One of the most shocking parts of creating NEO Moto News was discovering northeast Ohio is home to more than 70 dealerships and independent shops. It takes a large – or small but financially strong – motorcycle community to keep that many establishments in business, but I’m one who prefers to turn my own wrench to the greatest degree I can.
My question to NEO Moto News readers is who does your motorcycle maintenance? Are you an ardent do-it-yourselfer? Or do you have a favorite shop you turn to for maintenance and repair tasks?
My decision to do my own maintenance came from necessity. Before I got into long-distance motorcycle riding, I had very little experience with tools or any type of mechanical work. My dad is the son of a carpenter, so I knew a little about power tools and home maintenance. I discovered how much I enjoyed overnight motorcycle travel at the same time I was getting my first master’s degree, so I was a poor college student getting into an expensive hobby. I realized I couldn’t afford to take my bike to the shop for all of its needed maintenance, so it was either learn to wrench or cut way back on my travel plans.
I met many motorcyclists who, like me, pride themselves on taking care of their bikes themselves, but try to get a service appointment at a local shop in March or April and you’ll find nearly every establishment is booked solid until mid-summer.
One of the biggest hurdles to doing your own maintenance is having garage space and all the needed tools. I’ve had to make sacrifices over the years before I bought a house to find apartments that included private garage space with at least one electrical outlet, but am thankful that community garages – such as Cleveland’s Skidmark Garage – are giving motorcyclists another option for procuring workspace. But places like Skidmark are few in number, and – if you don’t have a vehicle that can tow a motorcycle on a trailer – sometimes just getting your bike to a shop can be a significant challenge.
So, what’s your story? Have you enjoyed entrusting a local dealer or independent shop with caring for your motorcycles? Or, alternatively, what was your path to learning how to keep your bike(s) running strong?
Header photo credit: Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash