Setting up a Motorcycle Repair Shop

If you are in an area where motorcycles are popular, and thus, there is a need for repair, maintenance and upgrade, then you might have a business to start. That is even without you directly knowing how to do the repairs of motorcycles yourself.

More than learning how to fix engines and brakes, learn how to do business from our guide.

This mode of transport, comes the need for repair and maintenance. And so, if you have been a long-time motorcycle enthusiast, has the experience and skill in repairing and restoring motorcycles, or even just the basic business know-how, you may have one business waiting to flourish in your hands. Assuming that you know more than enough about brakes and tune-ups or that you intend to hire one who does, here we will discuss how to do business.

First, we work on the premise that you are in an area where motorcycles are popular, thus the demand. By location, JobBank USA says Grand Junction, Texarkana and Redding have the highest ratio of motorcycle service technicians to population. Statistics by state is available at www.jobbankusa.com. If you are in an area where the ratio is high, it could mean that the demand for the service is high, but also consider whether the market is already saturated with motorcycle service technicians. Also consider whether the demand is increasing or declining.

Motorcycle Training Requirement

Some motorcycle repair shop owners are self-taught; others have formal training from schools and from certificate programs of motorcycle manufacturers. JobBank USA says salaries for motorcycle service technicians can range from $25,000 to more than $41,000.

Still, even if you don't have any background, for as long as you have a good business sense, you can start one by hiring an experienced technician while running the overall operation of the business yourself. After all, running a motorcycle shop doesn't only mean doing repairs -- it also means selling motorcycle accessories like helmets, gloves, leather clothing, and sunglasses, and even motorcycles on consignment. Also, a significant part of the business might also involve modifying and adding components to improve a motorcycle's performance.

Motorcycle Shop Needs

One of the first and major decisions that someone wanting to open a motorcycle repair shop would have to make is about acquiring or renting a place or an existing shop. You would need investment to pay a deposit to the lessee (if you are renting), gas and electric company and buy tools and equipment like compressors, tire changers, motorcycle lifts. The tools alone could cost between $10,000 and $20,000. This business is usually a full-time business, albeit seasonal in some places, since winter months give way to snowmobiles on the road.

