In the summer of 2020, a rare strain of dengus disease hit the U.S. and the world, and as people frantically searched for answers, one man took a different approach: He decided to make a motorcycle scraper.
Drew Emery started selling scrap metal online and was able to raise a few hundred dollars for the National Center for Home Furnishings and other nonprofit organizations that helped with the effort.
But Emery wasn’t going to be the only one making motorcycles in the future.
“It’s an amazing hobby to make,” Emery says.
“You can make anything you want, and I just got into it to make motorcycles.
It’s just fun to make and I really enjoy it.”
While the d-word is often thrown around to describe the hobby, Emery has been making motorcycles since 2005.
It all started when he was in his early 20s.
“I was a student working as a janitor at a small school in Virginia.
I was going to college and I had to leave, so I just wanted to work.
I started my own motorcycle shop, and it was actually really fun,” Emerys recalls.
Emery sold scrap metal and other scrap parts online, which led to him selling scrap to charities like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Salvation Army.
“The first year I sold some scrap, and that was pretty crazy,” Emeryn says.
Emerys started working for the NAACP and was given a job at a local church, but he was a bit unsure about what the work would entail.
“At first, I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I can’t wait to get back to work.’
Then I was hired by the Salvation House and we were given a lot of work,” Emeryan says.”
So, the first month we were there, we had to clean the bathrooms, get the bathrooms out of the sink, get them painted, and we did a lot more work than I’d ever seen in my entire life.
It was a lot, and then we had a little bit of an itch to make more,” EmerYs father, Drew Emery, tells ABC News.
As a scrap collector, Emerys hobby started with just a bike and a scrap scraper and he quickly built a collection.
“In about three months, we got pretty close to $200,000,” Emeries father says.
Eventually, Emeryn started selling his scrap at a fair and auction house.
“So, it kind of took off, and over time, it’s kind of become this hobby that you can just go on and do anything you like,” Emeryd says.
After Emery’s son started making motorcycles, the scrap market began to grow.
The first bike Emerys sold, a Honda Fit, sold for $6,000 at auction.
“It was one of the first bikes I sold that was so well made,” Emeriys father says, noting the Fit was built to the standards of the early 1900s.
The seller also had a few of the original parts, which helped make the Fit a valuable collectible.
“I thought I could sell it for a lot less than what it was worth,” Emeryt says.
So, Emeryd made a lot for himself.
The family bought the Honda Fit and went on to sell motorcycles in Europe, South America, and Australia.
Eventually they made the move to New York and purchased a brand new Harley Davidson.
In the end, the family sold Emery their first Harley.
In 2017, Emerry’s family opened up a scrapyard in Brooklyn.
Emeryd’s father, who has been the president of the scrap yard since 2016, says the scrapyard has been a huge success and has helped grow the community.
“When I started this, it was just my hobby.
And now we’re doing all this great work, and they’re just getting it to the community and getting the kids excited about motorcycles,” Emeryls father says about the scrapyards work.
“That’s really been a big part of it.”
After he got into scrap metal, Emeriks father saw a need for something similar.
“A lot of kids are doing it in the garage or in the backyard, and the one thing you don’t see is someone making motorcycles,” he says.
Now, Emeryt has two motorcycles made and selling them online, and he says that is the biggest reason why he continues to make the scrap he does.
“A lot more kids want to make their own motorcycle,” Emerisys father adds.