We like to find motorcycle shops that hearken back to the good ol’ days where there’s a familial vibe in the air…and maybe a dusty jukebox in the corner. Shops that don’t have to adhere to corporate requirements are usually charming, in a concrete-floor and exposed-rafters kinda way. Even more unique is a shop whose owner is also the head mechanic. Chicago’s ACE Motorcycle & Scooter Co. is such a place.
We walked down West Jackson Boulevard toward the big ol’ buildings of downtown Chicago, cameras in hand. Tucked back off the one-way street is ACE’s building; its parking lot would be the setting for “The Friday Night Punch-Up,” a pre-Mods vs. Rockers Chicago event. Old bikes and scoots were gathering, a pig was roasting, the sun was fading and the on-point rockabilly of Pearls Mahone & The One-Eyed Jacks set the tone for the evening.
Once upon a time a girl named Bee was set up on a blind date with a guy known simply as “Motorcycle Chad.” He rode. She didn’t. But she quickly learned to love motorcycling. Their now-mutual interest led to motorcycle matrimony and today, they run ACE Motorcycle & Scooter Company. Chad is the head mechanic, well-versed in cars, bikes and scooters of yesteryear and Bee is the shop manager and self-proclaimed “Parts Mistress” that keeps customers happy and employees on track.
ACE specializes in vintage European motorcycle and scooter service. Peek through the gap in the wall of the retail area and it looks like a classic bike show.
Bee says she likes how the vintage bike n’ scooter crowd can accessorize with really cool apparel. We agree. Their shop has stylin’ leather items from floor to ceiling and a selection of full or open face helmets to match your mod or rocker tastes.
The evening at the Punch-Up was in full swing with a perfect mix of motorbike conversation, good food and rockin’ music. Larry Fletcher, the driving force behind Mods vs Rockers Chicago, brought his always-positive energy and his mobile, “Legendary Ale House” to keep folks hydrated.
It was a great Friday night. Storms were supposed to roll in, but never did. The weather was perfect. And the kinds of bikes you don’t see enough of on the streets showed up to support the start of the weekend’s Mods vs Rockers Chicago festivities. Larry and the Ton Up Club Chicago do a great job of roping in and entertaining vintage aficionados.
And, of course, thanks to people like Chad, Bee and their team, the vintage scene is kept alive and well. So, if you’re wanting to improve your retro fashion sense, ACE can help. If you find yourself in the Chicago area with a slipping clutch, valve clatter, or in a losing a battle with Lucas, look ’em up. They’ll treat your ol’ bike or scoot as if it was their own.
ACE Motorcycle and Scooter Company
1042 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607
Click here to see the Good Spark video featuring ACE Motorcycle & Scooter Company.