MONEY MATTERS: Harley shop going out of business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

MONEY MATTERS: Harley shop going out of business

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The latest victim of the slumping economy: An eastern Iowa motorcycle shop. Wilwert's Incorporated in Dubuque has announced it will be going out of business.

Wilwert's is one of eight Harley Davidson dealerships in eastern Iowa. Nationally, profits for Harley Davidson have fallen 37% from this time last year.

Wilwert's Harley Davidson has been in Dubuque and carried the family name since 1960. Some Harley owners who say Wilwert's going out of business will be a disaster that will change an American way of life.

"My grandpa had a 1938 Harley Davidson, and ever since then, I've been hooked," Aaron Peck said.

Aaron Peck bought his first Harley in 1979 and has one word for the Harley experience: "Freedom".

While some say sales are down because bikes are considered an extra expense, Peck, and others, disagree.

"To me, it's a necessity. To some people, it's a recreational vehicle. To me, a Harley is a way of life," Peck said.

He says owning a Harley isn't just owning any bike.

"My parents say it's an ego thing. You gotta be on a harley. You can't ride something that's made in Japan," Peck said.

Many people hope to see someone buy the shop, so it can stay in Dubuque.

"It's too bad they have to close. The economy, market saturated with Harleys. A lot of factors go into it," Peck said. "We're 70 miles to Waukon. 70 some miles to Waterloo. That's quite a way to go to get parts and clothes."

But for now, Wilwert's is still open for business. The sheriff's department lists a levy and sales date for the property on January 15th. Owner Clay Wilwert said he's working with his attorneys on possible partnership deals. That could keep the store open.

Even though national trends show a slump in Harley sales, other local shops KWWL spoke with said their business is normal.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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