Baxter Cycle
by Jimmy Mac
of JimmyMaconTwoWheels.com

Baxter Cycle a small-town British bike shop

Pulling into Marne, Iowa, in search of the legendary Baxter Cycle, we, my wife Gail and I, figured there had been a screw up. Maybe there was another Marne in Iowa? This town, surrounded by seemingly endless acres of corn fields, was nothing more than single-family homes, a Mason’s Lodge and a Methodist church. No grocery store. No Subway sandwich shop. No Home Depot or Target store. The town is so tiny that city officials offer free lots if you promise to build a house on it.
Sitting smack dab between Omaha, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa, (but not on Interstate 80) it didn’t feel or appear to be a mecca for serious British motorcycle fans. Ready to throw in the towel (the GPS couldn’t even figure out where the shop was), we cruised one more street and found (by pure luck) the modest metal building housing Baxter Cycle.
Walking into the shop, we were even more puzzled. The modern, well-stocked, well-merchandised shop (with a mezzanine accessory area) was filled with late-model Triumphs and the revitalized Royal Enfield brand. This shop would not be out of place in a city like Los Angeles or Seattle, but it was not what we were expecting. When a salesman asked if he could assist us, I embarrassingly said, “I thought you guys had a big vintage selection.” The salesman put on a wry smile because I’m sure he had encountered more than one bewildered seeker. He motioned for us to follow him down a corridor to a warehouse behind the modern showroom. There we uncovered the promised Nirvana.
It was so unexpected to find the quality and quantity of vintage Triumphs, BSAs and Nortons in such a tiny Southwestern Iowa town, but here they were in all their glory. This was a British steel collection that you’d only expect to find in California or New York, but you won’t because they are in Marne, Iowa. The salesman laughed at our expressions of pure disbelief and invited us to take all the time we needed to explore the inventory.

Baxter Cycle parts & service

Baxter Cycle does the lion’s share of business by shipping vintage bikes and parts all over the world so they are as close as your internet connection. That said, if you are a fan of British motorcycles, an internet connect is not going to cut. You need to make a pilgrimage to this hold-out of pure mid-century British motorcycling dominance. We left with a shop T-shirt and the knowledge that this wouldn’t be our only visit.







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Back to top - Baxter Cycle
Updated 2/19/19

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THIS MONTH'S FEATURE PAGE:
Baxter Cycle

NEW PAGES
added this month:

1947 BSA C10
Random History of Classic British Motorcycles
Norton Commando Production Racer
Norton Commando SS
1977 Triumph Sliver Jubilee
* 1979 Triumph T140D Bonneville Special
* Motorcycle Racing
* 1964 Matchless G3C
* 1955 BSA Gold Star
* AJS Motorcycles
* Helmet Features 2018
* AJS Motorcycles
* 1961 AJS Model 31
* 1959 AJS Model 16
* 1927 AJS Model H4
* 1959 AJS Model 31 CSR
* 1946 AJS Model 18
* 1964 AJS Model 16
* Norton Commando Hi-Rider
* 1953 AJS Model 18
* 1950 AJS 7R Boy Racer
Enjoy. More coming soon...