In 1969, when Ronald and Sally Adams opened their Honda Motorcycle dealership, they never imagined the ride that was in store.
"The Dixon family had opened a Harley Davidson Dealership several years earlier, which was the first motorcycle dealership in Statesboro," said Ronald Adams, founder of Honda of Statesboro. "I owned a couple of service stations at the time and saw the rise in popularity for motorcycles.
"Honda had introduced in the U.S. in 1967 the 150 to 350cc scooters which had mixed popularity. But in 1969 they brought the now iconic CB750 to the U.S. market. This 750cc motorcycle was a thing of beauty. It became wildly popular overnight."
This would become one of many "wildly popular" waves the Adam's family rode during their nearly five decades in owning Honda of Statesboro, simply know by most of us as: "The Honda Shop."
There is no question that Ronald is the "father" of the Statesboro motorcycle industry, which now has grown to include four independent motorcycle dealerships, representing five different brands. Two of the four are owned by former employees of Ronald's.
Ronald and Sally's sons, Matt and John, entered the business after they graduated from college more than 20 years ago. When the boys came into the business, they built the current location at 17305 Highway 67 South, near the Kiwanis Fair Grounds.
"The next wild ride in the business was in the early 80s where we saw the introduction of the first ATVs which were three wheelers," Ronald Adams said. "The popularity of these were instant and Honda dominated the three wheel market. Then almost overnight Congress outlawed three wheelers, which gave rise to the four wheeled ATVs. Because Honda didn't have a firm handle on this market share, we began to diversify and bring other brands in."
In addition to Honda, they also carry Kymco, known for their scooters and ATVs, Yamaha personal watercraft, commonly referred to as Jet Skis, and Yanmar tractors, which are known for their small gentlemen's farm tractors and Bad Boy lawn mowers, which include the zero turn mowers.
Motorcycles are still an important part of the business for the Adams family, but ATVs are the number one seller, followed by Yanmar Tractors and Yamaha personal watercraft.
With this diversity, the Adams' felt that it was time to change the name of the business to better reflect the options available for their customers. The business is now named Adams Motor Sports which represents their business model now more accurately.
"Ronald, John and I understand that to continue to grow the business we have to have a larger footprint of options for our customers," said Matt Adams, CFO of Adams Motor Sports. "We feel our new name will help communicate this focus better."
"We will never shift from the things that have made us successful which include providing our customers with a knowledgeable and capable team of employees who always place the customer as our top priority. Knowledge and service has been an important ingredient of our success. That will continue in an expanded way."
It is unusual to see employees as loyal as the Adams' employees are. Their lead service technician, Manzy Bower, has been with them 35 years, along with Lehman Bower, 33 years, and service technician Brad Vincent, 17 years.
Adams Motor Sports stocks parts and they service every product they sell. This, along with their continued diversification of products and strong commitments to our community, positions them well to ride the next wave of growth in their industry.