55 Comments

  • VIRAJ said on June 26, 2009
    HAVE TIRE SHOP AND HAVE SPACE FOR IT, i DON'T KNOW IF THERE IS MARKET NEED IN IL, 60085.
  • Michael B. said on November 25, 2009
    Bacolod city, Philippines... I am an expat and I really enjoy motorbikes since I moved to the Philippines they are every where. I want to open my own shop. can you help?
  • David G. Roman jr. said on January 10, 2010
    I am an expat working in Saudi Arabia for 26 years. I am due to retire after 3 years. I am trying to find a suitable business. I can start before I retire...I am interested in setting up a motorcycle repair shop in my area in the Philippines. Can you provide me information regarding setting up a motorcycle repair shop....
  • Kyle Wells said on March 25, 2010
    I would be willing to consult in setting up motorcycle repair shop
  • Rufino Raymundo B. Urbe said on April 19, 2010
    I have a general knowledge on how to repair motorcycles and interested to put up my own shop could you please provide me with a detailed step by step procedure on putting up a shop and also the cost?
  • James Ramirez said on April 30, 2010
    Hey i am looking at starting a sport bike and just all around motorcycle repair and customizing shop any ideas on good locations or what would be a good start up price just graduated from MMI and prior Military service
  • paul oakenfold said on May 17, 2010
    I find myself in the same starting position as the following guys: Michael B, David G. Roman jr., Rufino Raymundo B. Urbe. I am also researching information on the correct procedure for moto shop start up business. Any advice and suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • Chris Sokolowski said on July 14, 2010
    I am looking at starting my own motorcycle shop in Buffalo, NY area. I wanna start small in my garage. Any advice and suggestion you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • Matt said on November 3, 2010
    I am a business graduate in Waco, TX wanting to start a shop with a Certified Harley Technician with whom Ive known for 25 years... how can I start without starving? My credit isn't great, where could I come up with funding? any help would be greatly appreciated!!
  • Zaldy Valancio said on November 21, 2010
    I am looking for the right procedures on how to put up a motorcycle shop. I need your advice for this matter.
  • Steven said on January 25, 2011
    Hi have always had a ambition 2 start my own motorbike repair garage. And would information on how to start nd go about it
  • Dennis said on March 4, 2011
    I am considering opening a motorcycle repair shop in northern Thailand. Any help you could offer would be appreciated. thanks, dennis
  • Chance beginner adviser said on March 24, 2011
    I have been involved in racing motorcycles since i was 12, i'm 24 now and heading off to become a chiropractor but i will always work on dirt bikes because i love the sport. i worked for 3 years as a suspension tech and built a few of my own race motors. motorcycle shops are hard to start however garage shops are easy to do. there are a lot of mechanics who lack the common sense to be successful. If you are well known, it helps. And most importantly ORGANIZED and a "people person" then start marketing your self. most of us in the industry have thousands in tools (dont be fooled a huskey wrench do the same job as a snap on for a fraction of the price... dare i say harbor freight...DADADAH!) but i did not just go buy them all at once, when you have a job that needs a tool pick it up or build it yourself. don't quite your day job yet... it should take a couple years to get confident enough and have the odd ball tools to go it alone. Be warned you are going to make mistakes if you are not organized and very clean and through. its easy to make mistakes and just one mistake can really get someone hurt bad so dont be a goon, there are much easier jobs to make money at if you dont love it stop now... like every business you need to focus on 3 areas, quality of product(knowing what your doing), being cost efficient(organized and fast, learning the tricks of the trade), marketing your product(spreading your name... remember if you do crap work then that's what you will be know for). Hope it helped. Good luck and much success!
  • Dj said on April 4, 2011
    Dennis!! Please email me. I graduated from Wyotech, and have been wanting to start my own shop with someone as well. In Thailand, Due to the fact that there are so many bikes there, Scooters as well. I am in the states now but will relocate without hesitation. Please email me Sportbikerider1@hotmail.com. I also did business marketing before deciding to go to motorcycle repair school at wyotech. So i can market just as good as i can work on bikes.
  • javier said on July 7, 2011
    hello, I recently graduated from mmi last year. looking to open up a small repair shop in the next 4 months. I have 2 other friends who moved to tx with me to help open this shop. together we are certified in honda,suzuki,yamaha,kawasaki,and harley davidson. im looking for advice on how i should go about opening this shop or any ideas. thank you
  • nicole said on August 30, 2011
    I've got a shop in my back yard and tools my brother is a graduate trained on harleys and i'm looking to get a harley shop and a solid name/reputation up and running in despite the economy. He tells me the dilemma is we cant order parts cheap enough to compete with local shops,so our services would be limited. Other than trying to work out a discounted % how would i get parts for cost?
