Bike shops in or around (tri-state area) NYC.... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bike shops in or around (tri-state area) NYC....

Can anyone suggest a good bike shop outside New York City? Anything in New Jersey?

If you know of one in the city, even better, but I have been searching for years with no luck. So, I figure it's time to start looking outside.... There are several dealer shops here, but I just don't feel comfortable with them, especially for the money they charge.

Any suggestions are appreciated....

Thanks,
John
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:10 PM
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If you have access to the NYC area specifically Queens, there's a great continuing education class taught at Queens College CUNY in basic motorcycle maintenance for $255. See page 14 of this pdf http://www.cep.qc.edu/catalog.pdf for more info.

It's something like four Thursday nights where Armen goes over the basics of how each of the systems on your bike work. Engine and transmission, carbs / EFI, brakes, steering, suspension, electrical systems, etc.. And three all day long Saturday sessions where you bring your own bike and you learn to do your own maintenance on it. You will learn to change your bike's engine oil, shaft oil, fork oil, spark plugs, air filters, depending on the bike you will also adjust your own valves and adjust your final drive chain (N/A on our VN750s), sync your carbs, change brake fluid and lube cables.

The course is open to all years and all makes of motorycle. I took that class 16 years ago and it quickly paid for itself. It's great that he still teaches it.

-Sloppy

My Flickr Gallery < Link >
Westco MF battery, R/R relocated
Küryakyn LED battery monitor
Kawasaki F&S luggage rack, bag supports & headlight visor
Splines lubed at 700 miles (they were dry from the factory!)
Anodized black SuperBrace fork brace < Link >
Mutazu GA hard saddlebags < Link >
Kawasaki F&S floorboards < Link >
Chrome Küryakyn wide brake and clutch levers < Link >
Clear Alternatives LED tail light board
National Cycle N2220 Windshield
R.I.P. Lance328

Last edited by Sloppyburpfest; 01-29-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Sloppy, that's that is very helpful... I just signed up for the class. Since I happen to live in Queens, it's not to far away.... The best part is the class costs almost half of what I paid for my last tuneup. It sounds like everyone does their own maintenance on here, which makes sense with all the resources on this forum....

John
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:11 PM
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I personally had good experience with JDS Cycle in Roselle, NJ. Knowledgeable people and reasonable price.

jdscycle.com

Last edited by bkhnj; 01-26-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 12:44 PM
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JohnMack76,

The price of the class is totally worth it. Even in the highly unlikely event that you might not learn anything technical, his sense of humor is worth the cover charge alone. Armen makes lots of odd comments and silly jokes like saying (while pointing at a bike that everyone is circled around to learn something from) "Look folks, you can actually see marks where the knuckle-dragger who previously worked on this bike dropped his spear."

In 2004 he wrote a good letter to the editor in Motorcycle Consumer News magazine about the newly designed Harley Sportster (New Porkster) .. http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/letters/letters03A.pdf

Oh and to be very clear, this class is at Queens College (in Flushing on Main St. between Kissena Blvd. and the L.I.E.), not Queens Borough Community College.

Enjoy -Sloppy

My Flickr Gallery < Link >
Westco MF battery, R/R relocated
Küryakyn LED battery monitor
Kawasaki F&S luggage rack, bag supports & headlight visor
Splines lubed at 700 miles (they were dry from the factory!)
Anodized black SuperBrace fork brace < Link >
Mutazu GA hard saddlebags < Link >
Kawasaki F&S floorboards < Link >
Chrome Küryakyn wide brake and clutch levers < Link >
Clear Alternatives LED tail light board
National Cycle N2220 Windshield
R.I.P. Lance328
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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That was hilarious, he sounds like a good time. I dig the sarcasm.... The writer makes an interesting point in his response about the current business model being more geared towards nostagia than solid design. That's what is motivating me to keep the Vulcan and learn how to keep it running instead of buying a new bike....

