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Business Buss: Hamlin Cycles Of Bethel



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Jim Hamlin came close to opening his own motorcycle shop “two or three times” over the course of his 25-plus-year career. It was not until this May, however, that it all fell into place and Hamlin Cycles, owned by the Newtown native, opened its doors to the public.

Located at 44 Grassy Plain Road (Route 53) in Bethel, the 5,700-square-foot space houses a small showroom, waiting area, parts center, and a service garage specializing in Triumph, Moto Guzzi, and all Japanese brands, as well as Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

New and used riding gear is sold at Hamlin Cycles, and an upstairs loft accessed by a motorized lift provides rental space for over-wintering between 30 and 40 motorcycles, Mr Hamlin said. Hamlin Cycles currently sells used street bikes, mainly in the $3,000 to $7,500 price range.

Service is for street bikes only, with work done by Mr Hamlin, mechanic Jeff Ciurek, and an assistant, in a space that is absolutely pristine. All cleaning products and the oil disposal system are located in a small building at the back of the property.

“It is always this spotless, all the time. I believe if you have a clean shop, your customers have more confidence in you,” he said.

A closed trailer is available to safely transport customers’ machines, and an automated alarm system for the building and property means that customers can be sure their property is well protected while being serviced.

The shop has been well received since opening, Mr Hamlin said, particularly by clients from Danbury, Bethel, Redding, and Newtown. His many years working in this business have created a solid following of customers in Fairfield County, and he hopes new customers will also value the expert service Hamlin Cycles offers. “We are ahead of our expectations, at this point,” said Mr Hamlin.

Trained in auto mechanics at Porter and Chester Institute after graduating from Newtown High School in 1980, and with hands-on training in numerous motorcycle shops in Connecticut and Rhode Island (after receiving a BA in history from WestConn), Mr Hamlin’s goal is to provide superior service.

“I am a craftsman at what I do. So the type of customer that appreciates that kind of skill latches on, and is my customer forever. When they think of motorcycles, they think of me,” Mr Hamlin said. His customers come from all walks of life, he said, from professional trades people to white-collar workers.

Hamlin Cycles is more than just a service shop, though. Mr Hamlin and staff welcome other motorcycle enthusiasts, and he has laid out the shop to provide a friendly atmosphere.

The service counter is designed to resemble a bar, with stools that invite clients to hang out while ordering — parts, not a beer. Comfortable couches, a flat screen television and stereo system, and a coffee table loaded with motorcycle magazines say “Sit down. Put your feet up. Stay for a bit.”

Saturday afternoons, it is not unusual to see Mr Hamlin out back grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for anyone who stops by.

“People with a hobby like to hang out with others with the same interest,” he said.

Hamlin Cycles can be contacted at 203-942-2232 or by e-mailing jim@hamlincycles.com. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, and closed Sunday and Monday.

 “Sunday is so I can ride my motorcycle, Monday is to do all the other things,” laughed Mr Hamlin.

From left, Peter Celona, Hamlin Cycles owner Jim Hamlin, and Jeff Ciurek look over a motorcycle in the shop at 44 Grassy Plain Road, Bethel. Hamlin Cycles opened in May, specializing in servicing Triumph, Moto Guzzi, all Japanese brands, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
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