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Historic Houston Motorcycle Dealers


Racer997

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I would love to hear stories and see any pictures of motorcycle dealers (new, used, parts / junkyards) of any motorcycle dealers in the Houston metro area. I was six in 1971 when my dad bought my brother and I a used Honda Mini-Trail 50, and I still have it. By about 1974, I was a motorcycle huge enthusiast, and I still am. I would beg my dad to take me to the motorcycle shops so I could browse, window shop and drool. By the time I was driving, I was racing motocross, and went to a lot of the dealerships, so I have fond memories of many of the dealers of the time. I still race and I am still friends with many of my racing buddies from those days.

 

If you name a motorcycle dealer that existed in the 1970s and into the 1980s (and beyond), I was likely a customer. However, because I grew up on the southeast side near Edgebrook and I-45, shops in that areas were the ones I spent the most time at.

 

This is a partial list of dealers I frequented...or visited at least once.

 

  • Bruce Bristol (I-45 south near UH main campus)
  • Texas Yamaha (Pasadena, on Richey Rd, later on Spencer Hwy)
  • Johnny Word (I-45 south in League City, first on the inbound side, later on the outbound side)
  • Pasadena Honda (Pasadena on Spencer Hwy)
  • Gulf Coast Honda (I-45 south at Monroe)
  • TexMx (owned by racer Glen Johnson, and located on Edgebrook)
  • House of Wheels (I-45 at North Main)
  • Bob Lunsford's Honda (I-45 at West Rd)
  • Stubbs Cycles (Telephone Rd)
  • Cycle Shack (Bellaire Blvd)
  • Union Cycle Salvage (Long Dr)
  • Sam's Cycle Salvage (Silver Street)
  • K's Yamaha (59 N in Humble)
  • AJ Foyt Cycles (I-45 N)
  • Hurst Yamaha and Marine

 

I would love to hear of dealers before my time, as well. 

 

 

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That list brings back a lot of memories. I live near I-45 and North Main, and every time I drive by the pawn shop that's there now, I think of House of Wheels. When I was growing up, I was friends with two brothers that lived down the street from me, and I remember being totally envious of them when their dad bought them a Yamaha RD400 Daytona Special from House of Wheels. Of course, a high-strung, two-stroke wheelie machine is just what every teenage boy needs. :lol:

 

Later, not too long after I'd graduated from college, I bought a breathed-on Honda CB750F from a friend, and upon picking it up from him, immediately headed over to House of Wheels to get it insured and buy a new helmet. It was way faster than stock, and I realized it would take a little getting used to when I wound it up on 45 North and suddenly became aware I was approaching the traffic in front of me much faster than I'd intended. That bike was my only transportation for several years; I still have it but it hasn't run in a long time, and a full rebuild is something that I intend to undertake eventually. 

 

I went to Sam's on occasion as well - at the time they were one of the only places that stocked parts for Italian bikes, and for a while I was riding a borrowed Moto Guzzi.

 

But the one I really miss is Union Cycle Salvage, aka "Pick Your Part for Motorcycles". That place had everything, and I saved a ton of money there in comparison with ordering new parts from a dealer. 

 

Of the dealers on your list, the ones that I'm aware of that are still in business are Lunsford Honda, AJ Foyt, and Stubbs, but I'm more familiar with the northside area than the southeast.

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Denny Turnbull owned House of Wheels. Good times there (and Blue Sky upstairs) until they closed their doors.

 

Sam Romeo owns Sam's. I know him and his son, Chris, well.

 

Indeed, Union was a great place to go for parts. I wish I could go back knowing now what I didn't know then.

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I bought a Honda 350 street bike at Gulf Coast Honda in 1970, and rode it to and from work on the freeways and all over the place for several years. Great little bike with plenty  of power to compete on the freeways. I laid it down on wet pavement one morning on the way to work and got up with a broken left wrist. The bike had a cracked handlebar grip and a busted headlight. Easy to repair, but I had to wear a cast on my wrist for a month. I think about that bike when the arthritis in my left wrist starts acting up. 

Edited by FilioScotia
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  • 1 year later...
On 3/18/2018 at 8:37 AM, Racer997 said:

I would love to hear stories and see any pictures of motorcycle dealers (new, used, parts / junkyards) of any motorcycle dealers in the Houston metro area. I was six in 1971 when my dad bought my brother and I a used Honda Mini-Trail 50, and I still have it. By about 1974, I was a motorcycle huge enthusiast, and I still am. I would beg my dad to take me to the motorcycle shops so I could browse, window shop and drool. By the time I was driving, I was racing motocross, and went to a lot of the dealerships, so I have fond memories of many of the dealers of the time. I still race and I am still friends with many of my racing buddies from those days.

