Shiny New Chrome

Diana loves her Sportster

Summer was flying by and I couldn’t wait for my Basic Rider class to start.  How cool was it that Jay & I would be taking it together?  I didn’t even know he had wanted to take the class…he already knew how to ride.  But I guess it was an easy route to getting his endorsement, so why question a good thing?  I read the manual they sent me in the mail, and took all of the chapter quizzes.  Some of it was completely foreign to me, so I asked Jay to explain it to me.

I ordered 2 jackets from, and Jay took me to Freedom Cycle in north Wilmington for some other gear.  I bought a DOT shorty helmet, some really cute gloves with studs all around the cuffs, and a pair of riding boots which miraculously fit my extra-wide feet.  I couldn’t find a pair of glasses that fit my face right.  They were either too big for my face, or they didn’t sit right on my cheekbones, or my long eyelashes would brush up against the lenses and annoy me.  I finally found a perfect pair at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in New Castle.  They cost almost as much as my 2 jackets combined, but you just can’t argue with a perfect fit!

My course preparations also included searching for a cheap used bike that I could crash up and no one would care.  I was spending an afternoon on eBay to scope out what might be available and how much it would run me, when across my monitor appeared the most beautiful sight!  It was a 2001 XLH883 (whatever that meant), shiny black with sparkling chrome all over.  The bike was offered for sale by American Classic Motors in Zieglerville PA, and had a Buy-It-Now price of $4995.  I couldn’t believe that anyone could own a Harley® for 4 years and only put 941 miles on it…but that was their loss and my gain!

Diana’s first motorcycle

The weekend came and it was time for the adventure to begin!  On Friday I rented a cargo van from home and drove it up to Jay’s apartment in Elkton MD.  We got up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning with our maps & directions to find American Classic Motors.  The guys there were very helpful in loading my little bike up inside the van with lots of tie-downs to keep it secure.  When Jay headed off to work on Saturday night, I drove the van back to my townhouse in Reisterstown MD where it sat until the next day.  I had to get my brother and a couple of his friends to help get my bike down out of the van on Sunday.  (This was a much more difficult proposition than loading it had been, since we didn’t have any kind of a ramp.)  It was kind of surreal as four young guys and I pushed the bike around the house and in through the sliding glass door in the basement.  No one knew how to ride it, or even how to start it, but it belonged to ME!

The next day I returned the cargo van, went directly to the MVA, got tags & a learner’s permit, and came home to ride my bike!

* This article first appeared in print in the December issue of Fast Lane Biker Delamarva and is the fourth in an ongoing series of articles by Diana Green.