I saw that it was flushing, which is great since I live a block away from the 7 train. It's a short train ride followed by a short bus ride to get there.... I'm ready to get my hands dirty as I have been riding for four years and can't do much beyond checking the tires for air and putting gas in it.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 11:10 AM
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Hey JohnMack76,

If you haven't already lubed your splines, go find some Honda Moly 60 now. It can take a while to find and order it, so try to have it ready for the class. On one of the Saturday sessions everyone gets to pull off their bike's rear wheel. Luckily for you the VN750 has a centerstand so your life will be easier. Since you're going to have your rear wheel off anyway, at that point you're more than half way into doing the spline lube. You might as well lube it there while Armen (a motorcycle mechanic with over 35 years of experience) is there to coach you and can answer any questions you have. Heck, he may even get the class to circle around you as you do it and talk about the cruel joke that the Japanese were playing on us when they designed this weakness into our shaft drives.

Day one he usually gives the class a shopping list, something like:

Your bike's shop manual (you can find a link to the complete VN750 shop manual in .pdf form on this forum).
Engine Oil
Oil filter
Fork oil
Spark plugs
WD-40 (spray can)
Brake cleaner (spray can)
Anti-Seeze (looks like a little sliver tube of tooth paste)
Dry Slide cable lube (small green and black bottle with a long needle nose to squirt into cables)
Nitrile gloves (because oil and gasoline destroy latex gloves)
Roll of paper towels
Old sheet (to cover the ground and catch spills)
Milk crate (to bungee to your bike to carry all of this stuff and to sit on later during the class)
And for you, Honda Moly 60 (you may need to special order this at a Honda bike dealer, there's one in Long Island City Queens and one on Cross Bay Blvd I think.)


-Sloppy

My Flickr Gallery < Link >
Westco MF battery, R/R relocated
Küryakyn LED battery monitor
Kawasaki F&S luggage rack, bag supports & headlight visor
Splines lubed at 700 miles (they were dry from the factory!)
Anodized black SuperBrace fork brace < Link >
Mutazu GA hard saddlebags < Link >
Kawasaki F&S floorboards < Link >
Chrome Küryakyn wide brake and clutch levers < Link >
Clear Alternatives LED tail light board
National Cycle N2220 Windshield
R.I.P. Lance328

Last edited by Sloppyburpfest; 01-29-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 04:31 PM
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I took Armen's class just last Fall, so he'll be well familiar with seeing someone work on the VN750 ("the Kowalski"). In fact I may well go another round just so I can learn how to futz with the carburetor.

You don't take the subway there, you ride your bike, it's a hands on workshop on Saturdays! Why, on the very first Saturday #1, I removed the rear wheel and lubed the spline. He had Moly 60 on hand, too. FWIW I now also have it, since you live so close to me you can come by and borrow it (I live about 3 miles NE from the Main St. station in Flushing), just drop me a PM.

Also under his supervision, I changed the fork oil, the fork springs (to progressive springs), the engine oil and filter and spark plugs (I'd already done that before though), bled the brakes and changed the brake fluid, drained and changed the transmission fluid, and added a Powerlet socket to the "auxiliary" power wires already running through the stock fuse box. Also removed the fuel tank for some reason I no longer remember (I think just to get a look at the electrical layout).

As a bonus, I dropped the spacer for the progressive fork springs down the tube, and got extended hands on experience in removing the entire front end of the bike to turn the forks upside down to shake out the spacer. And in replacing the front brake pads, too, after they fell out of the shoe in so doing.

Good times. Lots of fun and a great confidence builder in futzing with your bike (and seeing the guts of various other bikes as well). It definitely made me appreciate how easy the VN750 is to work on, with its center stand, easy to access spark plugs, fuse box and fluid draining locations, etc., compared to some of the other bikes there!

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 02-09-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Good stuff, I'm glad you guys let me know about this class, I really need. The only bad thing is it doesn't start until April so my bike has another couple of months of neglect.

I hadn't thought about changing the brake pads but they are probably due. Did you get the parts in advance of the class? Should I pick some up? Sloppy gave me a good list. Are there any other parts that would be good to have, i.e. a new air filter? Thanks
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:02 PM
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Have you put an AGM battery in it? http://batteries.batterymart.com/search/index?filters[top_level_category]=Motorcycle&query=ETX15L No leaking acid on frame or the electronics mounted to the battery box, more CCa's, and last longer than a wet cell.

Iridium spark plugs give better hot and cold starts, last about 100,000 miles and while more expensive initially, are cheaper in the long run. Got mine for about $4 each at O'Rilleys.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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