  • G.Ravichander said on September 21, 2011
    I am from Bhubaneswar India and work for a NGO involved in creating employment or self employment opportunities. A lot of requests are coming for i. motorcycle repairing unit and ii. car repairing unit. Trainings can be arranged. I would like to have the economics of starting motorcycle and car repairing units. This will help the entrepreneur to mobilize funds from banks or other Government schemes. ravi
  • Dwight Pennypacker said on May 30, 2012
    Altoona; Penna 16602. I troubleshoot, repair, service, maintain, performance setup, Pa state safety Inspection, race. I have been around bike's 40 years. Very soon I will have my shop set up. I will be accepting client's very soon. I do also, work on Vintage & restore bikes and also have schooling in this field. Mostly, street machines though ATV & dirt bikes are welcome. My rate will be reasonable and guaranteed.
  • tina said on June 4, 2012
    My son/law is a master boat & great at motorcycles, atv'etc. Me, I am a 50 something yr old RN who is worn out. I see great possibility for growth since we live near 2 huge lakes with the right management. i am not looking to get rich, just pay the bills and get them started on the right road before i die. nursing used to fill my heart with joy, not anymore, heck you have so dang much to do the love and humanity, for which i was called to do, is lost. i feel like a little lost sheep.. big companies like the largest employer in alabama could care less. nothing matters but the money in the end..my heart still has so much to give, i just have to find an outlet.....thank you for listening...
  • Joel Phelps said on June 11, 2012
    Hello all I too am starting my shop (part time as I am still climbing trees for my living)Phelpscycle North central FL. I am interested in making contacts for vintage jap parts.
  • arnel baƱas said on August 21, 2012
    hi can u pls help me, i'm about to start my mc shop, almost done just need how to deal with suppliers, the average mark up of my items to be sold and rate of mechanics. i'm from the Philippines.
  • Mary said on August 23, 2012
    Hi Arnel Banas, I have motorcycle shop and supplier also of all kinds of motorcycle parts. if you want i can send you quote. I'm from Philippines also. email me for further detail. More Power! my email add: shaira_aira@yahoo.com. GOD BLESS OUR BUSINESS!
  • Junzen B. Saldana said on September 16, 2012
    Hi i am junzen. I am interested in motorcycle shop since our place in the Philippines have many motorcycles. Can you give an idea on how to start a motorcycle shop business and at the same time a supplier of motor parts... Thanks.
  • s.swami said on December 5, 2012
    hello i am s swami want to open a Repairing Centre of piaggio ape and Bike in Bihar patna district so kindly suggest me how much money invest for that.
  • Erik S. said on December 11, 2012
    Is there a good site for buying in bulk at wholesale? Lubes, Oil, etc. Who is the best distributor for this? PU I think only does dealers and parts/apparel stores, but I need wholesale, or do I have to go to dealer or store?
  • rodelcanino said on January 9, 2013
    hi i'm rodel from bacolod city philippines. i've been riding a motorcycle for 10 yrs and i've encountered a lot of situations, now i'ld like to start a small shop and store, can you give me an idea on how to start a motorcycle shop business, where can i get or contact a supplier near in bacolod city. thank you very much, i hope you can give me some advice where to start. godbless
  • adrian garcia said on February 7, 2013
    CAMP PENELTON CA. I NEED ADVICE ON OPENING A MOTORCYCLE TIRE SHOP. PLEASE HELP. I HAVE A UP 20K TO START IT UP. PLEASE HELP.
  • Samuel Lamputi said on April 21, 2013
    I am doing a feasibility study on Motorcycle Parts Store and Repair Shop, please kindly give me ideas and information on this, and i am interested also to put my own business here in our local areas in the Philippines. Thank you so much for your help
  • Shoeb Hasan said on April 22, 2013
    I have my own premisses of 1200sqft area. I dont have any knowledge in this field but i'm crazy for bikes & interested in doing this business. Can u pls tell me what kind of setup require & how much it would cost to start this business. Regards, Shoeb hasan, Mumbai India
  • Pam Hunt said on April 23, 2013
    I'm looking for someone to rent my bay out to. Here in the US in northeast Alabama . I have had my motorcycle shop open over 9 years .Need a certified tech in honda,suzuki,yamaha,kawasaki,and harley Davidson . Have everything you will need to start your own repair shop . call or email me at 256-475-3384 or bikershack411@yahoo.com . . Thank you Pam
  • Brittany Proffitt said on May 2, 2013
    I am a motorcycle enthusiast looking to open a used motorcycle sales and repair shop in Kokomo, Indiana. Do you know a good break down estimation for start-up expenses? I have some equipment including air compressors, hand tools, air and electric tools, etc. but I know I will need 3 bike lifts as well as other equipment. I have $50,000 saved and was considering a $20,000 business loan. Do you think I will need the loan along with my savings? Thanks for your time, Brittany.
  • Naresh Nayak said on May 8, 2013
    I have stared motorcycle work shop in Tikapur Kailali, Nepal, but my business is down, so am looking for the right procedures on how to grow up a motorcycle workshop business. I need your help and advice for this matter. Thank you.
  • Aman said on August 24, 2013
