About Joe Carson Harley-Davidson

Joe wanted a motorcycle ever since he was a small boy of 8 when his mother arranged for a friend of the family to take him for a ride on his 1954 Harley-Davidson FL. Joe was hooked. In 1959 when he was 14 he bought a used motorcycle, pictured here on the left, for $ 135. He had earned the money mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. Joe once told his mother "Juanita", that he sure wished he could find a way to earn a living being around motorcycles. In high school, Joe worked after school at the roller skating rink where he saved $200 at 65 cents an hour to buy a used 200cc racing cycle. He had watched a TV show about a 6-day cross country race held in Europe each year called "The International Six Day Trials" with the best of each country's riders competing.

The winners received gold, silver, and bronze medals much like in the Olympics. Joe traded in his 200cc cycle in 1962 and moved up to the 500cc class where he hit his stride. With enough wins, he advanced to the expert class. Believe it or not, back then the 500cc class was called the medium weight class. After Joe graduated from Lancaster High School in 1963, he went to work at Diamond Power in their drafting department and attended OU-Lancaster with the intention of getting an engineering degree. Of course, motorcycle racing was an every weekend affair until 1965 when Joe enlisted in the US Army. Joe spent one year in the States, one year in Europe, and his final year in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

After returning from Vietnam, Joe went back to racing and soon started his own one-man dirt bike shop selling Hodaka, Montesa, and Puch motorcycles. In 1972, Joe qualified for the American Team going to the International Six-Day Trials held in Czechoslovakia. In 1974, he returned once more to the ISDT held in Italy. It was during this time Joe bought out "Bill Carpenter Motor Sales" the local Honda dealer, and moved to their Lincoln Ave address where he remained for 30 years.

In 1979, Joe added Harley-Davidson to the line of motorcycles he sold. The story of Harley-Davidson's near extinction to its re-emergence as the top-selling motorcycle in the US is a story by itself. This is a picture of the Central Ohio HOG Chapter in front of the murals on the Portsmouth Flood Wall. The Central Ohio HOG Chapter is sponsored by Joe Carson Harley-Davidson and is dedicated to riding and having fun with people who love riding as much as Joe does.

Joe decided to take a short detour on his way to Denver, Colorado, for the annual dealer convention. Remember the biker slogan, "It's not the destination, it's the journey." No two rides are the same and every ride is an adventure. Joe and the staff moved to their new location in 2001. Joe is fond of telling people that his customers built their new shop with their loyal patronage since 1969. Joe and his staff are now selling to their 3rd generation of riders and, needless to say, this only comes from meeting their customer's expectations.