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Metric Cruiser Garage - an idea for a Shop, Workshop and Bar/Cafe?

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by Paralax, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. What do you reckon?

    I own an older Shadow 1100, circa 1987. Since I bought it 5 years ago I've noticed a dearth of places that will service them, source parts, supply bling, customise them, or generally take me seriously. If it isn't new or doesn't have a computer then it's tough luck.

    I have the idea of setting up a dedicated Metric Cruiser Garage in Melbourne to provide servicing, sourcing of parts, customising, and also a place to hang out. Our Harley friends are so well serviced in this area I thought it time to do the same for us Metric people.

    I've built up a worldwide parts sourcing network (my day job has been in Sourcing), I know some fine mechanics who can work on these beautiful machines, and I reckon there is a market.

    My question to my fellow riders is, do you think so as well? Do any of you think this is a good idea or am I dreaming? Would you use such as place? Even for interstater's we would be able to provide parts sourcing and shipment without all the chasing around.

    What do you reckon? I'd love any and all feedback as if it's a good idea I'll need to convince Kaye, and if it's not I'll need to get over it :)

    Let me know,

  2. Well that's the trick isn't it: to spot an opening, something missing that you want to provide.

    I reckon it would be great, because I read the usual custom bike magazines and you're right there are masses of HD workshops but except for a couple on-line providers of cruiser bits in Oz (you know the ones) I haven't noticed many - any ? - metric cruiser workshops.

    Would it be more economical rent-wise to set up outside of Melbourne though, say central Victoria? That's motivated by my selfishness sorry, my town doesn't have a bike workshop any more. The idea of making it a social hub also with a bar/cafe is great.

    I'd like to see it happen. I am starting to bling my current bike, and am already planning a chopper for the future... :-$ don't tell my wife
  3. Sounds like a good idea if you can capture some of the market. I suppose people would have to gain trust in you and the services that you want to provide to be succesful and this could take a long time. I would be willing to give it a try, but I am also loyal to the people who I use at the moment. Idea of a cafe/meeting point would be great if centrally located.

    Best of luck with the idea.

  4. with the mark up z-power (for example) have on parts it wouldn't be hard to make money on bike accessory sales either.
  5. I think you might want to cast the net a bit wider as well. Any kind of metric stuff customising is awesome.
  6. As a social hub it would be good to have secure parking for our rides - imagine riding in the side entrance into a courtyard and parking near tables, chairs etc with coffee/drinks etc.

    Might help sell more bits if people are seeing all the stuff on each others' bikes?
  7. Hell i reckon a dedicated motorcyclies (not bikie) bar/cafe would be awesome in that regard with secure parking.

    and if you just had some basic parts hanging around. ie for flat tyres, chain lube, batteries for when all the broken bikes turned up.

    There would be some money in that.
  8. I suspect most traditional bikies aren't going to set foot in a metric joint anyway...
  9. I love the idea, but you would have to build a small cafe similar to the Dues cafe with it. Maybe a nice spot for riders to meet up at night as well.

    Best thing is the customising too, check out metric thunder for some of their stuff, its mindblowing.
  10. Great idea, Where in melb you thinking of opening?
  11. Thanks one and all, the feedback is encouraging. Can I ask you all what you would like, where, and what you would like to see there.

    A "Hang out place" is a definite. A wet bar as well perhaps?
    Location, central, but what suits you all?
    Services, yes, fitting of parts, but would you like servicing as well?
    Open hours, I'm thinking of all weekend so we can have somehere to go that's open and not "Closed - gone riding".

    Let me know your thoughts,

    Thanks Gerry

  12. Wet bar sounds like a good idea.

    I've definitely found that there isn't much around for servicing my bike the way it should be serviced, and there are definitely not enough places which can do the kinda of customising I want.

    Opening on the weekend would be IDEAL! I don't know about others but I'm not a bikie that's got nothing to do all day but ride: Gotta do the 9-5pm thing ;) . It would be great to have somewhere to go which is open on the weekend.

    Some stuff that would be helpful:
    * a one-stop shop that would take care of ordering ALL my stuff from overseas if needed (Hate having to take care of that myself)
    * Knowleagable mechanics that won't overfill my oil, and make my bike puke when I roll off
    * Central location not far from CBD. (Think St Kilda, Prarhan etc)
    * Reasonable prices. Part of the reason we chose a metric is 'cos we don't want to be paying HD prices after all!
    * Some kind of relationship with another joint that could take care of paintjobs.
    * Cafe/bar open late-ish so there is somewhere to have a bite after a day of riding. (Like the one in North Melbourne which is making a MINT off riders who end the TNMR and Tuesday Learner Ride there.)
    * Wrench Nights/Mechanics 101 Lessons: I know waaayyyy too little about my bike and I'd be willing to pay good money for someone to teach me or let me stick around and learn while they're taking care of the Beast.
  13. I really like the idea, even though I'm not into rolling armchairs (yet...) Sounds like it could be an absolute winner if done well.

    While I'm sure a bar would be popular, bear in mind that alcohol licensing is complicated and expensive, probably even more so if you mention the word motorcycle in your paperwork!

    So the hospitality side of things would include a cafe by day and bar by night... what about food? Light cafe type fare or more involved kitchen set-up? I'm picturing Al Fresco courtyard adjoining off-street parking area (read casual showroom...)

    The mechanical side would involve an open-ish workshop, parts and accessories shop and 'sourcing' - maybe down the line a showroom? Get one or two of the Jap makers to give you a bike that you can tart up and cross-promote? I love the idea of casual spanner nights for customers too. A shop called M a d b i k e r in ferntree Gully does a basic maintenance course where people bring their own bikes in and the work is done on them as examples - one gets a wash, one gets the chain cleaned/lubed/tensioned, one gets the brakes checked etc etc.

    Location is tricky - inner city is great for access to customers but finding and renting a site with the right size and facilities will be difficult and seriously expensive. Suburban would be nice, but it has the potential to isolate customers who may live accross town. Other option is out on a popular bike road somewhere - Spurs, GOR, GAR, Dandenongs good for weekend cafe business but would seriously limit your service/maintenance business.

    To be honest it sounds like you'll need a few people in on it from the ground floor - especially if you want to open 7 days and early enough for pre-work drop-offs through til late enough for post-ride bevvies. Maybe I'm just letting my imagination run away with me... Some mates of mine bought a pub a few years back with rooms above it so they could live on-site - drove them all insane after a while but good for not paying multiple rents while you get started.

    Anyhoo, will follow this with much interest... Hope it all comes good!