John Parham. A Rag To Riches Story.

“It takes 20 years to be an overnight success”. It’s what John Parham, owner of J&P Cycles, could tell you if you meet him today. And it’s what he told me 10 years ago (just change the number). J&P Cycles is, since quite a few years, the undisputed largest aftermarket motorcycle parts retailer in the United States. Not only selling parts for Harleys like many still think, but also for Metric Cruisers, for Indians and for Vintage Bikes & Restoration. His strategy since the start of his company in 1984? Offer retail clients more competitive prices, a very wide range of parts to cover all the needs of those who love to tinker with their bikes, a very high orders filling rate (90%), an exceptional 120-day money-back guarantee on all items, a team of sales people who are bikers before they are salesmen and are available 24/7 to answer all your tech questions. Today, J&P Cycles operates out of a 150,000 sq.ft facility in Anamosa, Iowa where the company started, and also out of a new 47,000 sq. ft. building (store, showroom, installation, warehousing) in Ormond Beach, Florida (on the grounds of Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Harley). By the way, John Parham is a true mid western biker with a passion for vintage bikes, hence this just completed commissioned painting by David Uhl where John sits on one of his favorite bikes: it’s a  very rare 1919 Indian Big Valve Daytona Board Tracker raced by famous racer Dewey Sims. The painting is the newest work of artist David Uhl and is so beautiful and period correct that I hear that posters could to be offered to the public. J&P Cycles Online.  

17 Responses to “John Parham. A Rag To Riches Story.”

  1. 1 American V-Twin Nov 26th, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    John is a great guy and a real world enthusiast. I’ve met and talked with John at AMCA meets. Tough to knock a guy like him. Congrats John, you earned it.

  2. 2 Mike Kiwi Tomas Nov 26th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    John Parham is one of the nicest guys in the industry and a true gentleman in every respect. He always has time to say hi and have a chat. John genuinely loves old vintage bikes and is an all around m/c enthusiast. Gotta admire and respect him and thanks for preserving the past in your outstanding museum.
    Good on ya mate.

  3. 3 Chris Callen (Source Editor) Nov 26th, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    John is the stuff True heroes are made of, at least the ones I look up to. He made his way by hand, picked what he loved to do and followed it to the end of the earth. We can only hope to be as lucky in life as to make that right choice.

    He has had one of the other true blessings in life as well, a woman that believes in him and supports his dreams. John and Jill are both great people and they deserve all the success they have today for the hard work and many years they have made their life around motorcycling. It’s good to see that hard work and commitment still pan out in this country.

    Congrats from all of our staff!

  4. 4 Nicker Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Excellent example of a good business man….

    “…an all around m/c enthusiast…”

    His passion is his business.
    His business appeals to the broadest possible customer base.
    (Not limited to a small segment of the MC market)

    So, why doesn’t someone ask John if his business is being hammered by the this “terrible economy”……????

    Way to go John….!!
    Excellent story, thanks.


  5. 5 JoAnn Bortles Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    John’s story is an inspiring example of what it takes to suceed in any business. Of what it takes to hang in during the tough times, and to have to foresight to see what the public wants. To back up his words with actions hence the great customer service JP is known for.
    Congrats John!

  6. 6 rodent Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I started dealing with John when he was peddling goods off tables in a Sturgis alley many years ago…I bought tires for my bike from him yearly and would wait till I got to Sturgis for tires because John’s prices were always fair and he’d mount the tires while I waited. John and his partner(wife) Jill are a real credit to our industry. I’ve never heard anybody vent about J&P…..Go John.

  7. 7 jatinder pal Nov 27th, 2007 at 2:57 am

    Jp cycles is the best part supplier in my view.offering free catalogs with the huge selection.
    purchased lots of stuff and never been disappointed with the product,price,shipping etc.
    good work by John.

  8. 8 Don Miranda Nov 27th, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Great post about a very good motorcycle business.

  9. 9 Rogue Nov 27th, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I have the privilage of knowing John and Jill and was able to attend the Grand Opening of their new store in Ormond Beach during Biketoberfest.
    When people talk about the good guys in the industry John is one of the people always mentioned and it also shows because of how his business has prospered.
    J&P is one of the businesses you reccomend to your friends.

  10. 10 Keith Eichenberg Nov 27th, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I didn’t know about John Parham, the JP behind J&P Cycles, but makes me want to order from his company.

  11. 11 sara Liberte Nov 27th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    John and Jill are respectable people, they both have great enthusiasm for the sport of motorcycling, and I will make it to the museum soon, how about David’s rendering of John, right on.

  12. 12 J Barbieri Nov 27th, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Great story John is the stuff this industry is made of.

  13. 13 Eric Nov 27th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Cyril, it’s a good idea to give credit to all those who contributed positively to our industry. Your blog & bikes are also a great contribution. A lot of class!

  14. 14 Greg Schneider Nov 27th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Good stuff Cyril. Yes, we are interested to know more about the personalities of the v twin industry.

  15. 15 Clarke Nov 27th, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Great post. Thank you.

  16. 16 Marilyn Stemp Dec 4th, 2007 at 10:20 am

    To echo the other comments, John is a class act, a gentleman. I’ll always be grateful for the way he put his hand out to two motley nobodies (Dennis and I) at a J&P swap meet in Columbus, Ohio, 18 years ago, giving us a space to hand out magazines. That sort of kindness is rare in business. Let’s give credit to the woman behind the man, too. It takes two. David Uhl’s image of John is, well, as stunning as Uhl’s work always is.

  17. 17 Jim H Nov 15th, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I first met him about 14 years ago when I lived in Davenport, Iowa. He is a friend of one of my friends. He is very successful, but you would never know it in talking to him. He comes from humble roots and remains that way today. Fantastic guy, and a very awsome motorcycle collection at the museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Worth the trip from anywhere!

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Cyril Huze