Jun 01, 2023
Motorcycle Clinic riding high for 50 years
To say that Brian Dady has plenty of gas in the tank is an understatement. Dady, owner of The Motorcycle Clinic in Kissimmee, was recently honored with the city’s Ruby Award, celebrating 50 years in
To say that Brian Dady has plenty of gas in the tank is an understatement.
Dady, owner of The Motorcycle Clinic in Kissimmee, was recently honored with the city’s Ruby Award, celebrating 50 years in business.
He was showered with the accolades on Aug. 15, during a Kissimmee City Commission meeting. The Motorcycle Clinic specializes in motorcycle sales, motorcycle parts, repair service, and customization.
Dady embraced the meritorious moment.
“It means that our wonderful community acknowledges the importance of small business owners,” Dady said. “We take great pride that we can make it this long with the support of our community and our home (city of Kissimmee) who has recognized us for our efforts. Our community has experienced so much growth in these past few years.”
The city’s Economic Development Department celebrates local businesses with the Ruby Award to celebrate long-standing economic success stories in the community.
“We applaud businesses like The Motorcycle Clinic for achieving a milestone that few shops manage to reach,” said Tom Tomerlin, Kissimmee’s economic development director. “The Motorcycle Clinic has survived decades worth of changing consumer demands and economic cycles. Most recently, the pandemic worsened the odds of business survival, yet they’ve built a company that has prevailed through it all.”
Looking back, Dady was just a young man when his love for motorcycles took root.
“As a teenager, I had a passion for two wheels that was just starting to show. My first form of transportation with a motor was a motorcycle,” Dady said. “I always had a mechanical side even at a very young age so that lead to eventually start to learn how to work on them myself. Ever since that time I knew I loved being on two-wheels. Now, I get to do what I love and make a living at the same time.”
The Motorcycle Clinic was founded June 1, 1973, by Finis Oakley and his wife, Christi. Finis opened a shop in a rented warehouse on Donegan Avenue in Kissimmee. He only had one mechanic as the business started to grow.
“I was young new rider and loved being around the shop, Christi referred to me as that ‘Indian kid,’ because I had long black hair to the middle of my back,” Dady said.
In 1975, the mechanic left for vacation, but never returned. In the mechanic’s absence, Finis worked on bikes, trying to keep the business running. One afternoon, Christi and Dady were talking. She said she wasn’t sure about the shop’s future.
“I casually mentioned that this is something I would love to do and got on my bike and left not thinking anything about it. Later found out she told Finis that he needed to talk to that Indian kid, there was something about him,” Dady said.
The next morning, Finis visited Dady at his home and offered him a job.
“I always said that Christi seen something in me that I didn’t even see myself,” said Dady, who started at the shop on Aug. 25, 1975.
“The new era started because he had hired some one with as much passion as he had and the drive to make it happen,” Dady said. “I was a sponge soaking up all the knowledge he had to offer. I was eager and willing to learn and asked so many questions and became annoying.”
Finis walked Dady over to a bookcase where all the manuals were kept.
“I can still here his words in my head, ‘Son you see all these manuals they hold the answers to all your questions and the day you learn to extract the answers from them, there is nothing on this earth that can hold you back!’ I never looked back and have been selfteaching myself ever since that day. Wow, thinking back on all this gives me goosebumps.”
Dady’s knowledge of bikes and all aspects of motorcycle repair grew. He also began understanding the business side of the shop.
Finis and Christi were ministry gospel singers, so they often traveled and left Dady to run the shop, sometimes for several weeks. So, Dady hired some employees.
Then, tragedy struck. Christi’s brother was killed on an oil rig in Texas, and he was the caretaker for Christi’s father. Finis said he was going to have to close to care for the man. But Dady was adamant about keeping the shop open.
“I told Finis to give me the keys. I will run the shop and I will deposit your check in your account every week,” Dady said. “They left with no idea of when they would be able to return. So, the era of being thrust into the world of 100 percent running a business fell on my shoulders.”
During the late 1990’s, through the mid to late 2000s, Dady was starting to build and tune hiperformance bikes, pushing the limits on Harley Davidson and t-metric bikes. He also built an arsenal of special services offered.
Dady said he’s been blessed by his clientele throughout his business journey.
“First and foremost, I would like them all to know how much I appreciate every one of them. I would thank them for being a part of one man’s dream,” Dady said. “I always think of them as part of part of a dream come true that has offered like-minded individuals the chance to work and enjoy what The Motorcycle Clinic had to offer. As I’ve said many times before. When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”
Past Ruby Award winners include: Goodwin Realty & Associates (2019); Rental World, Bouchard Insurance, Lewis Music Store, and the Osceola News-Gazette (2017); Roy’s Safe & Lock (2016); Fat Boys’ Bar-B-Q, Orange Bowl Lanes, Osceola Animal Clinic and Shore’s (2015); Conrad & Thompson Funeral Home and Makinson Hardware (2014).