~ By Suzette Martinez Standring
~ Photography by Mindi Sokoloski
Today, motorcycle riding is a family sport, attracting more female enthusiasts and younger riders. Whether it’s about cruising down to the Cape or motocross racing, the folks at Pilgrim Power Sports live and breathe motorcycles. Each staff member is active in motocross, road racing, GNCC and J-Day Series racing. Located at 74 Camelot Drive in Plymouth, the Kawasaki dealership sells motorcycles, ATV’s, UTV’s, Jet Skis®, parts, accessories, and clothing. Service and repairs are offered on all makes and models of motorcycles, and Pilgrim Power Sports is the largest dealership on the South Shore.
Owner Paul Grimes, 46, recalled his first dirt bike, a 1975 Kawasaki KV 75, from when he was ten years old. He graduated to more powerful machines as an adult road racer. His personal collection includes a variety of Kawasaki motorcycles, a brand he favors because of low maintenance, technological advances, and affordability. He said, “Kawasaki is always striving to get better. They stay one step ahead of the competition. For Japanese manufacturers, Kawasaki has the second largest market share next to Honda.”
The dream of owning a motorcycle dealership came true in 2010 when Grimes bought Pilgrim Power Sports, a four-year-old company. The new president transformed the company with enthusiasm, experienced staff, and customer service.
“The previous owners didn’t even own motorcycles! We’re all motorcycle enthusiasts here and we do it for love. I know customers are looking for competitive pricing and good service. Here you are getting help from professional riders. We only recommend what we actually use,” said Grimes, an expert road racer since 1992.
Motorcycling creates friendships and family bonding time. During the summer, enthusiasts can enjoy mini-rides that begin at Pilgrim Power Sports. They cruise along Long Pond Road to the Sagamore Bridge Circle and back, or there are longer rides through Cape Cod. Grimes and his wife, Allison, bring their three kids to motorcycle races and events. Their 14-year-old son Justin will be racing in an ATV competition. Riding instills confidence and owner Grimes said, “Getting good grades and doing well in school is a great motivator for kids who want to race on the weekend. Not every kid is interested in ball sports, but they might love motor sports. This place is a Norman Rockwell painting for bikers.”
Pilgrim Power Sports has fitted bikes to kids as young as four. There are a range of Kawasaki bikes – 110CC to 140CC – for ages five through fifteen. Many women and novice riders like the Ninja® 300, a new sport bike, which offers a better fit and the feel of a super bike without the frightening aspect of too much power. The dealership is affiliated with Training Wheels, which offers courses to get licensed for riding street bikes.
“The collaboration here makes sure anyone, especially kids, are on the right bike, properly fitted with the right gear, and getting the right instruction. You are a lot less likely to get hurt because we make sure you get all of the above. I think it’s safer than football,” said Grimes.
The showroom displays new model Kawasakis – dirt bikes, ATV’s, UTV’s street bikes, cruiser motorcycles, and Jet Skis®. The latest in clothing and protective gear from great brands are always offered, such as Fox, Alpinestars, Arai, and Shoei, as well as hot new equipment like Go Pro, a wearable camera that gives riders a fun way to video riding experiences and to take photos. Pilgrim Power Sports also offers parts and accessories online and on eBay.
Serious racers and seasoned riders come to Pilgrim Power Sports to tap into the knowledge and experience of its staff. Employee Bob Santheson, 37, is a GNCC championship rider and competes in the J-Day Series, a combination of motocross and woods racing and he is proud of his stepson, Noah, who finished first in the “Mini B Champ” of the 2012 J-Day Series.
Among motorcycle technicians Rene Goulet, John Creedon, Colin Harpur, and manager Ryan Pyne there is a collective experience of over sixty years.
This year, Pilgrim Power Sports will sponsor pro rider A. J. Catanzaro of Connecticut for the national Supercross Racing Series, which is televised worldwide.
Consider motorcycle racing as a fitness sport. General Manager Jeremiah Ellis races motocross, which is a closed circuit course featuring jumps, bumps, and turns. It is a 40-minute race of speed and endurance as he battles the outdoor elements, the track, and other competitors. It was motorcycle racing that got him into shape. “I went to business management school but I was obsessed with motorcycles and dirt bikes from as long as I can remember. I was always overweight, but I lost 60 pounds when I was 19 and began riding.”
Pilgrim Power Sports is a Kawasaki boutique dealership for passionate motorcyclists as well as a new generation just discovering the joys of riding. Grimes said, “We’re here to benefit the community and to raise an awareness of motorcycles. My mission is to change a negative perception of motorcycling to what it really is, a family oriented sport.”
Pilgrim Power Sports
74 Camelot Drive, Suite 2, Plymouth
Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Sunday and Monday