Motorcycle season is on the way, and as some folks are looking over
their rides to make sure everything is in tip-top condition in time for the warmer weather, others are looking at the work that needs to be done to improve their bike, or possibly get a new one. So the local shops are preparing for the influx of repairs and possible shoppers headed their way over the next month. Today we're chatting with the co-owner of one of those shops, Addictive Behavior Motor Works, which is busy making and repairing rides, but also in the process of moving locations in April. Candice Davis talked with us about her loves and rides, as well as the shop and what the future has in store. (All pictures provided courtesy of ABMW.
Gavin: Hey Candice, first thing, tell us a little bit about you.
I am a mom, a wife, and a business owner. I have four dogs, nine kids (we are a blended family), my favorite colors are black, red and chrome.
What first got you interested in motorcycles growing up?
Seriously it's more embarrassing than anything. I used to watch the movie grease over and over and always wanted the leather T-Bird jacket. When they came out with Grease 2
with the motorcycles, I was hooked! My personality has just always geared more toward the freedom motorcycles provide for people; a kind of an escape, and a way to unplug from the world and clear your head.
What was the first bike you worked on and what was it about that particular bike you liked?
It wasn't so much the bikes that I work on when I was younger, I was taught that I couldn't drive a car until I knew how to change a tire, the oil, all the basic things that a car took to stay running. A dirt bike is the first thing that I ever tore into, I just remember the feeling of self-accomplishment when it actually started.
What do you currently ride yourself these days for fun?
That’s a funny question, because I ride whatever is in the shop at the time. However, this year I actually am restoring/customizing a chopper for myself as well as a bagger for when we go on longer trips with our friends and family.
Prior to starting your own business, what other shops did you work in and learn from?
I have my real-estate license, and my past employment opportunities tended to gravitate towards being my own boss. I like to think of myself as a hard worker, I am not afraid of the time it requires to be the best. Throughout my entire job experiences, I have picked up bits and pieces that help me today in all the aspects of growing my shop.
What made you decide to own up your own garage, and why Addictive Behavior for the name?
When you are blessed with six boys and three girls, you are immersed in crazy from the get-go. The weekends are spent camping, dirt biking/ATV, boating, fishing, sporting events, etc. As the kids got older, they wanted to customize their vehicles, so that brought another level of knowledge. One day I told my husband I wanted to buy a street bike so that the two of us could go do something together, just the two of us. So we started looking and doing our homework. Soon I found and fell in love with the brand Big Dog Motorcycles, they are a production built a bike and they come in pro-street and chopper models. Big Dog Motorcycles are a beautiful and solid-
made bike with lots of power behind them. The problem was, I didn’t want just one, I wanted the whole store! At that point, life became a whirlwind as I got my business plan together, found my investors and purchased my first place in March of 2011.
How was the first year for you and how did the public respond?
After all the work to get the business which was based strictly off of these new motorcycles and servicing them, I received the news three weeks later that the manufacturer was declaring bankruptcy and the motorcycles I was carrying would no longer be produced. My world got turned upside down, how the hell was I supposed to pay back my investors and still make this a viable business with no product to sell? After regrouping from the news I formed a new business plan and a new name and in November of 2011 Addictive Behavior Motor Works was created. The name came from our boat “addictive behavior,” which is what it was to us. Somehow the name seemed to fit the description of what my family and the shop meant to me—my loves and addictions. Who doesn’t have an addictive behavior?
What was it like putting your team together, both in the shop and for the company?
Addictive is owned 51% by me and 49% by my husband Sean, who prefers to be more on the silent partner side, being he has his own baby to care for. (Sean is President of Brahma Group Inc. specializing in industrial engineering and construction.) When I bought into the business, I knew nothing about how to run a dealership or service shop; I only had a strong love and a challenge going for me. After a while of baptism by fire, I was venting my frustrations to my husband, and he gave me a piece of advice that I follow religiously: Hire individuals that have much more knowledge in the areas you’re lacking to help balance and inspire. My team has been handpicked by me for their knowledge and expertise in the area they provide service for. Several of them have been with me from the beginning, and are the most loyal and devoted employees. I am truly lucky.
How did you come across the place on 700 south, and what kind of a challenge was it turning the place around to suit your needs?
