J&P Cycles restores vintage bikes for TV family

Publish Date: 
Jan 9, 2012

ANAMOSA, Iowa - A team from J&P Cycles pitched in to rescue and restore two vintage dirt bikes in record time to help an Iowa family whose farm was being refurbished for the ABC television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,”.

“Four-and-a-half days to rebuild two bikes sounded impossible, and if you’re trying to do this in your garage, it’s not realistic,” said J&P Cycles e-commerce merchandiser Patrick Garvin, who was part of the effort. “Luckily, we have a lot of knowledgeable, dedicated people at J&P Cycles, and they made it a reality within that crazy timeframe.”

The episode was shot in October in West Union, Iowa, an 90-minute drive from Anamosa. Producers called J&P shortly after discovering two vintage motorcycles in the barn on the farm of Audrey Gibbs and her six children.

The J&P team arrived to find two Kawasaki motorcycles, a 1981 KZ750 and a 1980 KZ560, engines dead and parts laying next to them on the dirt floor. They loaded all into a trailer and headed back to the dealership, where the bikes themselves got an extreme makeover.

Background. Seven months after her husband died, Audrey Gibbs suffered a brain aneurism that affected a quarter of her brain and left her legally blind. Doctors still don’t know if she is going to lose her sight completely, or even if she is going to live, but she remains committed to do whatever it takes to raise her kids, according to the show's publicists. Quickly realizing she could not continue her career as a cosmetologist, she attended massage therapy classes, as massage was something she could still practice if she lost her sight.

Though the family owns and lives on a farm, where they rent land to local farmers, their home needed major repairs. Before “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” arrived, the farmhouse had no working toilet, a ceiling that was caving in and a layout that did not work for the family, especially if Audrey loses her sight completely, the show stated.

“And yet, in the photo of the family we saw, they were all together and smiling,” Garvin says. “The first thing that came into my head was, ‘Man, these people have to be so strong.’”

The J&P Cycles crew worked day and night to overcome numerous obstacles to get the motorcycles back in riding condition. Singer Bret Michaels, of the rock band Poison, made a trip to J&P to help the staff put the finishing touches on the bikes and take them back to West Union, where they were part of the TV show’s show-ending surprise for the Gibbs family.

J&P Cycles has added a section to its website including additional footage and details on the motorcycle overhaul.

Posted by Holly Wagner

 

 

 

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