Allen Noland owns and operates Noland-TransWorld Cycle out of Oakland Maryland. He is known by many as the man to talk to when it comes to the Aprilia SXV,RXV and MXV. He has built such a reputation with these bikes that people all over the world are shipping XV engines to him in his little shop out in west Maryland for diagnosis and repair.
I have been fortunate to have a lot of experience working with Allen and can honestly say he truly is a top notch guy who looks out for his customers and makes sure they are treated fairly and get their bikes fixed right the first time. While he has built his reputation building and working on XV's (he currently has about 20 in the shop), Allen does work on anything. There was a BMW S1000RR while I was there and I have even seen a couple harleys hiding in the corner waiting for Allen on previous visits.
Walking around Allens shop youll see all of the bikes lined up all in different stages of being built. You'll see bikes fully complete to rolling chassis and almost everything in-between. He even has a couple one off XV's hiding in the mix. You may even be able to spot them from the pictures.
In the back of his shop he has 5 fold up tables where he has some of the engines hes currently working on. Some of them will be going back into the bikes lined up and some are going to be shipped back to his loyal customers. He even has cases and heads stacked on shelves just waiting to be used. There are two rooms off the main shop completely full of XV parts. One with enough parts to build another four XV's from scratch and one where he keeps all of his "trick" parts. You'll see all kinds of engine internal parts, more cases, swingarms, alpina wheel sets, and he has quite a few boxes of arrow exhausts hanging around.
I'm not sure where he finds all of this time but he has even been helping to collaborate on new easy to use tuning software for the XV's and other FI bikes. If you ever have the chance to bring your bike to him you are guaranteed top quality work. I really cant recommend him enough.
Allen has also been kind enough to sit down for what was originally going to be a quick interview. You can listen to the full interview below and here are some excerpts from it:
What did you work on prior?
Everything. I have been into bikes since I was a kid, wrenching café conversions, triumphs, bsa’s, nortons, that kind of stuff.
What got you into it?
I just always loved motorcycles. My dad, always swore I wouldn't have a motorcycle as long as I lived in his house. You know one of those kind of deals. I got this old Yamaha 200 four stroke, twin cylinder, and just spent my time going through it. It was really a basket case. I spent the whole winter working on it. I spent that following summer working at a pharmacy, stocking shelves and what not. I came home one night after working, I had left my motorcycle in the driveway before work, and when I got home after my shift it was gone. I went up to my dad and said "where the hell is my motorcycle?!" My dad goes well it fell over, rolled down the street, the police came, they hauled it away. Im sitting there like how did it jump out of gear, how did it roll down the driveway etc. It wasn't until 30 years later that my mom told me what actually happened. My dad was mowing the lawn and some guy stopped by and saw the motorcycle in the driveway and asked my dad if it was for sale. My dad goes yeah make an offer."Well I only have 17$ in my pocket" and the old man goes sold. He really didn't want me to have a bike.
How did you get your first job as a bike mechanic?
I was working out in Alaska, as a guide up there. Id come back here during the summer and build bamboo fly rods and then go back to Alaska during the winter. I still loved to ride though. There was a local shop that I went to a lot when I was back home and they eventually asked me if I could help them out part time. Well I went from working Tuesday and Thursdays to working full days during the week to working for a couple months then saying ill go back to Alaska. 6 years later I was still working there.
What was your first experience with Aprilia?
The first time I saw aprilia was down in Cancun. They did a combined dealer show with arctic cat and some other brands like piaggio, in the spring of 2006. I fell in love with the things. It took forever for me to talk the dealership into picking up the line. I kept telling them supermotos are going to be the next big thing. They were big into GNCC so they ended up picking up a bunch of RXV’s which sat because everyone coming in was looking for the SXV (supermoto version).
Well in late 2007-early 2008 they started coming in for the orange sealant issues and I figured out the first couple on my own. Well word got out and by summer of 08 I had done about 54 reseals ontop of all the setups I was doing. Back at that point aprilia was covering it. They just wanted the problem to go away. If it was inside of two years I didn’t even have to call. They were covering bikes that were 24 months out of warranty. They were covering everything.
Even in 2009 and 2010 we were getting shipments of 30 bikes at a time and people would fly and drive from all over the place to buy them from the dealership I worked for because they knew I was doing it. People drive up here from florida and drive past 4 other dealerships because they know that I will set them up right.
You can tell by talking to him that he absolutely loves what he does. He has a garage full of bikes, yet still builds bikes for fun in his free time. He is a strong supporter of supermoto and really wants to see the sport grow.