Two Motorcycle Legends Left Us. John Parham, Founder J&P Cycles. Alain Sputhe, Founder Of Sputhe Engineering.

04-21-17. I am too sad. I will not write or comment further… (photos @ H. Roesler)

04-22-17 Industry Mourns the Death of J&P Cycles Founder John Parham

Team members at Motorcycle Aftermarket Group and J&P Cycles mourn the death of J&P Cycles founder John Parham, who lost his battle with pulmonary fibrosis on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

John was a biker’s biker, a successful business owner and passionate promoter of motorcycling. He left a legacy that benefits every rider in America and around the world.

“John was a very special person,” said Andy Graves, President and CEO at MAG. “So many people knew John as a retailer, an event promoter, a custom bike aficionado, a vintage bike fan or the driving force behind the National Motorcycle Museum. Few people have accomplished so much for so many riders in their lifetime.”

John founded the company that became J&P Cycles in 1979. He grew both his retail stores and his mail order business while expanding his efforts to promoting races and vintage motorcycle events throughout the country. He led the industry by adding the J&P Cycles catalog of over 100,000 parts and accessories onto the internet resulting in DealerNews magazine naming J&P Cycles the “World’s Largest Aftermarket Retailer.” With over 300 team members, the success and growth of J&P Cycles also strengthened communities including: Anamosa, Iowa, Ormond Beach, Florida and Sturgis, South Dakota.

John’s passion for motorcycling and motorcyclists led to amassing one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of motorcycles, in excess of 300 machines. Moving the National Motorcycle Museum to Anamosa, Iowa enabled John to share his passion with riders from all over the world. John was inducted into both the AMA Hall of Fame (2015) and the Sturgis Museum’s Hall of Fame (2009).

“John built J&P Cycles out of his passion, and that passion has spurred so many others to love motorcycling just like he did,” said Kevin Strawbridge, President of MAG Retail Group. “We’ll work hard to continue his legacy by making motorcycling a special experience for generations to come.”

He is survived by his wife Jill, son Zach, daughter-in-law Bree and two grandchildren. Zach is the General Manager and Vice-President of Merchandising at J&P Cycles.

A celebration of John’s life and legacy is being planned. Anticipating what would be John’s choice, friends are encouraged to sign up for and support the organ donation program in their community and continue their support of the National Motorcycle Museum.

30 Responses to “Two Motorcycle Legends Left Us. John Parham, Founder J&P Cycles. Alain Sputhe, Founder Of Sputhe Engineering.”

  1. 1 .357 Magnum Apr 21st, 2017 at 11:12 am

    We’ll miss you, John! Thanks for all the parts, and for the cohesion you brought to everyone in the customizing (and even just motorcycle maintenance) community.

  2. 2 X HD Rider Apr 21st, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Extremely Sad News.

  3. 3 BOSS HAWG Apr 21st, 2017 at 11:40 am

    So sad John lost his long battle with pulmonary fibrosis.

    John and Alan will both be missed deeply within the industry. May they rest in peace.

    My condolences and Prayers to all of their loved ones!

    Boss Hawg

  4. 4 George Apr 21st, 2017 at 11:40 am

    2 of the best ever. A generation of good memories.

  5. 5 Doc Robinson Apr 21st, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I did not know Alain but I did know John and he was a thorough gentleman, a rare breed in these days, and a consummate businessman to boot with a sincere love of motorcycles. Our world is lessened by his passing. Our prayers and best wishes go out to Jill.

  6. 6 domino Apr 21st, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    …………… Alan was a genius …………………

  7. 7 Chief Waldo Apr 21st, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Wow! This is quite a surprise… Sad news.

  8. 8 Danny Fitzmaurice Apr 21st, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    We love both of these distinguished gentlemen that one could write a book on their lives.

    John was a dedicated family and businessman that will be sorely missed by the motorcycle community. He and his family accomplished amazing things at J&P and their team at the museum is one of the best visits one could ever make.

    Alan work path was different yet made with the same level of dedication, mostly towards product development and racing. As a young fellow we followed Alan work closely. The Sputhe Alloy Dual Carb Café racer ridden by Vance Breese was one of the fasted motorcycles of its time. Alan was an innovator, accomplished a lot with limited resources.

    Many lasting memories of a two great men

    Godspeed Alan and John

  9. 9 Michael Carley Apr 21st, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    A true loss how many others serviced others for so long with distinction

  10. 10 Adam Apr 22nd, 2017 at 5:19 am

    It’s a terrible loss

  11. 11 Dale Apr 22nd, 2017 at 7:14 am

    RIP, you will be missed

  12. 12 Mutt Apr 22nd, 2017 at 7:29 am

    John was simply a class individual, he will be missed.

  13. 13 Big Red Apr 22nd, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I remember John when he was selling used parts out of a trailer at the Hawkeye Downs motorcycle swap meet. He was one of the greats.

  14. 14 Mike Kiwi Tomas Apr 22nd, 2017 at 8:01 am

    John was a true gentleman who was honest and sincere. He helped so many in the industry and loved helping the small guy. He loved his local community and cared for people. I always enjoyed my chats with John. He loved old bikes. I will always miss his happy greeting smile but I am thankful of the extra life he got from his transplant that he was able to still share himself with others to benefit from too.
    Alan Sputhe was a great innovator who could do so much with so little. He was like the mad scientist of our industry. I will cherish the things we created together. Alan and John are 2 great guys who snapped the industry in 2 different ways. So sorry for your loss Jill and Zach.

  15. 15 Pat Simmons Apr 22nd, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Wonderful men who brought so much to so many. Our hearts go out to their families during this difficult time.

