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DIY motorcycle shop gives bikers tools, tips – and a chance to save money

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Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

By Michael Gordon

PHOENIX -

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. Well, a motorcycle garage in Phoenix functions around this idea, letting customers get their hands dirty and fix their own bikes. Michael Gordon takes a look at the MotorCycle Hideout.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: At the MotorCycle Hideout, owner Steve Kaloczi has only two rules for customers, be ready to get your hands dirty and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

STEVE KALOCZI/OWNER, MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT: Many people suspect they can do certain things of maintenance, repairs and upkeep, but it just seems daunting.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: When Steve and his family first opened the shop in 2012, he wanted a place where riders could mend their bikes themselves.¬†Christopher Stubbs has brought his bike in for repairs many times, by his estimate saving…

CHRISTOPHER STUBBS/MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT CUSTOMER: A couple thousand dollars easily.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: Customers are charged one flat-rate fee, including tools, work space and professional guidance, if needed.¬†Working on the bikes that they love with their own hands is important to Steve’s customers, but so is avoiding the high expenses that can accompany full-service garages.

CHRISTOPHER STUBBS/MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT CUSTOMER: It’s far more expensive to take your bike to a shop. Second is time, a lot of shops are really really busy, they schedule, they over-schedule so you don’t know when you’re going to get your bike back.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: Many shops end up basing much of their repair charges solely on labor fees.

STEVE KALOCZI/OWNER, MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT: Shops charge anywhere in the neighborhood of $80 to $150 an hour for labor, so the labor costs alone can be astronomical.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS:
And riders are often uncomfortable leaving their motorcycles to be worked on by someone they don’t know.

CHRISTOPHER STUBBS/MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT CUSTOMER: With another shop doing it you don’t get that intimate feeling you have with your bike.

MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: These days, the MotorCycle Hideout gets customers from all over the state, people who have heard that Steve’s shop is a place where they can work on their engines, without wearing down their wallets.

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: For customers worried that they don’t have the experience to fix their own bikes, the MotorCycle Hideout offers maintenance clinics, teaching basic repair techniques.