Industrial-sheik meets old-time-feed-store with Italian motorcycles for sale-- that is the experience Downtown Powersports in Leesville provides.

Motorcycle dealership and historical experience converge

Industrial-sheik meets old-time-feed-store with Italian motorcycles for sale-- that is the experience Downtown Powersports in Leesville provides.

Co-owners, Andrew Simms and his father, Jack Simms, have transformed and updated a 70-year-old building on Lula Street, while keeping its history alive.

Downtown Powersports is a full-service power sports dealership and an authorized dealer for Suzuki, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Bad Boy Off-Road, and various accessories. It is the only Moto Guzzi and Aprilia motorcycle dealer in Louisiana, and the only Suzuki dealer north of I-10, Andrew said.

Moto Guzzi is the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production."They are good solid bikes that don't need a lot of maintenance, and are reasonably priced for the consumer," said Andrew.

The in-house repair shop offers specialized service and routine maintenance for ATVs, motorcycles, or commercial mowers.

Jack bought the building in the 1970s. At the time it was a farm supply and small engine repair shop. Eventually Jack sold the business. Then, two years ago, he bought the property for a second time. 

The father-son team maintained the feed store, initially, then decided to go a completely different direction to fill a niche in the area. Andrew said, "We wanted to reach out to the military and local community." Downtown Motorsports was born.

Andrew, English teacher, turned police officer, now business owner and general manager, is responsible for the unique design of the store. He utilized feed palettes and vintage machines and tools from the original feed store as a big part of the design.

The building has potential for expansion, as there is a spacious warehouse, loading and assembly area in the back. Eventually, Andrew hopes to open it up and expose more of the original architecture and mechanisms once used in the feed shop.

A very old working elevator is an interesting feature within the structure. It operates much like a dumbwaiter, and was originally used to lift large bags of feed up to the loft area. There is also an office space, which looks like a small apartment, overlooking the warehouse. Andrew hopes to, one day, utilize that office himself.

Downtown Powersports, located at 109 E. Lula Street, is open Tuesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.