STILLMAN VALLEY – When you walk into Twisty’s Cycle, you know you are in a motorcycle shop.
There are motorcycles in every direction you look – covering a variety of brands and sizes – snowmobiles and even a scooter or two. There are tools and engine parts everywhere.
In the middle of it all you will find owners Dan Saathoff and K.C. Baie. The two, smiling and obviously at home in the garage, are what Saathoff simply called “grease monkeys.”
Twisty’s Cycle opened in Stillman Valley on Washington Street last August. They opened the business after their former employer, Bob-Jo Cycle in Sycamore, closed.
“I was there for 25 years,” Baie said.
“They closed the doors,” said Saathoff, who was there for about 15 years. “They went out of business.”
That was at the beginning of 2017. The two decided that going into business themselves might be possible.
“This building came up for rent, basically,” Saathoff said. “The rent wasn’t too bad so we decided to jump on that. I live right here in town, so we just kind of, let’s try it out.”
He said as with any business – especially a new business – things have been a little up and down so far.
“But we’re going pretty steady,” he said. “In the middle of winter, we are still somewhat busy.”
The men said they work on pretty much any motorcycle, but also do plenty of snowmobiles and even some personal watercraft.
They will also store motorcycles for the winter for folks and keep them in good running shape.
Saathoff said the business can also “compete with all the dealerships around.”
“We can price match tires. We price match parts – from the Internet too,” he said, adding that if people have a quote form a dealer, bring it to Twisty’s and they can match or beat it.
One thing the two have going for them is a solid reputation, Baie said.
“Because we were the last two mechanics at Bob-Jos, we ended up having a real big cult following,” he said. “We were known for our name.”
That has brought customers to Twisty’s from not only Ogle County, but also Sycamore, the suburbs and even downtown Chicago.
The reason is they will work on bikes old and new, and also will give customers the personal touch.
“We’ve always had a one-on-one, personal relationship with our customers,” Baie said. “You come in and talk directly with the mechanics who are working on your bike.”
And even though they have old school mechanical skills, they two also keep up with technology. A recent purchase was a 3-D printer, where they can print plastic bike parts for customers.
Not bad for a couple of grease monkeys.