Business Reviews

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Shop – Custom Built Bikes to Your Satisfaction!

Written by  November 30, 2003

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Shop has been servicing both new and old American V-Twin bikes for more than seven years. Owner and mechanic, John Small and his crew of certified technicians provide restorations, complete engine rebuilds, custom paint, collision repair, inspections, and warranty work on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They also specialize in custom built bikes and are big in the V-Twin hot rod scene. Whether you’re looking for a fully blown bike or simple bolt-on horsepower, Rolling Thunder can make it happen!

Conveniently located next door to Alter Ego in North Kansas City, Missouri, Rolling Thunder serves a large base of satisfied customers, not only in the Kansas City area, but as far away as Columbia and St. Joseph, Missouri. I asked John why someone would bring their bike to him from out of town, and what makes his shop so unique? “Customer service and satisfaction” was his immediate response. “We work on both new and used bikes, change tires while you wait, do tune-ups in a couple of hours, and provide same day turn around on service work requiring five hours or less” says John. That, my friend, is one of the keys to Rolling Thunder’s success!

John also told me that many new customers are shocked when they find out how quickly they can have work done on their bikes. John said, “I had a guy call me the other day and asked how long he would have to leave his bike to have a tire changed. He said a local dealer told him if he brought it in on Tuesday, he should be able to pick it up by Friday. When I told him to just bring it in and we’d fix it while he waited, he couldn’t believe it!”

Another key to Rolling Thunder’s success is John’s staff of skilled mechanics and certified technicians. Don Loomis, Tom Keller, and Jim “Pup” Hatley are skilled professionals with years of experience. While I was there, John and his crew were working on a very nice custom ’52 Panhead. John told me they had previously added a belt drive and electric starter to the bike and was now doing additional work on the customer’s bike. At the other end of the shop, Don and Tom were busy working on a Sportster that had been rear-ended. In the short time I was there, I was able to see the full spectrum of what Rolling Thunder has to offer customers who own both newer and vintage bikes.

While looking at the endless collection of photos, flyers, and memorabilia that fill the walls of his small office, it was obvious that John likes to help others by sponsoring local charity rides and events. “We sponsor rides and events for organizations, such as St. Judes Children, the Salvation Army, and the Commander’s Club for disabled veterans.” I also noticed a plaque on the wall, which identified John as a Bronze leader for the Commander’s Club.

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Shop is located at 4131 N. Brighton in Kansas City, Missouri, (next door to Alter Ego). If you’re looking for great customer service and reasonable rates, give John a call at 816-452-0157 and tell him you heard about them in Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine.

Story & Photos by Mike Schweder

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