It all began in 1946 when Glenn purchased his first motorcycle, a 1926 Harley-Davidson JD74, when he completed high school. Soon after he and his brother Rex pooled their money and ordered a Panther 350 which cost them $490 and arrived from England via Nicholson Bros in Saskatoon on December 19th 1946 – not the best time to get a bike, but that didn’t stop these two!
As their passion grew they decided to start a dealership in 1949 on a farm east of Olds Alberta when Glenn was only 21 years young. Seven years later the brothers decided to move their successful shop to Red Deer which had a humble population size of 13,000 residents. Glenn was touring enthusiast while brother Rex wrenched as the mechanic for the shop and was also the racing enthusiast of the family as he competed in almost every form of racing on two wheels.
In 1965 Turple Bros. Ltd. acquired the Ski-Doo line to diversify their product offerings, making them one of the 10 oldest BRP dealers in the world! This was when Bombardier got into the new 1966 250 Super Olympic with 14 H.P (a fast machine in those days). Glenn trusts Honda and in 1967 he rode a ’66 CB450 to Key West, which was one of many cross-country trips he would take over the years.
From 6:30am until late at night 6 days a week you could find Glenn at the shop, but Sundays he rode. His daughter Brenda Neufeld said: “If you want to spend time with dad you ride with him.” Glenn is community-focused and an avid supporter of buying Canadian and buying locally. He’s a family man and has been happily married for 61 years. He is soft spoken, doesn’t drink or smoke and he has always fought to improve the image of bikers. As motorcyclists began wearing black leather Glenn purchased brown leathers when it became available, and still wears brown over black to this day.
“The world is made of all types of people, and they all ride bikes.” – Glenn Turple
Glenn Turple first started tracking his miles in the later ‘40s as a way of friendly competition with fellow riders and has been doing so ever since. Although he can use a computer he still buys logbooks from the local drugstore and closely records his mileage within. He is a member and founder of multiple riding clubs and anytime he talks about bikes you can see a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face.
He averages roughly 22,000 miles a year still, but what might be most astonishing is that he tried on his first full-faced helmet only last year! Now at the age of 85 you can still find Glenn riding his Lehman Trike-converted Honda Gold Wing year round, even on days that drop as low as -15 degrees. And yes, he often rides bikes with two wheels as well.
From all of us here at Motorcycle Mojo we congratulate Glenn Turple on his tremendous milestone achievement, and look forward to seeing him on the road. For more information about the Turple family and they fascinating history of their family-run dealership please visit TurpleBros.ca