PLAINVILLE – A local trio went from riding dirt bikes in the woods to opening a small motorcycle shop, which has now grown into a full-fledged dealership with hundreds of used bikes filling the old one Parsons Buick Company home on East Street.
“It started with 20 motorcycles in Meriden and we kind of built it to have 250 in stock in a 20,000 square foot building. So we’re very excited about the possibilities of having room to grow.” said Justin Manafort, co-owner of Powerhouse Motorsports, formerly located on South Broad Street (Route 5) in Meriden.
Manafort would like the store to become a ‘used motorcycle superstore’ – a place where newcomers to the sport can get started and experienced riders can trade in a bike to try out a new one.
âIf you were looking for a specific type of motorcycleâ¦ we would have all the different makes, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, so you can compare them,â he said.
Motorsports opened at 55 S. Broad St. in Meriden around 2014. Manafort opened with longtime partners and buddies Marc Buck and Erik MacLaren. With business resumption and lack of space, they moved to a vacant Buick dealership at 151 East Street late last year.
State Representative William Petit Jr., who presented Manafort with a General Assembly proclamation in a recent ribbon cutting, praised the partners for bringing the closed concession back to life.
âIt’s such a wonderful addition,â said Petit. ââ¦ It’s great to have a new business in this space.
Browsing through the rows of motorcycles on the reserve, Buck said customers can get a feel for the motorcycle they’re looking for.
âYou might have done a lot of research on a motorcycle, but when you come in and see a lot of others in the same style, it allows you to really dial in what you like,â he said. .
Motorsport is not Manafort’s first foray into the motorcycle industry. In the mid-90s, he opened Performance Cycle Engineering, a store focused on building custom motorcycles and service bikes. He left the company after a few years to devote himself to the family business Manafort Brothers Inc.
âWe have always ridden motorcycles so we have always had a passion for the industry and just being able to come back to buying, selling and working on bikes was exciting,â he said. .