While growing up in Merton, Bill Weslow spent a lot of time riding and reading about motorcycles. He got his motorcycle license by the time he was 15, and he and his brother, Richard, had a slew of bikes.
"It was the '70s, when all the neat Euro bikes were still dominating, before the Japanese took over, and I was enthralled with them," says Weslow. "I couldn't put a motorcycle magazine down."
Weslow maintained his enthusiasm for cycles as an adult, but professionally worked in restaurant management for 20 years. When gas prices began to spike a few years ago, Weslow realized the city's need for small-tanked motorcycles and scooters, and in 2005, opened Motoscoot, the first motorcycle shop in Milwaukee proper.
"I'm old enough to remember the gas crunch of '76, and I saw it happening again," says Weslow. "It was common sense to open a scooter shop in Milwaukee."
Motoscoot sells and repairs scooters and vintage motorcycles, and serves as the city's exclusive dealer of the Sach's MadAss scooter. Last weekend, for the annual motorcycle event in Riverwest called Rockerbox, the shop hosted the first Meeting of the MadAss, featuring 50-60 riders who convened at Motoscoot before group riding to the fest.
"We stopped traffic," says Weslow.
Motoscoot also carries a full line of TGB scooters. Weslow says Taiwanese bikes like the TGB, Kimko and Genuine Buddy are top of the line, unlike most of the scooters from China.
Vespas, he says, are attractive but high maintenance.
"They're like Italian sports cars: beautiful but finicky," he says. "We service a lot of them."
Weslow has similar feelings about Harleys. He likes them, but doesn't own one, and, overall, prefers other bikes. These days, he rides a 250 Kawasaki, 185 Honda 1979, 125 Honda 1974, Sachs MadAss and a 1972 Husqvarna made in Sweden.
Motoscoot also carries riding accessories, including the high-rated Scorpion helmets, and riding gear. Weslow strives to see all of his customers in helmets and riding gear, and says he and his employees don't even scoot around the block without wearing a helmet.
The average price for a scooter is $1,800, and they get about 90 miles to the gallon. Since last year, Motoscoot's business has doubled, and outrageous gas prices, the high-profile location of the business and the knowledgeable staff contribute to the success.
Weslow says working in the restaurant business for so long also helps.
"It gave me the hospitality mentality. It's engrained in me to take care of people from top to bottom, making sure they're happy," he says. "Because if they're happy, word of mouth takes over."
Other than his brother, Weslow has two employees, Andy Mauk and Brian Slominski -- as well as Riley, an American Bulldog who is often referred to as "the boss."
Mauk is nationally recognized for his bike building and is the four-time winner at Rockerbox for the best-modified Japanese bike. Slominski has years of riding, building and repairing under his belt.
"This summer, someone brought in a Honda 50 that had been sitting at the bottom of a lake for a year, and Slo got it running great and back on the street," says Weslow.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.