Who does your motorcycle maintenance?

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


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