Mike Stephens has been riding and racing motorcycles since he was 4 years old. Although he admits he would rather be riding than anything else, he has found the next best thing is the time he can spend in Leible Cycles, introducing ATVs and motorcycles to others.
As part of the expanded Leible Auto Sales at 2001 E. Malone Ave., Leible Cycles opened in June. Stephens takes pride that the business offers one of the widest selections of gear, parts, and of course, motorcycles and ATVs found in the area.
Catching the customer's eye first is the flashy motorcycles taking center stage in the showroom. Leible Cycles carries all makes and models of ATVs and motorcycles including Harley Davidson. There are both new and used vehicles for customers to choose from.
"They don't seem to stick around very long," said Stephens about the vehicles.
As eye-catching as the vehicles are the racks of clothing. The Thor off-road-riding gear, including the shirts, boots and chest protectors, has proved popular with many riders, said Stephens who then pointed out the leather jackets and chaps the street bikers prefer that are available as well.
Lining the top of the wall are nearly 150 different helmets for on and off-the-road bikers while down below are parts and accessories for all makes and models of ATVs and motorcycles. Hunters who use vehicles to reach the backwoods will find that Leible Cycle has camouflage accessories and even a camouflage ATV.
For those making their own repairs, Leible Cycles keeps books available so customers can find the right parts. Many of the parts can be picked from the selection along the wall. "But if we don't have it in stock, we can order items and get them typically in two to three days," said Stephens.
As he works to meet the needs of his customers, many who come as far away as Cape Girardeau or Illinois, Stephens explained he is still expanding his selection. "The interest in motorcycles is really growing. Cruiser bikes are coming on strong," he noted. "ATVs are popular all-year-round."
Part of the popularity, Stephens said, is because it is a sport the entire family can enjoy. He explained often families will purchase one of the small ATVs he keeps in stock for a child while the parents opt for the adult models so they can all ride.
Also many adults are taking the sport of motorcycling up as a way to enjoy the camaraderie of other bikers. "All kinds of people ride motorcycles today - dentists, lawyers, business owners," said Stephens. "Plus it is just fun to be outside and on a bike."
Limited service work is available at Leible Cycles according to the manager, who added he is currently busy getting vehicles ready for the upcoming hunting season.
And those looking at the upcoming holiday season will find that Leible Cycles offers lay-a-way as well as gift certificates.
Leible Cycles is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.