Ken Kaplan and his son Ken Kaplan Jr. are the stars of a new reality show that made its world premiere on the Discovery Channel on Wednesday. In "Kaplan America," Ken and his son work to get five bikes restored and sold in a week.
At the same time the try to track down three stolen bikes and bring the "thieves to justice."
Thanks to a combination of federal- and state-administered brownfield grants, Kaplan was able to convert the historic the Hockanum Mill on West Main Street to the museum and his Kaplan Cycles operation. The museum gets about 10,000 visitors a year, Kaplan said.
Kaplan, who founded Kaplan computers in Manchester, said he was all to glad to showcase a collaboration between himself, state and federal entities that built up a part of Rockville. "It's not just about the museum, it's about Rockville and the state of Connecticut," he said.
Ken Jr. said Discovery discovered the Kaplans' You Tube channel and seemed to like what was going on at the old factory. "We want to congratulate the Kaplans on their long road," Vernon Mayor Daniel Champagne said. "The show is going to be a hit and I can't wait for everyone to see it."
Kaplan said was a rough stretch when the coronavirus pandemic first broke out. But as people began spending more time at home, a passion for motorcycles increased.
"It's good clean American fun," Kaplan said. "It's a good American sport. Think about it ... put on a helmet, get on your bike and stay 6 feet apart. It's a breath of fresh air as the world is going downhill. It's good to bring our business and Rockville to a worldwide audience."