Business Reviews

Clay County Choppers Grand Opening

Written by  May 31, 2004

On Saturday morning, May 15th, more than 50 riders packed into the small parking lot at Clay County Choppers in Claycomo, Missouri to help kick off their grand opening. There were many great specials throughout the store, and Julie, the eye-popping, bikini-clad Easyriders® Magazine April Fox Hunt winner, posed on customers bikes and autographed photos. Julie is scheduled to appear on the cover of Easyriders Magazine this fall, so make sure to watch your newsstands.

Owners, Karen and Dave Foster, and manager, Steve Lauderback welcomed customers as they arrived, while Kristi Organ was busy working the counter. Clay County Choppers has a full staff to support your every need, including a full line of parts, accessories and apparel. They perform state inspections, and if you're looking to sell your bike, they can fix you up by displaying your bike by consignment. Shop manager and fabricator, Chris Tinoco, was on hand during the grand opening to show off some of his recent works of art, and the very talented painter, John Kissinger was also on hand for all your custom painting needs. Mike Piedmont does the polishing, while John Shaeffer handles used parts, which includes the posting and selling of many items on eBay.

Talented artist, Dave Louden, works from a small office in the front of the shop, and while I was visiting him earlier in the week, he was preparing to ship a hand-painted helmet to actor, and fellow rider, Lorenzo Lamas. Apparently, Dave met Lorenzo at a recent comic book convention, and Dave's work impressed Lorenzo so much, that he asked Dave to hand-paint a photo of his fiancée on a helmet and ship it to him. Dave jumped at the chance to rub elbows with a famous celebrity, so now we're wondering if Peter Fonda or Mickey Rourke is next on Dave's list of celebrity art connoisseurs!

The folks at Clay County Choppers go out of their way to support the local motorcycle community, so it came as no surprise that their grand opening included a benefit poker run to help fellow rider, Aaron Followell get back on his feet after a recent motorcycle accident. When Aaron arrived at the shop in the back of a minivan, a large crowd of friends gathered around to wish him well. I managed to pry Aaron away from the crowd just long enough to find out how he was doing and to ask about his accident.

According to Aaron, on Monday morning, April 5th, he was riding his 2001 Harley-Davidson Springer to work, when a truck turned left in front of him near the intersection of I-435 and Parvin Road. Aaron hit his brakes, but didn't have time to do anything other than brace for the impact. Aaron came out of the accident with a broken arm, several cuts and bruises, and his most serious injury was the seven compound fractures to his right leg. After extensive surgery, involving several pins and plates, Aaron is able to get around for short periods of time in a specially-designed wheelchair. He has a metal contraption attached to his leg that looks like something straight out of the movie, Frankenstein, but he's in good spirits and seems to be healing fast. 'I've done several benefit rides to help others, but you never think it's going to be for you,' says Aaron. We wish him the best of luck, and it was apparent that Aaron was very touched by all the support he received from his friends at Clay County Choppers and the surrounding motorcycle community.

The poker run for Aaron, started at Clay County Choppers, with stops at Antoinettes, Back Door Lounge, Our Place, Wabash BBQ, and ended at JC's Sports Bar, where Karen fed more than 75 riders and passengers. DeAnn Johnson had the best hand and rode away with the first place prize; a $50 gift certificate to Clay County Choppers. A Walmart $25 gift certificate went to second place winner, Rand Acker, and T.C. took home third place prizes, which included a T-shirt and a bottle of Wabash BBQ sauce. Shifty Sheaffer had the worst poker hand, which also won him a T-shirt and bottle of Wabash BBQ sauce. Overall, the benefit ride raised more than $1,200 to help ease Aaron's financial suffering.

And speaking of benefit rides, on Saturday, June 19th, Clay County Choppers is sponsoring the Tom Mattivi Memorial Run to help raise money so Tom's family can afford a headstone for his grave. For those of you who didn't know Tom, he was the owner of JC's Sports Bar, which is just down the road from Clay County Choppers. Tom recently passed away after a lengthy illness, and was a huge supporter of the local motorcycle community. Make sure to mark your calendar and come help support Tom and his family.

You'll also want to mark your calendar for Saturday, June 26th, because Clay County Choppers is sponsoring a bikini bike wash. There will be many in-store specials, and the fine folks from Pig Glow will also be on hand to show you how to really make your bike shine!

Clay County Choppers is located at 312 E US Highway 69 in Claycomo, Missouri. Give them a call at 816-454-8406 or drop by Monday through Saturday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. or on Sunday between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Story by Mike Schweder

Photos by Mike Schweder and Bart