Oh good God, what to say about Dale Wallis?
Dale is literally the Batman of vintage bikes. The question, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" pops into my head pretty much every damn time I check out his social media feeds, or head out to Chilliwack in person. The guy literally has a Batman bike too, which I dearly hope to manage to persuade him to part with one day.
And not only does Dale have easily the most extensive and badass private collection of vintage iron that I've been lucky enough to rubberneck in person, but he's a pretty standup mofo as well.
Dale and his wife Monica and their handsome brood, (Danika, Derek and drew) make the family thing look pretty good and Dale keeps things ticking along all buttery-smooth while managing to juggle holdings in several motorcycle-related businesses and one sweet annual vintage bike show, Vintage in the Valley. Dude is BUSY!
Wanna know what a solid guy Dale actually is? Well I'll tell you. So last year I had a bike in tow and got into town a day early for the show. Dale was kind enough to stay late and then let me stash the scoot at his shop overnight. Only a couple of event runners have made that offer over the years and it's a huge get when you're on the road.
Lot of guys get their trailers, bikes and tools lifted while travelling, so it makes it a lot easier to catch some zzz's when you know your baby is safe. Before all you dudes start pounding at his door though, that was a one-time favour and one of which I am still extremely appreciative.
Now if there wasn't already a mushy spot in my heart for Dale, Wally Levy and the gang and the incredibly well-organized and flat-out fun event they chuck up every year, 2017 would've sealed the deal.
After winning last year's Best Bobber at Vintage in the Valley 2017, something I'm still thrilled to the gills about, (seriously these guys and gals come to play, the caliber of work and machines is simply fucking outstanding!) and getting to actually meet the man whose name was on my trophy, the gracious Wes Cooley along with his lovely wife, I just can't say enough about this show. These are good people and they are not afraid of a good time!
Vintage in the Valley is coming up this weekend, 10 am-3 pm, Sunday August 19th, at the Chilliwack Heritage Park, 44140 Luckakuck Way, Chilliwack, BC. Special guest, Formula 750 legend Steve Baker and the race-banned TZ750 will be in attendance for your leg-humping pleasure, as well as some wobbly-pops, live music, a killer judged show and shine, live trials riding, a swap meet and even a live motorcycle auction. Be there, it'll seriously blow your hair back!
Alright, enough of my jaw-flappin', let's get to the Dude with the clue himself, Dale Wallis everybody!
(As always, just click on any of the pics to make 'em bigger!)
Who are you and where are you from?
Dale Wallis Chilliwack BC Canada
Got any nicknames and how’d you get ‘em?
Too many to list good and bad
What’s awesome about you and your life?
My Kids , Monica and my vintage stuff
What do you think you do and where do you do it?
I own parts of four motorcycle-related businesses
Oh, and I guess I collect vintage bikes too!
Why do you do what you do?
My retail biz pays the bills. The others are fun and I get to see so much cool stuff and the people and listen their stories too.
How did you wind up where you are?
Was out riding my bike in 82 and stopped at the local bike shop just to hang out. The owner asked what I did for work? I told him I was on the unemployment ski team and then he asked if I wanted a job, "sure why not?" I said. Five years later I bought that shop from him And, like they say, the rest is history.
What was your most annoying fuck up or brain fart?
In thirty six years in the same industry been way too many to list. One story I will share is I traded one of my vintage bikes to a friend and bought it back six years later for $18,000 more... OUCH
What was the last thing you did that made you swear later?
Forgot to buy beer!
What was the best thing to happen to you due to poor life choices?
I ended up in the bike biz for the past thirty six years. I owe everything to the bike business. As I tell my kids, if tomorrow it’s all over, or I go broke, don’t feel bad for me. It’s been a good run.
What was your favorite glory moment?
There’s been lots. They all were a team effort. So, if I had to pick one, it would be winning the Gold at the BC Summer Games in rugby. We were the underdogs and went all the way. Great guys on that team!
Anything hanging in your shop or office that gives you joy to look at and what’s it’s story?
The Batcycle . Puts a smile on my face every time I look at it or think about it. I took it on trade for a new bike. It came from a BJ auction in the states.
From what I’ve found out about the bike there was only four made. Some were used in the 60’s Batman TV series. So... that’s just cool!
What has been your favorite client moment so far?
Lots! Recently a young man brought his two year old son in, to buy a dirt bike jersey for him, and says to me it’s just like when my dad use to bring me and my brother in here when we were kids. In my thirty six years that’s the circle of life in motorcycle shops.
Favorite motorcycle-related story?
So many really. If I could pick one it would be meeting Wes Cooley at our swap meet last year.
What’s in your shop right now that you’re thinking about?
Too many to list but again if I had to pick. I would be a low number 1973 Kawi Z1 that will be a numbers matching high end resto once completed.
What’s your next adventure?
At some point selling my retail shop and just do vintage motorcycle related stuff. Of course add some more bikes to my collection!!
What would you like to see more of in the custom world?
More young talent. Without the youth the sport will die.
What would you do with one million dollars?
Build a building to put more vintage bikes in ;)
Who do you want us to interview next and what do you want us to ask them?
Kevin at Yesterdays Motorcycle Shop, Wally from vintage in the valley. Life long bike guy!
Who, or who’s work, do you have a crush on right now?
For me I don’t follow anyone there is so much cool stuff out there that I see at shows and online.
Got any heroes or role models?
Didn’t start out this way but my late father. He gave me the work ethic that I have today , my quick wit and sense of humour ;)
Any sources of inspiration you want to share?
Start every day fresh. If you’ve got problems, start with looking in the mirror, that’s where the answers are.
Want to give some shout outs to other talented peeps, or anyone that helped along the way?
Way too many to list but one has to be Killman Customs :)
*Editor's note: Oh go on with your bad self, you. You're making me blush now! lol
Tell us anything else you want us to share for you.
Keep it fun and don’t take yourself too seriously!
And there we have it Lords and Ladies, words of wisdom from one of the driving forces of Vintage in the Valley, Dale Wallis! Thanks for sharing with us today Dale, we can't wait to see what new madness you have waiting for us this weekend. Literally.
Can. Not. Wait!
Make sure to come and check out the show this weekend. Vintage in the Valley will not disappoint and, while you're at it, swing by the Killman Customs Independent Buildhouse booth to say hi and grab some swag. It's our second last event of the season, so grab your goodies in person and save yourself the shipping costs !!
Vintage in the Valley is coming up this weekend, 10 am-3 pm, Sunday August 19th, at the Chilliwack Heritage Park, 44140 Luckakuck Way, Chilliwack, BC. Special guest, Formula 750 legend Steve Baker and the race-banned TZ750 will be in attendance for your leg-humping pleasure, as well as some wobbly-pops, live music, a killer judged show and shine, live trials riding, a swap meet and even a live motorcycle auction.
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