No more Har­leys for ANZA

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT -

Palmer­ston North’s Har­ley-David­son own­ers may soon have to head out on the high­way if they’re look­ing to get their bikes ser­viced.

ANZA Mo­tor­cy­cles has been a Har­ley-David­son deal­er­ship for al­most 30 years, but the pop­u­lar mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer has de­cided not to renew the con­tract when it ends in April.

Har­ley-David­son Own­ers Group cen­tral dis­tricts chap­ter di­rec­tor Graeme Mills said the de­ci­sion would leave Manawatu Har­ley-David­son own­ers with a long ride to get parts or ser­vic­ing from autho­rised Har­ley-David­son tech­ni­cians.

The near­est re­main­ing Har­ley-David­son deal­er­ship is in Welling­ton, and the next clos­est is in Hamil­ton.

ANZA own­ers Kerry Jones and wife Grace John­stone didn’t wish to com­ment on the end of their deal­er­ship ar­range­ment with Har­ley-David­son, but posted a mes­sage on the com­pany’s Face­book page thank­ing cus­tomers for their sup­port and kind com­ments since the news come out.

The post said ANZA would re­main ‘‘fully op­er­a­tional’’ as an autho­rised Har­ley-David­son deal­er­ship un­til April 28.

‘‘We do not know what will hap­pen af­ter April re­gard­ing an autho­rised deal­er­ship [in Palmer­ston North]. This is in the hands of Har­ley-David­son.’’

Mills said Har­leys were prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar mo­tor­cy­cle in Manawatu-Whanganui - there are 309 mem­bers in the own­ers group and many rid­ers in the seven mo­tor­cy­cle clubs in the re­gion had a Har­ley-David­son.

Rid­ers with newer bikes still un­der war­ranty would be the most af­fected. Get­ting their bike ser­viced by an un-autho­rised tech­ni­cian would void the war­ranty.

The news also meant the club needed to find an­other deal­er­ship to spon­sor it in or­der to re­main an of­fi­cial Har­ley-David­son club.

Mills said the club had a ‘‘tight’’ re­la­tion­ship with ANZA and hoped that could con­tinue, even on a more in­for­mal ba­sis.

‘‘They’ve been an amaz­ing spon­sor and done a lot for the chap­ter. They will be sorely missed.’’

The club’s com­mit­tee will meet this week to dis­cuss where to go from here, he said.

Club co-founder Brett Neill said Jones and John­stone had been there for the club since the very start.

Neill and John­stone or­gan­ised the club’s launch in 1989, and it was ac­cepted as an of­fi­cial Har­ley-David­son club in 1991 thanks to ANZA’s spon­sor­ship.

‘‘They’ve put so much into [the club and the deal­er­ship] over al­most 30 years. This must be gutwrench­ing.’’

Over the years, the club had be­come an ex­tended fam­ily and the news ANZA was los­ing the deal­er­ship hit mem­bers hard, Neill said.

The deal­er­ship was the group’s gath­er­ing place, where com­mit­tee meet­ings were held and was the start­ing point for ev­ery of­fi­cial ride.

‘‘A lot of the guys are re­ally emo­tional about it...This is like tak­ing the fam­ily home away from us all.’’

Har­ley Own­ers Group cen­tral dis­tricts chap­ter di­rec­tor Graeme Mills out­side ANZA mo­tor­cy­cles.

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