Harley-Davidson® of Utica
Harley-Davidson® of Utica – located in New York Mills in New York State near New Hartford and Syracuse – started in 1975 amid the AMF years. In the beginning, the franchise was part of Don’s Ford on Route 12 North in Utica. While it may seem an unlikely combination, times being what they were in the mid-1970s, it was a win-win relationship from the beginning. Harley-Davidson Motor Company had significant pressure from Japanese imports at the time and was looking to increase its dealer ranks to market its line of lightweight (250cc and smaller) motorcycles, made by Aermacchi, Harley-Davidson’s Italian motorcycle subsidiary. With gasoline shortages and price hikes spurred on by the Arab oil embargo of 1973, buyers were looking for fuel-efficient vehicles. So we were pretty successful in selling those little Harley-Davidson® motorcycles.
By 1977, oil prices eased and Harley-Davidson had pretty much given up on the lightweight bike market. The product line consisted of the Electra Glide®, Super Glide®, Low Rider® and Sportster® in the lineup. In 1981, AMF sold the Harley-Davidson division to thirteen members of the Harley-Davidson management team.