  16. 16 Mikea Apr 22nd, 2017 at 8:34 am

    A true biker. He would talk bikes with anyone at anytime. Darn…..

  17. 17 chuck Apr 22nd, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Knew john for years when ever he was in Daytona he always went out of his way to come an say hello to me an my wife great man will be missed

  18. 18 bilbo baggins Apr 22nd, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’ve lost a 30 year friend. Ride safe John, you deserve the rest.

  19. 19 count 1 Apr 22nd, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I have known John, Jill and Zach for 25 years and we have lost a true patron of the motorcycle world, a man who loved the industry and the people in it. I will miss John and all he did for the world of the motercycle.
    Alan Sputhe the mad scientist as Kiwi Mike said, I had many occasions to talk with Alan and he had a crazy engineering mind that can make anything work.
    We are losing alot of great peolpe in our industry and these are people that made our industry.
    God speed gentlemen, see you on the other side.

  20. 20 chicagojohn Apr 22nd, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Rest In Peace Brother

  21. 21 Daytona Donnie Apr 22nd, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I remember John pillaging thru the back of my 1945 Dodge flat bed outside of Marlon Klunders AMR swap meets in Minneapolis , John ….let me at least get it inside and unpacked .. We were young ..and little did we know ..what paths were yet to come .. John’s path was nothing less than incredible ,,,,, We Lost another good friend and former employee of his, Bruce Grove ….I have no doubts they are talkin bikes . to the Family, best of the best for all of you …Truly a man to celebrate

  22. 22 Johnny Gypo Apr 22nd, 2017 at 11:36 am

    From working out of a garage and an old van, to becoming the world’s largest………….a true testimony to a great couple. I’m sad.
    RIP John. Prayers to you Jill and family.

  23. 23 Onno "Berserk" Wieringa Apr 23rd, 2017 at 3:34 am

    This sad, very sad news came as a huge shock. John and I were friends for more than 25 years. He had a huge influence in my life, not only when he owned J&P Cycles, but also after he started his National Motorcycle Museum, in which I spent many, many days.

    I visited John and Jill only a few weeks ago, and we had a great day, we had breakfast, we toured the museum as we always did, and talked motorcyles of course.

    It was always great to visit John in the National Motorcycle Museum, we always sat on the bench in the Knievel display, his favourite place in his museum. We spent many hours, many days in his museum, the good thing was that he and I did not need to talk much to understand each other, he showed me new bikes in his collection and we always had dinner together, with Jill and G-Rat, who most of the time rode with me during our roadtrips through the USA. Anamosa was almost like coming home after long days on our bikes, a safe place for us and our bikes, and John took us to the airport after we spent a couple of days there.

    He was such a kind and friendly man, we left our bikes many winters in storage in his place. I will deeply miss him, he had a huge influence on my life, during the J&P days and even more when he had the museum moved to this location.

    Fuck, it’s hard to believe…. Jill, Zach and family, you’re in our thoughts, you can be proud of John!

    Onno “Berserk” Wieringa

  24. 24 Sukoshi Fahey Apr 23rd, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    John will always have a place in our hearts. Hugs to Jill, Zach and family and everyone at J&P Cycles.

  25. 25 Boots Apr 23rd, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    They both made a difference! R.I.P.

  26. 26 ramsay bdi Apr 24th, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I knew alien for 30 years best brain in the business going to miss the lunches see you in a few years

  27. 27 Badams Apr 24th, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Both true innovators in their own right. I always dreamed of a Rowe frame and Sputhe engine. All bits would come from JP. Positive impact in the world of motorcycling.

  28. 28 Richard Farmer Apr 24th, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Had the pleasure of knowing both of these gentlemen, Mr.Fitzmaurice’s
    piece nailed it.

  29. 29 Frank Esposito Apr 26th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    The Parham difference.
    Many years ago when I was working for Kendon, I was attending one of the giant Custom Chrome Dealer shows. Remember those? I had my dealer seminar on the schedule. It was right around the end of the day when the bar was opening up for happy hour. I knew it was not an ideal time. As I stood in front of the seminar room at watched the clock, I had two people in the audience. John and Jill Parham form J&P. Through the years they have been good to me. They have helped me with the companies that I ran. I apologized that there was no audience and said that they did not have to stay and I would understand. I won’t forget their answers. John said “I can drink beer anytime. We came to the show to learn everything that we can.” Jill said “We want to hear your seminar on selling trailers and please don’t cut it short. Right then and there I made up my mind to give them the best seminar that I could possibly give. This defines them. They just simply worked at their profession harder than most. I can’t separate the Parhams. John and Jill and Zach are a team. Their employees all are their team and embody a culture that would make fortune 500 companies jealous. I want to thank John for his leadership. He had a positive influence on an entire industry, a sport and our way of life. John Parham was not one of the greats. He was one of the greatest and his legacy will live on through all of those he influenced. Zach, you’ve got some big shoes to fill and you are already doing it. We as an industry and also many of us personally have been truly blessed to have the Parhams in our lives. I’m sure John is now teaching God about Motorcycles on our behalf.
    God Speed John and a forever thank you.

  30. 30 Gene Babineaux Jun 17th, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I still have the Sputhe Engineering patch that Alain Sputhe gave me when I visited him in Auburn to install his brace on my Dyna! He showed me a bunch of crazy engineering projects and I was in awe of the knowledge he had. The Spurhe Spector will always be a tribute to his ideas.Still wished we could have placed a Sputhe motor in my Dyna. The stories of his youth made me laugh and forget MY little rides. I feel honored to wear his patch!! Not as a sponsor but as a friend. Rest in piece.

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Cyril Huze