Welcome to Clare’s Cycle & Sports Ltd. Established in 1955, Clare’s Cycle is still the #1 source for all your riding needs & wants! We build dreams and have tons of fun doing it.
CLARE’S CYCLE & SPORTS is in it's 60th year in business!
60 Years of GREAT Riding is what we’ve been saying!
It all began as a small motorcycle shop in Welland, Ontario, Canada back in 1955.
CLARE’S was moved out to Fenwick where over the years it has grown to be the large and successful business that it is today.
The Original CLARE'S Cycle & Sports Ltd in FENWICK, Ontario treats the needs of each individual customer with real concern.
Key to The Original CLARE'S Cycle & Sports Ltd. success is attributed to their desire to provide an environment where quality products and service are our goal.
CLARE'S employees create an environment of friendly, always professional, service to our customers and we are proud of that!
CLARE'S knows you have high expectations, and as a Dealer we enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time. Allow us to demonstrate our commitment to excellence!
Established in 1955, Clare’s Cycle has been a thriving community landmark and a hotbed of motorcycle enthusiasm in the Niagara region for 60 years.
John Clare’s love affair with motorcycles started in 1949, at age 15, when he received a 1930 Harley-Davidson® motorcycle as payment for a plumbing repair.
Over the years, he has participated in nearly every branch of motorcycle sport, including road racing, trials, scrambles, hill climbs and dirt track.
In November 2011, JOHN CLARE was inducted to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame!
With more than 60 years of motorcycling under his belt, through nominations, community involvement and John’s genuine passion for the sport of motorcycling – He has rightfully earned a reputation as a great rider, racer & retailer.
John Clare has proven himself to be a pillar of this community and his accomplishments speak volumes and certainly make him a Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Famer.
Clare's has been serving customers from the Niagara region including Pelham, Fenwick, St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Grimsby, Beamsville and as far as Hamilton & Toronto.
A little bit of JOHN CLARE'S History – It’s been a fun ride!
John Clare traded off a plumbing job for his first bike.
His first bike was a 1930 Harley Davidson 45 cubic inch.
He went on to win his first race in Cornwall. Then he went on to won in Quebec, the U.S and all over Ontario.
John was the Canadian Enduro champ in the 1970’s
Has been a Sponsor in the racing community ever since.
His interests in motorcycles lead him to open a business at only 22 years old.
He sold his first bike to Clint Leishman.
Dealing in BSA, Triumph, Norton and AJS. All English Motorcycles.
In 1964 Clare’s Cycle took on Yamaha and Honda.
In 1965 was the largest Yamaha dealer in Canada.
1966 John won a free trip to Japan to the Yamaha Factory.
Also won another trip in 1972 but broke his leg and couldn’t go, so Mom and Dad Clare went instead.
1974 with the persuasiveness of Trev Deeley, he took on the Harley Davidson Dealership.
The key to any success that The Original CLARE'S Cycle & Sports Ltd. & CLARE'S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara has had over the years can be attributed to their desire to provide an environment where quality products and service are our goal.
It all began as a small shop in Welland, Ontario, Canada back in 1954.
The Original CLARE'S Cycle & Sports Ltd. is and has always been a family business. In the early days John's father, Ed Clare, and his brother Bill were very much involved with the business. John's wife Donna, son Randy, daughter Robin, niece Pam, nephew Darren & grand daughter Martha all continue to play important roles in contributing to the success of the business.
CLARE'S was moved out to Fenwick where over the years it has grown to be the large and successful business that it is today. Over the years CLARE'S added Harley-Davidson®, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki & KTM lines to the dealership.
In 2008 CLARE'S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara becomes a reality. The Harley-Davidson® department was moved from the Fenwick location to a brand new location at 590 York Rd Niagara on the Lake.
The Original CLARE'S Cycle & Sports Ltd. & CLARE'S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara have established themselves as one of the premiere motorcycle dealers in Ontario.
The dealership strives to be involved with the motorcycle community, making appearances at several major local events, and hosts many of its own.
CLARE’S CYCLE & SPORTS LTD.
In 1980 Harley Davidson was AMF owned. The pride and workmanship of the motorcycle wasn’t there. He almost gave up the Harley dealership.
Mr. Deeley convinced John to stay with Harley Davidson. And now Harley Davidson is one of the most premier motorcycles in the world.
In the 60 years that Clare’s has been in business it’s had 23 additions to the building in Fenwick.
His entire family is very involved in the business. His son Randy, daughter Robin and many nephews, nieces.
The family is also very involved in many local charities and sports activities.
A supporter of Niagara College Motorcycle Training Program.
John Clare's is one of the founding members of the Welland County Motor Cycle club
A Fenwick Lion’s for over 40 years.
Member of the CMA for over 60 years.
John Clare Has Been Inducted Into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall Of Fame.
What an honour and achievement!
In 2011 John Clare was given a lifetime achievement award from Deeley Harley-Davidson®.
He is only the third recipient to receive this accolade.
This adds to the prestigious awards he has already received through his 60 plus years in the motorcycle industry which include being Ontario Sportsman of the year in 1974 and a lifetime membership to the CMA in 1979.
His achievements in racing when he was younger, building a business that embodies motorcycling, good sportsmanship and sponsoring motorcycling events as well as participants are all reasons why he is receiving this award.
This honour came through numerous endorsements from many fellow enthusiasts.
We would like to thank Welland County Motorcycle Club for their endorsement letter by Wesley Pierce as well as the letter from Fenwick Lions Club by Bruce Bissell.
John’s love of the sport continues today by sponsoring race events and the racers themselves who carry the Clare’s name on their bikes.
