Business Reviews

Business Reviews

OZ Powersports - Ottawa, Kansas

November 30, 2007
Oz Powersports is the Midwest’s largest motorcycle/ATV/jet ski salvage and parts and accessories superstore, with over 20,000 parts units torn down and over 15,000 sq. feet of space in their new parts and accessories showroom. Oz is located 30 minutes south of Kansas City in Ottawa, Kansas. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday thru Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday (they offer late hours on Saturday for your shopping convenience), and they are closed on Sundays. Oz sells new and used parts for all makes, specializing in 70s to current metric cycles/ATVs/jet skis at 20-80 percent…

Route 66 Ridley Motorcycles - Carthage, Missouri

November 30, 2007
Ridley Motorcycles…the name conjured up the images of the 2/3 scale motorcycles I saw a few years back. Wasn’t my gig, so I didn’t pay much attention to them or feel I was in for any big surprises when I made the trip out to Route 66 Ridley in Carthage, Missouri to take a look at them! Boy, was I ever in for a shock at how much this motorcycle company has come along in the last few years. Their bikes mean a lot to a segment of the population who would have never considered them if they didn’t know…

Slim's Cycle Seats – Lee's Summit, Missouri

October 31, 2007
When I was first introduced to Jimmy Shriver he was working at a reputable bike shop in Lee’s Summit, Missouri that sold new and pre-owned bikes and provided top quality custom painting and customization. Unfortunately, the shop has since closed, but at that time, they were putting out some awesome bikes. While working at the shop, Jimmy started recovering and customizing seats for the bikes they sold and also took care of customers who came in looking for seat and other miscellaneous leather repairs. After leaving the shop, Jimmy decided to go out on a limb and use his talents…

Reno's Yamaha Aprilia's Factory Pro Dynamistic Machine

September 30, 2007
Have you ever been riding along when all of a sudden your bike stalls, starts missing or seems sluggish? Or maybe you twist the throttle and she spits a little before hauling ass on down the road? Is so, you're faced with the choice of what to do next. Do you try troubleshooting it yourself, or maybe ask a friend for help? Unless you or one of your riding buddies is mechanically inclined and up-to-speed on all the latest troubleshooting techniques, you may find yourself riding sideways in the saddle holding a screwdriver in one hand while trying to stay…

Bear’s Hiway Classics - Old School Cool

April 30, 2007
Of all the phrases I hear these days related to motorcycles, I think “old school” gets on my nerves the most. Old school is used to describe something from exactly what period? If you have been riding five years, is something six years old considered old school? I doubt it. For the true definition of the phrase, at least as far as I am concerned, you need to think along the lines of something being “the way it was in the past.” In my mind Bear’s Hiway Classics and owner Barry “Bear” Webber are old school. Bear is a no…

Liberty Cycle Center

January 31, 2007
One stop shopping has become very popular these days. As more and more demands are placed on our free time, the ability to purchase several items at one location is not only a time saver, but with today’s gas prices a money saver as well. Unfortunately this convenience sometime comes with an unwelcome tradeoff. Specialty shops often offer not only much more knowledgeable salespeople than their “one stop” competition, but also a level of personal service that seems to be on the decline these days. Liberty Cycle Center has managed to contradict the norm by offering truly one stop shopping…

Wiz-Bang Customs - Gardner, Kansas

December 31, 2006
While driving down to Gardner, Kansas I was thinking about all the questions I wanted to ask Brian Plihal about his custom motorcycle fabrication and painting business; better known as Wiz-Bang Customs. When I arrived, Brian and I did our meet-and-greet, and since he is such an easy person to talk to I decided to set my interview questionnaire aside and just chat. Brian has been doing paint and body work for over 30 years and got his start in the hot rod fabrication business. Like many entrepreneurs, Brian started off juggling a regular full-time job on top of the…

Reno's Yamaha Aprilia Grand Reopening

June 30, 2006
“Rain, rain go away!” was the chant to the motorcycle gods as we began to set up the Cycle Connections booth for Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia grand reopening. Activity was all around as Reno’s sales; service and parts guys were opening for business. All eyes were on the skies as we finished setting up. Chef Loy Johnson and his beautiful assistant Diane Okunfuss were setting up the BBQ grill, and the smell of charcoal and BBQ was filling the air so much it was making everyone hungry enough to stop what we were doing to help them get the food ready!…

Grand-Opening at Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson

June 30, 2006
The grand opening party for Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham, Alabama, was so “grand” it lasted for three days, Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21. We went up on Friday mid morning to put up the Cycle Connections banner, and there were bikes all over the road. At Heart of Dixie, the vendors were all pretty much set up, and they had already had a steady flow of people inside and out. It was no wonder as they had great deals on parts and accessories and up to 50% off on clothes and leather. That night, “Somebody’s Daddy”…

Donnell’s Motorcycles - Serving Kansas City Since 1965

April 30, 2006
If you're looking for the oldest and most recognized Suzuki dealer in the Kansas City area, look no further than Donnell's Motorcycles in Independence, Missouri. This well-respected dealer offers a huge selection of Suzuki and Honda motorcycles along with a full line of parts, apparel and accessories. They are known throughout the area for their outstanding customer service and team of professional service technicians. Since Donnell Shifflett opened the doors in 1965, he and his staff have continued to serve the greater metropolitan Kansas City area and have taken customer service to the next level. When it comes to a…

