THIS IS A LANDMARK YEAR for Wayne Jaecke. The owner of City Cycle Sales in Junction City, Kan., celebrates 50 years in business while holding claim to 2012 Dealer of the Year title in the Dealernews Top 100 competition.
But this 78-year-old isn’t buzzing from the double-shot of attention. He’s actually somewhat nauseated by it. Just ask his longtime employees, who lovingly describe him as a humble man who never brags. They also use adjectives like quiet, cautious, tenacious, honest, caring, sincere, and fun.
Jaecke (pronounced jay-kee) is the quintessential enthusiast-turned-dealer. The former racer started out in 1962 by opening a small Harley-Davidson shop with limited hours. Five decades and six locations later, he’s owner of a motorcycling mecca housed in a 33,600 sq. ft. building crafted from scratch.
Travelers on I-70 may stop for the storefront, but they return long distances for the personable, affordable service. Most of these customers never meet the man himself. They may even mistake him for a hired hand due to the fact that he’s usually trimming the grass along the road leading to his store. For day-to-day operations are handled by a team of managers who share Jaecke’s high regard for cleanliness, organization and community service.
But there’s no mistaking who’s still the boss. Jaecke shows up daily, runs the monthly Lightspeed reports, and advises the general manager. So whether he likes it or not, Dealernews is going to brighten the spotlight further by taking a closer look at his life and his store.
STONE QUARRY TO HARLEY
Jaecke has a dry, sometimes grim sense of humor. “One time the TV crew from Topeka was doing interviews with small-business people, and they asked me if I was a longtime resident,” he remembers. “I said, ‘Yeah, I live only four blocks from where I was born, and it’s only four more blocks to the cemetery.’”