Let’s Get This Season Started – 2019 Letter to My Customers

Dear Motorbike Peeps,

The season officially kicked off last weekend with 7 appointments and 10+ bikes to fix.

Every year I do this, it gets bigger. The season starts earlier. More people call. They book more appointments. I fix more bikes. I leave a trail of delighted customers in my wake. That’s what I do.

There are precious few bikes that need work during the winter months, so I find something else to do when it’s cold and crappy outside. Last year I worked at a dirt bike shop and picked up a very lucrative copywriting gig.

Working at Amazon

This year I chose to work at an Amazon warehouse.

It was fun! I got a lot of exercise, got to be around people, and put a little money in my pockets. It was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone with even a halfway decent work ethic.

Amazon’s a terrific company to work for. I say that unequivocally, without reservation. Great benefits, awesome managers, and a very generous “minimum” wage. I’ve been impressed with managers before, but Amazon takes it to a whole other level. I’m talking these people are seriously impressive, folks. As much as they would like me to stay and “climb the ladder,” I’m still young, and I have my sights set on something higher, something that means more to me than building something great for Jeff Bezos. The fact they even had me “on the fence” says a lot about how Amazon does business. If I had to choose a company to “climb the ladder” with, it would be Amazon all day long. Amazon’s a “killer app” unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

I learned some things at Amazon, and I intend to bring everything I learned there to my efforts with MOTO2N.

I’m building something great for me, my people, and my customers with MOTO2N. It’s still a very small business, but it grows every year. I have so much fun fixing my customers’ bikes. This is exactly what I would be doing if I was already wealthy, and that’s saying something. Not everyone can say that about what they do to make a living.

Availability and More on Amazon

I should be available 7-days-a-week starting mid to late April. I’m not sure of an exact date yet, but I will keep this site updated as the situation develops.

To my Amazon peeps… y’all are amazing people. My eyes were already wide open when I met you, but you put a different kind of lens in front of them. You know who you are. I love y’all.

To my past customers… you are my favorite people on the planet, period. Thank you so much for trusting me with your bikes. I understand that you’re putting your lives in my hands in big ways when you have me work on your bikes, and my intention is to do right by the faith and trust you have in me. This will be my third year doing this, but every day is DAY ONE for me. I am committed to treating my 100th, 1000th, and 1,000,000th customers exactly the same as I treated my FIRST customer.

If you have a sec, ask me about my first customer. I can remember her bike, her face, what she was wearing, where she lived, and more like it happened just yesterday.

And to the customers I haven’t met yet… If you have a broken bike, call me. I’ll call you back. Even if I can’t help you (rare), I’ll take the time to point you in the right direction or give you a very real idea about what it’s going to take to get you and your ride back on the road, trail, or track again.

What Does It Mean?

Sometimes people ask me what “MOTO2N” means, or how to pronounce it.

You’ll catch me pronouncing it in two different ways. There’s no “right” way to say it. You can call it “moto-tune” or “moto-too-en;” either way is correct as far as I’m concerned.

As for what it means, “moto-tune” is pretty self explanatory. I tune motorbikes. Moto is short for motorbike or motorcycle. “2N” could be pronounced “tune” or “toon.” If you’re ever lucky enough to meet me, I have a boyish, high-energy, cartoonish air about me that people tend to find entertaining, off-putting, or attractive depending on how their brains are wired. I realize I’m not everyone’s “cup of tea,” and I’m OK with that. Even if you don’t like me as a person, I can still spin a wrench and swing a hammer with the best of ’em. I’m more than capable of fixing your bike regardless of what you really think of me.

That said, “moto-too-en” is a tougher nut to crack. It means “MOTO to the Nth Power or Degree.” Everything I do, I do at an extremely high level. I can talk your ear off about motorcycles all day long and then some. I know stuff. Not only do I know stuff, I do stuff. I have the right stuff to do this job, and I do it extremely well. I do it to the Nth degree. Everything I do, I do it to the Nth degree.

