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Old November 28th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #1
Major_Paine
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Idea for motorcycle business, good or bad?

I have an idea and a possible location for a business that would be just for motorcyclists.

Think of a place where you can bring your motorcycle and work on it. Like a huge garage or warehouse. All you have to do is pay by hour (or half hour) for a spot. The rental covers the use of tools, stands and lifts. Mostly it will be for simple things like cleaning and lubing your chain, draining and refilling liquids, detailing, cleaning, changing oil etc. or anything more technical.

There would mechanics on hand if you need any help with what you are doing. They'll teach you how to do basic maintenance on your bike or do work on your bike for basic hourly charge.

Any parts and supplies will also be on sale for cheap- tires, oil, lube, stands, spools, sliders etc. You can also buy the basic supplies and tools needed if you decide that you have learned enough and want to work out of your garage at home.

In addition to all this, we will likely have a bar/mini cafe/grill so you can get your grub on while you work, or just feel like unwinding with good company.

Just an idea on cost:

-rental would be like 20$/ half hour, or 35$ for an hour. plenty of space and all the tools, stands etc. (this price will be changed to be realistic etc)

-supplies come at almost whole sale price

-mechanics will charge whatever the hourly rate is

-beers would be cheap and plenty, happy hour all the time

-food would be stuff like street tacos and sliders etc- only a few bucks here and there
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Old November 28th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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if there was a place like that around where i live, i would definitely go...even if i wasn't working on my bike, just to hang out and check out other peoples bike and just chill. i like the idea.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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oh yea, just to keep costs low. you would sign a waiver saying that if you injure yourself out of a dumb mistake, we arent liable
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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I would agree with delcoco_ninja, probably wouldnt go to work on the bike (because I have a massive garage and its filled with tools), but definitely to grab a bite and hang
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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There is a place like that here in oklahoma city, has lifts, tools, and mechanics if you need help. Seems like a great idea. http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-shade-tr...e-midwest-city
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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Sweet plan
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #7
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This is an excellent idea.

I ran it by my dad who does advertising for small businesses. He said that most business that are a group effort like this tend to peeter out

If there was a place like this I would definitely be using it but perhaps a monthly membership is a better idea.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Take a look at the Bike Kitchen in SF CA.

Similar bicycle co-op projects have been in place for many years. But bicycles are not subject to inspection for road legal status.

Motorcycles require much more liability insurance,

likely the need for certified mechanics and repairs/maintenance that need to be up to road safety inspections for all work done.. which would cut into your overhead cost... even more costly when something goes wrong on a repair work and you're sued for it.

Local retail motorcycles stores are not likely to enjoy having a co-op around that compete with their business. Make sure you have a good supply of consumers or comunity of motorcycle enthusiasts.

BTW, you don't want to work on your bike when you're buzzed or drunk.. bad idea.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:27 PM   #9
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There is a place like this, it is normally found on military installations :P
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggles View Post
This is an excellent idea.

I ran it by my dad who does advertising for small businesses. He said that most business that are a group effort like this tend to peeter out

If there was a place like this I would definitely be using it but perhaps a monthly membership is a better idea.
Oh man, i didnt even think of doing a monthly membership thing! thats genius. small businesses are definitely hard to run and keep IN business. it would greatly depend on the riding community and word of mouth
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #11
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Take a look at the Bike Kitchen in SF CA.

Similar bicycle co-op projects have been in place for many years. But bicycles are not subject to inspection for road legal status.

Motorcycles require much more liability insurance,

likely the need for certified mechanics and repairs/maintenance that need to be up to road safety inspections for all work done.. which would cut into your overhead cost... even more costly when something goes wrong on a repair work and you're sued for it.

Local retail motorcycles stores are not likely to enjoy having a co-op around that compete with their business. Make sure you have a good supply of consumers or comunity of motorcycle enthusiasts.

BTW, you don't want to work on your bike when you're buzzed or drunk.. bad idea.
yea, im afraid of how costly it would be for customers due to mechanics and liability.. which is why im trying to get feedback from as many people as i can right now. theres only 1-2 local shops around me i think. most are big dealerships that over charge. plenty of riders down in socal fsho
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #12
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Like burningscooter a lot of military bases do exactly this for anything automotive, and it's nice. If you live someplace where a lot of people nearby live in apartments, I bet it'd get some decent business. But if it's only for bikes you're definitely going to have to keep the costs low. I know I wish there was a place like that nearby, but I wouldn't be willing to spend more than ~$10-15 an hour. :-\
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magz View Post
Like burningscooter a lot of military bases do exactly this for anything automotive, and it's nice. If you live someplace where a lot of people nearby live in apartments, I bet it'd get some decent business. But if it's only for bikes you're definitely going to have to keep the costs low. I know I wish there was a place like that nearby, but I wouldn't be willing to spend more than ~$10-15 an hour. :-\
Monthly Membership + $5 an hour
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #14
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Sounds fun to me... for carpenters theres the sawdustshop and for more advanced metal work theres techshop. Both have simlar ideas to what you're suggesting. Basically they have tools and space and you pay a membership fee to use them but you bring your own or buy the raw materials.

