The bike became an obsession after he was told it could not be done: Not only did the engine not fit the frame, but to try, he was told, would be an exercise in futility.
Not only did the new owner of Scotts Valley Motorcycle Service Center prove the naysayers wrong, Davis built the bike in a style that is completely his own.
He and his partner, Bea Magleby, recently opened the shop at 4865 Scotts Valley Drive, where iBike closed earlier this year.
“The place just worked out perfect,” Davis said. “The doors were all built to handle whatever size bike we could want to work on, and we all have plenty of space.”
There are increasingly fewer places to get motorcycles worked on in the county, but with a showroom filled with vintage Harley-Davidsons, antique Indian motorcycles and state-of-the-art street bikes, its clear Davis and his crew are well suited to handle whatever comes their way.
“We don’t want to be seen as a Harley shop,” Davis said. “Our goal is to help establish a riding community that simply enjoys riding motorcycles, be it big bikes, crotch rockets or scooters. We want to revamp the excitement involved with riding.”
The crew has decades of experience. Davis graduated from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1996 and worked in Santa Cruz for more than 15 years before opening the Scotts Valley shop.
Ray Keating runs the sport bike service station in the back room, while Davis wrenches on most of the road bikes.
“In this economy, we know that the love of motorcycles is an expensive hobby,” Davis said. “We don’t ever want the reputation some companies get making their bills on selling one customer a rare, overpriced light bulb. We have been given so much by the community and want to be able to spread that love back around.”
The shop puts on a free “getting to know your bike” class that covers pre- and post-ride inspections the third Sunday of each month. The owners also plan Saturday barbeques to get people involved and connected in the area.
“It was a lot of fun at the Fourth of July parade. We had cops on bikes hanging out with motorcycle gang members,” Magleby said. “Just good people who ride enjoying the parade and a little bit of barbecue — it was awesome.”
Davis recalled another encounter just after the shop opened that highlighted the connections formed at the shop.
“The first week we were here, a customer came in and noticed we didn’t have any computers. ‘I can get you some computers if you need ’em,’ he told me,” Davis said. “I kind of blew him off, but true to his word, he came back 20 minutes later with a couple of complete computers.
“I feel like it is karma paying me back for how I have always treated people, and it is overwhelming when it comes back that generously. That same guy donated us our barbecue, so we in turn are trying to share that gift with the riding community.”