John Clare, the man behind the motorcycle legacy in Niagara Region celebrated 90 years with family and friends yesterday.

A crowd turned out to enjoy cake, coffee and lots of stories as the festivities took place at the original Clare’s location on Hwy 20.

Below, 3 generations of the Clare family along with John’s wife Donna enjoy the day.

A History of Motorcycling Passion

Clare says his passion for motorcycles started in 1949, at age 15, when he received a 1930 Harley-Davidson motorcycle as payment for a plumbing repair.  The rest as they say is history and Clare quickly moved to open up his own shop at the tender age of 22 with the help of his family.  By 1965 he was the largest Yamaha dealer in Canada despite being in the small community of Fenwick, Ontario with Clare’s Cycle and Sports.

John Clare 1959

Check out an interview we did with John 5 years ago about the exciting history of his biking journey through the years.

Supporting All Things Motorcycle

When it comes to the people who have been instrumental in the development of the sport of motorcycling in Canada, few have had the same level of influence as John Clare. Not only has John Clare proven himself to be a very successful businessman, he’s also been a staunch supporter of all things motorcycle-related right from the start. An avid racer in his earlier days, he’s since gone on to sponsor other racers and events, and has volunteered his time and resources on countless other occasions.

Awards and Retail Pursuits

Over the years, Clare  has participated in nearly every branch of motorcycle sport,  and in 2011 he was even was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

His retail pursuits also soared with an expansion of the family business that began with Clare’s Cycle and Sports and then added another location: Clare’s Harley Davidson of Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2008.

Reflecting on An Incredible 90 Years

January 17th was a day that brought John a lot of happiness and satisfaction about the life and legacy that he has lived out. Not only did he enjoy great love and support of everyone for his big day in person, but social media was abuzz with good wishes which he appreciated so much.

Through the years his hands on approach to the business has been passed on to other members of the family and dedicated staff, however the lasting impact founder John Clare has had on the business and motorcycle industry carries on.

Perhaps even more importantly, John’s impact was felt long before motorcycling became the popular sport it is today; in other words, John’s efforts helped to create support for motorcycling at the local level—support that was critically important during the formative years of this industry.

A Tribute to John Clare’s Motorcycle Legacy


clares family

A family owned business for almost 70 years, CLARE’S Cycle & Sports Ltd. began as a small shop in Welland, Ontario, Canada in 1954 where John Clare was the sole proprietor and eventually moved to Fenwick where over the years it has grown to be the large and successful business that it is today. 

Over the years CLARE’S has added many brands to the dealership.  Currently, Clare’s supplies sales, service, parts and accessories to the brands Harley-Davidson®, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, KTM and CFMOTO to the dealership and in 2008 CLARE’S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara came into being at 590 York Rd Niagara on the Lake.

CLARE’S Cycle & Sports Ltd. & CLARE’S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara have established themselves as one of the premiere motorcycle dealers in Ontario.


CLARE’S Cycle and Sports
799 RR 20
Fenwick, ON L0S 1C0

Phone: (905) 892-2664


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CLARE’S Harley-Davidson® of Niagara
590 York Road
Niagara On The Lake, ON L0S1J0
Phone: 905-684-4647


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