Michelle: How long have you been in business?
John: "We have been in business since 2004 as Dream Rides in California and 2021 for Dream Rides Tennessee."
Michelle: What is your specialty?
John: "We’re basically an alternative solution to a Harley Davidson dealer. We have used bike sales, apparel, and parts. We have a full service department with some of the best techs in the country. We have a dyno, we do a lot of performance work. Really, we do everything from your scheduled maintenance services, to HD extended warranty work, to turbos, and anything and everything in between."
Michelle: Does your shop specialize in any specific motorcycle or year group?
John: "We really specialize in Evo and up applications."
Michelle: What bikes do you own/ride?
John: "I have a small collection of FXRs. I have an ’82 that’s pretty much stock. The others are all customs. Right now my modern bikes are a 2020 Road Glide and a 2020 Low Rider S that I’ve been drag racing. And I’m about to build a 2017 Road King specifically for the drag strip. My 2020 Road Glide, I have a big 131” motor in that and I’ve ridden it across the country twice and I jacked up the suspension way up to the sky, like we like to do. And that’s awesome for the twisty roads in east Tennessee, but when I go to the drag strip on that bike I’m on my tippy toes and it’s hard to launch because the bike is too tall. The Road Glide and the Low Rider are kind of my daily riders. Now I’m going to build a Road King. I’m not 100% on it yet, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with these turbos so I think we’ll put a turbo on it. It's got a 107” motor right now so we’ll probably keep the short stroke- 4-3/8 stroke with a big bore. So, probably like a 124" with a turbo on it. It would be nice to see 200 plus horsepower."
Michelle: How long have you been riding?
John: "I got my first bike when I was 18 years old. Motorcycles were not allowed in my house as a kid. And I had to wait until I was out of my house to get one. It was one of the first things I did when I moved out; I moved out in November and I bought a bike in December. And I’m 44. My first bike was a Honda Magna 750. I got my first Harley when I just turned 21. It was a 2000 Fatboy."
Michelle: What are your favorite BAKER products?
John: "I’m like the meat and potato kind of guy- there are two things I really like. For me it’s the original OD6 for the 5-speed conversion and you’ve got the hydraulic side cover."
Michelle: Do you have any interesting or funny BAKER related stories?
John: "It’s always nice to see you at shows. Every time you see a BAKER product in my bike, you’re always pointing it out and it always feels good to have somebody notice. Of course there’s a lot of wild Bert Baker stories but here’s a nice one at the hamster dinner this year. He got up and auctioned off any BAKER 6-speed of your choice type deal. It went so well and people were spending money, that he added a second one and if I remember right, he was able to raise over $10,000 for the charity!"
Michelle: Any cool news about your shop?
John: "We’re working on our drag racing program for next year. Another cool program we’re doing right now is something we've done since 2018 in California and this is our second year doing it in TN. We’re doing a bicycle drive. We have a 2010 Road Glide that has been built up by tons of vendors donating products for it. We raffle the bike off and the way it works is you donate a brand new children’s bicycle. And we teamed up with a local charity to distribute it to kids who need them. Last year, we raised 205 bicycles and this year we should get over 300 bicycles. This is one thing I’m really proud of. And next year, I’m really really excited about working with the Knoxville Dragway and setting up a monthly drag racing event. It’s open to all independent shops in the area, we’re going to try and incorporate more than just our shop. I believe in rising tide lifts all boats. We’re just really hammering down continuing to contribute to the motorcycle community and our area. Cycle source will be covering the races."
Michelle: What does American made mean to you?
John: "American made means everything to me. It’s nice to support a company that builds things in America. My wife and I just got a new bedroom set and we decided we were going to buy something that’s made in America and it was hard to do. We ended up making it happen but at the same time supporting American jobs and American craftsmanship is very important to me because if we don’t do that, we’re not going to have any American craftsmen or knowhow. In my opinion, BAKER does more than just produce products. It also has an employee base that is being trained and learning manufacturing who might have the next greatest idea and form their own company with their own employees and just grow American manufacturing. Where if American made companies aren’t around, it’s not going to give people an opportunity to work at them, gain experience, where we would collectively lose the ability to do that."