Sunday, June 18, 2017

Buying a new bike? What are all those "fees"?

   When selling a customer a new bike there are often several fees that can be quite confusing. Allow us to explain.

The delivery or "destination fee" is often very misunderstood. This is simply what it costs for us to get the bike freighted to us from the warehouse. No, the vendor DOES NOT ship them to us for free. We have to pay for that. This is often the largest fee and can be several hundred dollars.

First the crates are Lab inspected for damage. Then we get to uncrate the bikes.

The set-up fee covers us uncrating the machine, putting it together out of the crate, fueling it up, prepping and installing the battery, a test ride, and making any necessary adjustments. This fee can vary from bike to bike, but it is often relatively inexpensive. Many of the bikes are fairly easy to assemble for our expert crew. By the time you see them on the floor, most of the hard work has been done.

Notary and legal paperwork. This is again a small fee, but something that has to be done right. Our notary is a licensed professional and gets all the paperwork right that you need to be legal for the state.

There is even a wonderful little $2 fee you pay for your tires touching the road in Pennsylvania. Yes, a $1 per tire road tax ( $3 if you buy a Stella, due to the spare).

There is a fuel fee on the bike. If the bike has a 1.4 gallon tank the fee will be 3 or 4 dollars.That simply covers the fuel we use to fill the tank.
Of course there is also a small fee for a PA State safety Inspection. If you are buying from out of state this is one fee you do get to skip.

We are honest and no B.S. with these fees. We are up front and charge you the expenses that we pay. We have no hidden fees or extra charges. Remember, we want to sell you a bike and make smiles, but we are here to earn a living. Stop by, allow us the pleasure of selling you a bike at an honest price by a family shop.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Why we don't use fix o flat

  We just had a bike, that was recently brought in for leaking rims. No fault of the customer; he had bought a nice bike, but the previous owner had used some sort of aerosol tire sealant goop. This stuff should ONLY be used as a last resort; there are many better ways to fix a flat on the side of the road than a corrosive can of snot.
      Let us show you why this isn't a good idea. THIS is the inside of the rim once the tire was removed.

    This was left rolling around inside the tire.

As you may imagine this is not cheap or easy to repair, but we think we salvaged the rims on this bike. We have seen it completely destroy a rim by perforating the aluminum in several dozen spots.
      Is there a better way? We recommend a tire plug gun to fix the hole. We sell and use these, they make for a very good roadside repair with a little practice. You can buy more plugs and use this gun with success for years!
There are several ways to get air back in the tire. If a bike has a spare spark plug hole the engine can be used as a compressor to air things back up. The older twin cylinder and four cylinder bikes are especially useful for this. The plugs are easy to get to, and you can start the bike while using the "dead" cylinder as an air pump. Be careful not to over inflate the tire this way. That cylinder makes 150 P.S.I.
If you don't have the old school bike and the mechanic gene; you can easily inflate tires with a CO2 type inflation device. It is safe and easy to use but requires carrying more parts. We recommend the type that uses air gun sized cartridges, though smaller they can be purchased anywhere when replacements are needed.
We stock ALL of these devices and know which ones work best. Stop by to see us and avoid this expensive destructive mess. And, if you MUST use the canned snot as a way to get home. Get the wheel to us ASAP to pull it apart and clean that rim before it begins to corrode.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ride to the Naval Yards

The day had promise. It was a lovely day, the first Saturday in June. But, due to circumstances beyond our control, we started almost an hour late. It turned out to be a good delay because we had two AWESOME folks ride out from Philly, just to meet us at the shop, and then ride back with us. Your faces are always welcome at our shop. We were running behind, so forgive us for not being the most gracious hosts we should have been.The Royal Bastards are always a welcome sight.

Once we got organized, suited up, and ready to head out. We hit the road with 8 bikes leaving from the shop.

   The weather was a bit chilly for some, but the sky was clear and the sun was coming out. We picked up riders on the way to our lunch stop close to Philly.

The lunch stop was at The Pepper Mill for their renowned cheese steaks and they were good! We already have another trip in the works to try more cheese steak places recommended by the "locals". The "best cheese steak" battle continues. We WILL do the research and find the answer; no matter how many delicious cheese steaks we have to eat.

   I think we reached a maximum of 14 riders at lunch stop. We had a good mix of modern and vintage bikes with Genuine, Honda, Suzuki, Lance, and we were even joined by a Zundapp Bella and her beautiful rider.

Some  Royal Bastards and a few more riders came out to meet the rest of our group for lunch. Always nice to see you guys.

From here on, we had Todd step in as our local tour guide to navigate the tight in-town roads. Tim Did a great job getting us to our location and Todd did the city navigating for us. We were glad to have them both leading the way!

