HANCOCK - The new owners of Evert's Motor Sports have a lot in common with their customers - they both share a passion for riding.
"We ride almost everything," Tori Connors said of she and her husband, Sean. "You want to ride if you live up here."
In mid-February, Sean and Tori took over ownership of the long-standing Hancock business as the previous owner, Jim Aho, was looking to retire. Sean, who had been employed as general manager at Evert's since 2006, said when he was approached by Jim it was a business move he couldn't pass up.
"When he offered it to us, we thought it would be a great opportunity," Sean said. "In a tough economy, this was the type of business he built up with a solid foundation for a future."
Located on Dakota Street, Evert's Motor Sports is the area's Kawasaki and Ski-Doo snowmobile dealer. Kawasaki offerings include motorcycles, ATVs, utility vehicles (Mule and Teryx), personal watercraft, and sportbikes. There are two display lots outside the business - the main lot on Quincy Street and the lower corner lot on Hancock Street. Evert's carries both new and used motorsports and will accept all brands on trade.
In the showroom, customers will find a complete line of Kawasaki and Monster Energy clothing and accessories, including goggles, sunglasses, helmets, biking gear and more.
In addition to sales, Evert's offers ATV and snowmobile rentals and can accommodate large and small groups.
"We get people that come up here from all over," Tori said. "Everyone says we have the best trail systems here and we really do."
Helmets and snowgear for winter are included in the rental fee and the machines can be delivered to the rider's location.
Sean said they've rented machines to all sorts of groups, from college alumni to businesses on a retreat and even professional athletes.
"We've had the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings rent from us," Sean said. "We also got to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Travis Pastrana."
Evert's Motor Sports offers a range of repair services on all makes and models of recreational vehicles. Services include: oil changes, tune-ups, tire changing and balancing, carb synchronizing, safety checks, engine work and summarizing and winterizing vehicles. The two certified mechanics have more than 40 years of combined experience in service repair.
"Gary, he's one of the best motorcycle mechanics around," Sean said. "He's like a magician."
In the near future, Evert's will be adding snowmobile repair to its list of services.
"Jerry is our snowmobile guy," Sean said. "That's his specialty."
Evert's has been a community icon since 1938, when founder Evert Aho opened the business in South Range to offer used car sales, body work and general automotive repair. It wasn't until the early 1950s that he moved the business to Hancock, into what is presently Gartner's Furniture. In 1957, the business came to rest at its present location on Dakota Street.
Sean said he's proud to carry on the business traditions started many years ago.
"I want to say 'thank you' to Jim Aho for giving us this opportunity to continue building the business," he said. "We're really looking forward to a bright future."
Ultimately, what it comes down to for Sean and Tori, is that running Evert's together has become a family business venture.
Their two children, Jacob, 11, and Josie, 7, occasionally drop by the shop to lend a hand. So do the family dogs.
Chopper, the boxer, and Big Ben, the Great Dane, can be found at the shop, but according to Tori, only on alternating days.
"They're too big to be in here together," she said with a light chuckle. "They're our shop dogs."
In June, Tori said they held a grand re-opening celebration to introduce themselves as the new business owners to the community.
"We want to thank all the people that came by and made it a success," she said. "The support we received has been so wonderful."
Evert's Motor Sports is located at 315 Dakota St. in Hancock. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 482-2811 or visit evertssales.com.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Evert's Motor Sports of Hancock. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.