CHARLESTON - A new shop in Charleston aims to fuel the passion of its customers for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

Owners Jason and Tricia Drake opened Fuel Cycles in early August at 1710 W. Polk Ave., just off of Illinois Route 16. Their shop offers quality preowned motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, as well as service, parts and accessories. The shop also is an authorized dealer of Beta racing dirt bikes.

"I am passionate about motor sports. It is definitely something I have long been interested in," said Jason Drake, adding that he rides Betas in hare scrambles woods races. "I race what I sell."

Drake said he and his staff apply their motorsport knowledge to providing personalized customer care. He said his goal is offer a "mom and pop" shop where they can take time to get to know their customers. He added that his sons, Braden, 10, and Jacob, 5, race dirt bikes, so can talk to customers about children's motorsport safety.

Fuel Cycles' stock includes cruising, touring and sport motorcycles, as well as dirt bikes for adults and children, all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles and scooters. Some of the brands in the showroom include Goldwing, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.

Drake said his workshop services vehicles purchased from Fuel Cycles and elsewhere. He said they can adjust a motorcycle to fit a customer's height by moving the fork clamps and shocks, while maintaining the comfort of the cycle's ride.

Customers can also find a variety of parts and of helmets, boots and other accessories at Fuel Cycles. Drake said he can track down and order vehicles, parts and accessories that he does not have in stock.

Drake said his long-term plan is to cater to the "motorcycle culture" in the area by offering organized rides and other special events to bring enthusiasts together. He writes a motorsport blog at www.fuelcycles.com.

The shop is located in a former restaurant building constructed in 1973 as a steak house by Drake's father, Steve. Drake said he has remodeled the dining area as a showroom and the kitchen as a workshop.

"Basically, we took it down to the frame and remodeled the inside," Drake said, noting the building had sat vacant since the Chinese restaurant there closed more than a decade ago. He has maintained the building's original front counter and the mirror, which formerly belonged to the Corner Confectionery on the Charleston square.

Fuel Cycles is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday each week. For more information, call the shop at 345-FUEL.

Contact Rob Stroud at rstroud@jg-tc.com or 238-6861.

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