The hottest things on two wheels are small motorcycles with engines that top out around 400cc. But their diminutive engine size doesn’t make these street-legal rides any less entertaining—whether off-roading, cruising, or daily commuting.
The Rise of the DIY Bike Garage
For the uninitiated, there’s never been a better time to get into riding and wrenching on your bike, especially now that moto-oriented DIY spaces are on the rise. Ride a motorcycle over to Moto Republic in Los Angeles on any weekend and you’re welcome to bring your bike inside, but you may have to take a number. All five workstations at this warm and welcoming 2,000-square-foot community garage in Eagle Rock—which rents out mechanic’s bays with tools by the hour—are typically occupied from open to close on Saturdays and Sundays. (They’re a bit less busy on weekdays.)
A few of these DIY shops existed more than a decade ago, but liability insurance hit the kill switch until 2009, when rules and regulations caught up. Today, there are around 30 nationwide: Some rent to members who pay about $150 a month (more for storage space), and others offer access by the hour. Once inside, Moto Republic feels less like a business and more like a clubhouse.
“Our clients often stick around after they finish working on their bikes and help other people,” owner Jeff King tells Men’s Journal.
Ready to get in on the movement? Here are some of our favorite small motorcycle models for beginners and expert riders alike.
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