Vincent Spina’s passion for motorcycles led to a successful business
By Kamala Kirk
Growing up on a dairy farm in Delaware, Vincent Spina spent all his time around bikes and competed in motocross. As a kid, he was mesmerized by the motorcycles depicted in films like “Easy Rider” and “On Any Sunday,” and wanted to move to California one day to become a professional motorcycle racer.
“Back in the 1970s, I was the youngest person riding and I also worked on bikes,” Spina says. “I eventually completed a formal apprenticeship program and became a machinist, working for companies like DuPont and General Motors. General Motors was going to send me to engineering school, but at a certain point I decided that I’d rather have my own business so I left when I was 24. Everyone thought I was crazy to quit that job, but I needed to do something more interesting.”
In 2015, Spina founded Motorcycle Mover, which offers a variety of services including transportation, storage and detailing of motorcycles, in addition to support and logistics for special events and road trips. They offer VIP services to clients that require the highest level of service and discretion, along with an emergency assistance program. While Motorcycle Mover doesn’t perform maintenance services, they work with different specialists in the industry and can refer clients depending on what they need. Spina has also helped clients with tasks such as motorcycle acquisition and sales.
“We’re a very unique California-based business and a large concentration of our clients are on the Westside,” Spina points out. “There aren’t any companies like ours in other parts of the country. We’re located in the epicenter of motorcycle culture and we cater to avid motorcycle enthusiasts by providing them with the utmost convenience.”
Prior to founding Motorcycle Mover, Spina worked in the tradeshow and convention industry and lived in Las Vegas, where he spent years running a successful company that he later sold. After going into an early retirement, he spent the next few years traveling the world, practicing yoga and riding motorcycles.
“I toured on my bike and went solo riding throughout Europe,” Spina says. “I did this for about three or four years, then one day I woke up and realized it was time to do something else. Over the years, I had been coming out to California to train with yoga teachers in Santa Monica. I always knew that one day I was going to live out here.”
After relocating to California in 2013, Spina spent several years working as a yoga instructor before deciding to pursue a business idea that involved his lifelong passion for motorcycles.
“Working with bikes and living in California was a dream that I’d had as a kid and it never completely went away,” Spina shares. “So I thought why not now? I started to investigate different areas of the motorcycle industry and realized there weren’t any companies that specialized in the transportation of bikes, so I started my own business.”
Motorcycle Mover has worked with a long list of high-profile clientele that includes George Clooney, Harry Styles and Steven Tyler, in addition to ARCH Motorcycles, a high-end custom motorcycle manufacturer founded by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger. They also offer services to the film and television industry, doing everything from supplying picture and prop motorcycles for red carpet premieres to providing handlers and precision riders on sets of shows like “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Mayans.”
Spina also has a line of merchandise that features Motorcycle Movers’ logo on bandanas and T-shirts, which represents the bike that motorcycle racer Roland “Rollie” Free rode when he broke the American motorcycle land speed record in 1948. Considered the most famous picture in motorcycling, the image depicts Free riding the bike in a flat position.
“Roland was close to breaking the record but couldn’t quite do it, so he got undressed, put on a swim cap and laid down on the bike to decrease wind resistance, ultimately breaking the world record,” Spina explains.
Back when Spina started his company, he was in the process of expanding and hiring additional employees to service clients in Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Inland Empire, San Diego and San Francisco. But not long into his new endeavor, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with head and neck cancer in September 2018.
“At the time, I was really pushing the business forward, working a lot and enjoying it,” Spina says. “But after I received my diagnosis, I ended up spending just about every day in the hospital for the next few months. I lost 40 pounds and was a bit beat up, so I had to scale the business back.”
After completing chemotherapy and radiation, it took Spina some time to regain his strength. He couldn’t ride a motorcycle for six months, which was the longest he’d ever gone without riding.
“The chemo and radiation were centered around my neck and did a lot of damage to my muscles, I still have some random joint inflammation but I’ve become stronger over time,” he says. “I was riding down the 10 freeway the other day and it felt so great just to be healthy enough to do that. The only thing I’m missing right now is being able to go back to the hospital to see the incredible doctors and nurses at UCLA who helped me through everything. I was really humbled by their dedication. I can’t visit my doctors, nurses and the patients currently undergoing treatment because of COVID-19. It’s been especially important for me to visit the patients. The support of someone who has been there is really helpful and it keeps me in a gratitude state of mind.”
Giving back and supporting the community via motorcycle-related charity events is also important to Spina, and over the years Motorcycle Mover has sponsored and been part of charitable events like the Love Ride and Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. In the future, Spina hopes to create some type of Motorcycle Mover charity event that will benefit organizations like Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do all my life, be innovative and have fun, while making a contribution to the motorcycle industry,” he says. “I’ve been riding for a long time, but I still get so excited that I can barely sleep the night before I go for a ride with friends. Riding is like meditation for me, it’s therapeutic and it feels really good. Some people ask if I’ll ride until the day I die, which unfortunately isn’t possible. Eventually we get to a certain age where it’s not practical and we can’t do it anymore, so I’m just trying to ride as much as I possibly can now.”
For more information, visit motorcyclemover.us