You can see evidence of this in everything I do. I won’t spill a single drop of oil on your perfect driveway in front of your $MM home. You can absolutely trust me with your garage codes if you can’t be home for your appointment. I’m more than capable of working on your bikes and explaining everything I’m doing as I’m doing it. You just can’t get that kind of service at the average shop. I’m more than capable of teaching you how to do what I do, if you’re mechanically inclined and want to turn your appointment into a learning experience. I’m extremely patient, and I’m relentless. I know what anti-seize is, and I know how to use it. If one of your electrical connections comes apart during disassembly, I have the tools and supplies to replace it to factory-like (or better) specifications. In a nutshell, I solve motorbike problems. That’s what I do.

When I started doing this, “MOTO2N” didn’t mean anything. I hope as I keep doing it, it means more to more people. It’s like the word “Miata,” which was a nonsense word before Mazda started building a little, Lotus Elan-like, 2-seater, drop-top sports car. I aim to be the “Miata” of motorbike repair, which is to say the best in the business, the best of the breed, efficiently priced, lots of fun, with élan for days.

Racing Improves The Breed

I like to race my motorcycles. I’m not just a mechanic. I’m a customer service professional. I’m a motorcycle racer. I’m a shit-hot mechanic. When I worked at shops, I smoked flat-rate times like a 90s college kid smoked Marlboro Lights. I’m an obsessive compulsive nutter, and I’m 100% one-of-a-kind. You’re unlikely to ever meet anyone like me. If you have a broken scooter, motorcycle, ATV, or UTV, I’m your best bet for getting it back on the road, track, or trail as conveniently and cost effectively as possible. My aim is to impress my customers, all day every day.

To my customers, THANK YOU SO MUCH for having me work on your bikes. 2017 was good, 2018 was better, and I think 2019 is going to be the best year ever for all of us. LET’S GOOOOO!!!

All the love in the world,

Aston//MOTO2N

 

 

 

Posted in Good News, The Passion

Bloody October: MOTO2N Winter Update

October has been, ahem… only way to put it is “bloody”. This month’s sucked so much I barely have words for it.

Exploded Wheel Bearings

I scheduled a track day for September 28th, which was supposed to be my “triumphant return to the track,” but shit happened and the day was less than triumphant. It was easily the coldest day in 6 months, around 30 degrees when I set off towards High Plains Raceway. Then it started raining a non-stop drizzle that made everything wet and cold. I thought I should probably call the day off and get track credit for another day. Then again, this being the bike’s first outing, maybe a cold, shitty day was perfect for shaking down a new build? I decided to stick with it.

GSXR750

GSXR750

A whopping 5 laps in, my rear wheel bearing exploded. I had to be collected by Glenn the track marshal on his ATV/trailer rig. We call this the “tow of shame,” but I’d have been a hell of a lot more ashamed had I stuck with it and ended up upside down. Thankfully I had the brains to pull off the straight and wave for help! I might be stupid, and reckless, but there are limits to my stupidity and recklessness.

Getting the old bearing race out was super fun. We ended up welding a plate to the old race and beating it out from the other side.

Old bearing race.

Old bearing race.

Bearing race.

Old bearing race. It’s out!

I was sweating bullets because it cost me a shit ton of money to have these wheels powder-coated. New tires + powder coated wheels = $500 (or more) AND all the labor to take them apart. It would be a $1000+ job had I done it for someone other than myself. The last thing I wanted to do was mar or destroy them while removing the old bearing parts. Thank goodness everything worked out OK.

Why did the bearings explode? All I’m going to say is I’m an idiot, and let us leave it at that.

I’m thankful it was my bike and my wheels. Had it been a customer’s bike and wheels, I’m not sure how I’d feel other than to say I’d feel really stupid and really bad.

A Stolen Scooter

This shit boils my blood. Occasionally I have to take broken scooters home with me for “more testing” to see exactly what they’re doing.

I parked a customer’s scooter in front of my apartment, and it straight up disappeared within the hour. One of my neighbors knocked on my door to let me know the scoot just got jacked. By the time I threw on my bike shoes and took off after them, they were long gone.

I then forked over $1000 to that customer for her to use to replace her stolen scoot. I don’t have any pictures of it, nor do I even have a VIN number for it. If you see a Huawin (it says “Huawin” on the left side of the transmission cover) with camo green bodywork… CALL ME AT (719) 565-9295.