John would also like to congratulate a fellow Welland County Member, Len Dillon, on his achievement of being an inductee to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame in November 2011 as well.
Here's some more info
CLARE’S CYCLE & SPORTS LTD & CLARE’S HARLEY DAVIDSON FOUNDER / PRESIDENT JOHN CLARE turned 80 years old on January 17th, 2014.
John Clare - Clare’s Cycle & Sports dealership in Fenwick has been a thriving community landmark and a hotbed of motorcycle enthusiasm in the Niagara region for nearly 60 years. 2015 will be the 60th anniversary for Clare’s in business.
John Clare’s love affair with motorcycles started in 1949, at age 15, when he received a 1930 Harley-Davidson as payment for a plumbing repair. Over the years, he has participated in nearly every branch of motorcycle sport, including road racing, trials, scrambles, hill climbs and dirt track. His enthusiasm was rewarded in 1974, when he was recognized by Premier Bill Davis as ‘Ontario Sportsman of the Year’ for his distinguished performance in amateur sports.
John’s love of motorcycles and his dedication to his community have come together in many wonderful ways over the years.
John has been awarded many times for his generous contributions to his Niagara region community. After serving two terms as Fenwick Lions Club President, he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award – the highest honour available to Lions Club members. In February 2011 John joined an elite group of Canadian motorcyclists, becoming the third person to ever receive the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada lifetime achievement award.
John Is truly a rider who’s done everything in Canadian motorcycling. Few honours evaded him during his competitive years.
November 2011 JOHN CLARE was inducted to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame!
With more than 60 years of motorcycling under his belt, through nominations, community involvement and John’s genuine passion for the sport of motorcycling – He has rightfully earned a reputation as a great rider, racer & retailer. John Clare has proven himself to be a pillar of this community and his accomplishments speak volumes and certainly make him a Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Famer. Let’s honor & recognize John Clare and his induction to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Motorcycling has come a long way since John Clare opened his BSA and Triumph dealership in 1954. And yet Clare’s Cycle & Sports remains, as always, a thriving dealership and hotbed of motorcycle enthusiasm in the Niagara region. It’s still a family-run operation with John Clare a constant presence in the shop, riding motorcycles and contributing to his community.
John was only 20 when he opened his motorcycle business. He’d been involved with bikes since the age of 15 when his brother-in-law turned over ownership of a 1930 Harley-Davidson as payment for a plumbing repair performed by John and his dad. John loved speed and through a succession of motorcycles he took to road racing at the early Ontario race tracks built on the grounds of wartime training airfields at Edenvale and Harewood Acres. The family photo album shows John in a race paddock with his BSA Gold Star and later astride one of the newfangled Ducati singles.
Even for a handy guy able to repair his own bikes, racing consumes parts and the nearest dealership was a good distance away in Hamilton. John soon realized the potential for a motorcycle shop close to home.
His first plan was to operate from the family garage but in order to keep peace with the neighbours he instead chose a location in nearby Welland, Ont. His father Ed Clare and brother Bill were much involved in the early days, and rapid growth caused John to move in 1958 to the current location in Fenwick. It’s still at the same address but the building has been expanded 23 times over the years to accommodate the continued growth of the operation.
“It was successful right from the start,” said John, who added other brands to his inventory as Japanese makes began to appear. Given that Fenwick is not a large town, it’s a tribute to the shop’s reputation that it has done so well. In 1964-65, after only 10 years in business, Clare’s was the largest Yamaha dealer in Canada and John was rewarded with a trip to Japan to visit Yamaha headquarters.
Yamaha at the time was distributed by the Deeley organization with Trev Deeley at the helm, so a linkage with Harley-Davidson became a natural after the Yamaha factory opened its own branch in Canada and Trev Deeley switched to Harley. The American brand has grown exponentially since the early 1970s, to the point where Clare’s moved its Harley-Davidson operation in 2008 to a new building in Niagara on the Lake. Its location draws tourist traffic from Niagara Falls as well as serving the motorcycle market throughout the region.
Through the years John’s enthusiasm for the sport is undiminished. He took part in nearly every branch of motorcycle sport including road racing, trials, scrambles, hill climbs and dirt track. Though he eventually retired from racing in 1980, John has remained involved through sponsorship of promising riders as well as organizing many events. He has retained his membership for 60 years in the Welland County Motorcycle Club and is also a lifetime member of the Canadian Motorcycle Association.
Operating a business is never easy and in order to promote the interests of others like himself in the early 1980s John became an active member of the Ontario Retail Motorcycle Dealers Association. Since 1969 John has been a member of the Fenwick Lions Club, serving two terms as president and receiving a series of awards for his generous community service, including the Melvin Jones Fellow Award – the highest honour available to Lions Club members.
In 1974 John was recognized as Ontario sportsman of the year by premier Bill Davis for distinguished performance in amateur sports.
In February 2011 John joined a tiny and elite group of motorcyclists, becoming only the third person ever to receive the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada lifetime achievement award. “I consider John to be one of our most valuable, knowledgeable and trusted retailers,” wrote Malcolm Hunter, Deeley’s president and chief operating officer. “John Clare is a man who always goes out of his way to make sure that everyone feels part of the family, which is why his staff and our associates find him such a pleasure to work with.”
Clare’s is still very much a family business with John, his wife Donna, son Randy, daughter Robin, his niece Pam and nephew Darren all deeply involved. Now a third generation, Robin’s daughter Martha & her son Taylor are ready to play their parts. John also has another daughter, Mary Kay, who lives in Ohio and has two children, Cooper and Clare. Long may it continue.