Choppers a dream come true
for business partners
Hysinger cater to any taste
when it comes to motorcycles
Helen E. McKinney
EMINENCE, Ky. (October 2007) Fate played an
unexpected hand in the meeting of Jim Winn and Bill Hysinger. The two
have been business partners for little more than a year but have struck
up a chemistry that has turned dreams into reality.
The pair united to further Winns business venture, Apollo Choppers
LLC, which builds custom motorcycles. Winns fascination with motorcycles
began more than 40 years ago. Ive been building motorcycles
since I was 15 years old, he said.
Hes also been building bikes for lots of other people as well.
After retiring from his own engineering business, BEC International
in 2003, Winn decided he wasnt cut out to be retired.
He put more time into what had been his own part-time custom motorcycle
business in Buckner, which he had opened in 1992.
by Helen McKinney
left, partners Jim Winn and
Bill Hysinger pose at their Apollo
Choppers shop in Eminence, Ky.,
where Winn builds customized
motorcycles for clients.
In September 2006, he moved his manufacturing business
from Buckner to the former Brunswick plant in Eminence, Ky. Motorcycles
are built from the ground up at a rate of 50 bikes per year.
As production techniques improve, he would like to see 300 choppers
built annually. All work is done in-house, said Winn, 60. All sheet
metal production, framework, painting and bodywork are done by skilled
professionals who strive to give each customer just what they order.
Clientele can feel safe that if they pull up to another chopper, theirs
will not be a duplicate, said Hysinger. Each chopper is custom painted
so that there is not another one on the market with the same color scheme.
They dont want to see one just like theirs.
Apollo has obtained federal and state emissions and safety certifications.
They are a National Auto Dealers Association listed manufacturer.
Apollo Choppers produces high end and middle level priced models. Prices
range from $25,000 to $40,000, said Winn.
When shopping for a custom built motorcycle, most people look for a
nice design, a quality they would also look for when buying a car, he
said. They study wheels, exhaust, price and the overall look, he asserted.
American riders want something that makes them stand out as an
individual, said Winn, who was raised in the Pacific Northwest.
They like to be different and want a well built motorcycle.
Hysinger sees this venture with Winn as a prime opportunity to someday
rival Harley-Davidson. I look for opportunities, said the
entrepreneur, having struck gold when he found Apollo Choppers.
Hysinger has another tie to Henry County in that he formed a partnership
with Our Best Restaurant owner Kenny Way to franchise the Smithfield-based
restaurant. Chains are appearing in Jeffersonville and on Preston Highway
Hysinger also has part ownership in several Hooters restaurants. He
developed Cardinal Club Estates golf course communities, Marriott Hotels
in downtown Louisville and BC Roosters, a sports bar concept chain based
in Dayton, Ohio. Hysinger also has housing developments in Trimble County
and Louisville, and is the owner of Richwood Plantation Bed and Breakfast
on the Ohio River in Milton.
Based on a phone call from former Eminence Mayor Doug Bates, Hysinger
decided to put his money and his tenacity into the business. He had
purchased the former Brunswick Bowling products plant on Ballardsville
Road in Eminence as he began to discuss business plans with Winn.
When Hysinger purchased the building, Bates said he wished Hysinger
would bring in a business that would create jobs within the county,
said Hysinger. He knew Winns goal was to expand the business,
and he could see Winn was meticulous in what he was building.
Hysinger currently rents space inside the 200,000-square-foot facility
to several companies, including the Budd Company and Eminence Speaker.
This leaves Apollo Choppers with 40,000 square feet, plenty of room
for welding, painting, and a graphics department.
With soaring gas prices, Hysinger said this venture was a good
opportunity to break into the market. Both men are concerned with
producing a quality product that will sell itself.
They are searching for dealers in Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis
and Knoxville. Currently, Tom Stinnett RV in Clarksville, Ind., is their
master dealer for the region. Hysinger has known Stinnett for a long
time and because of this was able to negotiate a deal to sell Apollo
Choppers through Stinnett.
He has always possessed a love of motorcycles, which he shares with
sons, Lyle and Lee, who help run the business. They have already begun
production of the 2008 series choppers.
Winn said the business is unique in that it is the only one of its kind
in this part of the country. Our clientele likes this idea.
For more information, visit: www.apollochoppers.com
or call (502) 845-9596.
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