The true spirit of motorcycling is being completely in the moment…feeling the wind around you, feeling the sun and the rain, and hearing, smelling, and tasting the world as you travel through unknown, sometimes mysterious places. Many of our journeys on two wheels take us to places we’ve never seen before and may never see again. Our journeys allow us to cross paths with kindred spirits, find lifelong friends in foreign countries, and most of all, learn about ourselves. Our journeys are like none others.
At Twisted Throttle, we know that part of being completely in the moment on your journey of a lifetime is being able to trust and believe in your equipment. Our purpose is to make the process of preparing for your journey as enjoyable as the journey itself. We start by finding the best sport-touring and adventure-touring gear in Europe and importing it to the United States. We do the research for you, collecting manufacturer specs, detailed product photos, installation tutorials, and reviews from riders that use and abuse each and every product in our range. Every day, each new photo we receive and each detail we learn about a product, whether new or old, is added to our website, building on the collective knowledge of our staff and the community of clients that support us.
We’re not a one-size-fits-all company. We know each rider has different functional needs, a different sense of style, and a different budget. Whether you need a hard luggage system for an obscure motorcycle, the most comfortable windshield for your riding style, a centerstand for a bike that didn’t have one from the factory, or the hottest heated handlebar grips in the world, we’ll take the time and personal attention needed to help you find the right gear for your journey on two wheels.
Photo submissions, product reviews, and installation tutorials submitted by clients like you are a major part of what makes TwistedThrottle.com's community special. Please send us your photos and product comments! We'll add them to our photo galleries, give you credit for your submissions, and share them with other riders to help them find products that best fit their needs. By submitting your photos, you'll also be entered in our monthly drawing for a $25 gift certificate to TwistedThrottle.com.
We invite you to join our community, and we thank you for allowing us to help you prepare for your journey of a lifetime.
Ride safe, and best wishes.
First and foremost, Twisted Throttle LLC would never have made it off the ground without the constant support, ideas, late-night talks, and talents of my parents, Lauren and Howard, and my brother Adam. The logos, website templates, product presentations, and tradeshow displays (including a custom-fabricated rotating turning stage!) you see at TwistedThrottle.com are a direct result of their talents and their willingness to help for nothing more than my thanks. John Ennis, my partner during the early days of startup, provided the guts to demand respect from our first U.S. product suppliers and to buy the first beer for our new German friends in Munich. To my friends -- Laura, Cathy, and Amy -- thanks for the box packing, the comic relief, and the hockey.
It all began when I was living in Philadelphia in 2001. A friend of mine mentioned that there was a free Motorcycle Safety Foundation class I could take to learn how to ride a motorcycle, and that the class would supply the helmet and the bike. All I had to do was show up, and I'd get my motorcycle license. I had a great time, and following completion of the class, I bought a used Suzuki Intruder 800. I had no idea it would change my life like it did.
By early 2002, I'd ridden the Intruder about 10,000 miles on cross-country trips, and I decided I wanted a bike that handled better and had more power, wind protection, and comfort. I traded the Intruder in for a Suzuki V-Strom DL1000, a bike that was being marketed for "adventure touring", expecting to travel the world. Imagine my surprise when I found out I couldn't buy basic touring accessories for the bike from Suzuki USA!
Twisted Throttle LLC began in June 2002 with a "group buy" of SW-MOTECH centerstands, crashbars and luggage systems for a handful of early Suzuki V-Strom fanatics, of whom I happened to be the one nutty enough to call a German manufacturer on the telephone and demand that they send me a shipment immediately.
After the first group buy, I started receiving steady inquiries about importing additional European products, and I started thinking it might not be so crazy to be a motorcycle accessory importer. Soon after, I picked a name, got a business license, and converted my apartment's garage to my first "warehouse".
My first big purchase was having a professional website designed for me. For doing an excellent job creating the templates for my first website on a penny-pinching $500 budget, I have endless thanks for Jon Hempstead (a.k.a. "DJ Hemp") at Alienated Media and Pat Tully at Avatar New York. Thanks as well to Joe and Tony, who provided the display cases for my first motorcycle tradeshow as hand-me-downs from their athletic club in Stamford, Connecticut.
