Joe Sutter Nevins has a considerable amount of experience in the motorcycling world. He worked with his brother-in-law for more than 20 years in Baxter Cycle, probably the biggest English bike dealing company in the USA. It grew from the little garage to a worldwide company which is selling bikes to England, Japan, Germany and other countries of the world.
The Origin of the Business
Nevins didn't own the bike when he was young as he never had enough money to buy one. When he wanted to ride, he always had to ask his older brothers. After his marriage, he had enough cash to buy one - a Triumph of his brother-in-law which he purchased in the 1970s and which he restored himself. That moment was the beginning of his future career and business. Nevins started his shop in 2006 when he and his wife moved to Iowa for work. He didn't have a stable job, so he began to work with the motorcycles. And what could be better than to use the broad knowledge of the British bikes he has always been interested in?
The Restoration Business
As the previous paragraph suggests, his shop is mainly concerned with the British motorcycles (Nortons, Triumph, Matchless) even though he also has several Japanese examples on the stock. His business is fruitful since there aren't too many people nowadays who would be able to restore the British bikes, so he has clients from all over the USA, e.g. Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas or Minnesota. Nevins thinks that the old British bikes are a sound investment as they increase in value in time. However, he doesn't believe that his business would continue successfully as the younger people are no longer interested in the restoration of the old machines. The individuals who order the recovery of their vehicle are mostly of the older generations who experienced the fame of the bikes they want to restore.
Specifics of the British Bikes
The British motorcycles were very popular in the USA during the 1960s when about 85% of their sales was made in America. They were also successful in races and set several records. They weren't able to keep up with the Japanese bikes which were more reliable and cheaper. Several British companies as BSA in 1973 or Triumph in 1983 ceased their business after the Japanese victory, but some of the were later revived. That is the case of Triumph which is nowadays specialized in the retro-styled types of bikes with modern features.
The Most Valuable Pieces
Nevins also rebuilds several valuable pieces. The 1969 BSA is one of them as it overcame the extensive repairs and Nevins rebuilt the whole engine of the bike. There is also a 1959 Bonneville bought from the owner who kept the bike in the chicken coop. The bike was very popular for the motorcycling records it set, and it has been owned by Nevins since 1990s. A 1974 Bonneville 650 is one of his most valuable examples as he bought from the man who wanted to rebuild it on a chopper. The shop owner also worked on the motorcycle used in the movie Thunderheart starring Val Kilmer who wasn't the real rider of it. All in all, there’s quite a bit of history and curiosity in between those walls, so if you were find yourself in Iowa looking for interesting places, make sure to pay him a visit!
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