Wed | Jan 17, 2018

Autodrive | Noel and his love for bikes

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche
Noel Holtz, managing director, Kor Jam Ltd.
2015 Hyosung GT250R
Noel Holtz Sr (foreground) in the 70's.

Growing up with a father who is a bike enthusiast left Noel Holtz with very little options for a career path.

"My father was a Honda bike dealer in the 70s and did a lot to make their bikes famous in Jamaica.

"In addition, he would also race the bikes; this gave me exposure to the mechanical, distribution and racing elements of motor sports," revealed Holtz.

Naturally, this also gave him some hands-on experience, which, for a precocious teen, was a dream come true.

"I've been fixing motorcycles since I was a teenager, some of my first bikes were ancient ones. I remember having a 354 Honda at one point. Regardless of the bike, I went through them all," Holtz jokingly states.

"One of the things I liked about riding old bikes when I was younger was the fact that the rider had to make the bike fast, because bikes weren't built as good as they are today. A lot of the bikes were very unstable and you had to know how to take a corner and how to power it out of a corner," Holtz shared.



All this exposure to bike made this certified marine mechanic decided to become the local dealer for Hyosung bikes two years ago.

"I wanted to bring a new brand to Jamaica. Something that was just as reliable and powerful as the established brands."

Though relatively new to Jamaicans, Holtz is quick to emphasise its reputability.

"It's a brand that has been on the world market since 2001 and has been sold in North America since 2005," shared Holtz.

While the Hyosung bikes have got a large amount of adulation, there is still a challenge to convert diehearted lovers of traditional brands.

"People love the GT250R model, but there are some who think the $650K price tag is a bit much.

"However, I am quick to reassure persons that the bike is a quality bike. I ride it to work daily," said Holtz.

Despite Holtz's hectic schedule as dealer and mechanic, he recently made time to fulfil a lifelong dream.

"I recently got the opportunity to ride with my father on the Hyosung and we went through Sligoville to Bog Walk. The bonding experience it created is certain to last a long time. It's something I hope to do with my children one day," revealed Holtz.

Want to know how this bike rides?

Check out the review on our YouTube page: Jamaica Gleaner, Playlist: Auto Drive