Dirt bike garage setup. Lock it to something secure and immoveable

How to Open a Motorcycle Shop

If you love motorcycles and want to share that love with others, then opening a motorcycle shop could be an ideal business opportunity for you. Like most businesses, it takes time and patience to get the things off the ground. There are also risks with starting up any new business, in terms of the time, money and other resources you’ll need to put into it. But if you do your homework and plan strategically, your bike shop could be open and helping people in sooner than you might expect.

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Choose Your Business Structure

Do you want to be a sole proprietorship? An LLC? Or, a corporation? This might not seem important, but each business structures has its pros and cons. A sole proprietorship is the easiest to set up but it offers the least amount of legal protection. If you get sued and lose your business, your personal assets could be at stake.

Unless you’re opening a huge operation and have creditors, you probably don’t need to start a corporation. An LLC could be the solution, because it creates a business that is separate from your personal assets but can be run in the same manner as a sole proprietorship. You may want to consult with an attorney to determine which structure best suits your business’ needs.

Create a Business Plan

A good way to start is to create a business plan that will help you set your priorities. The plan is also a good document to share with banks or other potential sources of financing for your business. The plan will cover all the basics: the market for your business; your customer base; management and organization; products and services; and projections of sales and income.


The U.S. Small Business Administration is a terrific resource for learning about business structures and financing options for your shop, and provides useful suggestions for financing your business through investors, loans and other options.

How to Start a Motorcycle Shop

Hitting the open road, with nothing but a motorcycle and a few essentials, has long been a favored American pastime. Those active within the motorcycling community regularly require maintenance and repair on their motorcycles and enjoy spending their hard-earned money on accessories that enhance their riding experience. From selling new and used parts, to bike repair and rebuilds, motorcycle shops offer a variety of goods and services that fit the immediate and long-term needs of bike enthusiasts.

Learn how to start your own Motorcycle Shop and whether it is the right fit for you.

Start a motorcycle shop by following these 10 steps:

We have put together this simple guide to starting your motorcycle shop. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

How To Tie Down a Dirt Bike

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Motorcycle Shop Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state’s business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability.

It’s very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Business Name Generator

What are the costs involved in opening a motorcycle shop?

Veteran motorcycle shop owners recommend a budget of approximately 55,000. This number could vary significantly, depending upon the inventory you choose to carry and services you intend to offer.

Initial investments should include:

  • Shop location. first and last month’s rent is typically required
  • Inventory. engine and electrical parts, accessories, parts for repair services, and motorcycles
  • Display equipment
  • Legal fees
  • Marketing supplies and a website
  • Insurance

If your intention is to manage a larger dealership, your start-up budget should be significantly higher. Prior to writing your business plan, FOCUS on building relationships with wholesale retailers. They set the and can offer valuable insight into what your initial and ongoing investment should be.

What are the ongoing expenses for a motorcycle shop?

As a repair and retail establishment, you will be facing a number of ongoing expenses. In addition to the standard rent, utilities, phone, and Internet, you will need to budget for the following:

Established shop owners indicate a break even budget of 16,000 per month.

Who is the target market?

Men falling in the 18. 25 and 40. 65 age brackets represent more than 80% of motorcycle sales. While your shop will generate revenue from novice bikers, the bulk of your marketing campaign should be geared towards experienced bikers.

How does a motorcycle shop make money?

Your shop will generate income based on the goods and services offered. Some businesses operate on a local level only, while others sell goods online, expanding their reach to a much broader audience.

How much can you charge customers?

Fees for maintenance, repair, and bike customization are based on labor and parts. Parts and accessory price are generally marked up 100%.

How much profit can a motorcycle shop make?

Unlike many businesses, motorcycle shops often see a profit in the first year. While the first three years may generate a profit of 13,000 to 17,000, this is a positive sign and sets the business up for long-term growth and success. Total annual profits vary, depending upon the specifics of what services you offer, what parts and accessories you sell, and how you plan to sell them. Annual profits can range between 35,000 to 64,000 or more.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Many motorcycle shop owners report having significant success operating an online motorcycle parts business. Since bike shops are often a place to congregate, offering food and drinks, along with a comfortable seating area, will ensure your customers are comfortable and happy. This is an effective way to increase your profits without a large increase in overhead costs. Shop owners have also realized success by offering airbrushing services, selling second-hand bikes, and offering motorcycle tutorials to educate those interested in learning more about their hobby.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC’s free Small Business Startup Guide. a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your motorcycle shop is sued.

