Trash to Treasure
2D Cycle Parts makes the most of old bikes
As a boy, David Naaman wanted a motorcycle. His dream and love for motorized bikes lead him to become the state—and probably the nation’s—largest stockpile of junk motorcycles and ATVs. As the owner of 2D Cycle Parts in Yazoo City, Naaman has shipped parts for ATVs and Japanese-made motorcycles across the U.S. and the world. But it all started at a motorcycle shop on Park Avenue in Greenwood, Mississippi.
“Andy Bridges hired me to work at Honda Sales of Greenwood when I was 12 years old,” he says. “He guided me and taught me for about four years and then left to pursue becoming an airplane pilot.”Naaman worked there and for himself “wrenching” on motorcycles but then ventured into other types of jobs including a restaurant, offshore oil rigs, car sales and one year at Mississippi State. Meanwhile his old boss had moved to Yazoo City to open another motorcycle shop.
“After all that I decided I wanted to get back in the motorcycle business so I called my best friend and asked him for a job,” Naaman explains.
In 1991, Naaman moved to Yazoo City to work for Bridges Repair and start his run as the parts finder and provider.
“At the time Bridges Repair was a small shop,” he says. After working as an employee, Naaman started looking at his future and retirement and came up with a plan.
“I proposed a partnership venture for my future and retirement to my boss,” he explains. “He suggested I should just take it and run it on my own. So I bought out my boss.”
With an impeccable reputation as the guy who can find any part you need (for ATVs and Japanese motorcycles), Naaman has worked with customers circling the globe.
“I shipped some parts to Sweden last week,” he says. “I’ve shipped parts to Turkey and I’ve got a request from a guy in Russia, I just have to calculate out the shipping. I’ve sent parts to just about every state in the union except Rhode Island because I think we gave it back to England.”
The ingredients for Naaman’s success lie in his two acres of more than 2,200 individual motorcycle and ATVs.
“If you have an automobile you can buy almost anything from NAPA but if you have a Japanese motorcycle or ATV there’s very few replacement parts,” the 46-year old says.
Homebuilder Tommy Lister of Madison was looking for a part and found Naaman’s business.
“It was the largest ‘junk yard’ of ATVs I’ve ever seen,” Lister says. “The owner knew right where to find the part I needed for my Polaris Sportsman.”
2D Cycle Parts specialized in filling that need in the market.
“A lot of the electrical and mechanical systems on these machines were made for a very short time and in limited numbers,” he explains. “And now they’re becoming scarce and people have good running ATVs that they want to keep running so they call me and I tell them I have the part or I can find the part for them.”
With no real formal training, Naaman has built his parts empire through hard work and applicable knowledge he attains through “trial and error.”
“I had to learn on my own to make my decisions on what I invest in and how much I can afford to spend,” he said. “I purchase machines that are not running from people and risk what is good on them and what is bad on them.”
Naaman’s brain has become an encyclopedia of motorcycle and ATV parts knowledge and he gets calls from other parts suppliers where he spends time educating them.
“I have a birth defect or something that kicked in about 10 years ago that made me realize that numbers stick in my head,” he says. “I see a machine and I know what the parts on it are worth new and know what I can sell it for used. I know how many machines they interchange with and I know if I’ve already had three or four people who have called for that part.”
In having such a vast knowledge, Naaman doesn’t take advantage of customers.
“You can’t yank every dollar out of every person’s pocket every time they walk up,” he says. “If somebody comes in and spends $200 dollars and they say ‘oh, by the way, I need a couple of hubcaps,’ then I’ll reach in my drawer and give them a couple of three dollar rubber hubcaps and say, ‘here you go, Thanks for doing business with me.’ ” DBJ