Being a Native Iowan I am inordinately pleased that a small time Business like Baxter’s is so darn good.
I found Baxter’s in June/ July 2013. I was flying into Des Moines and wanted to ride a Thruxton back to California. I ride plenty of bikes and have decided my favourite, off-the-shelf ride is a Thruxton. I tout myself as a cafe-racer from the ol sckool… low n lean, light n quick. Pervious to that time, I had picked a new Thruxton up from a local dealer here on the east coast of Australia. I then had 2 BMWS… a F800R and a R1200RT, as my main riders. The 800 is a great bike but the “sport” ride is far from a cafe ride and I never liked the bulk n weight 1200. Nice, great bike, just way too big n heavy.
The Thruxton became my favourrritte ride.
So after looking around I found only 1 dealer in Iowa stocking the Thruxton.
I picked my Thruxton up in Marne and did the Iowa to central Cal ride through, Salt Lake, and Lake Taho.
I was soo, soo impressed. The flat lands, the mountains n long highways, rain,a great ride.
I am not a young-dude but I stay fit and the low, naked ride is what I prefer, and the Thruxton did not miss a beat.
I purchased that bike over the phone and email and the whole scene was a breeze. Baxter’s made the whole long distance gig way too easy.
At the end of that ride I gave that Thruxton to my nephew in Cal. He is the only member of my family who digs the cafe style of riding. Everyone else rides heavy and is perplexed by my choice of bikes. but not this guy, he knew immediately and for his smarts got a bike with only 4000 miles on it.
I am a great uncle to have.
As I spend most of my time here in Australia my shed/ warehouse/ museum is here. I must confess – bless me father for I have sinned – I am an unrepentant Britt-Bike guy. Though I still have the F800R, I traded the 1200 for a BMW R9T which i have customised and beaten almost into shape as a cafe-machine.
Theres a 52 Tbird, a 52/ 57 Triton, a 57 Indian, a 58/59 BSA, a 63 T120R, a 69 Norton Atlas, a 72 X75 Hurricane. As well as the Thruxton, the 800 and the R9T.
Excessive, i know but I dig the old bikes, the ol Britt-Bikes.
Last year, I bought another Thruxton in LA and rode to Iowa. Got it serviced at Baxter’s and, on my mother’s instructions, bought a very pretty Bonneville for my elder brother’s birthday.
When Randy Baxter delivered the bike last year I chatted with him about my vintage bikes and bringing them back to show room condition. Randy is a well recognised authority and restorer. In fact a friend of mine in Rockhampton, Australia owns a Baxter bike (a 59 Bonneville) be bought from a museum on the east coast USA.
This year I have managed to get the ol BSA on the table. The BSA is about the flassshhy-est bike from the 50s. It was certainly fast for the times and it looked it too… It was sold under names like “Super Rocket” and “Road Rocket”. So futuristic for the times.
So, after breaking the machine down and deciding what we needed (yep, some dumb shits tried to replace the pistons decades ago and fudged it all up so new barrel, pistons, main bearing, seals, gaskets, cables… not surprising really, but I think the fact that it has not ben operable for years has saved the bike. it is all there, all original, it just needs some TLC.
I placed my order with Baxter’s this morn. I sent them a tentative list and they did the work, gave me advice and led me down the vintage bike rebuild road. It’ll be a few weeks but when the parts come we’ll soon get this puppy back on the road, well, not on the road. Into my museum.
So my hat goes off to the Baxter gang. Job very well done, again.