Skidmark Garage opening doors for bikers, introducing visitors to Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Skidmark Garage in Cleveland is a community motorcycle garage that's giving people access to space and tools to keep their bikes in tip-top shape. The business is also proving to be life-changing for those who stop by.
"I have 10 complete work stations. Each comes with a lift and an identical set of tools," said Brian Schaffran, owner of Skidmark Garage.
Schaffran dreamed of opening a community garage in the 90s when he was living in Los Angeles with an old Volkswagen van that was always breaking down. His dream manifested in 2015, years after he purchased his first motorcycle.
"A lot of the guys can do all the work they need to do in their own personal garage, but they don't have all the tools because the tools are expensive," Schaffran said. "They don't have the space because space is expensive, and they don't have any help."
Tire changes, engine swaps to cleaning out carburetors go down inside the 10,000 square foot space. Visitors also can hang out with Grendel the garage's "watch dog".
"The community of riders is about keeping these old bikes on the road," Schaffran said. "A lot of mechanics won't work on old bikes, because every time you fix one thing another thing breaks. So, you should know how to maintain it (and) how to fix it."
A $125 monthly membership gives people access to just about everything they'll need. Schaffran said the operation has drown into more than he expected.
"They're joining because they like the community. They're joining because they like the camaraderie," Schaffran said. "Every little victory is celebrated by everybody. And when that bike is finally complete and he or she gets on that bike and test rides it down the driveway and back- everyone's filming it. Everyone's here to see it. It's pretty spectacular."
It's concept has proven to attract a steady flow of customers. And it's not just a man's shop.
"I've had plenty of girls in here that have broken the entire bike down and fixed the entire bike. There's blue collar… there's white collar. It's all walks of life."
The garage has even helped the city of Cleveland gain a new resident.
Mark Adams, from the San Francisco Bay area in California, first visited Skidmark Garage in July. He found it through Instagram and made a pit-stop during a cross-country trip.
"I just had to replace the clutch plates, so I pulled open the engine," Adams said. "All that time gave me time to hang out and meet everybody and everybody's great here."
He's currently in the middle of an engine switch.
"This is a BMW Dakar. It's s 2007 and it can go on road and off-road. It's great for long distance traveling. You can do 8-to-10 hours in a day."
The time Adams has spent in the city made an impression.
"Kind of fell in love with Cleveland, so now I decided to move 2,600 miles from California to Cleveland."
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