Together with his wife Jill, John Parham turned his passion for riding into a business and created J&P Cycles in 1979 and thus helped thousands of motorcyclists worldwide enjoy two wheel adventures.
Enjoying motorcycles in action, John created events like swap meets, bike shows, drag races and first organized vintage motorcycle dirt track racing at the BlackHawk Antique Motorcycle Club swap meet at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. Taking the store to the customer, John set up massive displays at events like Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, The Laughlin River Run and Daytona Bike Week. Unmatched drive helped John perfect product development, point of purchase and direct marketing through catalogs; John turned his motorcycling passion into successful retailing. DealerNews magazine named J&P Cycles the “World’s Largest Aftermarket Retailer”.
John also devoted his time and resources to amassing one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive personal collections of motorcycles, in excess of 300 machines, and shared them with the public via the National Motorcycle Museum, located in Anamosa, Iowa.
John was recognized for his passion when he was inducted into both the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and also the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
John wanted people to enjoy motorcycling and was very conscious of customer service, always working for happy customers and, if asked, sharing what he’d learned. J&P Cycles was recognized as one of the best customer service retailers in the U.S. by StellaService.
As a result of the culture of passion, fun and service at J&P Cycles, many riders and friends became employees. One team member shares, “I walked up to John and said thank you for making J&P Cycles. This job has changed and saved my life. He looked at me and just simply said ‘thank you.’ After that every time I’d run into him throughout the years he remembered me and thanked me for working for J&P Cycles. What a class act.”
Another team member remembers “Every year when John would introduce the employees to the new J&P catalog he would say “It’s the best one we’ve ever had.” As years went by people started expecting him to say it and sometimes said it along with him. He recognized the humor in that and played to it a little, even though I think he believed it every time he said it.”
A customer shares “So saddened to hear about your loss (J&P Cycles). Please know it is felt here in Canada and further. Best wishes with his legacy. A fine Company with finer people.”
The motorcycling community has lost one of its most passionate, innovative, considerate, entrepreneurial and successful people and he will be greatly missed. We encourage others to celebrate John’s legacy here…
Thank you John for putting and keeping us on two wheels,
The J&P Cycles Family