April 19, 2004 – Rucker kicks off new motorcycle firm
April 19, 2004
Filed under Features
Industry veteran co-founded American IronHorse motorcycle firm
Bill Rucker has launched a new motorcycle company, Rucker Performance, which he says will produce custom motorcycles for upscale motorcycle enthusiasts. The new venture, located in the a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb, will design and build distinctive high-end bikes. They’ll sell in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
Rucker Performance will follow the award-winning entrepreneur’s personal blueprint for success, says Rucker.
“Rucker Performance will live and breathe by my personal vision to build innovative, cutting edge bikes that offer the kind of quality, performance and exclusivity that a discriminating buyer wants,” says Rucker. “Our small production volume will allow us to give each customer the personal attention and perfection they deserve and expect with a high-end motorcycle.”
Stock sale provides funding
Rucker left American IronHorse last summer and later sold his stock back to the company in a multi-year deal that provided him some resources to begin his new venture. Part of the deal included a non-compete agreement, but that restriction expired last month.
Rucker was replaced in November by John Boudreau, a long-time executive with experience in manufacturing, financing and production. Boudreau said that AIH should produce about 80 bikes per week this year.
Rucker has assembled a team of some of the experienced motorcycle craftsmen and designers that will work with him at the Haltom City, Texas, production facility. He’ll back up that team with a number of handpicked dealers around
the country who will provide the kind of sales and service support that matches the quality and performance of the Rucker Performance bikes themselves.
“While we’re deadly serious about achieving our goals, one of the things I’ve said all along is that we’re going to have fun doing it,” says Rucker. “I’m confident our customers will immediately feel and appreciate it when they see and ride one of our Rucker Performance motorcycles.”
Rucker’s production, showroom and parts facility at 5518 Belknap in Haltom City is a former automobile dealership, but contains features that work well for the new company. For example, the bar stools at the parts counter reflect a bygone era when enthusiasts could sit around and discuss the latest performance ideas or tell stories that had others shaking their heads in disbelief. Rucker insisted that the familiar parts counter stools stay and that his motorcycle and performance experts be available to join in on any discussion or help his customers in any way possible.
Another sign of the Rucker mentality and dedication to his products: before the first new motorcycle was ever built at Rucker Performance, Bill, his wife and a couple of friends took off on a motorcycle journey that lasted several weeks and covered many thousands of miles. Besides seeing some terrific scenery and visiting most of the national parks west of the Mississippi, Bill found something else even more important.
“I wanted to revisit, and recapture, that freedom and spirit of the road that you only find on a motorcycle,” he says. “Those of us who build custom bikes sometimes don’t have the time to actually ride as often as you might think. I wanted to make sure we always remember exactly why we do this and then translate that feeling directly into the custom motorcycles we build for our customers.” psb