When we finally made our way to the JFK in the naval yard, we had another smiling face waiting to great us.

She is something else to see up close, even parked and aging.

Sadly, too many delays kept us from making the Cruiser Olympia in time to get aboard. So, we may just have to make this trip again. 

As usual, eventually it was time to head home. Missing the expected 2 hour tour of the ship left us with time for a little break; so we decided to take one in a shady spot just outside of town. A few good snacks, some welcome drinks and a small shade tree did the trick.

The numbers of our group slowly diminished as we all got closer to home. Gratefully, everyone arrived home safe-and-sound after a long days ride.

 Just a note to all our riders. Thanks for riding smart and safe all day. We had a few minor bike issues ( all easily fixed on the road). I have to admit, I still get a thrill when I see riders waiting on the side of the road to be picked up by the group. I have seen one or even over one hundred riders waiting to join my group, and I tell you, it brings a smile to my face every time no matter the number. We look forward to seeing you all on the next ride. Be sure to keep an eye on our Events Page.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Time for a new belt on your Vespa scooter?

    Do you think it is time for a new belt on your scooter?  Some scooters need new belts sooner than others. Not sure if you need one? Call us, we can help. We know the change intervals on the belts for most bikes. We have a few tricks to tell you when it's time.

      One thing you don't want to do is let it go too long. Changing a belt that is still in one piece is a fairly simple, inexpensive job on most bikes. However, if  it comes apart while riding, the belt tends to wrap itself around everything in sight. As well as turn all its small bits to dust. This can take upwards of two hours to clean and remove. so, pay attention to that belt, or you will be paying for the shop time to fix it. Call us and we can tell you what to look for so you don't end up with a mess that looks like this.

Even after a ride through the parts washer we still have to unwrap the Kevlar cord which is now wrapped around the pulley under spring tension.

If your belt does explode; all is not lost. We have the tools and patience to clean everything and get it back to proper working condition. If it needs rollers, springs or sliders; we keep those in stock too.
 After some clean-up, and grease where needed, a little TLC from our mechanic, and things can be as good as new. Most importantly, it's time to ride again!

These guys do a lot of work, so keep the parts fresh.

If you think you might need a belt; give us a call or stop by. We ARE experts on the subject. 
Not only do we know what we are doing, but we are honest,too. 
We won't sell you what you don't need.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Whiskey Dick VI

    Presented by the Middle Of Nowhere (MON) scooter club. Whiskey Dick VI was another great weekend with friends and some cool machines.

        We set out Friday morning to take the long way up. A trusty Stella scooter and a Genuine  buddy 125. Cody and I took Gold Mine Rd. over the mountain, found some rabbit trails, goat paths, and some dirt/coal dust roads (we ride dirt bikes too) to play on while attempting to get lost. Even a little roadside stop for a special pic.

 We pulled into the hotel with almost 200 miles on the clocks, ready for dinner. JUST IN TIME. Eric was getting the group ready to go. No rain as of yet, warm air and a bunch of oil burning two-strokes. What better way to ride to dinner.

      I must say, it is ALWAYS a wonderful thing when you pull up to a rally, and get greetings of handshakes, hugs, warm wishes and the sound of your name being called out. That has never gotten old in all my years of riding on two-wheels and the scooter crowd does not disappoint.
    We all rode out to The Original Pocono Pub who took good care of us on a Friday night. The food was good, the staff friendly. The weather even treated us all nicely until we arrived back at the hotel.
                                                      Ah, the smell of pre-mix in the air. (Thanks Tim for the video)

   Some of us hung in the pool quietly enjoying the warm water till the wee hours of the morning, while others turned in early for a good nights rest.

      Saturday morning we were greeted with the rain that had so nicely held off the night before.  Not to worry, the scooters didn't melt over night.        

 There was even a short ride organized out to The Beer Stein for some lunch.

   If you ever wanted to see a well set-up gymkhana at a scooter rally; well, I was impressed. Yes, it was raining, and YES we had a blast anyway. We shower every day, what's the big deal doing it a little early.
                            We started off by riding in through the saloon doors.

                         Then you needed to grab your dynamite and knock off the bank teller.

From there an escape down the railroad tracks.

There were some obstacles to navigate, and then it was time to "blow" the safe (it would be better if you didn't  ask).

From there you had to escape by crossing the river on the ferry. And just like Bucklebury this wasn't easy.

Then you had to lasso a bull on your way out.
He was mean, but easy to get a rope on if you took your time. 

Dinner had been prepared for us, and there was a new sheriff in town explaining things.

Saturday night awards are always fun. The Corsa IFP (look for an upcoming blog) winners came up to accept their trophies (we wanted to see Carl get that back on his bike).

