Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Piston Society!
Tim Burke, Owner of Piston Society: We are purveyors of quality, urban, and adventure motorcycle gear hand-selected to keep you looking good on and off of the bike. Piston Society is a place where motorcyclists can buy or rent a motorcycle, select gear, and find motorcycle art for their walls.
Cincy Chic: What inspired you to launch a business like Piston Society?
Burke: For years I was seeking out uniquely styled helmets, gloves, jackets and buying them from far-flung boutiques. Nobody locally was selling the styles and brands my friends and I enjoy. So I opened the shop to provide a boutique motorcycle lifestyle experience that you can’t get from the larger shops out on the beltway. We try to only sell products you can’t find elsewhere in town and give motorcyclists a more fashion-forward option for gear.
Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about your background?
Burke: I’m the owner of Piston Society but also is the founder of the local motorcycle club: The Cincinnati Café Racers. Over the years, my club volunteers and I have produced everything from basic rides and bike nights to larger shows such as the Garage Brewed moto show, being held on January 28 at Rhinegeist Brewery, which may be the largest motorcycle show in the region. A Cincinnati native, I has a love of Cincinnati history, antiques, art, and vintage motorcycles. I produced East Price Hill’s first historic home tour back in 1995 and have renovated over a half dozen homes throughout the years. I am also known locally in the technology world where I have an IT background and own Electronic Art, an interactive agency celebrating 15 years in January.
Cincy Chic: When did you officially launch Piston Society?
Burke: We began working on it over a year ago and announced it at the Garage Brewed show in February 2016. The store had its grand opening on April 1, 2016 – no joke!
Cincy Chic: Where is Piston Society located?
Burke: We are located in the historic Over The Rhine district of downtown Cincinnati across from Taft’s Ale House and a half-block from Washington Park at 1428 Race Street. We love having Race Street as part of our address.
Cincy Chic: What makes Piston Society unique?
Burke: We curate the goods that we offer from local artists and small artisan craftsmen from around the country as well as unique brands that are lesser known in the motorcycle world. We are also the only place in Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, Dayton, or Indianapolis that gives customers the option to rent a motorcycle. It’s a small part of our business at the moment but I see it growing over the next few years, primarily with out-of-town visitors.
Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Piston Society?
Burke: Yes, we have just become Zero Electric motorcycle dealers here in Cincinnati. The first of its kind in Cincinnati and yes, the irony is not lost on us that the first brand we are selling has no pistons. But the unique motorcycle experience from Zero Electric is more than environmentally friendly and cost effective – it’s a blast to ride! It’s the same as a traditional motorcycle and yet different in many ways.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Piston Society?
Burke: They can visit our web site at http://PistonSociety.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. But stopping in for a visit while in OTR is the best way to experience what it’s like to be part of the Piston Society.