Living the lifestyle at Harley-Davidson - My Workplace

Great place: Greg Lockhart with the Harley-Davidson bikes
Great place: Greg Lockhart with the Harley-Davidson bikes
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Harley-Davidson is known as a lifestyle brand - a brand that embodies the values and aspirations of its customers across the world.

The global motorcycle giant was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States, 113 years ago.

Today Preston Harley-Davidson brings some of that culture and history to Lancashire, with a complex in West Strand Park, Strand Road, that offers far more than your usual garage dealership.

The site, part of the Bowker Motor Group, boasts a new and used sales department, a repair workshop offering unique customisations, a shop stocked full of Harley clothing and merchandise, and even an American-style diner.

Manager Greg Lockhart, 40, has worked at the dealership since it opened in 2007.

He said: “We have motorcycle sales new and used and a workshop in the back.

“We don’t just do Harleys, we do other makes as well, because quite a lot of Harley owners have a second bike as well. A lot of them keep their Harley for best!

“The whole upstairs level is full of mens and women’s clothing, jewellery, glasses, watches, tableware, baby clothes, you name it!

“We’ve got an American themed diner so we’re quite a destination. We get a lot of people coming here for lunch because we have free parking.

“Harley-Davidson is a lifestyle and working here is brilliant, it really is.”

The team of 14 have won the best performing UK Harley dealer in the north award for the last three years running.

And they have their own Red Rose Chapter with about 140 members who regularly meet at the site, setting off once or twice a month on ride outs across the county, raising money for charities like Derian House and the Space Centre, and meeting annually for an event in July.

Emma Bowling, 23, clothing and merchandise specialist, has just returned from a trip to a work conference in Barcelona to pick the latest Harley ranges for her customers.

She said: “Because I know my customers and what is sold here on a daily basis, it’s me they empower to order the things I think will sell in the future.

“It was tropical compared to over here, a whole 8 °C!”

Sales administrator Kerry Hoyles, 46, works at the dealership with her husband Tom.

She said: “The people I work with are brilliant and the products that we sell are cool.

“My partner has a motorbike and we usually end up here for most of the events because there is such a good atmosphere.”

Tom, 49, heads the after sales service team.

He said: “My role comes into play after a customer has bought a motorcycle.

“I look after their needs having it serviced and any accessories added to the bike, because with these models there is a lot you can do to customise them.

“It’s unique to them, that’s the idea of it. When you’re involved in helping them build their dream bike, there is plenty of satisfaction in that.

“We have a good time down here with the radio playing rock n roll - we do big bore kits for people’s engines, customise them to have more brake horsepower, go faster, different exhausts, or make them sound nice and loud.”

Sarah Adcroft, 23, works in the diner, serving up everything from full breakfasts and toasted sandwiches to burgers, hot dogs and pies.

She said: “You meet lots of nice people. It gets really busy and lots of people pop in for a brew and a chat.

“Maybe one day I’ll buy my own Harley - if I get a discount!”