Business Reviews

Bear’s Hiway Classics - Old School Cool

Written by  April 30, 2007

Of all the phrases I hear these days related to motorcycles, I think “old school” gets on my nerves the most. Old school is used to describe something from exactly what period? If you have been riding five years, is something six years old considered old school? I doubt it. For the true definition of the phrase, at least as far as I am concerned, you need to think along the lines of something being “the way it was in the past.”

In my mind Bear’s Hiway Classics and owner Barry “Bear” Webber are old school. Bear is a no bullshit type of guy. He says what he means and doesn’t try to blow sunshine up your ass. If you want to do something to your scooter that makes no sense he will tell you straight up that it is a bad idea. Bear doesn’t smile a lot, but don’t worry—when he does, you can be assured it is genuine. He also doesn’t waste your time with a lot of chit chat. He uses a lot fewer words to convey a point than most and tends to get straight to the point. I like that. Bear’s manner is serious, and it lets me know he isn’t wasting my time. Bear comes from a mold of men who still hold “their word” in high regard; something sorely lacking these days. I have lived in the Kansas City metro area for over 20 years and have never heard anyone be anything but totally pleased with Bear’s work. My friends Gary and Sean both have had Bear work on their Ironhorse bikes recently and they were completely satisfied.

Several things are needed for any shop to be successful these days. While many believe filling a niche is the way to reward, Bear chose a different path. “From Flatheads to Fatheads” is the shop motto. In other words Bear will work on any air-cooled V-Twin from flatheads to Twin-Cams. Whether your V-Twin is all Harley-Davidson or one of the many other H-D clone engines, Bear has you covered. You get a good feeling when an MMI graduate with over 20 years of professional wrenching under his belt is working on your baby. Bear’s is not only a repair shop but a full-on frame and fabrication shop. Technician Travis Wright and fabricator Jon Gallagher along with Bear have got you covered in any direction. The shop motto “If we don’t have it, we’ll get it…if we can’t get it, we’ll make it” lets you know you are in good hands.

Another key ingredient to a successful shop is your parts person. Try walking into your local dealer’s parts department and ask for parts or advice on a Shovelhead, Panhead or Knucklehead. Good luck. Bear knew the best way to get the parts his customers and he himself needed, was to have his shop radar equipped. That’s right Radar is behind the counter. Everybody knows Radar, and many of us have been dealing with him since his days back at F.O.G. Cycle. Radar’s 15 years of experience makes sure you get solid advice on your parts and receive what you order. If you need a high-dollar part and want Radar to beat somebody else’s best price, all you have to do is ask; he will deal, I know—he has helped me several times. Radar’s parts inventory may surprise you a little. While there is a lot of chrome available, hard parts are the bread and butter. Radar’s motto is “people will wait for chrome,” and he is, of course, right on the money. Nothing is more frustrating than taking your broken-down putt to a shop that has a million dollar chrome inventory but not the coil you needed.

Somebody once said, “Behind every good man is a good woman.” At Bear’s Hiway Classics this has never been more true. Bear’s wife Leah, is the glue that holds the business together, and according to Radar, she keeps the boys in line.

Not only is Bear’s Hiway Classics a parts and service center, but it is a dealer as well. Bear’s is the authorized dealer for Big Bear Choppers. You won’t find any Big Bear dealers in Nebraska, Kansas, or Iowa. The Big Bear Choppers they have in stock made me drool the last time I visited. (Mental note, ask Mike for a raise.) Bear always has some other V-Twins for sale as well, so you need to check back often because he also has some very nice “old school” bikes available on occasion.

If you need your V-Twin serviced or repaired, be it Harley-Davidson, Titan, Indian, Ironhorse or any of the dozens of makes, Bear’s Hiway Classics is the place to go. Looking for a ground-up build, or a frame straightened or modified? Bear is your man. In Bear’s case, “old school” is a good thing. Bear’s Hiway Classics accepts all aftermarket warranties as well as major credit cards except American Express. Check them out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and don’t forget to join Bear and the crew on Wednesday evenings for their bike night at The Landing in Liberty

By Loney Wilcoxson