35-year Harley-Davidson motorcycle business closes in Atascadero

A longtime dealer of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and apparel closed the doors of its 27,000-square-foot Atascadero building in the 7900 block of San Luis Avenue on Sunday after 35 years in business.

Gary Bang Harley-Davidson Manager Kristy Bang-Popowich said Thursday the local market was simply not large enough to support the business.

At its peak, Bang-Popowich said, the store sold about 125 motorcycles a year but sales had dropped to about 50 in recent years. She said Harley-Davidson has slowly raised the number of outlets authorized to sell its motorcycles and cost the shop much of its business from outside the county. A Harley-Davidson push toward online sales then undercut their apparel sales, she said.

“It’s just not a big enough area for our size and we really needed to have that floor traffic,” she said.

The business, owned by Bang-Popowich’s parents, Gary and Mary Bang, started as an after-market parts supply in San Fernando Valley and began exclusively selling the American icon in 1980.

At its closing, the business had seven employees.

Bang-Popowich said that she, co-manager and sister Lisa Bang and their parents plan to stay in the county.