Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hills Have Voices: Legends in Springville, UT

These hills have voices. At least I think they do.  Leading me to find a small shop in Springville, Utah where I was looking to find a quick bite to eat.  As I drove along looking for something to shove down my throat before my next meeting, I caught a glimpse of something on the opposite side of the road that looked like a bike.  
You guys know the drill.  Riding along at 55mph in unfamiliar territory peering into carports, sheds, and garages just hoping to catch a glimpse of a bike and especially a rusty one!  Your eyes become trained to pick up on the slightest characteristics of a vintage motorcycle.  The taillight, exhaust, gas tank, even a forgotten rusty lawn ornament can result in a stroke and instant whiplash.
But back to my story…  I spun the rental car around and headed back to investigate a bit further.  As I rolled back past and got a better look, I knew that I was going to have to stop in and see what this place was all about.  What I had caught a glimpse of was a sculpture of a salt flat racer built around a knuckle HD.  I came to find out that this sculpture was done by the local artist Jeff Decker that actually lived across the street.
I made my way into the shop and a gentleman walked up from the back of the shop to meet me.  Steve was his name, and he seemed fine with me coming in and checking out some of the bikes he had on display.  As soon as I walked in I looked to the right at a line of bikes that were a mixed array of modern and classic HD’s.  Upon closer inspection I immediately locked onto an early Indian sitting on the end of the row.  He quickly picked up on my amazement, and cracked a big smile.  I asked if I could take a few shots to show some of the guys back home and he quickly obliged.
At this point I was on high alert as I began to recognize the magnitude of what I was surrounded by.  I actually began to get goose bumps as started to count the number of early 1900’s American motorcycles that were sitting in this place.  They were all mostly unmolested examples sitting just as they would have been discovered.  I peered up into the loft above us and literally almost fell on the floor.  The big “X” of an Excelsior motorcycle tank was staring me right back in the face.
He motioned for me to follow him so he could turn on all the lights and show me around the place.  The next half hour or so was nothing short of amazing.  There were motorcycles of several varieties lined up all over the place.  From the early beginnings of powered bicycles like the Indian Camel, to some of the most powerful like the big Henderson 4’s, the place was simply wrapped up in early American patina.  The visit was nothing short of legendary, and its name seemed to fit quite well as it was called “Legends”.  I came to find out that the business was owned by a gentleman by the name of Rick Salisbury.  Rick decided to renovate a dilapidated general store, and turn it into a state of the art motorcycle shop with some extra room to display his treasures. 
Steve then led me back to the shop where he had a few projects he was currently working on.  He had an early HD, and an Excelsior up on benches where he was working to put them back together.  He also had a Henderson 4 motor he had torn apart that he was going through.  The best part about these bikes is that a majority of them are runners, and when time permits they are often ridden.  Each year Rick Salisbury, and several others participate in an event known as the Motorcycle CannonballThe Motorcycle Cannonball is a 16 day endurance race that this past year led over 70 vintage riders from Newburg, NY to San Francisco CA.  Just this past year there were a total of 15 Henderson 4’s in the race!  Not all of them made it, but some of them actually completed the journey under their own power.
Needless to say, this place made my week.  By the time it was all over I had completely lost my appetite and was 10 minutes late for my appointment .  Damn GPS!  Best excuse ever…
So, if you ever find yourself in the small town of Springville Utah, stop by Legends shop on Main Street and let Steve or Rick show you around.  You certainly won’t be disappointed.

Ton Up NC = Riding, Restoration and Racing of Vintage Motorcycles

1 comment:

  1. Eric: Glad you found this local treasure. I live in Provo, Utah and know this shop well. It's a cool place to visit.