A customer asked me last week about one of the motorcycle attachments we offer, and it reminded me of a call I got one early summer evening to impound a Harley that was illegally parked down in the Riverplace district in downtown Portland.  This bike was a beauty.  Brand new, polished, custom saddle bags--I did NOT want to touch this bike.  Compound that with the fact that I was driving an Eagle, and to tow motorcycles with an Eagle, you suspend the crossbar over the bike and pick it up with straps.  Then it kind of dangles there in midair, and you try to control the sway with bungees between the bike tires and the rear of the truck.  There's no way to keep the bike perfectly still towing it like this, so I never looked back when I was doing it.  I didn't want to see what was happening back there.  I left it to the motorist behind to worry about the bike falling off.

Anyway, this bike was wedged between 2 parallel-parked cars, which was why the police officer was having it towed away.  He was very excited about getting this bike impounded, and he "encouraged" me to move fast, but there was NO WAY I was going to touch this bike, so I stood there, studying it, like I was coming up with a strategy, when really I was praying that the bike owner would show up.  Eventually he did.  Huge guy, about 6'6", wearing a cowboy hat, young, in good shape.  He was really nice.  He asked me what I was doing, and I told him how glad I was to see him.  He was getting ready to move the bike when the police officer came back, and the following exchange occurred:

Officer: "Is this your bike?"
Bike Owner: "Yes, sir, I was just going to move it."
Officer: "What makes you think you don't have to pay for parking like everybody else?"

Bike Owner: "I'm sorry, sir.  I'll move it right away.  I'll put it in that parking garage right over there.  I just need to go get my helmet."
Officer: "You need to move it right now. You don't have time to get your helmet."

Bike Owner: "But I can't drive it without my helmet."

Officer: "Push it."
Bike Owner: "Excuse me?"
Officer: "Push the bike into the parking garage."
Bike Owner: "It's 1100 lbs."
Officer: "You look like you can handle it."

So I moved my truck out of the way and watched the guy push his Harley two blocks to the parking garage, with the police car following him, in front of sidewalks filled with outside dinner tables and people watching.

That officer REALLY wanted that bike to be impounded.  He wasn't happy at all with me either. I got out of there before he had any suggestions for me.

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper

Leave a Reply.