AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member John Parham, who founded J&P Cycles and the National Motorcycle Museum, passed away on April 20 after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 62.
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.
“The American Motorcyclist Association offers its condolences to the Parham family and to the many friends John made over the years,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Beyond his success as a businessman, John dedicated his energy and resources to preserving the history of motorcycling. It was an honor to know him. He will be greatly missed by the motorcycling community.”
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. 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 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’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.