I grew up with a nearly new 1967 Triumph TR6R in high school and college, and learned to appreciate the British iron at an early age. However, as happens to many of us, a lovely bride, careers, and life changed my priorities, and I got away from bikes. Debbie always said that men always go back to their first love, whether itís a girl or a vehicle. Fortunately,in my case, it was British bikes, so I found a 1966 TR6R, and fixed it up. Finding parts was always a challenge, and I eventually developed sources for parts. Anybody who knows me, knows I canít do anything halfway, and a hobby grew into an obsession. Approximately 10 years ago, Debbie retired from the School District, and she and I opened a small business called Bobís British Bikes. It was a retail store operated out of our home, selling vintage British motorcycle parts, both locally and on the Internet through Ebay. We imported parts for Triumph, BSA, and Norton from around the world, and resold around the world, specializing in tools, electrical parts, and wiring harnesses. At one time, we were the largest reseller of British wiring harnesses in the US. In 2007, we got hooked up with the new Triumph, and became a dealer for them, opening the store in February of 2008, the beginning of the recession. (Great timing, Bob! ĖDeb) We had bought a building and were remodeling it, and had applied for licenses and financing, but we didnít have a name. Debbie and I struggled for a month, trying to find that right name. One of our vintage club members, Jim, happened to mention the name of the original premier Triumph dealer in Spokane in the 50ís and 60ís, which was Empire Cycle. We checked out the name, found it was clear, and we adopted it, modernizing it slightly with the addition of ď& PowersportsĒ. During the first year, we added Arctic Cat snowmobiles and ATVís, which provided important wintertime income. The next year we added Moto Guzzi and Aprilia to the lineup, and in the first year, we sold over 20 Moto Guzziís, which was more than had been sold in the last 3 years by other dealers. The next year we added Royal Enfield, followed by Husqvarna, Vespa, and KYMCO. We briefly tried the Zero electric motorcycles, a totally awesome machine, but a bit ahead of its time, and the local market was not ready for a $14,000 electric bike yet. Now we have passed the 5-year mark, with good sustained growth for the last 3 years. In the meantime, the recession quickly came and slowly went, taking 8 good local dealers with it. Debbie has done an awesome job as the GM, and Al, our new Sales Manager, has already kicked the year off to a fantastic start. We added 3000 additional square feet of showroom this winter, which allows us to better display our fleet of used bikes and overflow from the main showroom. Debbie and I want to thank our growing list of loyal customers for their support over the years, and want to tell you stay to tuned, you havenít seen anything yet!
Empire Cycle & Powersports 7807 E. Sprague Spokane WA 99212 Phone: (509) 892-6368Fax: (509) 892-6361