway, no deal.
Dealer #2, the kiddie ride dealer calls back. They said they would give me $12,000 for my bike.
"Mmmmmkay..." I start doing math in my head. Even though I might get $14,000 for my bike, I'm saving the taxes on the difference.
I told them the only one I would be interested in was the one in Kamloops, over three hours way. "Oh, we ship bikes between stores all the time. We could have it by Friday. Besides, that's the only black PAS with spokes left in BC.)
"Uh Huh." This is ridiculous. I DO NOT need a new bike! What the hell am I thinking??
"Bring your bike in, give us a deposit, we'll bring down the bike and if you don't like it, we'll refund your deposit"
That was October. Everything just fell into place, almost like fate. Although it sucked having a brand new bike and not being able to ride it all winter, it was worth it. Now, this year, the bikes are $4500 more, without spokes. To top it off, as I'm researching luggage in April, they had a top box at another one of their locations. Great, order it in. As I pick it up they say, "Oh by the way, we have the side cases you want. A guy ordered them last August and he's so upset he doesn't want them anymore."
"I guess I'd better take them, then".
So, I managed to get the right deal on the bike I wanted. It all just kind of fell together. Plus I don't have to get rid of all my T shirts.