Our first location was on State Street and 3600 South, after 1-1/2 years there and with the economy in the tank, I was tired of paying for prime real-estate. So, I went in search of a new facility that fits our image. That brings us to where we are today, almost three years later. The building was an old industrial mill with the railroad tracks going through the shop and so rich in history I fell in love with it instantly. The only negatives were we don’t have heat during the winter and no air conditioning during the summer, leaving the temps less than desirable. It was just far enough off the main streets that we would be more of a destination than a drive-by, which was perfect. We made it into our home and have loved it here; the average customer must feel the same way because most of them stay for at least 30-40 min when stopping in. It just has that nostalgic, old-school feel.
What are some of the more interesting bikes you've created or customized over the years?
As a shop that is versatile and can customize or restore almost anything in the categories of trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, and ATVs, we have had the opportunities to do some amazing projects. The fastest project we have done was when one of the networks came in to shoot a pilot on the shop and we stripped a Harley Sportster down to the frame and reassembled, painted and added customized work in less than 3 business days. It was incredible to watch my team in full force and all our skills put together to get that type of turn around and create a beautiful work of art.
What's it like for you guys to start work on a new motorcycle or truck/jeep from scratch?
This is one of my favorite things. It may sound all “girly” or “hooky,” but I like to bond with the bike and get a feel for what it wants to be. I then come up with a theme and a name for it, and start on the drawing board to sketch it out and come up with ideas. Once I have a solid idea I run it through our motorcycle Master Technician Ric Lopez, or if it’s a vehicle my son Cody Davis (who has been with me since the start of our journey) who does all the jeeps and trucks to get the parts order and timeline of the build in place. Next we dig in, tear down, build up, and finish the project. We have never repeated a design; every project is unique and customized to either the customer or my sales floor and topped off with a personalized gas cap sporting our logo, and the motorcycle's new name and date constructed.
What drew you to doing more chopper work than just classic bikes?
Actually, it is quite the opposite. Choppers are what put
us in business, but over time other shops in the area stopped working on bikes older than 1998, and we found a call to do more work on the classic bikes. I’ve enjoyed the diversity that it brought in, and have seen some really neat stories come from these old bikes. Not all are priceless resalable antiques, but have deep-seated meaning to their owners. Getting them up and running has made so many of our customers happy and grateful. I feel really blessed to be a part of their past. I have learned that in this industry, there is a bike for every butt!
Currently, your showroom has an interesting catalog of bikes and other vehicles. How do you go about building that catalog and finding the right people for those items?
As far as our sales floor, we offer customers the chance to consign their toys with us. We help educate them in the value of their toys and help place a realistic but fair asking value on them. The rest is up to us. We market to many different websites, radio, ads and through our events held here at the shop. The same goes for the inventory owned by me. The same methods are taken to “find today’s value” then placed on the sales floor after a complete inspection and detail is done on each item. I love seeing what makes a customer choose which bike they want to take home, and it totally reflects their personality.
For those who want a custom job, what do they need before talking to you and how can they reach you?
Being a full-service dealership, we can help them find a bike, truck or jeep to buy and customize, even help get financing on it. If they already own their project, the customer will come in and we listen to their ideas and visions and help to break it down into smaller projects, making it affordable for almost everyone; we even offer payment plans. Or we can just provide their regular service or maintenance to keep everything in great working order. We offer free towing for all motorcycles to the shop so just call and we can get you going, we try to make it as simple as possible. Call us at 801-839-3999.
What can we expect from you and Addictive Behavior over the rest of 2016? Where do you want to take the new shop over the next few years, both creatively and as a business?
We are proud to announce that Addictive will be relocating just two blocks north of our current location. This is giving us the benefits of having the same industrial historic building with 16,000 sq
. feet of space, but with heat and air this time, which we are so excited about. We also will have 2.5 acres of outside space, much more room to grow and gather with our clients/friends. We invite you all to come enjoy the Grand Opening with us on April 2, 2016, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. The event will have aerosol artists painting murals and competing for the $1,000 dollar cash price, food, music, vendors and a special unveiling of the new 2016 Big Dog Motorcycle K9 that is now back in production, bigger and badder
than ever. You won’t want to miss it! The new shop is located at 454 South 500 West in Salt Lake City.