Vance Breese - Developer - Founder
Vance Breese grew up in the limelight of his father. A quick search of "Google" will give you over 65,000 hits, most of them pertaining to his father, one of the most renouned test pilots of the 1930's and 1940's. Yet Vance built his own life endowed with that insatiable desire called, "need for speed."
He left home in the summer of '62 and found himself milking cows, fighting fires, riding fences, and finding a sweetheart in Medford, Oregon. When he turned 14, Vance got his "learner's permit" and purchased a Norton Dominator 99. The bike had previously been set up for racing. The nearest paved road was 20 miles away, so the clip on handlebars and limited steering lock, were not ideal. They did teach him about pushing the front wheel to slow down, but the real reason for purchasing the bike, was to visit his sweetheart, whom lived miles away. Little did he know those 450 mile (one way) trips would teach him the best way to handle a bike when you are in a hurry!
Check out Vance's Blog- Building a Better PowerSports Business
Business Life -
Following an unsucessfully business venture wih a motorcycle shop called Mothers Motors and Parts Pile, Vance then proceeded to get himself fired 3 times in 6 months working for another firm as a Volkswagen parts man. He started a carpet cleaning business, a telephone answering business, and was half owner of an engineering job shop, building everything from car parts to microwave communication structures. Vance was not looking to purchase a motorcyle store when he walked into Harley-Davidson of Santa Maria during 1986. He aquired the shop. Date of purchase: Fools Day, 1987, but everything just worked out, just fine.
Vance Breese spent the next eighteen years as a Harley-Davidson Dealer. In 1988, Vance was not satisfied with the existing software for running his business. So, not knowing any better, he started Santa Maria Software, on the side, and developed his own software business solution, now affectionately known as "Counterman." He spent a lot of time on the road selling the software while learning what other motorcycle dealers really needed in their quest for the ideal business tool. It needed to free them up from mundane tasks of redundant data entry and generate more free time for fun!
Vance sold Harley-Davidson of Santa Maria in 2001 and devoted full time to Counterman.
Fun Fact about Vance -
1965 - Started racing motorcycles on the desert, half mile, TT and road racing. Like road racing best.
1969 - Received his professional racing license.
1974 - American Federation of Motorcycles State Champion in 500 GP.
1975 - American Federation of Motorcycles State Champion in 500 GP.
1977 - American Federation of Motorcycles State 2d Place in Open Production.
1978 - American Federation of Motorcycles State Champion in Open Production.
1978 - American Federation of Motorcycles State Side Car Champion
1979 - American Federation of Motorcycles State 2d Place in Open Production.
1979 - American Federation of Motorcycles State Side Car Champion
1979 - Went to Bonneville with Alan Sputhe with an APS AG 1300 Sporster and broke it on the starting rollers.
1980 - Broke his ankle through the joint in a road racing side car practice incident. Built an APS 1300 AG Harley Davidson powered Sporster while he was laid up, then set a record at Bonneville of 176.6 m.p.h. Jim Belland built the engine. Note: This record still stands.
1981 - Raced at the Isle of Mann in and finished 38th in the classic on a Harley Davidson Sporster, but still managed to win the "Sprit of TT" while crossing the finish line with his bike in flames.
1981 - Was involved with Denis Manning on the Bub Streamliner and crashed it four times in one day at Black Rock Desert.
1984 - Harry Hoffman helped Vance build a fuel burning 78 cubic inch Sporster. Duncan Keller built the engine. At Bonneville, he qualified for a record but could not complete the return run.
1985 - Set a Land Speed Record on the same bike of 199.954 m.p.h. in AF 1300.
1987 - Bought Harley-Davidson of Santa Maria.
1989 - Back with the same bike and destroyed the engine.
1990 - Back with the same bike and destroyed the engine.
1992 - Assisted by Ken Holden, designed and built a Harley-Davidson Streamliner with the aerodynamic design help of Kevin Cooper. Mike Corbin build the body, and Duncan Keller build the engine. Nine months after starting the build, raced and crashed at Bonneville at 70 mph in a towing incident.
1993 - Loaned the open Sportster to Carl Morrow whom set several records with it over the next several years.
1993 - Crashed the Streamliner at Bonneville when the gearbox locked up at 120 mph.
1994 - Crashed the Streamliner at approximately 285 mph when a pin for the skids broke and stopped the rear wheel.
1995 - Crashed the Streamliner again at about 265 mph and tumbled end over end when the parachute came out but did not open. Lost sight in left eye and suffered extensive brain damage.
1996 - Received the open Sportster back from Carl Morrow. Set a speed record in AG 1350 of 156 mph.
1997 - Freshened up the engine of the open Sportster and set a record of 164 mph.
2003 - Gave the open Sportster bike to Mickey Gooden and he has been setting records on it since.
2008 - Inducted into the Dry Lakes Racer's Hall of Fame.
Currently working on an open 78 cubic inch motor cycle (which has been stalled while in pursuit of a Gyroplane Pilot's License).
Now licensed to fly a one off Experimental Gyroplane out of Santa Maria, CA..
Aircraft designer - Breese Aircraft, patent & design.