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Harley dealer ready to roar back

Word has leaked out that D&S Harley-Davidson is about to reopen in Medford after having been destroyed in the Almeda fire.

“We’ve got people knocking at the doors all day long,” said Kim O’Toole, who is one of the owners of the family-run business.

But “hog” aficionados can’t roar over to see the new showroom quite yet because an internet issue has stalled the reopening.

Originally, the dealership planned to welcome customers Nov. 15, and then it was moved to Dec. 1.

“Now, we’re hoping this Saturday,” O’Toole said.

If all goes well, the doors will swing open soon at the temporary location at 1341 Center Drive, Unit C, next to the Harbor Freight store.

O’Toole said her family plans to celebrate its 50th year as an authorized Harley dealership this January.

The dealership was a local landmark at its South Pacific Highway location near Phoenix before the Sept. 8 Almeda fire.

“We lost thousands and thousands of collectibles,” O’Toole said.

Plans for a replacement building at the South Pacific location are already in the works, and O’Toole hopes to reopen the new building by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.

The temporary building has 16,000 square feet, smaller than the 24,000 square feet and four warehouses at the old location.

While the showroom portion of the temporary building seems large at 10,000 square feet for 10 bikes, the store is packed with clothing and other bike accessories, not to mention a service department.

Harley typically releases its new bikes in August, but because of the pandemic it’s not releasing them until the end of January.

D&S Harley has insurance that will cover the costs of the rebuild, O’Toole said. While the main building was razed, some site work still needs to be done before the new showroom is built.

In the meantime, the family hopes to get its business operational again soon.

As a necessity to operate as an authorized Harley dealership, D&S Harley-Davidson needs a robust internet connection to run 20 computers along with six phone lines.

A good internet connection is also needed because the dealership has to be tied in directly with Harley-Davidson corporate.

Spectrum, which had previously been located in the same building where the dealership is now located, has been working on the connection.

When the fire destroyed the original location along with five bikes on the floor, D&S lined up 10 bikes that were stored in Seattle pending the opening of the temporary location.

They were finally placed on the new showroom floor more than a week ago, but the reopening stalled.

The business was started in September 1970 by Dick and Marie Martin, and it became an authorized dealership in 1971. It’s still being run by the parents and their three daughters, including Terrie Martin, Sandy Unruh and O’Toole.

The business is the only authorized Harley dealership in Southern Oregon.

Some of the bikes on the showroom floor include Road Glides, Softails, a Street Bob and a Street Glide. O’Toole said the average cost of a Harley is $12,000 to $28,000.

For a list of available bikes and more information, go to https://dsharley.com.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.

Dion Baldovino parks a motorcycle in the new, temporary location of D&S Harley-Davidson in south Medford. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune