|04-23-2014, 08:14 PM||#781|
I'm back - sort of.
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Upstate SC
Apparently, on a ferry.
"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said.
"No, I give it up." Alice replied. "What's the answer?"
"I haven't the slightest idea." Said the Hatter.
"Nor, I" said the March Hare.
|04-24-2014, 03:42 PM||#783|
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
When I started a search for a good bike mechanic in Oakland, someone along the line lead me in the direction of Hayasa Motorbikes.
Bee had sent me new fork seals and sprockets. I desperately needed new brakes before I could safely ride much more. The front calipers were saturated with fork oil at this point and slipping terribly. The chain was in decent shape, however I knew it wouldn’t last the rest of my way home. Bee had sent me the sprockets suggesting I replace them at the same time, just in case it was necessary.
The first time I called Hayasa a man answered the phone introducing himself as Tyler. When I told him what I needed and what I had he said he wouldn’t be able to get to it for a couple weeks. I explained I was in Oakland just temporarily and it was my only transportation.
He grunted, “Like I said, drop it off in two weeks.”
Although slightly turned off that the man wouldn’t see me right away, I knew it was a good sign he was busy with a full garage. I asked if I could at least swing by on the Radian to have him take a look at it, and see if he thought it would need anything else, just so he’d be prepared. It was for his benefit of course.
After a long groan, he agreed.
I found his garage down 10th Street, just a little ways from Lake Merritt. There was a gorgeous antique car parked in front, a bright red ’62 Dodge Lancer GT with a black rag top. I smiled and parked right in front.
When I walked in the first thing I noticed was how meticulously clean and organized the garage was. Tyler was with a customer so I wandered around. There was a collection of SR500’s in the corner and a ’68 Twinjet 100 hanging from the ceiling. I nodded to myself thinking I had found the right place. This was a Yamaha man.
Tyler greeted me with a sultry look but I could see kindness in his eyes.
“Let’s see what you got,” he remarked shaking his head gesturing towards the Radian.
He walked over and scanned the bike hands on hips shaking his head. “That thing is filthy. I will not work on that until you clean it.”
I laughed, “Well I did ride it up to Alaska from Virginia…I just haven’t gotten around to cleaning it yet.”
He gave me a blank stare for a moment, “Oh great, another one of those Adventure Riders. I don’t get why you guys don’t clean your bikes…It’s like your ‘Red Badge of Courage’ or something,” he said rolling his eyes.
I liked this guy. He was honest.
After a short interaction Tyler stuck to his point. He couldn’t work on it for a couple weeks and didn’t see anything else at glace we should worry about until then.
I promised to clean it thoroughly.
A few days later the Radian wouldn’t start. I was house-sitting in Pacifica for the Veterinarian at the Zoo I was working for. I was convinced it was the thick fog and condensation that had gotten into the electrical system. The bike was soaking wet and it hadn’t even rained. I didn’t have a garage or cover so I moved the bike under a shallow awning next to the house and draped it with several towels. I pulled out the ignition box and tried to dry it in the house with a hair dryer.
None of my efforts made a difference and the more I tried to start the Radian the more I could hear the battery dying.
I called Tyler and begged him to let me have it towed. He agreed grudgingly.
While waiting for the tow driver I panicked realized I hadn’t cleaned the Radian yet! Tyler was going to kill me!!
I scrambled in the house searching for any cleaning products that would be appropriate to use on the bike. The only thing I could find was Simple Green. I went through an entire roll of paper towels and nearly the entire bottle of Simple Green in a desperate attempt to clean the Radian.
I rode in the tow truck to Hayasa, anxiously waiting getting reprimanded. It was a $100 journey. When Tyler came out all he said was, “I told you to clean it!”
“I did! I promise!! I wasn’t expecting to bring it to you this soon!”
He just shook his head. “Well I’ll get to it when I can.”
I felt bad, but I was beginning to feel like this guy was going to take care of me, like a big brother would.
Tyler called me later, “This bike should not have been towed.”
Ok, here we go with the lecture.
Apparently for some unknown reason the caps to the battery had fallen off and all the battery fluid leaked out.
“You should have been able to figure this out with a little more investigation and internet use. You got to learn how to take care of your own bike!”
I agreed, and humbly thanked him for the lesson.
The Radian stayed with Tyler for another week. He replaced the fork seals and front breaks, changed the tires and the oil, and suggested we wait to do the chain until I leave to go home.
When I got the Radian back, it was cleaner than when I had left it. It may have even been cleaner than when I had bought it. Tyler is a meticulous man that takes care of his shit and expects everyone else to as well. He is thorough, honest, and passionate about his work. I had a lot of respect for him. He was a good man to know.
I came back to Hayasa at the end of the summer when it was time to leave. I had him replace the chain, although he decided new sprockets weren’t necessary yet. I shipped those them back to Bee. Tyler ordered me a new clutch cable and levers to carry, just in case down the road I would need them. He was sure to remind me I should be able to fix that myself.
“You got to pack your own chute,” he’d say.
Before leaving, Tyler gave me a tour of the rest of his garage. One would never know there is an apartment and a second garage space just behind his front desk. After moving there in ’98, he converted the building into not only his business, but personal living space and garage. It was genius.
You have to walk though his apartment, consisting of a small bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, before reaching the other garage. There were about twenty motorcycles in there owned by Tyler, mostly Yamaha’s, and several other bikes owned by friends renting the space from him for storage.
When I asked about his background he said he got started with motorcycles working just part time in a parts department. It allowed him to get deals and discounts to support his own habit of racing Formula Single 4stokes. That’s why he had all those Yamaha 500s. Then he started working full time which he refers to as his “graduate school.” That’s when he learned more of the business aspect of motorcycles, including how “not” to do business.
He decided to go off on his own after getting fed up with the rules and protocols, such as an $18 required door fee, that in his mind took away from the honorable expertise that is meant to be provided in such a trade without extra cost. I could only admire him more for this. He was very modest.
I found it providential and fortunate to have met Tyler. He felt like a big brother. As we headed back to the front garage he said, “Grab your helmet.”
Over in the corner was a teal blue custom made ’87 Honda Elite 250 scooter with side car. He had built it himself with several other friends.
“Hop in,” he commanded calmly.
I couldn’t believe it. He took me for a joy ride in that thing roaring around the block popping the side car up in the air, whipping around the streets. I clutched the side car belly laughing the entire time. He glanced over at me, I think to check that I wasn’t screaming with fear. It was thrilling and a very special moment I will never forget.
Thank you Tyler not only your expert skill and trade, but for your endearing integrity and friendship.
May the road rise up to meet you
And wind be always at your back
|04-24-2014, 04:10 PM||#785|
long time rider
Joined: May 2010
Location: texas coast
Another person added to your personal odyssey. You describe the ones you encounter probably better than they could of themselves. Thanks for taking the time and added effort to keep the Anna junkies supplied...tomp dd50
Little Fauss: I was going faster than I ever went in my whole life, then I fell off.
|04-25-2014, 06:57 AM||#786|
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Tampa Fl
I rode one of those honda elites before. Actually a very fun scooter!
"Beware of the lollipop of mediocrity. One lick and you'll suck forever!"Brian Wilson
|04-25-2014, 07:05 AM||#787|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Anna, this is an awesome story. Everytime I go to Harrisonburg and see the Crozet sign past C-ville on I64, I think of you and your adventure. Some day....
Arnie in VA
'82 GL500I. '83 GL650, '82 GL500I
'81 GL500 (in drydock), '81 GL1100
|04-25-2014, 01:56 PM||#788|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: NORTHERN UTAH, PLANET EARTH ITS ALL THE SAME!!!
Worth the wait!!
around the world
|04-26-2014, 08:29 AM||#789|
the f is silent.
Joined: May 2009
Location: Fort Mill, SC
That guy sounds like a piece of work. I need to employ more of your "glass half full" techniques in dealing with the world.
Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
- Bigzoner #052 English Chapter "Keep Brotherhood Till Die!" - Nate & Dot Fan club
- The "Got Screwed" Newb
|04-27-2014, 12:24 AM||#790|
slave to gravity
Joined: May 2006
Location: New Melbourne, Newfoundland
thanks, that was a great update
|04-27-2014, 02:21 PM||#792|
Joined: Dec 2010
Awesome Ride Report
My hat is off to you for writing a truly inspiring form the heart ride report. It would have been great if your brother was still alive but then I think he is with you always. As I read along you have changed some and found jest the right people at the right time in you journey. So ride safe and remember wheels go down at all times.
|04-28-2014, 07:20 AM||#793|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
"Can't never could."-Grandma Belle Marie Bullock-Shuflin
|04-28-2014, 07:49 AM||#794|
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Close to the groundhog, PA
^^ no room for negativity in this awesome ride report ^^
I don't know how to ride a bike...yet
F650 GS Dakar
|04-28-2014, 07:59 PM||#795|
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
“It is not enough to want to make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals."
Just tell her my wife said it's OK-Handy
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