Motorcycle enthusiast Jeff Lum’s passion for two wheels runs deep; he started riding a bicycle at three years old, and by four he was already riding his first motorbike, a Yamaha YZ50 that was given to him by his father.
“I took that thing everywhere with me,” Lum recalled fondly. “Whatever trip we would go on I would put it in the car with me and hold it and as soon as we’d stop the car, I’d take it outside and kickstart it and just ride anywhere we were.”
Inspired by his favourite movie from the ‘80s, “The Dirt Bike Kid,” Lum continued riding into his adolescent years, ripping around the streets of East Vancouver on a 50cc KTM moped, also a gift from his father.
In 2002 he got his first road bike, a yellow Honda VTR1000F with a V-twin engine that had “the best sound in the whole world,” according to Lum. Around that time, Lum started to expand his passion for motorcycles beyond riding. He began restoring bikes with his father and later enrolled in millwright and motorcycle technician programs through the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Once out of school, he landed a mechanic job at Vancouver Harley Davidson dealer Trev Deeley Motorcycles, where he worked for five years.
Driven by a strong entrepreneurial streak and the desire to push creative boundaries, Lum went out on his own in 2012 to open Black and Gold Motorcycles, a custom build and repair shop in Burnaby that has been steadily gaining momentum in the motorcycle community.
Lum specializes in repairing and customizing Harley Davidson motorcycles, which he insisted are “not just your dad’s bike anymore.” He has also accumulated a diverse collection of pristine vintage bikes that are on display in the Black and Gold showroom for customers to enjoy — that is, when they’re not being rented out to the film industry. One such vintage gem served as inspiration for the shop’s name: an immaculate 1971 Norton Commando with a slick black-and-gold paint scheme.
Lum takes deep pride in his work, which he said requires great creativity and attention to detail. “The most important part is the quality of the work and the way you treat your customers,” he said. “People don’t forget that.”
Although he has single handedly managed every aspect of the operation since day one, he admits that working alone at the shop has its challenges for someone with a very social nature like his. But that may soon change, he said. He has his eye on expansion, hoping to make his first hire in the near future, and he’s been dreaming up a long-term project to open up another local business, a Chinese restaurant in Vancouver.
Wherever his business endeavors take him, Lum continues to be driven by his love for two wheels. His passion for motorcycles is uncomplicated and unpretentious, and he brims with childlike joy when talking about each of the motorcycles he’s ever loved. He scorns labels, drama and egos and is the antithesis of the negative biker stereotype. Instead, he said he earnestly hopes to see greater cohesiveness in the riding community. “We’re all in this together, and (the community) isn’t going to grow unless we all support one another.”
Photos by Alex Barredo