Dave is from West Sussex and has been in the motor industry all his working life.
After a 4 year City & Guilds apprenticeship he qualified as a mechanic. Throughout this period he worked for various original equipment manufacturers.
Then came a 7 year stint as an AA patrolman. This experience has made Dave very streetwise - he will get almost any vehicle going if he has to!
After this he and his wife moved to Orlando in Florida where Dave ultimately had his own garage and body shop. During the 18 years he was there he also got himself into a number of more exciting pursuits; for example drag racing converted saloon cars, spannering for a schoolboy motocross team, racing quarter mile dirt ovals and power boating.
In 2010 Dave and family (wife and two daughters) returned to the UK and Dave worked principally in a body shop until joining 2WheelsMiklos in June 2014.
Given the complementary nature of Dave's and Alan's experience base, their respective focus - in very broad terms - was Alan on the customs and Dave on the restorations.
Most of my school friends were bikers and bikes were what we relied on for day to day transport. My first bike, bought in 1973 in Johannesburg, was a 1961 AJS 500 single. This was my ride until 1979. I loved the thumper and its various oddities. Of course I lusted after many of the great bikes of the late 60s, 70s and early 80s, however, financial circumstances and my gallivanting to work at various distant mines meant that all I could do was dream of these machines. In 1981 I bought a brand new and very functional Honda CX500 and my wife and I toured extensively on it - including doing the infamous Buffalo Rally to Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1983.
Then came a break from biking as family and career took precedence. However, I always wanted back, so in 1995 I bought a Kawasaki VN-15 - the biggest capacity production bike at the time. I was again hooked and so the following year bought a "grey" market 1996 Heritage Softail Harley. So started my love affair with Harleys - also shared by my wife. We were founder members of the Johannesburg HOG Chapter in 1997 and then also joined the Surrey, UK - now Hogsback - Chapter in 1999. Progressively over the next dozen years new bikes were added, both in Johannesburg and in Surrey - typically cruisers with big engines - see the "New Age" section of the website.
A bike which had made a huge impression on me in my school days was the Triumph Bonneville - elegant and sexy but at the same time (in my view) a bit of an aggressive hooligan. In 1998 I managed to buy a 1970 T120R in Johannesburg. This came with us to Surrey in 1999 as it was much more realistic to do the restoration in the UK. Over the next ten or so years Arthur at Rocker Box (in Wrecclesham) brought it back to its former glory. This was the bike which got me thinking that it could be possible to live out the dreams of all the bikes that I had missed out on in my youth.
In 2012 my formal business life wound down and now, given time, I decided to have a real go at the classic bike scene.
My objectives were to find, restore and ride the great bikes of my era. My view on restoration was that the machines should be mechanically and electrically sound and good bikes to ride. They should also be pretty shiny and good looking. I am not wedded to originality for the sake of originality. I also have a real interest in different engine configurations - so some bikes have been added to the collection mainly because they are different.
Given that I am a mining and not a mechanical engineer, I reckoned that the restorations would be mine to manage, but not actually do. So the process started and the number of bikes and associated projects grew apace. Along the way it became apparent that the collection would rapidly outgrow the room available at my home - and I also realised that I really wanted to get more personally involved in the actual restoration work.
This led to taking premises at Astra House in Cranleigh, the establishment of a pretty serious workshop and recruiting Alan Wells to lead the work and to teach me. The collection now has a philosophy and structure underpinning it and at the time of writing numbers 29 bikes, 90% of which have been completed.
This has proven to be pretty successful and has attracted a lot of support and help from my family. Hence the foundation was laid for the next phase, where the full collection and workshop is housed togethr and we start to do restorations and customisations for others. This will be realised with the opening of 2WheelsMiklos at Stag Hill.
For a sneak peek of the entire collection click here.
Alan Wells Born and bred in Sussex Alan was the technical brains behind the 2WheelsMiklos collection since mid 2013. His bigger projects were the Honda Four, Yamaha XS1100E, black bomber, Sunbeam and the Kawasaki H1A. He also made very significant improvements to the Moto Guzzi 850T, Benelli 750 Sei and Suzuki GT750 and many more over the years.
After leaving school Alan went into the motor trade as a Landrover technician - as at the time there was no motorbike technician training to be had. This lead to working with various specialist vehicles and then back into motorbikes. His focus was customs and choppers. Through the years a good many of his creations have been prize winners and have also been photographed for and written up by various magazines.
He then worked for a Triumph dealer for seven years, whilst in parallel developing his own business making specialist parts for the custom bike world.
They were a closely knit band of three. Miklos (Mike) Salamon was the founder and owner and focused on sourcing bikes and parts and sales. Alan and Dave were and still are two guys with lifetimes of technical motorcycling experience and they run the workshop.