For Harley-Davidson , Michael Adams is a godsend.

When the 22-year-old college senior showed up for a $25 rider training class at a community college last year in Michigan, his aspiration was to someday buy his ultimate American icon: a Harley.

But he quickly found he was in enemy territory.

"Everyone my age was talking about buying a 'crotch rocket'" Adams said. "They wanted a Ducati or Yamaha or some other kind of import; but I never heard any other talk about a Harley."

Undeterred, Adams soon abandoned his Honda motorcycle, and paid cash for a brand new $14,000 Harley-Davidson Dark Custom Street Bob, using money he'd earned at a variety of jobs, from operating a forklift to working an internship at a Kentucky newspaper.

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