PALMYRA — George’s Cycle Shop is among Palmyra’s newest businesses, but owners George Polisse and George Polisse Jr. are hardly new to the business.
George Sr. has been repairing Harley Davidson motorcycles for more than 30 years now, his son George Jr. said. It all started in the 1970s when George Sr. bought a Harley for himself — and loved it. He tore the thing apart and then put it back together again using only the manual. Soon he started modifying them and racing.
“He made a name for himself,” George Jr. said of his dad. “People are still riding bikes dad built for them.”
He opened his shop in the mid 1980s, starting out on Division Street. George Jr. helped out between attending college at Albany State to receive a degree in auto body repair and mechanics and working at Bell’s Collision. It was a little more than 10 years ago that George Jr. built his first bike.
“I attend the college of George Polisse Sr.,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from my dad — I’m still learning.”
One of his dad’s customers owned the building where Ward’s Performance operated on Route 21. The customer inquired with George Sr. if he was interested in buying the building, George Jr. said.
“It was the luck of the draw,” he said. “It just kinda fell into place.”
In March, father and son started cleaning out the building at 2858 Route 21 in Palmyra and did some renovations, taking downs walls and putting up new ones to meet their needs, George Jr. said. It took over two months, and in May, they moved in. They held their grand opening on July 28. Their customers come from all across Wayne and Ontario counties and from as far away as Watertown and Schnectady. Their business is solely about Harleys.
“Anything to do with Harleys, we do it from the ground up,” George Jr. said, adding that their philosophy is: “You stick with one thing and you get real good at it.”
George’s Cycle Shop offers regular service, engine overhauls and restoration for Harley Davidson motorcycles. They are also working to increase their parts inventory and develop a parts store for customers who like to do it themselves. George Jr. said although they are very busy right now, they are looking for winter work to keep the shop open year round. He said they will lower their labor rates October through March at the shop for the off season. which is the perfect time of year to get work done on a bike that you’ve been putting off.
For more information about George’s Cycle Shop, 2858 Route 21N in Palmyra, call 597-5094 or find them on Facebook.