In early 2003, I hired our first two part-time employees. Cathy packed and shipped all the outgoing orders in my garage, and Joan did all the bookkeeping in the spare bedroom. We also drove to Indianapolis to exhibit our products at the first of what would end up being many tradeshows.
Several trips to Europe and thousands of corrugated boxes later, I met Bob Sims in late 2003. Bob had created the Riderhaus.com motorcyclist community and retail store on the Internet while living in Germany, and shared a similar vision of providing great products, personal service, and an online community to motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the world. He had created a cutting-edge website for his enterprise, and in the process, had decided that he was more interested in becoming a full-time web developer than in running a motorcycle business. Given that both TwistedThrottle.com and Riderhaus.com sold many of the same products, and Twisted Throttle needed a new, more advanced presence on the web, we partnered to create the next incarnation of the TwistedThrottle.com website.
September 2004 brought big changes. With encouragement from my friend Suzy, I quit my day job and gave Twisted Throttle my full-time attention. I moved up to Peacedale, Rhode Island, rented a little 1,600 sf warehouse (a.k.a. "The Cave" because it had 3-foot-thick stone walls and no windows), and hired our first full time employee (Michael, not Mike!). Graham Brookins and Bob Sims continued to extend the features of our website, making it easier and faster to navigate.
By March 2005, we'd outgrown our little warehouse and hired two more employees. We moved next door to a 2,700 sf unit. A few months later, we added The Cave back on to our warehouse to boost our capacity to 4,300 sf. And we hired a few more people...
From 2005 through the present, Raja Kapur and Pat Tully of Avatar New York continued to develop our website and have provided many new refinements and user-friendly features. Thanks for taking us into the future guys!
2006 was the first year we printed our own catalog. Somehow, we ended up exhibiting at 6 rallies and tradeshows throughout the country. Good thing we bought that 30-foot trailer and diesel pickup truck...
In 2007 we moved again, more than doubling our warehouse space to 15,000 sf, and added a showroom and (*gasp*) real office space. After 5 years, we finally had both heat AND air conditioning! To commemorate the move, we had our first office Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus party in our conference room, complete with disco balls and a hip-hop dance party.
2008 brought a bigger 162-page catalog and we exhibited at 21 rallies. We also hired our first product designer so that we could begin to develop our own unique products in-house.
By 2009, we'd replaced our original low-budget truck and trailer with our fancy new black and yellow show rig. We also started filming product demo videos and building video monitors into our display kiosks.
In 2010, our warehouse grew to beyond 20,000 sf, our catalog page count was close to 200 pages, and we exhibited at dozens of motorcycle events throughout the country.
2011 was a monumental year, with the acquisition of our new 27,000 sf World Headquarters in Exeter, RI. The facility houses our offices, warehouse, installation bays, tire changing services, prototyping workshop, videography studios, and new retail store. There is even a fully equipped restaurant with a 10’ wide movie screen and PINBALL machines!
We've got more people running around here than I can count some days (our accountant says we number in the mid-30's lately). Throughout it all, we've continued to take motorcycling seriously without BEING too serious. There's still a chicken hat on my desk and a nerf dart gun ready for office warfare.
We thank our vendor partners for trusting us and sharing the Twisted Throttle vision. Our success is due in large part to Jörg Diehl, Jürgen Swora, and Kai Jockel of SW-MOTECH; Achim Kessler of Bags-Connection; Paul Collins, Anthony Church, Phaedra Boon & Big Crazy Craig of GIVI USA; Johannes and Gerhard Klement of MRA Windshields; and Matthew Phillpott of Rideworx.
Finally, we would like to thank our many clients for their support, contributions, and encouragement in this endeavor. They are the ones who truly make this a success -- from the incredible amount of website contributions to the many great suggestions and invaluable technical expertise. Interacting with our clients remains our greatest single reward from this endeavor.
Thanks for the many moments that continue to make this journey a wonderful adventure.
- Erik Stephens, Owner, Twisted Throttle LLC (a.k.a. Mr. Twisted)