For those who enjoy all-terrain vehicles, Southwest Florida ATV repair shops abound to help off-roading aficionados.
Terry Metzger, owner of Cypress Cycle in Naples, has been providing ATV parts, accessories and repair services for 37 years, which attests to the sports longevity. His business has been steady and he closed out 2011 with especially brisk business in December and expects increased volume during the seasonal months.
Steve Schumpert, promotions manager at Sun Sports Cycle in Fort Myers, said business is in the green and is poised to increase during the season. Sun Sports services and sells ATV brands such as Honda, Suzuki, Can- Am and Polaris that range from minis to full sized vehicles priced from $250 to $16,000.
"With no special skills or licenses needed to ride, the sport, which is open to those as young as 6, is enjoyed by individuals and families and the numbers are growing yearly," Schumpert said
"If you can operate a throttle and a brake, you can ride as there are no specials skills or licenses needed."
Lucas "Luke" Steven Logsdon opened Full Throttle Parts and Service a ATV and UTV full service, repair and retail store in September and reports phenomenal and consistent growth.
Within the first few weeks of opening his doors, he expanded his work space from one unit to four units in the Railhead Industrial Park in North Naples.
Logsdon wants to build a reputation for customer friendly, fair, fast and honest service and is open six days a week. All work is performed in a timely fashion with reasonable labor and parts costs that he said are the lowest in town.
"I felt I could service vehicles swiftly and fill a need for custom fabricating and snorkeling so that Full Throttle would be a unique shop in the area," he said.
He and a 20-year, full-time mechanic and a part-time assistant perform normal maintenance work such as replacement of brakes, pads, tires and wheel bearings and air and oil filter changes. He also does top-end repair work like rebuilding damaged engines.
While Logsdon does not sell new ATVs, his retail services includes the sale of regular and custom parts, winches, straps, tire and wheel kits, handle bars, helmets, shirts and decals.
Custom outfitting is also available. Logsdon can add performance parts for ATVs like lift kits, and snorkels that allow an ATV to go through deeper than usual water.
Free diagnostic estimates are provided before services on UTVs that are used in settings like farm and yard work, for beach patrol and for professional law enforcement use and ATVs.
Logsdon has been working on motors, "tearing them apart," he said, since he was young and has driven heavy equipment and has ridden four wheelers, Jet-Skis and all types of motorized vehicles.
A few years ago, he customized his own ATV and started getting into the off-road industry.
"I have always enjoyed interacting with people, and it has been my childhood dream to have a business doing what I love. I always dreamed of working with tools and fabricating new parts for various types of machinery," Logsdon said.
"I enjoy every aspect of the day's work and am so blessed to be able to have fun while helping people enjoy their recreational vehicles."
Off-roaders who want to see where to ride their ATVs can check out a map at Sun Sports Cycle. The map shows more than 50 favorite Florida ATV and UTV riding spots including The Red Neck Yacht Club in Punta Gorda that is hosting an ATV and UTV only weekend – no trucks, buggies or jeeps – Jan. 21-22.
Other riding spots include Dirty Foot Adventures in Fort Meade or the family oriented Devils Garden Mud Club that features more than 1,200 acres of trails, mud and swimming holes, mud flats, a circle, a mud sand track and their own mudding YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/devilsgardenmudclub).
For your information
Full Throttle Parts and Service
Where: 1301 Railhead Boulevard, Suite 1, Naples
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (239) 431-7492 or FTPandS.com (under construction)