 

If you name a motorcycle dealer that existed in the 1970s and into the 1980s (and beyond), I was likely a customer. However, because I grew up on the southeast side near Edgebrook and I-45, shops in that areas were the ones I spent the most time at.

 

This is a partial list of dealers I frequented...or visited at least once.

 

  • Bruce Bristol (I-45 south near UH main campus)
  • Texas Yamaha (Pasadena, on Richey Rd, later on Spencer Hwy)
  • Johnny Word (I-45 south in League City, first on the inbound side, later on the outbound side)
  • Pasadena Honda (Pasadena on Spencer Hwy)
  • Gulf Coast Honda (I-45 south at Monroe)
  • TexMx (owned by racer Glen Johnson, and located on Edgebrook)
  • House of Wheels (I-45 at North Main)
  • Bob Lunsford's Honda (I-45 at West Rd)
  • Stubbs Cycles (Telephone Rd)
  • Cycle Shack (Bellaire Blvd)
  • Union Cycle Salvage (Long Dr)
  • Sam's Cycle Salvage (Silver Street)
  • K's Yamaha (59 N in Humble)
  • AJ Foyt Cycles (I-45 N)
  • Hurst Yamaha and Marine

 

I would love to hear of dealers before my time, as well. 

 

 

It

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Hi, my name is Linda Reeves, the X Linda Ford. I was married to a Robert Ford, owner of Motorcycles, Inc. on the south bound side of 45 between Telephone Rd and Griggs. Johnny Word worked for Robert Ford running the front of the shop and sales along with a guy named Little Richard.  They sold Triumph and Kawasaki. In fact one year they sold more Kawasaki's than any other shop in the United States and won a trip to the Orient for Robert and myself as his wife. But being the cheater he was he took the secretary, Suzanne. Robert Ford and I separated and he got involved with the man after his new lady and within several months guns got introduced outside one night, at a club, and one died. Robert ended up no-billed, but lost all. I was told he went back to being an electrician. He was one of the best electricians in the entire gulf coast. He was a good man, that made a bad decision, like we all have at one time or the other. He is in heaven now but many loved him and liked buying motorcycles from him. I witnessed many times he would start building a triumph from parts in a box and I be damned it would start on the first kick. I also remember going to Raymond Milburns garage to leave helmets and tanks to get painted. Way before any business...his son was a baby. So many years ago...

I was in my early 20's and know I am 70... Lots of memories. Reading your article brought back some of the memories I have, thank you. Linda Reeves, ex Ford.

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I bought a '72 Yamaha twin jet from Westbury Yamaha. Traded that in for a '73 RD350 from Hurst Supply. Next came a '76 RD400 and later a '81 Seca 550 from Junior McBrides Rose Rich Yamaha. Then an '82 Vision 550 from Joe Fishers University Cycles in College Station. And finally an '86 Radian 600 from Westbury just before they burned down.

Edit: After thinking some more, Rose Rich Yamaha was owned by Clyde Marik when I bought the Seca.

Edited by Chasbro
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  • 1 month later...

Great memories. I used to drop by Westbury Yamaha on my lunch breaks from Belden's Food Giant. I was, and still am, a motorcycle nut. One day, while talking to the parts guy at Stubbs Cycles, he asked if I had a set of metric tools. When I responded "yes", he asked if I would like a job assembling new bikes. Would loved to have done it, but had no car at the time to drive to work. The '70s were a great time in motorcycle history. 

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  • 10 months later...

Great stories I remember going to Hunzaker cycles in 1982, 1983 to 1985  and I actually remember having one of my three wheeler’s there for service when Hunsaker cycles caught fire in ‘83.   
 

I drove down Bingle today to see the old Hunsaker cycle / Honda of Houston site and it looks like it’s some sort of youth athletics area but it doesn’t look like it’s in business I thought about all the amazing bikes through the years that would sit on that show room floor and also along the road by Bingle and how they would glisten in the sun especially those red Honda is just incredible went through those doors! 
 

 I wish they were still in business or I wish I could go back in time and just snap pictures of the whole place and everything going on back in those days truly an incredible time. 

 

It was also a Yamaha dealer on Bingle Road that I would pass on the way to Hunsaker’s and I never stopped there I wish I did!  What was the name of it?

 

I think right now there’s a wig shop or something like that there but that doesn’t even look to be in business. 

 

Anyone have any pictures of Hunsaker’s or any of the old motorcycle dealerships from back in the day? 

 

Also I’ve been collecting a lot of vintage ATC’s and here’s a few pictures of some of my collection trying to build my own vintage motorcycle dealership in my garage. 

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  • The title was changed to Historic Houston Motorcycle Dealers

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