SPRINGVILLE -- Rick Salisbury shouldn’t have worried that no one would come to his ribbon-cutting party.
The grand opening of Legends Motorcycle Emporium on Saturday brought huge crowds of motorcycle enthusiasts, art fans and curious visitors to Springville.
“I heard about it from my friend and rode down from American Fork,” said Cody Meryhew, a member of the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association. “I had no idea it was this great.
"I’ll definitely be coming back to Legends and bringing more of our members. I know a lot of our older guys would love to see the old bikes. A lot of them are diehard Harley lovers.”
World War II veteran Dick Wiley, 88, sat watching the celebration after touring the building. He rode his Kawasaki 650 until just five years ago.
“The governor ought to be here today. He opens lots of buildings, and this one that Rick Salisbury has built is going to be famous,” Wiley said. “It’s going to put Springville on the map for motorcycle enthusiasts.”
Several motorcycle clubs came to the grand opening to see Salisbury’s personal collection of motorcycles and view his art collection displayed in the new museum upstairs.
J.P. "Chief" Lilly, founder of B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse), said he wouldn’t have missed the event and a chance to support Salisbury.
“Rick has our full support. We went on a child ride this morning, which is what we do to help kids, but then we came over here to support Legends,” Lilly said. “When we were struggling and starting out, Rick gave us four custom-made choppers to auction off. He got right in and helped us when we needed him. Without his help we might not have made it.”
Lilly then made a prediction for the future of the Legends facility, located just off Interstate 15 near the 400 South exit to Springville.
“This new Legends is going to be a gathering place for all the different motorcycle clubs and riding organizations," he said. "It’s in a great location close to the freeway and it’s just huge.”
The building was vacant for several years after a car dealership left. Salisbury purchased it and spent a year completely transforming it into a shop, showroom and museum. He moved from a former facility on Springville’s Main Street so he could have enough space for his collection and his business.
“We were at our old building since 1999,” Salisbury said. “This new location has more space for our shop and to show my collection.
"I started in 1979 with a FL Harley. That was the first bike I bought, but I have more than 100 bikes now. I needed a place big enough to have them all in one place.”
Salisbury has several rare motorcycles, including a 1910 Yale and a 1906 Indian. The public is invited to come into Legends to view the collection and visit the free museum upstairs.
Salisbury has also been collecting paintings and sculptures for several years, and designed an art gallery to display them in the new building.
“I have been collecting paintings by David Uhl from Colorado, Scott Jacobs, Tom Fritz and Jeff Decker from here in Springville," Salisbury said. "Jeff’s sculpture in front of our building is one of only two in the world.”
Decker unveiled his heroic-size sculpture of a jubilant rider on a 1930 DAH Harley-Davidson Hill Climber cycle at the grand opening. It is an artist’s copy of the original, which is at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. The 16-foot bronze, titled "By the Horns," took more than a year and a half to complete.
“On rare occasion, I have sculpted subjects other than motorcycles, but this is my voice, my passion and my chosen subject matter,” Decker said. “It is honest. I gather motorcycle history in all forms and choose not to wander into other subject matters.”
“Any artist lucky enough to have a patron such as Rick Salisbury can count himself fortunate,” he added. “Throughout the ages artists have relied on the validation and succor patrons provide, and it is no different today. As we are both residents of Springville, his support has been particularly important; his friendship and mentorship have stirred me along.”
Legends started as a shop for customizing and repairing motorcycles, and the expanded shop will offer those same services to customers. The business will also have bikes for sale.
Employee Steve Peterson has been with Legends for eight years. He is excited to continue his design, fabrication and specialized paint work at the new facility.
“This started as Rick’s hobby, but he’s built into a business,” Peterson said. “The first bike I ever built for Rick from the ground up is here on display. It’s a custom chopper with hundreds of hours.
"The latest one is a green and cream 1947 Indian Chief that we designed to keep the old-school bobber look.”
One of the surprises in the new building is an old-time classic barbershop run by Steven Roccazzella and Dayna Boshard. Both are master barbers who are bringing back the gentleman’s barber experience.
“We don’t just give a haircut or a straight razor shave, we give an experience,” Roccazzella said. “We’re bringing back something men have been missing. We use hot lather, steam towels and a straight razor shave. We do free hand hair cuts and give advice to help our clients look and feel good.
"Our shop is called ‘The Refinery’ and we offer a high-end barber service.”
Future plans include completing a restaurant on the south side of the building in time for the Cannonball Race that starts in Florida and ends in Washington state in September. The race is for bikes made in 1937 and earlier, and will have 120 riders coming through Springville as part of the route.
For more information about Legends Motorcycle Emporium, call (801) 489-0889 or visit legendsmotorcycles.com.