Iconic Owner of 3 Harley-Davidson Dealerships in Alaska Hits the Road After Putting Thousands on Alaskan Roads for the past 40 years.
On June 14th, Barry and Dia Matteson sat in the third floor conference room signing the final paperwork for a monumental change of hands. After 40 years of business in the Alaskan motorcycle industry, Barry Matteson has sold Motorcycle Times Inc. to his 25 year old daughter, Dia Matteson. Motorcycle Times Inc or MTI, includes the House of Harley-Davidson in Anchorage, Denali Harley-Davidson in Wasilla, and Kenai Peninsula Harley-Davidson in Soldotna.
In 1971, Barry sold his Triumph Motorcycle for $250 which covered the cost of a business license, stationary, paint, a heater for the garage and a few parts to hang on the wall of “Barry’s Custom Cycle”. At that time, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company was looking for a new dealer. Barry pursued that offer until 1975 when he was finally given the franchise and the name was changed to “The House of Harley-Davidson”.
Since then, Barry has sold thousands of Alaskans their first Harley’s. “Lots of people buy their first bike to correspond with some other life milestone. It’s a lifestyle for some and a bucket list item for others. We’ve even had weddings in the shop!” says Barry.
Barry’s time has been spent on more than just selling and servicing bikes over the years. Through his activism in the motorcycle community, he’s helped to create a strong motorcycle culture in an unlikely place. You can ask almost anyone on a Harley in Alaska about Barry and they’ll give you a story or two. He is also well known for contributions to local charities such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and involvement in a huge variety of events and causes throughout Alaska.
There will be a public retirement party for Barry on Saturday July 7th at 6pm. The entire community is invited to join us for free food and good company as we wish him well on his future endeavors.