June 13, 2018
If you’re not a rider, you might find Amy Barr knocking on your door. Barr, Harley-Davidson Retail Development Lead, started riding after joining the company and wants you to try it for yourself.
Barr grew up in Minneapolis and first experienced the feeling of flying on two wheels from the back seat of her dad’s motorcycle when she was young. She moved to Milwaukee in 2008 with her sights set on working for Harley-Davidson or the Miller Brewing Company.
“I don’t really like beer, but I could picture myself on a bike, so I looked for a position at Harley-Davidson,” Barr said. “I love working for a company that people have such a strong association with. When I say ‘Harley-Davidson,’ everyone gets excited to hear more about what I do, and they tell me their stories about what Harley-Davidson means to them.”
Barr joined the company in 2009, and her interest in motorcycles really began to spark. She wanted to get a better idea of what the Harley-Davidson experience for customers was all about, so she threw a leg over a bike and felt it for herself.
“The first time I pulled the throttle, I let out a huge belly laugh,” she said. “It was like being on a rollercoaster I was in control of.”
The feeling of freedom, power and control led to her purchasing a Dyna® Super Glide® Custom motorcycle in 2011. Now she could turn the throttle whenever she wanted and hasn’t looked back.
The first week with her new bike, she rode 20 minutes each day until she got more comfortable. Now, she rarely misses an opportunity to put on some miles.
“I have a 50/50 rule. If the air temp is at least 50 degrees and there’s no more than a 50 percent chance of rain, I’m riding,” Barr said. “I ride whenever I can. Riding to and from work is an easy way to get out of my head and into the physical world.”
After years of riding, Barr bought her current bike, a 2016 Dyna™ Switchback™. Although she usually rides solo, she enjoys the comradery of other riders. She’s now a member of the Motor Maids women’s motorcycle club, which is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the U.S. “All of the trailblazing women riders out there make me feel badass,” Barr said.
She also appreciates how the world around her feels while she’s on her motorcycle. “I love the sensory experience of it. Even just all of the smells – smoke from a fire pit or grass that was just cut – it’s all part of what I love about riding,” Barr said.
Riding also gives her a sense of pride and confidence, and although her husband doesn’t ride, he understands what it means to her. “My husband sees how much I enjoy riding and how less stressed I am when I get home,” she said. “He fully supports it.”
Although Barr had an interest in motorcycles when she joined Harley-Davidson, she still didn’t think she would become a rider. “I was so surprised with how much I loved it, now I want to reach out to others to help them discover what I’ve found,” Barr said. “I just want to go knock on doors and let people know.”