LYNDALE — Fabrice Piard is trying to bring some of Europe’s urban motorcycling culture to Southwest.
Piard — a 15-year resident of the Twin Cities who was born in France, worked as a motorcycle courier in Paris, lived for years in Vietnam and once took a motorcycle trip to Nicaragua from Minneapolis — is the owner of Moto & Co. (515 W. Lake St., one block away from Lake & Lyndale), a motorcycle gear and clothing store focused products from European brands like Segura (France), Barbour (UK), Stylmartin (Italy) and Schuberth (Germany).
Piard said that while his store is geared toward “people who are going to want to commute in style on their motorbike,” many of the brands he sells are somewhat like North Face — designed to be worn during specific activities, but fashionable enough to wear casually.
Moto & Co. doesn’t sell bike parts or do repairs. Instead, Piard’s store aims to be the first in the Twin Cities exclusively devoted to motorcycle accessories and fashion.
Piard said opening a motorcycle store of some sort has been a lifelong dream. And with rising gas prices encouraging people to reconsider how much they drive, he believes sporty, European-style motorbikes will be increasingly used to get folks to work and back home again.
“I think there is a need for a store like this. Right now motorbikes are still viewed more recreationally, but with gas prices rising that’s going to change and more and more they’ll be used as a mode of transportation,” he said with a French accent suggestive of his roots.
A grand opening celebration is tentatively planned for sometime later this month.
For more information about Moto & Co., check out the store’s website at www.motoandco.com.