If you’re the shitlord who took that scoot… don’t let me catch you on it.

Winding Shit Down for The Winter

I’m dialing things way, way back for the winter 18/19 season. This business doesn’t throw off enough money to keep me above water during the winter, so I took a “real job” with benefits and shit that I intend to work all winter long or longer. I’m looking forward to going to the dentist and a doctor for the first time in 10+ years.

My availability to fix bikes is going to be Sunday thru Tuesday, and the Sunday service call is going to be double what it is normally. There will be more updates on this site to reflect the new situation. Consider this a heads up though. Priority will be given to REPEAT CUSTOMERS first, followed by people who take the time to book online. If you call me and leave a message that starts with “What’s it cost to…” you should expect to be ignored. Remember what your mama always said? If you have to ask… you probably can’t afford it. I don’t call around to Ferrari dealerships begging for half-price (or better) deals on old 360 Modenas, so you shouldn’t be calling motorcycle mechanics expecting special treatment on fork rebuilds or whatever. 

Nothing about owning a scooter or motorcycle is cheap, and I’m getting really sick of people who call me without reading a goddamn word on my website.

If you book online, expect a phone call within 48 hours to confirm. If you don’t book online, expect to be ignored. If you’re one of my previous customers, please make it a point to say so in your message, and I will call you back ASAP.

I LOVE MY CUSTOMERS. I do NOT LOVE lookie-loos looking for the cheapest repairs in town.

If you’re NOT a repeat customer, expect to be ignored UNLESS you book online.

Dirtbikes and Stuff

I get to hang around some cool bikes.

RM125 stator

RM125 stator

The ’85 RM125 I bought needed a new stator, so I had to fork over $100 for this unit here. I was stoked it came w/ a factory stator plate, and everything looks to be in good working order. It made my old RM spark again. Now I can focus on making the suspension work, and hopefully I’ll get to put the spurs to it sometime next year.

IT250, RM125

IT250, RM125

I bought an ancient RM because it reminded me of my first bike ever, the broken RM250 I found in a neighbor’s dumpster that needed its frame welded back together before I could ride it.

This ’85 RM isn’t the best for vintage racing; it has to compete with bikes all the way up to the ’99 model year. But it reminds me of the first dirt bike I ever had, and that means something to me. That and it has a novel rear suspension setup that greases the cockles of my gear head heart, so that’s something, too.

This bike is remarkably complete, and with any luck it’ll be good enough to ride/race next year.

Scooter Pics

A return customer had me install a big bore kit on his Vespa ET2. This thing screams now!

Vespa BBK

Vespa BBK

Old vs. new piston.

Old vs. new piston.

Some fun stickers:

Cars suck.

Cars suck.

And the one and only pic of a bike I took while I was at the track. Neat Met w/ stickers sets the scene on the plains underneath an RV:

Honda Met.

Honda Met.

That’s all for now, folks. I’ll be back at it in full force next year, but for now, for winter, I’m dialing things WAY, WAY BACK. I need to take some time to rekindle my passion for these stupid machines, and hopefully my new gig will help me with that. HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAD ME WORK ON THEIR SCOOTS/BIKES THIS YEAR!!!

Posted in Availability, Motorcycles, Scooters

Cool Moto Vids: What It’s All About

Some videos I dig, some newer, some old-ish.

Pavement

Fighter-pilot biker stuff from last year’s Isle of Man TT. The bike’s a BMW HP4. The rider’s name is Peter Hickman, and he’s something to watch:

Dirt

This kid, Jerry Robin of Minnesota, managed to qualify on an ’85 CR250R at the 2013 Loretta Lynn race. He did so well on this old bike that people started throwing bikes at him. Hope he’s doing well in 2018!!!

All bikes are fast. The only thing that makes them slow are the guys and gals behind the bars. Enjoy:

That’s Racing

This last video is iconic in my world. And by “my world” I mean me. I love this video.

It was produced by someone at the AFM, which is a road-racing organization out of California. I’d kill to race with them one day. This was 8 years ago.

Posted in Motorcycles, Racing, The Passion

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