Worth the Gamble
Avon Parks Director of Operations builds custom motorcycles
Writer / Heather Chastain
Every motorcycle has a story. It’s that story that inspires Gary Gamble, Director of Operations for the Town of Avon Parks, to build motorcycles in his free time.
A man with mechanical aptitude and a penchant for creativity, Gamble was inspired by Steve Darnell on Vegas Rat Rods.
“I thought, ‘I can do that!’ I just started fabricating,” he says. “I just try to make the bikes look really neat. The bikes I make are a finer version of a rat bike.”
Rat bikes are motorcycles that have fallen apart over time but been kept on the road and maintained for little or no cost by employing kludge fixes.
“I don’t just build anything. I won’t build junk. It’s got to be rideable and comfortable,” Gamble says.
Gamble has only been building motorcycles for four years but has already been featured in several motorcycle magazines. Gamble still remembers the first time he received any type of notoriety for his work. His bike was lined up downtown ahead of the MotoGP, and he was marveling at all the other bikes.
“I said, ‘wow, that’s a really cool bike!’” And someone from the Indianapolis Star said to me, ‘no that’s a really cool bike!’ [referring to mine],” he says.
Gamble has won trophies and awards for his bikes, but he rarely keeps them. “It’s about keeping the faith, working through your problems and finding yourself,” he says.
However, Gamble says while he enjoys building bikes, it’s about so much more than that to him.
“I have met a lot of really neat people along the way,” Gamble says. “I also hope to inspire other people to go after what they want to do and be creative. It does take a bit of courage to do it. Failure is part of the process. I’ve failed doing this more than I’ve succeed, but it can be done.”
To date, Gamble has built six bikes and sold four of them. Currently, one of his bikes is featured in a Faclone Powersports commercial. He has made two bikes for them and hopes to build more. He even designed one bike with his son, Cory.
“I thought it would be really neat to do a project together,” Gamble says. “We had a good time.”
A few of the bikes he has built include a Harley Sportster 2010, Harley Nightster 1200, 1981 Rusted Wing, Goldwing with a B17 Tank and a 2017 Bobber Triumph T120.
Gamble takes a lot of pride in his work and makes each one unique.
“These bikes are so detailed. It takes hours and hours to get the patina on. I build each of these bikes as if they would all be mine” he says.
He credits “the best wife in the world,” his wife Alisa, for giving him the support and time to invest in his hobby. Gamble says he is also grateful to his friends, family and God for helping him get to this place where he can build motorcycles.