THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME
JWJ Cycles started with two brothers, Jack and Warren, sons of a Baptist Preacher, living in the Texas Bible belt in the 40s. Both were fascinated with airplanes and motorcycles. The day they first rode the bicycle they built with a lawn mower engine and no throttle control; they were hooked.
During the 1950s, they became more involved with motorcycling, owning minibikes and other riding machines. Because of their strict household and the social dislike toward motorcycles during that era, Jack and Warren had to sneak around with the bikes, hiding them at different places or risk being in trouble. In the early 60s they bought the first Honda in Amarillo Texas which they shared. It was a 305 Superhawk.
Jack and Warren rode thousands of miles two up all over the western US. Many tales from their adventures were told such as Warren almost dying of hypothermia in Colorado, Jack lighting the bike on fire while fueling and of both of them walking across the Rio Grande river into Mexico to a wedding reception to eat. They talked about being refused service at several restaurants because they were riding motorcycles. Motorcycles were not welcome in the Bible belt during this period. Movies with James Dean and titles like “Easy Rider” did not help matters. For months Warren was stopped every time he rode to work in Amarillo by the same officer.
Eventually they came up with enough funds to buy another bike, a Yamaha YDS2. Dad talked about how the two-stroke would take off much faster than the Honda but on long hills and riding into the wind, something there's a lot of in the Texas panhandle, it would fall on its face.
In the mid-60s Jack came to Southern Arizona to visit his sister and fell in love with the open lands, good weather, higher paying jobs, and the need for Song leaders in many small Baptist churches. Soon after he moved his family to Tucson. Warren with his newlywed wife had recently moved to SoCal with plans to enroll in an art school, enjoy surfing and the freer lifestyle. But he was drafted to serve in Viet Nam and moved his wife to Tucson where she would be closer to Jack and Nanda. Warren was a door gunner on a helicopter in Viet Nam, and was wounded, but recovered and completed his full tour of service before joining his wife in Tucson.
Jack, after getting to Arizona and finding work in the mines, wasted little time getting more motorcycles. His favorite was a Hodaka ACE 90 he bought used from Musselman Honda in 1966. He always talked about how the little Hodaka went 70 mph on the highway going home after the purchase. He also talked about the large $8.00 monthly payment and how he almost had the bike repossessed during the 1968 mine strikes. While in Nam, Warren saved money and bought a new Montesa Scorpion when he got back to Tucson. Jack and Warren rode all over Southern Arizona.
Jack introduced his three children to riding at early ages. Motorcycles were always part of our lives. We were raised as trail riders and although Jack was a particularly good rider, he was known to say he was a trail rider and not a racer although he was a better rider than most.
Through the years I started collecting motorcycles. I have always had a fascination for late 70s and early 80s motocross bikes. Maico's were at the top of the list. Like most collectors when I first started, I wanted everything perfect and in new condition. After restoring many bikes, I realized that motorcycles tell a story in an unrestored condition. Everybody has an over restored motorcycle, but few keep bikes as they were ridden. That is what JWJ Cycles is about, telling a story.
In closing, JWJ Cycles, stands for Jack, my dad, Warren, my uncle, and Jill my wife and mother of my children. All three are now on the horizon waiting on us to catch up. I figure Jack and Warren are ringing out Hodaka ACEs while Jill is standing by for support as she had so many times during my racing years.