Given how often motorcycle owners need to and like to work on their bikes but are limited by space, I say this is a fantastic idea. Lots of details and policies to work out though.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #15
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maybe also hold weekly/monthly social meets there??

club meets?
birthday meets?
fund raisers?
etc...
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #16
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As stated, sounds like the Hobby Shop on base. However, I think it's a great idea for people that don't have access to the military ones. In addition to the food, add a cigar lounge, strip club, gun store and you'll have a place men will never leave.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Like burningscooter a lot of military bases do exactly this for anything automotive, and it's nice. If you live someplace where a lot of people nearby live in apartments, I bet it'd get some decent business. But if it's only for bikes you're definitely going to have to keep the costs low. I know I wish there was a place like that nearby, but I wouldn't be willing to spend more than ~$10-15 an hour. :-\
thinking of swapping it to a monthly membership, so the costs stay super low.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #18
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Monthly Membership + $5 an hour
sounds like a good plan. id have to work out a lot of figures and what not to get this started. maybe for now ill do a smaller version for friends and riders i know out of socal. see how that goes within my group.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #19
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maybe also hold weekly/monthly social meets there??

club meets?
birthday meets?
fund raisers?
etc...
i think a monthly bike night is in order. well have a huge bbq and 20% off supplies and what not. raffles for free tires, chain maintenance kits etc
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #20
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Here ya go...http://tonupjax.com/

I know the Owner personally, yet I haven't been there myself. If you have questions, I'm sure if you email them, they will be happy to talk.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 09:26 PM   #21
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i think a monthly bike night is in order. well have a huge bbq and 20% off supplies and what not. raffles for free tires, chain maintenance kits etc
By the way, ADVERTISE ADVERTISE ADVERTISE! It is the key to success.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #22
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Hmmm. I am not a huge fan of the idea. If I need to work on my bike and need a space to work on it I would just go over to a friend or family members house if they have room in their garage. Most will, since they are friends and family. But I guess not everyone has that luxury. But still, I would not pay that much to rent a spot. I would find somewhere to work on my bike for free. And as for tools, I buy new ones as I need them. They are usually a lifelong investment if you buy from quality brands. That is just my view.

But if you can find plenty of interested customers and think this will actually work then I support you. I am all for people working on their own vehicles. And a fan of small businesses.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #23
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Hmmm. I am not a huge fan of the idea. If I need to work on my bike and need a space to work on it I would just go over to a friend or family members house if they have room in their garage. Most will, since they are friends and family. But I guess not everyone has that luxury. But still, I would not pay that much to rent a spot. I would find somewhere to work on my bike for free. And as for tools, I buy new ones as I need them. They are usually a lifelong investment if you buy from quality brands. That is just my view.

But if you can find plenty of interested customers and think this will actually work then I support you. I am all for people working on their own vehicles. And a fan of small businesses.
You gotta think of the people that live in apartments with no access to a garage. Depending on the climate, that makes a HUGE difference. Ever try changing a turbo in a parking lot in 20 degree weather? I'll pay for a heated garage space with tools in a heartbeat if I don't have a garage. Cold makes fingers go owchie
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #24
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^ I'm with you. I live in an apartment
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #25
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You gotta think of the people that live in apartments with no access to a garage. Depending on the climate, that makes a HUGE difference. Ever try changing a turbo in a parking lot in 20 degree weather? I'll pay for a heated garage space with tools in a heartbeat if I don't have a garage. Cold makes fingers go owchie
Well his location is in the LA area so I didnt even think about the weather issue. I see what you are saying though. Maybe in a cold climate area it would be a good idea, but then how many people will really be riding in the cold? You got another problem there.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #26
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Well his location is in the LA area so I didnt even think about the weather issue. I see what you are saying though. Maybe in a cold climate area it would be a good idea, but then how many people will really be riding in the cold? You got another problem there.
True, but isn't the winter when people like to get their modding fever in? Better in a climate controlled environment with access to all the proper tools that you might not have. We all know tools are expensive. I like to collect my own tools, but I definitely don't have everything, and a job that takes 5 minutes with the right tool can take hours when you have to McGuiver it, especially when you're freezing your arse off.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #27
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I think this is a great idea! I'd probably work on my bike at home but it's still a great place to hang out and meet people/gain knowledge. I think you should do both half hourly/hourly and a monthly membership. It's not always easy for people to immediately want to sign up and pay every month but if they get used to the idea after a few tries they may be willing to buy in. Give away an hour of free work time for birthdays after getting people on a mailing list to spread word of mouth and good will. Cheap parts would also be a plus. I think $15 for a half hour and $25 for an hour is fair.