    I want to start a bike service station with latest technology. Please suggest us about latest equipment and tools also I am no idea about space or design of service station. So please suggest us. Waiting for your response. Thank you
  • Aman said on August 24, 2013
    Actually I am from nepal and I want to start my bike service station in Kathmandu ,Nepal.
  • Galen Reid said on September 8, 2013
    I am new to the motorcycle scene and feel that i am taking a sharp turn toward wanting to be involved in it regularly. I am a free spirit and am willing to travel anywhere to learn, and be around the business. I am a great worker and willing to learn. I have no other way of getting myself out there to see. I hope this catches someone, because i would be a good asset. gwhizz@rock.com
  • prakash mohanty said on October 30, 2013
    i have won workshop, but i have no more money to buy special tools. plz help me
  • Matthew said on December 3, 2013
    Hi! Would like to start up a motorcycle service shop but don't have the qualifications. I'm from South Africa and I see a huge demand for technicians in the future. Thanx!
  • nitin sonar said on December 20, 2013
    I want to start a bike service station with latest technology in Mumbai, India. Please suggest us about latest equipment and tools it shows like a futured Motor Bike service station. Please suggest me how can I do this. Waiting for your positive reply. Nitin sonar +919167253330. Mumbai, India.............
  • Gulzar M Khan said on December 31, 2013
    I am also having a similar question as Nitin Sonar. I am in Sri lanka, came from middle east for ever. looking to open a Motor bike and three wheeler work shop with employing of experience Mechanics/ Electricians. Please suggest me on latest equipments and tools A-Z and experience advice to start the work shop. Location and work shop is not a problem. Awaiting a positive reply.. thanks.
  • benjar dela cruz said on January 16, 2014
    i am business minded automotive mechanic gas and diesel i am planning to build up motorcycle shop and motorcycle spare parts supply our location mostly using motorcycle so can you help me to start my own motor parts supply coz of lack of financial i am looking a supplier as a partner we can talk regarding this business i am Pilipino i am still here in uae, working as ofw, i am planning to go Philippines june 201, pls reply me as soon as possible regarding my plan business thanks more power to your company cel +971557998454
  • lk said on January 27, 2014
    id like to open a shop in bangkok.... email if you have info. kundy033@gmail.com
  • Elnathan said on April 3, 2014
    I'm a Business Consultant and previously working in Yamaha Motor Philippines as head of Parts Division. I know all about parts business anywhere in Philippines but I'm located in Cebu now. You can avail of my services or we can be partners. Let's start building our dreams. Contact me. elnathangujol@yahoo.com or myinfinitekey@gmail.com
  • shuaib said on April 28, 2014
    Hi, I want to open a motorcycle & scooter repair shop in cape town, South Africa. I am currently working from my garage. Can anyone tell me where I could buy bulk parts and accessories (oil, lube, helmets, ebgine parts etc) for low prices. Thanks guys :) shuaibec@gmail.com
  • Cwa said on May 18, 2014
    Hello, I am planning to open motorcycle repair center in Kathmandu. Can you provide me with full information about setting it up (location) as well as equipment (from where to bring) required to run. How much capital is needed. Please suggest me how can I do this.
  • dabin said on August 9, 2014
    Hey anybody foreigners want to invest Royal Enfield Workshop in Nepal..then contact me
  • Mahmoud said on December 28, 2014
    Hi, Thank you very much for the post. Who should I contact for further details ?
  • shamsuddin shaikh said on January 27, 2015
    hi I want start my own motorcycles garage in muscat oman what should I do for it . What I need for it.
  • Omar said on April 3, 2015
    I want to open in dubai a motorcycle shop
  • Mr. Ed said on June 1, 2015
    I want to start a motorcycle shop in Milton vt.
  • John Kekoa said on June 28, 2015
    opening a custom and repair shop in North Carolina Winston Salem in the spring of 2016, Would like to make it a world class shop I need an investor partner....Hit me up!!!
  • Matthew said on July 12, 2015
    I am looking to start a motorsport business in the upper penninsula of Michigan I have training in bikes snowmobiles side by side atv and jet skis I am certified from Yamaha and Kawasaki from m.m.i. I would like someone to help me with a step by step plan of what I need to do this or if anyone can direct me towards some investors or something
  • brajesh ojha said on December 28, 2015
    i want to start my own business motorcycle repairing.
  • krystle said on January 6, 2016
    I am currently the manager at a motorcycle shop and we are looking for ways to maximize our profits. Every year for the past 15 years we go onto the negative come winter time. We have a lot of suppliers and canget lots of parts and also have great technicians who can fix almost anything. Any ideas on how to not go into the whole every winter. I feel we are doing something wrong.
  • Donald said on March 14, 2016
    What are the equipment needed to set-up motorcycle repair shop?
  • ernest said on August 18, 2017
    looking for start up capital for motor cycle restoration repair shop have tools and location any help would be appreciated

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