Mark Harrell is the owner of Harrell's Car Wash Systems, a 70-employee operation that operates, builds and sells car-wash systems in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. That business has left him quite well off.
But Harrell is about to embark on a creation that just may make him the king of the road -- nationwide.
Harrell has invented the country's first automated, touch-free wash for motorcycles -- Moto Express Wash. The prototype is running in Speedway, and patents are pending. Plenty of motorcycle enthusiasts and industry experts have tried it out.
"People keep saying, 'We've been washing cars automatically for 75 years. It's about time you started washing bikes,' " Harrell said. "It's really an obvious idea. Wash. Dry. Ride. It's really that simple."
Now for people who don't ride motorcycles, Harrell's invention may seem ho-hum. But for those who do, well, it's ingenious. After all, any rider knows that the duty of washing and scrubbing a motorcycle is at least a two-hour chore.
The timing is right for Harrell's invention. Nearly 24 million people in the U.S. own motorcycles, a number that continues to climb as gasoline prices rise.
Photo by James Yee.