Keep in mind tools WILL be taken, unfortunately.

Bike nights would be an awesome idea as well as maybe workshops with mechanics teaching people how to change tires or clean valves or something. Good luck and keep us posted I'd love to go by and check it out if this comes to fruition!
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #28
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Well his location is in the LA area so I didnt even think about the weather issue. I see what you are saying though. Maybe in a cold climate area it would be a good idea, but then how many people will really be riding in the cold? You got another problem there.
yeap. i think we just had 85+ degrees these past few days. and its winter.

just from my experience, buying spools, front and rear stands, tools etc etc. runs quite a bit for the college student. itd be convenient to have them available

swapping the hourly to something more like a monthly membership so its cheaper. i just threw out a number. it will be very affordable. the plan is to have the garage fees even out to utilities and property fees etc. any money that would be made would be from food and drink
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #29
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I think this is a great idea! I'd probably work on my bike at home but it's still a great place to hang out and meet people/gain knowledge. I think you should do both half hourly/hourly and a monthly membership. It's not always easy for people to immediately want to sign up and pay every month but if they get used to the idea after a few tries they may be willing to buy in. Give away an hour of free work time for birthdays after getting people on a mailing list to spread word of mouth and good will. Cheap parts would also be a plus. I think $15 for a half hour and $25 for an hour is fair.

Keep in mind tools WILL be taken, unfortunately.

Bike nights would be an awesome idea as well as maybe workshops with mechanics teaching people how to change tires or clean valves or something. Good luck and keep us posted I'd love to go by and check it out if this comes to fruition!
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #30
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There ya go, good idea Tom!
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #31
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True, but isn't the winter when people like to get their modding fever in? Better in a climate controlled environment with access to all the proper tools that you might not have. We all know tools are expensive. I like to collect my own tools, but I definitely don't have everything, and a job that takes 5 minutes with the right tool can take hours when you have to McGuiver it, especially when you're freezing your arse off.
Ah yeah, I forgot about all those people who like to mod their bike in the winter so they can show it off in the spring. Well. Maybe the original posters plan would be a good idea in the right location. But probably not in the LA area.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #32
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Many riders put their bikes into storage and leave it there the whole winter because they dont ride in the winter nor do they want the bike exposed to the elements. Offering them a place to store the bike and work on it would be very cool and get more riders to meet each other.

I'm imagining a bunch of storage lockers to keep the bike and then when you want to work on it you move it into open space where everybody else is also working on their bikes. I've often worked on my bike and would have loved to have someone around to bounce ideas off of or help with a tricky bolt. Those that store their bikes in the lockers over the winter would of course be paying more but have the added advantage of open workspace.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #33
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Here ya go...http://tonupjax.com/

I know the Owner personally, yet I haven't been there myself. If you have questions, I'm sure if you email them, they will be happy to talk.
wow, that is a nice shop. I like the idea, would use it. I spent many hours at the hobby shop on base when on active duty, using the lift and other tools not normally found in the average garage. It's a shame there aren't similar shops out in town. Locate it near to the college area's and I bet you'd have some clientele.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #34
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I've always thought about this while working on my car in parking lots. However as I've read on the internet there would be plenty of issues. First profits would prolly barely cover rent and utilites for a suitable building. Most car shops (most liklely bike shops as well) make most of their money on providing services and repairs other than what the customer came in for. Therefore only $35 an hour for the limited amount of spaces you have would probally just make you rent, utlities, insurance, etc even when all bays are full. Liaibilty would also be a major issue even with waivers as the right lawyer can always find a loophole. Also think of the people who come in thinking they know what they are doing with a "simple task", discover it is much more than they expected and render the vehicle unmoveable and don't have the cash or desire to pay to keep the vehicle in the bay any longer. At this point they abandon the beater car/bike that isn't worth anything and leave you to remove it. You are now left with a worthless vehicle to dispose of and no cash for whatever amount of hours they took up your bay.

