Gunners Garage

Part Dealership and Part Museum

Steve Kasten’s S-K Service, in Hatley, Wis., (www.s-kservice.com) is part motorcycle dealership and part museum. The blue and white building that houses the business is like a holdover from the ‘30s or ‘40s. It has the design of a modified T-Rib Quonset hut, a building type developed from the World War I era Nissen hut, with added vertical walls. This architectural style was started around 1941. Our guess would be that the origins of the place are automotive and that Studebakers, Hudsons and Packards were probably repaired there once upon a time. However, S-K Service has become a well-known motorcycle dealership and service center among collectors of Japanese and European bikes. It is also the site of a large motorcycle swap meet and auction held annually in downtown Hatley. The interior of the S-K Service building is decorated with old photos and motorcycle racing posters that have an authentic look. You might think that someone forgot about them for years, before they became collectible. It seems like they were just never taken down and then became historical artifacts. S-K Service houses bikes that bring back memories of good times we had growing up. How about a 1968 Wards Riverside like the one your parents selected for you from the Montgomery-Wards Catalog? For those who want to go a bit faster, there’s may be an ’83 Triumph TSS750 or an ’84 Yamaha R2350. S-K’s swap meet and auction attracts visitors from all over the Midwest and is a bit different than many collector-bike venues in that there usually aren’t many Harleys in sight. “This a business for enthusiasts of Japanese and European/British bikes,” Steve Kasten told Old Cars Weekly. “And racing buffs.” Kasten’s auction isn’t for millionaires. Some bikes sold for as little as $400 in 2008. Kasten recommends the Vintage Japanese and European Motorcycle Club (www.vinjapeuromcclub.org) as a good organization for his clients to join.  According to the March issue of Walneck’s Classic Cycle Trader (www.walnecks.com) the dates for the 22nd Annual Motorcycle Swap Meet and Auction will be May 1 and May 2 with the auction on Saturday only, starting at 11:30 am. Admission is free and vendor spaces are $40. For information email Bill Kasten at akasten@dishmail.net.

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