Ted Kieper — United States
Ted Kieper hails from the State of Wisconsin. Ted's first motorcycle was a 175cc Allstate/Puch in 1959. He loved that bike. It would do 80 mph and he rode a lot that fast! He always LOVED speed. His next bike was a brand new candy apple red 1959 Ducati 200.
Left: Charleston, Illinois 1971 Right: Great Lakes Dragway, Union Grove Wisconsin 1971.
Ted began his racing career in 1962 competing in Nevada desert races riding a '57 650 Triumph. Real speed! Imagine dodging boulders and cactuses at 80! He began his business career in 1963 with Competition Cycle Center in Las Vegas catering to racing bikes. It continued in Milwaukee when he rented an old service station on South 22nd and Greenfield Avenue in 1967 to have a place to work on his racing motorcycles.
To support his expensive racing habit, Ted began repairing motorcycles for the public. He was traveling to races all over the Midwest and it was getting hard to make ends meet. He had just left his two year (1965 - 1967) job at Harley-Davidson Motor Company as a factory mechanic, so he needed to earn some money. Through the Fall of 1967 and Winter of 1968, Ted drove a taxi cab at night 7 nights a week. He operated the motorcycle shop 6 days a week.
Left: Great Lakes Dragway, Union Grove, Wisconsin 1972. This was Ted's last jump at Great Lakes. Right: Ted jumping in 1971.
In March of 1968, Ted placed a radio ad on WRIT in Milwaukee for motorcycle repair and tune-ups and became the 1st Milwaukee area motorcycle business to advertise on the radio. It brought him instant credibility and business. By the Fall of 1968, he was looking for a larger building which he found on South 27th and National. By 1972 Ted had to build an addition to the building to house his 21 employees.
In 1968 Ted raced a 500cc BSA Gold Star flat tracker for Bob Hansen (Team Hansen) all over the country. We won races, stopped at most Dairy Queens and had fun and are still friends.
Left: State Fair Park, Wes Allis, Wisconsin 1972. Milwaukee Sentinel Young America on Wheels Show. Middle: Ted waving to the crowd in 1971. Right: Great Lakes Dragway setting up the jump ramps.
In the early '70s, he was traveling with his motorcycle thrill show which included Ted jumping over cars for 2 years. They did county fairs, drag strips and car races. A movie called "Death Riders" 1976 was based on that thrill show. The year after, he quit. He was tired of traveling with other people. He did have a lot of fun and met some great people.
In the fall of 1982, Ted started a computer business which grew rapidly and in 1990 he sold the motorcycle business. He loves helping people and he's truly lucky to be able to make a living at his two favorite hobbies- motorcycles and computers.
Left: Elkhorn, Wisconsin 1972. Right: State Fair Park, Wes Allis, Wisconsin 1972 at the Milwaukee Sentinel Young America on Wheels show.
Left: Wis State Fair Park, West Allis, Wisconsin 1972. Right: Riding a wheelie 1971.
Special thanks to Lee Sobol and a very special thanks to Ted Kieper for the biography and use of these photos from his personal collection! For more info on Ted, check out his site here.