Vintage restorations important sideline for San Diego motorcycle dealer

Publish Date: 
Jun 27, 2012
By Mike Vaughan

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - There are not a lot of dealers who, in addition to their regular line of motorcycles, sell and service vintage motorcycles. Many dealerships even refuse to work on bikes from their own OEM supplier that are older than 10 years.

One dealer bucking that philosophy is Mark McCaffery of Rocket Motorcycles in San Diego. Rocket’s been in business since 1980 when McCaffery (left) established it as a parts and service business. In 1984 he partnered with a long-time Vincent, Velocette and BSA dealership, Motorcycle Equipment, and continued as a parts and service outlet until 1994 when he became one of the new Triumph’s first dealerships. In 2005 he added Husaberg, and in 2010 Royal Enfield to the list of products he sells and services.

Rocket is located just north of downtown San Diego, and while not visible from the freeway, it’s a short ride away from Interstate 5, so it’s a pretty convenient location.

The moment you step into the store’s 3,300 sq. ft. showroom you can tell that the bread-and-butter line is Triumph. A representative model of every current Triumph is on display, along with merchandising of Triumph outerwear and accessories. Against the far left wall is the Royal Enfield area, identified with the company’s large historic checkerboard POS. Squeezed in between is Husaberg.

Along the front wall are a couple of early ‘60s Triumphs and a Ducati. McCaffery explains that several customers simply leave their bikes there for display. He services them once a year to make sure everything is working properly and that they’re oil-tight and run.