Reno's Yamaha Aprilia KC - Where the Road To Adventure Begins

April 30, 2006
I first met Steve Okenfuss, owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, at our Star Riders chapter meeting. Steve is not only the owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, but is also the founding dealer of the Star Riders Chapter 227. Steve is very involved with the Star Riders chapter and supports numerous charity rides. When I purchased my second bike from Reno’s, I found out first-hand that Steve is an all-around nice guy. Reno’s is the largest Yamaha dealer in the Kansas City metro area and the 20th largest Aprilia dealer in the USA. They recently picked up the Swift line of…

Ribbon Cutting at Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham, Alabama

April 30, 2006
We were invited to the ribbon cutting/opening at the new Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson shop in Pelham, Alabama, under the management of Jerry Payne and ownership of Bill Peek. They had outgrown their old building just down the hill from the new one, but with 51,000 square feet to spread out in; I think it may take them a little while to outgrow this one. With each Harley facility that Bill Peek puts together comes growth and experience, and it shows!It was a picture-perfect morning Thursday, April 6 for a ribbon cutting outside. On hand for the celebration were the…

Fat Baggers Incorporated

March 31, 2006
In the history of free trade, there are those rare business opportunities where product, timing, and market conditions converge with great opportunities for success. For Fat Baggers Incorporated, aka FBI, the timing appears to be right! Motorcycle customization’s start occurred when soldiers returning home from World War II wanted to personalize their newly purchased machines. One of the early custom bikes, the bobber, first focused on cleaning up the front end, leaving forks and a naked front wheel. Owners would then adopt an automotive tire to the rear wheel to get the early fat look. Changes that followed included custom…

IHD Powder Coating

March 31, 2006
Three months ago I was in need of a powder coating company that would not only deliver a fine quality product but also have it ready when they promised it would be done. So I was tasked with servicing a customer of mine and was completely lost in regard to where to go to have his wheels done. My customer only wanted a high-gloss black finish—not too tough, but it can be if you have not found a shop that has great reviews from word of mouth or just getting lucky. So I did what almost everyone has had to…

Dyno Mike's Dynamic Chassis

March 31, 2006
Unless you have been living under a rock or are new to the Kansas City area, you have heard the name “Dyno” Mike Wilson. Mike has been and continues to be the premier Harley-Davidson performance wrench in the city. Whether it is at KCIR on a weeknight testing or competing at an A.H.D.R.A. event on a drag bike he built from scratch, Mike puts his money where his mouth is; his time slips prove it. Building the first street-legal Harley-Davidson in history to make an 8-second quarter mile pass at an A.H.D.R.A. event with no wheelie bar is the kind…

Vormehr & Youngquist Gallery

February 28, 2006
The art gallery operated by Vicki Vormehr and Gail Youngquist is located in Lawrence, Kansas, but these adventuresome ladies often hit the road in order to display their artwork at bike rallies from coast to coast. One such road trip was a short one to the American Royal Complex in Kansas City, Missouri, site of the Cycles n More Bike Show the weekend of January 27 through 29. From our booth across the aisle, the Cycle Connections staff observed that Vicki and Gail’s display was a big hit with show attendees. Much of the artwork featured motorcycles, and it was…

Jack Miller American V-Twin

December 31, 2005
I’ll bet you already knew Jack Miller American Thunder V-Twin sells motorcycles. You may even know that they are Kansas City’s exclusive dealer for American Ironhorse and Wild West Choppers. If you knew this, surely you know they have a huge selection of pre-owned, low-mileage Harley-Davidson bikes, including hard-to-find Screamin’ Eagle models. Well, if you think you know all there is to know about Jack Miller American Thunder V-Twin, I have a surprise for you; there is one other large item you may not know. The people at Jack Miller American Thunder V-Twin actually care about their customers. A few…

AutoBody on the Run – Professional Moulding and Painting

October 31, 2005
AutoBody on the Run is more than a catchy name; it’s a way of doing business. Owner Mike Cupp and painter Scott Sharts don’t sit still. They are both in a state of perpetual motion. To provide service the way they do, sitting does not fit into the equation. Mike believes in some old-time business values that seem to be scarce in today’s world. He believes in providing quality professional work, with attention to all details. He does not stop there, as he believes in providing these services to the customer at a reasonable price. Mike and Scott have over…

MOTO-GEAR Celebrates Their One Year Anniversary

October 31, 2005
What do women, motorcycles and luxury retail have in common? MOTO-GEAR!One year ago, on October 13, 2004 MOTO-GEAR opened it’s door’s in Kansas City, Missouri to offer men, women, children and pets the most unique and cutting edge motorcycle apparel, gifts, artwork and custom motorcycle parts that the industry has to offer in a luxury retail setting complete with Starbucks coffee and bottled water. Don’t forget to take time out and see if you can find the owner’s pet’s painted in the mural on the back wall. Give the kids something to do while you shop.The Founder-President, Beverly Harvey, came…

Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Operations Open House 2005 - Kansas City

September 30, 2005
Here’s a captivating mission statement: “We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling. . .” It continues, “by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles . . . in selected market segments.” Voila! That’s the essence of Harley-Davidson, the highly enviable company who has taken decades-old twin-cylinder, push rod engine technology and created one of the most desired lines of products available anywhere! You may ask, “How do they do it?” My participation in the Open House at the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations and Power Train Facility in Kansas City the past four years has…
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