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Discussion Starter #1
Interested or not? Either way is ok, but please provide some feedback. Thank you in advance.

I am talking about a hobby shop for motorcycles and ATVs. The business would have stalls for rent. A certified technician would be on hand to answer any questions, and would also be able to work with someone on tough jobs for an hourly rate. Publications and tools would be available for use. The shop would also offer how-to workshops covering all subjects of motorcycle maintenance, and these would allow you to work on the bikes yourselves with guidance. I am looking in the Southern California area for the location, but wanted to get an overall feel for the need.
 

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There are these kinds of "do it yourself repair" garages in Germany. Very popular for cars.

Another motorcycle forum I was on setup a similar thing for bikes in Switzerland - it was popular with a couple of people (mostly amateur track racers who needed a place to work on their race bikes), but there wasn't enough interest to keep it open for more than a couple of years.

Maybe SoCal will be better if you can find a good (cheap but convenient) location. The Swiss place was useful only for 6 - 8 months per year, and the rest of the time it was used to store bikes for the winter. In addition to the rent for the location plus the set-up costs for a full set of tools, there were insurance costs to be covered. After 2 years they shut it down again because it was costing much more than it brought in.
 

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I think this is an excellent idea......BUT you will need DEEP pockets to get it off the ground.
Just taking a wild guess, your profit might be negative the first two years.
The killer might be liability insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm understanding those concerns too. Yes, it will take some money to get started and yes, I would need to have very good liability coverage, but all in all I believe that the motorcycle industry needs something like this. A clean, well lit, dry, and stocked area where everyday riders can come to handle their maintenance without having to take it to the dealership and spend lots of money and wait for their bike to be finished. Also it would allow people to get to know how their bike works because I would offer classes on a variety of subjects. It's not just about making money, it's about teaching and giving those who are interested in tinkering with their own bikes a chance to receive information that costs the motorcycle dealership technician tens or thousands of dollars. What do you guys think?
 

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What services would you want to see/have from a business such as this?
Out of the things you already mentioned or in addition to them? Honestly I think you already have an ambitious enough project. Being able to rent space and tools is probably the most useful thing for those of us who don't have garages, offering workshops is just as good though since a lot of people will probably have their own place to work on their bikes. Having access to a qualified mechanic while doing work is also really nice but he'd probably make more money just doing his own wrenching. Guy I know who quit working for HD to open his own shop is always slammed with work. He's only been open a couple years and he's got way more than he can keep up with. I don't know what else you could add to that except custom work like paint/graphics or modding.
 

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Being able to rent space and tools is probably the most useful thing for those of us who don't have garages,
I don't know what, if anything, you could do to make it unique to motorcycles.....except to have a bike mechanic on duty.

If you live in a major metro area, there probably already is a place to rent a shop space complete with tools.

IIRC, the ones aimed mostly at cars that I've seen start up have disappeared after 6 months or so.
 

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I don't know what, if anything, you could do to make it unique to motorcycles.....except to have a bike mechanic on duty.

If you live in a major metro area, there probably already is a place to rent a shop space complete with tools.

IIRC, the ones aimed mostly at cars that I've seen start up have disappeared after 6 months or so.
Yeah I just did a bit of googling and the only one I see in the atlanta area is - Car Storage Club In Alpharetta GA - Race Cars, Street Cars and Show Cars. They don't provide much info, I sent them an email so we'll see if they're even still in operation. Looks like there have been attempts made at this service and most seem to have failed.
 

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I'd be interested in something like that for the more complex jobs and for jobs that require special tools that are cost prohibitive.
 
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