Black Billy’s Bikes
By Digger Dave
For a smaller sized shop, Mike and Anthony have the ability to deal with you one on one, spend some time getting to know each other without being shoveled thru the normal “service writer” ordeal. You can talk with them about what you would like done and even change your mind mid-stream should they offer a better suggestion, that’s pretty rare in the larger shops with huge overhead. They’ve serviced my bike, mounted tires for me and offered easy “do it yourself” fixes, which is MUCH appreciated!! They do that with every customer I’ve talked to, “easy going” is da way!!
Black Billy Bikes officially started in June 2009 in Sacramento California. Mike started the company in his garage while working in another industry to save money to move to the Valley of the Sun and open a motorcycle repair and custom shop in a year round diverse market. “Growing up riding dirt bikes my dad used to tell me “I got you the bike. You are keeping it running or I will sell it!” So that is how I started. My dad owned an aftermarket motorcycle shop called Tat-2 Custom Cycles and I worked for him as I grew up until I joined the Army in 1994. While in the Army I worked for shops in the Augusta area and in 1998 went to work full time for a company called Southern Cycle works under Jason Barklowski, a performance engine builder who is very well known on the east coast. I have since travelled the country and finally decided to pen my own company when my dad retired.”
Mike formed the company in June and shortly thereafter moved to the East Valley (east of Phoenix) and started working on motorcycles by setting up a little booth at swap meets and performing services out of his home shop. After 6 months he had outgrown his shop and found a small commercial space in Mesa Arizona.
Two and a half years later, a fellow vet, Anthony J. begins working with Mike and they soon realized the time was right. (Thank you both for your service!!) Quality work sells itself, they recently opened a new 3200 square foot location shop (which conveniently is right in front of the original shop) where they sell a full line of accessories, cutting edge apparel, and perform fabrication, service on any make or model of bike. Heck, these guys have a bike they take to the Salt Flats and get their “need for speed” in big time! I can’t say it’s one of those flashy bikes with fancy paint and stuff, but you can tell right off the bat it’s FAST! Once inside their shop (yea they’ll let you go in back) you’ll see all kinds of bikes in various stages of construction, from choppers, to baggers with custom paint and even a couple of quads, they’ll work on anything, plus of course, all the bikes under repair or there for service. It’s best to schedule an appt with them, they’re busy busy.
Somehow they find time to have “open houses” usually on a day they’re normally closed, food, music, vendors, beverages and a good time is guaranteed! There isn’t any charge for these shindigs, but you’re more than welcome to browse used parts for sale, take part in the raffles or just donate, all the proceeds always go to a local charitable organization….yes!
Even if you are just considering having some work done and aren’t sure about what to do, drop by and see Mike and Anthony, chat with them for awhile, there’s always a cold drink in the fridge and if you time it right you’ll probably find something to munch on also! I like just going there to hang out when I’m in the area, it’s nice and casual, I get to look at the ongoing projects and just kick back on the lobby couch if the need be.
If you’re in the area of 330 East Southern Ave in Mesa (corner of Mesa Dr. and Southern, stop by and visit, check out their shop, parts, clothing, helmets and other goodies. You can also find them on Facebook at facebook.com/blackbilly bikes or at www.blackbillybikes.com You may even find me hanging out on the couch killing some time and giving the guys a little bit of hell. (all in good fun)
Ride Safe~~Ride Free