American motorcycles are a lifelong passion.
Originally from the small island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Bill Miko was “born to ride.”Â With a passion for American motorcycles, the “bike” was Bill’s first love.
“When I was 12, my father went to Cape Cod Motor Sports, the local Honda dealer, and bought four brand new motorcycles: a 175 for my step mom, a SL70 for me, a 50 for my brother and a 450 for himself. I rolled my new SL70 out of the back of the truck, put my helmet on, started it up, let the clutch out and flipped over backwards! That was my introduction to riding.”
Bill got right back on that iron horseâ€¦and he rodeâ€¦traveling every dirt road that surrounded the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod.
His father opened a Harley dealership when Bill was 15.Â ”It was April 1, my birthday.Â We opened for business (Harley Davidson Cycle Center) in a small building in Hyannis and that set my career path for the next 30 years.” Bill began his job-in-training immediately at his dad’s shop as a learn-as-you-go mechanic.Â ”I worked on Harleys and the Aermacchi lightweights that wore the Harley name 125cc, 175cc, and 250cc 2-cycles.”
Bill “lived” at the bike shop, working nights and weekends throughout high school, and after graduation, he attended the Harley Service School at the factory in Milwaukee. “Harley gave me two and a half years of experience-credit toward my service rating for those years of work as a teenager. At that time, I was the youngest to ever attend the service school.Â The hard work paid off.”
When he returned home from service school, Bill became the head mechanic at his family’s dealership. “I must have done over 100 valve jobs in those days. I have built hundreds of motors and transmissions over the years and completed tons of service work. I have changed more tires and packed more wheel bearings than I can count.”
Bill Miko built a name for himself and the family business.Â His reputation enabled him and his father to relocate to a 6000 sq. ft. custom-built outlet in Bourne, MAâ€¦and that opened an entirely new door in bike business for Bill.Â ”Once we were in the new shop, I started building custom bikes for customers and friends. I liked the creative process. I built my first custom bike from a 1984 XR 1000.” The debut “Bill Miko Original” championed every show he entered, including the 50th Anniversary Rats Hole Show in Florida. Since then, two Bill Miko custom-designed bikes have been featured in American Iron Magazine and Harley Davidson recognized Miko with a Master of Technology certificationâ€”the highest ranking in its PHD Program.Â ”At the time, there were only 22 technicians in the world that obtained that rating. I’m pretty proud of that.”
With a doctorate in Harley Davidson mechanics and technology and specialized expertise in Shovelheads with the new revolution engine, the family business became one of the top-selling dealers in the country in the ’90s.
Heading down the road to a new endeavor, Bill Miko shares his passion for the sport and his knowledge of the bike with listeners across the nation as co-host of the Motorcycle Radio Network.
“American motorcycles are my lifelong passion. Working on bikes has gotten me through some tough times; motorcycles have been like a best friend, always there when you need them. There’s nothing better than going into the garage and working on your next project.”