Back when I was a kid I developed a passion for motorcycles. My best friend got a dirtbike, and after a lot of pestering, I got one of my own. In fifth grade I remember hiding my service manual behind my history book in class. By age eleven, I rebuilt the transmission. The old two stroke fired up backwards when I kicked it, and when I let out the clutch, the bike took off in the wrong direction! Boy, did I think I messed up that tranny!
From there, I have to thank my Brother for pretty much breaking everything we owned. If I didn't fix it, we weren't using it.
I pretty much was never without a motorcycle from that point on. At 21 I bought my first Harley. When my Father came over to check it out, I already had it all torn apart and scattered all the garage floor. He exclaimed, "What happened? Did you get hit by a truck!" I won my first trophy with that bike.
I was operating heavy equipment at the time and fixing all my buddies bikes at night. One winter while collecting unemployment 'cause the ground was frozen, the shop I was buying parts from asked me if I needed a job. Come spring, my old boss asked me if I was coming back to work and even though it was a lot more money, I stayed working in the bike shop.
At some point, I escaped New Jersey and came to Florida. I tinkered around buying and selling used cars and also building some swamp buggies before I landed a job at the Harley dealer. The big hand of the factory swiped down and told the dealers they couldn't build custom bikes or use aftermarket accessories anymore. Bolting on "Live to Ride" junk all day long wasn't going to cut it. I was already doing some custom work and side work after hours in my garage.
I went to work at a custom shop for a period of time and myself and my boss were offered a job at a new Harley dealership by the owner who was impressed by the custom 144 ci super charged bike we had built him. My boss went, and I took over the business. That was 1995. Holeshot Cycles was official in 1996.
I built many custom show winning bikes and together with my small crew, we serviced and repaired many, many, motorcycles. I took an interest in drag racing and began building some race motors and soon started winning dyno shootouts that I entered. We raced every week, and through trial and error, we learned what worked, and what didn't. We took a number of people under our wing and made many lifelong friends.
After hurricanes Frances and Gene, my building was damaged to the point that it was uninhabitable. One of those life long friends took me in and we became partners. We took the drag racing to the next level and began competing in the AHDRA S&S 124 Class. We were always part of the top contenders and I won a number of races. The second year, I finished second in points. We had a great time traveling around and it will always be a highlight in my life.
After the Great Depression of our generation the partnership ended and I became SEVERE CYCLES. I moved back into my old building with a reputation for being the best. We still build race motors and custom bikes though the big dollar builds have cut back a bit. Were still building show winning customs and just returned to the Daytona Boardwalk Show with a replica 1925 Boardtracker bike that was powered by a Delphi closed loop fuel injected S&S motor and six speed Baker trans. Oh yea, the trailer was rear ended on the way up and the bike jumped up and landed on my bagger. Even damaged, still took second in the Custom Class.
After over 45 years of playing with motorcycles and 25 plus years in business, two wheels are still my addiction. I ride just about every day either a customers bike or one of my own. I've returned to the beginning and love the dirtbikes once again! I know, I know, I'm too old to ride a motocross bike. Well, I say your old when you STOP riding them!
Well, I'm off. I have to ride home....
Severe Cycles, Inc