The Carlisle Cycle and scooter crew won longest distance ridden again, and we are so proud of  Cody wining the Gymkhana for the 2nd year in a row.

We even had a local schoolgirl that stopped by to check out the cool scooters. 

Remember that kid in school with the dunce cap?...well.

Of course, afterwards it was time for some bull in the pool.

                                                            We even saw a rare unicorn.

Leaving Sunday is always bittersweet. You have to say goodbye to old friends, and usually a few new ones,too. This picture sums up not just scootering , but all two-wheeled riding for me. The young ones are the future of this sport/hobby/lifestyle. If we don't welcome them in and show them why we enjoy this so much. It will disappear forever. I was glad to have these guys along.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Vespa and what we can do for you.

       We have been getting a few calls lately about Vespa. Several dealers in the area have stopped selling the brand. Most of those shops still work on the bikes they sold, but yes; we do also.

We will work on your modern Vespa. We get calls wondering if we "do that". Sure we do. A Vespa is a well made machine and we don't mind doing the work. Tire changes, oil changes, air filters, and belts are regular items for us. We keep the tires, oil filters and spark plugs in stock for most Vespa models.

In the spring and summer we are busy enough that we only do the jobs that keep our customers on the road. Belts, rollers are a regular maintenance item for us. Call ahead so we can get the parts if we don't have them here. We will get you on the schedule and get your Vespa purring like new.

When the cold weather hits we have the time to invest in the tougher jobs. All you have to do is call in to schedule something. DON'T wait till spring; we are too busy keeping customers bikes on the road to do a transmission job in the spring.

We even buy and sell used Vespas when they become available to us.

Keep an eye on our bikes in stock page; as we keep that as up to date as possible with new bikes on the floor.

Call us or stop by. If you don't ask, we don't get the chance to say yes! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

What fits well on my R.V.?

    We often have customers who are searching for a good scooter to place on the back of their RV. This is quite a good idea.
You get the RV to your campsite, everything is set-up for the week, and you want to run into town for ice, food, or to see that cool band at the bar. Who wants to haul that giant RV into town when you can hop on a 49cc scoot; throw on a helmet and some gloves and have a nice ride into town?

I  know what we would do. We have been bringing a "pit-bike" with us to the races and off-road events for years. It occurred to us early on to have one with a legal tag. We could run into town, get firewood, or just take a nice ride in the county-side for a few hours Saturday night.

Allow us to share what we offer.
We still prefer two stroke engines due to the power advantage over the  four-strokes. However, the 4T's are getting faster, with better cylinder heads, and higher tech engines. All of these bikes can be seen on our sales pages  here.

Genuine offers the buddy 50  starting at $1995. A small 49cc 2T runner. We have seen buddies 10 years old with over 20K miles on the clock and running like a top. If the rider is shorter than 5'3" this is a great choice as this company offers a short seat as well as a lowered shock to accommodate "fun-sized riders".  We have a customer  with both feet on the ground at 4'10" tall.

The Roughhouse 50 is the more rugged version of the buddy. Equipped with 50/50 tires capable of light dirt use and asphalt riding as well. This is the one you want to take the dirt "road" down to the fishing hole. The same 2T motor as the buddy 50. Both of these bikes are capable of 45 MPH ( derestricted) and have a host of well fitting accessories such as rear racks, windshields and hop-up parts.  Again, $1,999 gets you on the road. The sport version goes for $2295.

Then there are the  four-strokes. These are  the clean and green versions of the 50cc world. Genuine Scooters are on board with their new Venture for just $1,599. A 3 valve engine with water cooling so it can run hard and stay reliable.
Lance has been in the 50cc game for a while with several offerings. They have gone all four stroke with their bikes. This means no oil to mix with the gas.
They have 5 models to choose from in the 50 cc range:
The SOHO 50cc at $1799

Their Cabo comes in a 50cc version at $1,699.

The PCH50 at $1,599.

The Cali Classic  50 sits at $1,799 with a different look for a small scooter

As well as the Havana 50cc at $1,799 to round out Lances offering.

We would be remiss to forget to mention SYM and their Mio 50 and its unique looks at $1,999

As you can see, there are plenty of choices for that 50cc to fit on the end of your camper or the hitch of your pick-up. The prices range from $1600 to $2200 so you won't have to break the bank to have some fun. Did we mention fun? Yes, not only are these economical to ride and maintain, often getting 100 MPG in fuel economy, but they are a blast on a warm day. Far more fun to explore with than the big guys.

Stop by and chat with us. We can show you some scooters and even help you figure out how to haul them. We know what works and what doesn't. We keep several different ones in stock, so you can try them all out for size.