11/15/2013 Update! Recently expanded Moto Shop featured on NatGeo program “Let It Ride”!
National Geographic Channel has a new entry in the parade of custom motorcycle building shows, “Let It Ride.” It is focused around Zach Ness, the grandson of custom motorcycle king, Oakland-raised Arlen Ness. This young grandson along with his experienced crew builds custom bikes from scratch or with the seed of an old motorcycle. Time will tell how Zach treads in the trendsetting designer boots of his granddad.
In the 6th episode, “I Know What Girls Like”, Zach and crew attempt their first sport bike build (with a beat-up Yamaha base) “on behalf “ of the now 6000-ft Moto Shop, which has elbowed some more space from the building. See Zach banter with Wilder-of-few-words-and-many-wise-looks and the gracious and mirthful Aleks. Some great shots of Moto Shop were squeezed in there and the segment ends with a satisfying cruise at Thunder Hill. Find the episode info here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/let-it-ride/episodes/i-know-what-girls-like/. Be warned; it also features a segment on creating very…um…feminine makeover on a Harley Dyna.
Quirkutopia has spawned many an unusual business idea; brilliance born from the hearts and minds of true Quirks.
Wilder and Aleks have started a business that doesn’t aim to sell you anything, nor do anything much for you. Hey, that’s not good capitalism, you say! Oh, but wait. This hard working and fun-seeking pair instead offer you the chance to learn – to fix your own motorcycle! We recently visited the Moto Shop location in South San Francisco.
This is a different kind of motorcycle shop – it’s a 4,000 sq.ft. do-it-yourself shop where you can work on your own motorcycle(street, dirt, or scooter), or take a class and learn how to do it yourself. They provide really organized fully equipped workstations with all the tools and resources to help you fix and maintain your moto.
The space is a lofty old warehouse with industrial trusses and one giant wall covered in street art. They invited a team of local street painters in and the result has authenticity and punch.
You reserve the stations by the hour or day for a very reasonable cost. At your fingertips the possibilities are endless: oil change, carb rebuild, exhaust install, tire change, heated grips install, engine swap, chain replacement – you name it, you can do it.
If you don’t know where to begin, take a hands-on clinic and learn how. There are instructors (both genders, by the way) who can be tapped for one-on-one individual coaching, too.
Soon, Wilder and Aleks hope to expand Moto Shops in new locations as the clamor is building from other burgs in ‘topia. South San Fran is actually a cooler neighborhood than some people might think…but we want a Moto Shop in Sonoma County, too!
Wilder’s late dad Bill Grippo was a master saddlemaker and leatherworker and the sign for his old business “Horesepower” hangs in the Moto Shop, seemingly foretelling his son’s interest. His European-born mother is an active artist living in Mexico.
Just past the Horsepower sign is the Moto Shop lounge area where moto heads kick it with some grub and sometimes have movie nights – moto-themed, of course. Connect with Moto Shop on FaceBook ( http://www.facebook.com/BayAreaMotoShop?ref=ts&fref=ts ), or the web (www.bayareamotoshop.com ) to get in the loop. Or moto your hiney down there, better yet.