Our History


 
In June 1961 Bill and Joan Kennedy began what is now Kennedy's Elyria Sport Cycles, Inc.

It all began in a small store front on Lodi Street in Elyria, Ohio. After being discharged from the US Air Force, Bill and Joan moved to Elyria. Unable to find work in his hometown of Rosedale, West Virginia, Bill found work at the Lorain Ford Plant. Bill's love of motorcycling grew when he started racing motorcycles while he was in the Air Force. He would hill climb his Triumph 250 Cub or take to it the Bonneville Salt Flats to test the speed of his Triumphs.



Once the Kennedy's were settled in Ohio, Bill started racing motorcycles again. This time he raced flat track and TT. It wasn't long before Bill got a reputation of being a good mechanic. This, in return, would lead Bill's garage to be full of customer"s Triumphs that were in need of repairs. While traveling the racing circuit, Bill met the Triumph road man, Jack Mercer. Jack was in charge of setting up new Triumph dealers in the area, and he also happened to be a huge race fan. It was after a race that Bill asked Jack, the road man, to set him up as a new Triumph dealer. Reluctantly Jack Mercer and Bill made a deal. Jack would leave his demo bike with Bill while he went to Chicago to set up a new dealership. This way Bill could see how he "could do" by trying to sell a bike so quickly. Two days later when Jack, the road man, came back Bill had sold the demo. This meant that Jack had to keep his end of the deal by setting Bill and Joan Kennedy up as a Triumph Dealer. This is how Elyria Triumph Sales was born. In less than a year the dealership out grew the small store front on Lodi Street and moved to 622 Lowell Street. By 1964, the business had grown to five full time employees and three part time employees. Bill decided it was time to add another product line. The Japanese had started importing motorcycles in the US and the decision was based on "which one would be the best"? After researching all of the brands Bill decided that the Yamaha product line was the best choice for success. He felt that the patented Autolube system was state of the art and clearly the way of the future. After all, no one wanted to mix gas and oil every time they needed to refuel.



Things were going well for the Kennedys. Bill's racing career was going strong and sales were increasing. Many of the customers and employees were either racing themselves or closely following the races as spectators and supporters of

Elyria Triumph. Soon Bill had earned enough in points racing to earn his pro racing status. With two children and one on the way Joan begged Bill to reconsider racing motorcycles all over the United States and to stay closer to home. After a few years racing on the pro circuit, Bill decided that perhaps professional racing was indeed more for the young and not the young at heart. It was then that Ronnie Rall a professional racer from Mansfield, Ohio signed as the first rider for Kennedy Racing. Once again Bill and Joan found themselves lacking room to house a successful dealership. The new building, located at 1019 Lowell Street, was more than twice the size and soon became the new home of Elyria Triumph Sales. Bill decided it was also time to let the "good times roll" and added Kawasaki motorcycles in the spring of 1975. The next big change came in 1983 when Bill and Joan retired from the motorcycle business in order to pursue a drilling career in the Gas and Oil industry. The dealership was then put under new management; Ken and Linda Varady. Linda is Joan and Bill's only daughter. In 1995 the dealership was incorporated and the name was changed to Kennedy's Elyria Sport Cycles, Inc. The dealership was named Kennedy's in honor of Bill and Joan and also because the Triumph product line was no longer in business at the store.

 

 

The most recent addition to the Kennedy's family is Kymco Scooters, added in May of 2008.