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October 7, 2010 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Running a business is hard. It’s almost like learning how to ride a bike. But since opening Revlimit Powersports last October, owner David Swindell has proved he can master both.
NAME: David Swindell
COMO RESIDENT SINCE: 1994
AT JOB SINCE: 2009
Why did you decide to start this business?
I’d laid floors since I was 15. Now I’m 34, and I never really did like it and was just sick of it. About three or four months before I opened this place, there was a Kawasaki shop in Columbia, and the owner called me out of the blue and was like: “I think I want to hire you. What kind of money do you need to make?” I fell in love with it. Once I got a real taste of it, I knew I never wanted to go back to flooring. Well, he laid me off, totally broke, and I had nothing to lose but $1,500. Everyone thought I was crazy. We put ads on Craigslist, and they just started calling and coming.
What kind of vehicles do you work on?
Dirt bikes, street bikes, scooters, pretty much anything.
How did you learn to fix bikes?
I grew up racing and being around it all the time. When you’re at the track, you might have to pull the motor out in between the races. If you screw it up, you fix it or pay for it later.
What kinds of stories do customers most often share with you?
People crashing. That’s a really hot subject, whether it’s street or dirt or whatever. We know somebody who’s always finding a way to hurt themselves, and it’s usually out of stupidity.
How does being a racer help you run your business?
Having knowledge about the way bikes should handle, suspension setup, things that can make them run better. The passion I have from being a racer, more than anything else, that I’m able to bring to the table.
Where do you get your parts?
I’m a distributer for Western Power Sports, Marshall and MPA, which are three of the biggest parts dealers in the United States. I heard from Western Power Sports that I’m No. 1 in the state of Missouri out of hundreds of shops as a parts dealer.
What is your most common repair?
Stopped-up and dirty carburetors from motorcycles and four-wheelers. People running bad gas.
What injuries have you sustained from racing?
I’ve broken wrists, ankles, real bad torn ligaments in my knees. I’ve broken both collarbones, all my fingers and hands numerous times. I landed on my kidneys and really messed myself up for a while. I’ve been every color of purple and black you can imagine.
What’s the best part of owning your own business?
We have a great time. We laugh. We tell people to try on helmets and run into the wall. We’ve tried to get people to do it forever and finally got someone to do it. Scratched the heck out of the helmet, but it was worth it. Where else are you going to get that kind of nonsense?