As I've said I researched this a bit in the past and from what I've seen people have tried it and just about all have failed as it seemed simple at first until they discovered how complicated it actual is.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #35
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At this point they abandon the beater car/bike that isn't worth anything and leave you to remove it. You are now left with a worthless vehicle to dispose of and no cash for whatever amount of hours they took up your bay.
I dont think abandoning a motorcycle is a big deal. I'm sure there are ways to put in the agreement that if you forfit your vehicle for a period of time, the shop can part out the vehicle or sell it or something. Plus... moving motorcycles arent as difficult as cars.

It wont be easy and like you say, not that profitable, but the whole appeal of this type of business is to form a club/unity for riders. Plus, who's to say that a new rider wanting to learn how to lube their chain isnt going to have the mechanic on staff to show them a valve adjustment? Extra services like you say can still be given.

Keep the ideas flowing! Lets make a rule... for every negative comment... you must present atleast one positive solution.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by pilotgeorge747 View Post
I've always thought about this while working on my car in parking lots. However as I've read on the internet there would be plenty of issues. First profits would prolly barely cover rent and utilites for a suitable building. Most car shops (most liklely bike shops as well) make most of their money on providing services and repairs other than what the customer came in for. Therefore only $35 an hour for the limited amount of spaces you have would probally just make you rent, utlities, insurance, etc even when all bays are full. Liaibilty would also be a major issue even with waivers as the right lawyer can always find a loophole. Also think of the people who come in thinking they know what they are doing with a "simple task", discover it is much more than they expected and render the vehicle unmoveable and don't have the cash or desire to pay to keep the vehicle in the bay any longer. At this point they abandon the beater car/bike that isn't worth anything and leave you to remove it. You are now left with a worthless vehicle to dispose of and no cash for whatever amount of hours they took up your bay.

As I've said I researched this a bit in the past and from what I've seen people have tried it and just about all have failed as it seemed simple at first until they discovered how complicated it actual is.
All customers must sign a stupid proof waiver. And do you really think someone is going to ditch their bike? Parting a ditched bike out would easily cover anything they couldn't pay for.

Each station has a full set of tools. Each customer must sign in to recieve a key that will unlock the tools. Any tools missing when they leave will be charged directly to their credit card. Of course the shop will also be under surveillance.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #37
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Someone may ditch their bike if say they bought a beater bike for say $500 thinking they can fix it up. Now they bring it in spend the day trying to fix it and realize they got themselves deeper than they thought. They now have the option of paying you close to the same amount that they bought the bike for (for the time used) or just leave the bike to you and go along their way.

Yes you can remove/ part out the bikes that are left but after awhile you'll have to start a junkyard in the parking lot.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #38
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Someone may ditch their bike if say they bought a beater bike for say $500 thinking they can fix it up. Now they bring it in spend the day trying to fix it and realize they got themselves deeper than they thought. They now have the option of paying you close to the same amount that they bought the bike for (for the time used) or just leave the bike to you and go along their way.

Yes you can remove/ part out the bikes that are left but after awhile you'll have to start a junkyard in the parking lot.
See the thing about taking credit card information before you let someone use your space, is that if they ditch out you can still charge the **** out of it.

Then you get paid and you get a free bike. Win Win
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Old November 29th, 2011, 12:19 AM   #39
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Yes you can remove/ part out the bikes that are left but after awhile you'll have to start a junkyard in the parking lot.
Where's your positive solution/comment?

There is nothing that says you cant just toss the useless stuff in the trash. If you run something like this you'll always end up with junk. Just toss it and/or give/sell it to the true junkyard. Tons of ways to get rid of stuff.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #40
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Many riders put their bikes into storage and leave it there the whole winter because they dont ride in the winter nor do they want the bike exposed to the elements. Offering them a place to store the bike and work on it would be very cool and get more riders to meet each other.

I'm imagining a bunch of storage lockers to keep the bike and then when you want to work on it you move it into open space where everybody else is also working on their bikes. I've often worked on my bike and would have loved to have someone around to bounce ideas off of or help with a tricky bolt. Those that store their bikes in the lockers over the winter would of course be paying more but have the added advantage of open workspace.
Bike storage would be great too! I think we could figure out a few ways to get that done. Right now my friend and i were talking about a location that used to be an auto radio installation type place, so for right now its more a small shop to work out of.
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