From passion to professionPublished 11:34am Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Motorcycles have been a passion for Nate Kuiper and Roe Naylor their entire lives, and now they’re a profession.
On June 1, Kuiper, 33, and Naylor, 46, opened Ferrum Steed, a Harley Davidson motorcycle repair shop at 1300 10th Dr. SE in Austin. The shop’s name came from the Italian phrase “ferrum steed,” meaning iron horse. The shop services all motorcycles, but specializes in Harleys, and it also services boats.
Kuiper said growing up around Harleys with his dad and uncles gave him an interest in bikes.
“I’ve been working on dirt bikes and Harleys ever since I could hold a wrench,” he said.
Naylor, from Hayfield, added “I’ve been wrecking on bikes since I was a kid.”
Kuiper graduated from Albert Lea High School, lived in Phoenix for two years and graduated from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. He serviced bikes in Albert Lea but moved his operation to Austin and paired with Naylor to expand. That partnership adds some stability to the business — and makes things a little more fun.
“For the most part, it’s enjoyable because you’ve got somebody to bounce ideas off of,” Kuiper said.
Naylor and Kuiper met at a Geneva bike party where Naylor was a security guard and Kuiper was doing some hard labor as a cleaner. Kuiper’s wife worked for Naylor at his bail bonds company when they then decided to become business partners and open the business of their own.
The duo has now been servicing bikes and boats in Austin for a little more than a week at their new location, behind Acme Bail Bonds. Though some of the logistics are still coming together, Kuiper said Ferrum Steed can now tackle anyone’s service needs. The duo say they are dedicated to the business and the community.
For more information call, 507-434-9565.