Throughout the 1970s, John and Jill attended weekend swap meets looking for parts for their Harley-Davidsons and enjoying the company of the community of like minded enthusiasts. From their home in Anamosa, Iowa, they traveled throughout the midwest to every show they could find.
By the end of the decade, they saw an opportunity to help shine a light on all of their friends who were making great parts. So John and Jill became promoters of swap meets to help bring some much needed organization and support to the small businesses of their motorcycling community.
After experiencing a fire at their shop in 1984, the Parham’s lost nearly all of their parts inventory. Instead of throwing in the towel, they doubled down on the business and opened a new location on highway 151 just north of Anamosa. By then, they were promoting and attending 25 swap meets across the country every year.
1987 marked a turning point for their business with the launch of the first J&P Cycles Catalog. This print piece would go on to be the cornerstone of the Parham’s efforts to help small businesses around the country sell their parts to customers who would have otherwise never heard of them.
As the business grew, J&P opened a store on main street in Sturgis, SD to further their connection to the communities and culture. Even with new brick and mortar locations they never stopped attending events, meeting the riders and finding up and coming entrepreneurs who were shaping how bikes were being built throughout the years.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, riding the success of a nationally respected business John & Jill decided once again to give back to the community that supported them for so many years by founding the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. Boasting nearly 450 motorcycles on display, John donated his personal collection of 300 bikes to serve the riders who love life on two wheels as much as he did.
Today, J&P Cycles continues to be guided by the founding spirit of John & Jill. Our dedication to supporting your next motorcycle build through the technical expertise of our staff and new parts from up and coming brands is what keeps us excited for every mile on the road ahead. Check out our Custom Builds experience to see what our customers and friends are up to with their next projects.