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Business rolling in at K&K Cycles

Military vets fix motorcycles, scooters, ATVs

Published: Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 1:20 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 2:30 p.m. CST
Caption
(Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM)
Keihin Ketchum, 25, owner of K&K Cycles, works on a Harley-Davidson. About 60 percent of business is repair work and 40 percent is parts sales, Ketchum says.
Caption
(Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM)
One of many motorcycles recently for sale on consignment at K&K Cycles.

DIXON – Owner Keihin Ketchum couldn’t be more pleased with how K&K Cycles has grown as it celebrates its first year in business.

The shop features a full-repair garage where he works on all makes and models of motorcycles, specializing in Harley-Davidson, as well as scooters and ATVs.

“My prices are really for guys like me who can’t afford to ride a Harley with the cost of repairs being what they are,” he said. “I make it as reasonable as I can and keep a very low markup on parts.”

The 25-year-old Ketchum insists on letting his customers know when repair costs aren’t worth the effort and exceed the value of a bike.

Parts make up about 40 percent of K&K’s business. “I can get parts for just about any bike you need,” he said.

He also has a showroom with a wide variety of motorcycles on consignment.

“I try to change the inventory at a great rate ... we want people to keep coming back to see different things.”

Ketchum, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, went to school at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Fla., when he got out of the Army. He had planned to work at a Harley-Davidson shop or dealership.

But when he finished school, he came back home and took auto mechanics classes. He realized his dream wasn’t out of reach and decided to start his own business.

It wasn’t long after opening the shop that Josh Yardley walked in looking for brakes. The two soon were working side by side.

Yardley, 31, also a veteran, was on leave at the time. He had been a diesel mechanic for 12 years in the Army.

He said he likes that K&K's repair prices are fair.

“You go to some places and it’s over $100 an hour for labor,” Yardley said. "He’s not like that at all here."

They built a custom motorcycle from the ground up in only 5 months. It is now displayed in the shop’s showroom.

Ketchum credits his father, Karl, who owned Dixon Scooter Service, for his career path.

“I’d have to say, my dad got me interested in all this,” he said. “I was about 10 years old, working with him. I remember we built a purple bike from the ground up. Was an ugly paint job, but a nice bike.”

His wife, Samantha, takes care of the office work and bookkeeping. Their 5-year-old daughter, Aeilee, likes to run around in the backyard.

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