After 44 years, a second store for Thornton's Motorcycle Sales

Publish Date: 
Jan 20, 2014

VERSAILLES, Ind. – After 44 years in business, Thornton's Motorcycle Sales is getting ready to open a second store in Madison.

Owner John Thornton, 73, no longer rides, but did for many years and still loves vintage bikes. "I wish I could still ride good, but I can't," he told the Madison Courier.

He started the business in 1970, he started his business in a brick building in Versailles. Since then, it has expanded several times over, adding ATVs, side-by-sides, minibikes, dirt bikes and accessories as well as more services.

"When I started playing with them, there were no dirt bikes, no ATVs, no side-by-sides. All the market that exists today has evolved since then," Thornton said.

Now his daughter, Tammy Schwagmeier, who’s been the general manager since 1998, and her husband, who’s worked at the shop since before the couple married, are working on opening a second location in Madison by March 3.

Thornton said the smaller, 12,000 sq. ft. location has plenty of space for a showroom. The building, he said, was a motorcycle shop in the 1980s.

"It's laid out about perfect for what we're trying to do," Schwagmeier said.

One of the draws of the new location is the amount of traffic, Thornton said. The Versailles store is off the beaten path on East County Road 300.

"Where we bought the building there, the traffic flow is about 100 times what it is here," Thornton said. "We have no drive-by traffic. You're coming here if you came here."

Posted by Holly Wagner