Vintage Motorcycles and Modern Classics
If you have a vintage motorcycle or a modern classic from Japan or Europe, and you need someone to repair it, handle some basic maintenance, or just check it over, that’s what we’re here for. We see the good in old bikes and take care to get them running like they should.
We gladly repair and service all Ural motorcycles and Japanese and European from model year 2000 or earlier*. We also service scooters and motorcycles sold by Genuine (aka Genuine Scooter Company), e.g. the Buddy 125. We also sell new Urals, new Genuines, and occasional used motorcycles that we like for one reason or another.
We make an exception for bikes newer than 2000 if it's a "modern classic." If you're not sure what we mean by that, here are some examples, all built in 2000 or later: Kawasaki W650/W800, Triumph Bonneville, Royal Enfield, Ural, BMW R1200R, Honda CB1100 (the air-cooled retro bike). Typically a modern classic is air cooled or at least tries to hide the radiator, and the seating position is upright/standard, rather than leaned-back (cruiser) or forward (sport). We're not afraid of fuel injection.
We try to treat every bike as if it were our own, so when we come across a sticky sidestand, creaky brake lever, or half-inflated tire, we’ll take a minute to make it better.
We began in 2011 in a small, dusty downtown garage that was intended for side projects but quickly became the base for a new full-time business. Since then, we've deepened our expertise on the bikes that weren't a good fit for big, multi-line motorcycle dealers -- a lot of 1970's Japanese bikes especially, but also BMW airheads, "metric" cruisers too old for the dealers to bother with, carbureted Triumphs, etc.
Since day one in that little garage, what we've always done our best to maintain is a professional workplace and attitude. We collect and pay sales tax to keep our city and state fed, we pay for proper disposal of used tires and oil, we keep the floors reasonably clean and uncluttered, and we keep our customers' parts and projects organized. (Need your old invoice from 2011? We've got it. Want to get your old parts back as souvenirs or learning aids? Ask when your bike is finished, because we don't keep scrap parts for long.)
We've also expanded what we're able to do, over the years. While we'll probably never be machinists, we do have the hand tools to perform a complete valve job to keep an old cylinder head in service for another decade or three. And while we're not performance tuners who make bikes go faster than stock, we do have a dynamometer for troubleshooting and tuning carburetors to run like they were meant to, and to do all that without putting our safety at risk by tuning carbs solely out on the street. And we keep a lot of parts on-hand that we know will help us complete your bike's repairs a few days faster.
Not cheap. not fast.
Hourly rate $105
Most labor, plus parts and sales tax. More detail.
E-mail is best
We know phones are convenient for longer conversations. Unfortunately a ringing telephone is an interruption to our work on another customer's bike, and interruptions invite mistakes. So we strongly prefer to communicate by email, from start to finish. This also makes it easier to make sure we've covered all your requests.
The Basic Process
We'll give you a date to bring us your bike. Sometimes it's a two-month wait to get in. Once it's here, our goal is diagnose your bike's problems and write a detailed estimate within one week. We give you a week to approve the estimate, approve it with changes, or come and get the bike. We'll invoice you for a deposit of 50% if the total project estimate exceeds $800, and we'll get started once you send your deposit.
Motorcycle Repairs Take Longer
Because of the way motorcycles have always played second- or third-fiddle to the omnipresent automobile in the U.S., the infrastructure for repairing motorcycles is a tiny fraction of what you're used to for cars and trucks. That means there are no parts in stock in a local warehouse, and no fleet of white Nissans to deliver them to our doorstep for free. New parts come from distribution centers around the continent, taking 2-7 days to arrive, or else they come from salvage dealers via eBay, and sometimes the truly rare parts have to come from across the oceans. Please be patient.
Maintenance Work Is the Exception!
Okay, you read all that. Thank you. If you just need maintenance for the most commonly-worn-out parts, we're going to work with you on a much shorter schedule than we do for repairing a bike that hasn't run in a decade. Tire changes, oil and filter and other fluid changes, chain and sprocket replacements... typically we schedule those 1-2 weeks out and complete them within a day or two. If we discover that you bike needs repairs in addition to the maintenance, we might make a separate appointment for that unless it's something "easy."
* Wait, More Exceptions?
So many rules! But here's a fun fact: Your Harley-Davidson Sprint 350 or 2-stroke SX250? That was made in Italy, so we'll totally work on it even though parts are a bit tricky to get and we only see one every few years. Because we're still suckers for the weird stuff, and Aermacchi-built Harley-branded bikes qualify. Chang Jiang's copies of the Ural/BMW bikes also qualify. Don't be afraid to ask if whatever you've got is something we'll work on. We might say no, but we'll try to connect you to someone who can do it.