Buddy Stubbs Celebrates His 53rd Year as Arizona’s Premier Harley Dealer

  • story by Nick Esquer
  • photos by AJ Shipitofsky
  • posted on 05/2019
  • posted in: Featured Dealers

Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson continues its tradition of serving the Greater Phoenix area through a family-focused lens.

Buddy Stubbs kick started his way into being the only Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer in Phoenix in July, 1966. Prior to that, he lived in Southern California as a professional motorcycle racer working for Harley dealers there. There were a few opportunities to become a Triumph dealer in Texas, so he and his wife traveled to Texas to check out those dealerships, but on the way home they stopped in the dealerships in Phoenix.

When he got back home in California, he got a phone call from Walter C. Davidson at H-D Motor Co in Milwaukee, WI. Mr. Davidson said the doors were closing at the H-D dealership in Phoenix and he needed someone with experience to keep the doors open until they found a new dealer.


Buddy was born and raised in his father’s Harley-Davidson dealership in Decatur, Illinois, so he knew everything about running a Harley dealership.

So, he went back to Phoenix and kept the Harley-Davidson dealership in businesses and did well. Then Mr. Davidson asked Buddy to stay since no one came forward to buy out the dealership. Buddy stayed and he’s still there as the Harley-Davidson dealership after 53 years.

Since then, the Buddy Stubbs name has been synonymous with motorcycle culture in the state and has expanded to more locations, as well as the opening of a classic/vintage bike museum. Now, Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson is operated by his sons Jack and Frank who carry on the same tradition of a passion for Harleys and offering a high-level of customer service, including being the only dealer in the state that offers a free lifetime powertrain warranty. Buddy still works at the dealership on a regular basis.


“It’s a no-pressure environment with us. Our job is to make sure the customer is on the right motorcycle. What we train our staff to do is work hands-on with the customer and get it right for them the first time,” explains Jack Stubbs.

The main Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson location has moved a couple times since its inception in 1966 and now sits in North Central Phoenix (13850 North Cave Creek Rd.). Another location is set up in Cave Creek (6812 East Cave Creek Rd.) and then another in Anthem (41715 N. 41st Dr.) at the foot of New River, along the strip of I-17 North that takes day-tripping bike cruisers up north for a weekend ride.

The main hub hosts a riding academy for people who want to brush up on their riding skills or for those who want to get their motorcycle certification before getting their license. Each location plays host to a fully flexed inventory of new and used motorcycles, parts, and maintenance. One thing that sets the main location apart from the rest is its crowd-pleasing unique museum that houses a collection of vintage, classic, rare, and popular motorcycles collected throughout the years.


The museum, a free attraction for the public, was another passion project for the elder Stubbs, offering a look into his obsession with motorcycles in general, not just Harley-Davidson. The idea for the museum was partly borne out of his past as a motorcycle racer, competing in races throughout Illinois and California.

“The main thing about the museum is that motorcycles are my dad’s passion. If you see, it’s not just Harley-Davidson on display. There are 37 different makes in that museum, all vintage and interesting bikes,” explains Jack. “One of the things I can say about my dad’s racing in the 1960s is that the motorcycles my dad was racing against, he very quickly knew which ones could beat his Harleys. A lot of the bikes you see in there are from that era.”

The collection spans the entire history or Harley-Davidson as well as rare models from AJS, BMW, BSA, Triumph, Indian, and more. From street bikes to racing bikes, vintage farmland racers to rarely unveiled motorcycles, the museum is the largest collection of bikes in the Southwest. It’s also a representative of Arizona’s place in the country’s motorcycle culture that includes the chopper lifestyle in New York, flat track style in the Midwest, and streamlined cafe types out in California.


Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson call (602) 971-3400 and visit www.buddystubbshd.com