Harley fans were in hog heaven Friday, revving up their engines in the parking lot of Adam Smith’s Texas Harley-Davidson dealership during its grand-opening celebration.
The $10 million dealership just off Airport Freeway at 1921 Shoalmont Road covers 72,000 square feet and is one of the largest in the country.
The grand opening kicked off a weekend of festivities with free concerts, a fireworks display and a family day.
Friday’s presentations were by Keller Central High School’s drumline and the Keller school district’s Air Force Junior ROTC. Instead of a ribbon-cutting, there was a “chain cutting” — just what it sounds like.
Smith said that the new store was several years in the making and that Bedford was “an awesome partner to work with.”
“The motorcycle department has grown exponentially in the past four to five years,” Smith said of the dealership. Some 1,500 to 1,600 riders a year are coming to check out bikes, clothing and other accessories, he said.
Bedford’s location helped Smith in his decision, as lots of customers who travel to and from Texas via Dallas/Fort Worth Airport come to buy a Harley shirt or simply chat about bikes.
Although only 2 to 3 percent of people ride motorcycles, to them, it is an escape.
“Although only 2 to 3 percent of people ride motorcycles, to them, it is an escape, Smith said. “They get on their bike and start riding and put things out of their mind.”
Smith said it was important to work with a local architect and contractors to build the dealership, which sits on 6 acres.
Mayor Jim Griffin said that Smith is a “”great partner” for the city and that the expanded dealership will add to Bedford’s economy.
“Because of all of the events at the dealership, people will eat in our restaurants,” he said.
Smith also participates in city festivals and events, Griffin said.
Smith joined the Harley-Davidson business in 1991 and opened his first dealership in Grand Prairie in 1996. He has owned the Bedford store since 2011, and his Calculated Risk group owns five Harley-Davidson locations in Texas, including Waco, Sherman, Longview and Nacogdoches.
Some of the new store’s features sure to delight Harley fans include an interactive parts bar, the world’s largest Harley-Davidson logo, an outdoor covered area for events and a ride-in service department.
The store also features two showrooms and a large area to shop for leather jackets, backpacks, boots and other accessories. There is plenty of room for events like classes to teach people how to ride safely, organized rides and bike nights.
Another unique feature is the dealership’s signature scent, Grit, a combination of leather, grease, tires and burning gasoline that is pumped throughout the store via an aroma injection system.
The dealership looks like an old manufacturing building with exposed steel, brickwork and elevated walkways.
“We’re proud of how the building looks; it’s cool-looking now, and it will be cool-looking 25 to 30 years from now,” Smith said.