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

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You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website. If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Are your bikes insured?

Insuring your bikes will provide peace of mind should the worst happen. You should always pay attention to the small print when taking out an insurance policy but, in this instance, if you’re not storing your bikes inside then it’s particularly important to ensure any policy covers a wooden shed or wherever you choose to keep your bikes.

Only some policies cover bike storage in lockable wooden sheds and almost all require bikes to be secured to an immovable object.

If you’re looking for a quick comparison of the best bicycle insurance on the market, check out our insurance comparison tool, developed in conjunction with QuoteZone, which will provide quotes for cycling-specific coverage from a wide range of leading providers.

Impossible? Load 2 dirt bikes in short bed truck with tailgate shut?. Episode 222

top tips for bike shed security

Whether you’ve decided on the wooden shed option, or just want some ideas on making other forms of storage more secure, here are some handy tips:

Be realistic

A shed is never going to stand up to a serious attack by thieves. Offenders have been known to pry open a whole side panel or roof to get inside.

The trick is to site it in an area where it is difficult for thieves to operate, avoid drawing attention to it, and install as many security measures as possible to protect your precious bike(s).

The harder you can make a thief work, and the longer it takes them to crack your defences, the more likely they are to pass up the opportunity, or give up and move on to an easier target.

Choose your shed location carefully

The ideal site for your shed is somewhere difficult for thieves to reach, yet not so tucked away that criminals can operate without fear of being seen.

In this case, the shed below has been built in a backyard/driveway accessed by a private road. The shed can’t be seen from the main road and because the access road is only used by a handful of households, any strangers in the area will immediately arouse suspicions.

The neighbours are friendly and several are around during the day. The shed can be seen from a number of surrounding houses and is within range of a security light fitted with a movement sensor. When a car is parked in the driveway next to the shed, the door can’t be opened, providing extra security.

Take care when choosing the type of shed

There are three main types of shed: wood (cheap and blends in well but prone to rotting and less secure), metal (strong, durable and fire retardant but prone to rust, and walls are very thin on cheap models) and plastic (low maintenance but prone to condensation). Generally, the more you pay, the thicker the walls will be and the more secure the shed will be.

Think about the design of the structure

If the shed is going to be used purely for storage, and not as a workshop, consider getting one without Windows because these are an obvious weak point. The door should be clearly visible, either from your house or neighbouring properties. Double doors will enable you to get bikes in and out more easily.

Work out the shed’s weaknesses

In this case, the door hinges are secured by small screws, the lock provided with the shed is extremely basic and the Windows mean the contents are on display. Inside there is nothing to lock your prized possession(s) to.

Step-by-step guide to improving bike shed security

In the first half of our guide, we showed you how to improve the basic security of your shed. In part two we’ll explain how to really beef-up your shed’s security.

Toughen up the hinges

Door hinges are a major weak point but can be toughened up by replacing the screws with bolts. Immediate Media Co

In this case, the hinges are attached to the soft timber door using seven short screws. If a thief shoulder barges/kicks the door with enough force, these could just rip out of the wood.

Failing that, it wouldn’t take a determined thief long to simply unscrew them all.

To make life harder for the crims, take out the screws, widen the holes using a drill and replace the screws with nuts and bolts.

Then you need to make sure thieves can’t simply unscrew the bolts. In this case, we’ve added a drop of superglue where the shaft of each bolt meets the nut.

To ensure the bolt can’t be removed, simply add a drop of superglue. Alternatively, use a non-removable security screw. Immediate Media Co

Other options include using Allen key bolts and hammering ball bearings into the end so they can’t be unscrewed, or using one-way security screws.

Add hasps and padlocks

Don’t go overboard with external security. The more locks you have fitted, the more obvious it is that there’s something inside the shed that’s worth protecting. Immediate Media Co

The basic locks that come with most sheds are next to useless, so fit at least one hasp with a decent padlock.

There is always a trade-off between increasing security and making it obvious you’ve got something to hide. Fit several hasps with high-end padlocks and you risk attracting unwanted attention, but rely on the in-built lock and you may regret it.

Here we’ve used a Powerlok from Squire, which has an 11mm shackle made of hardened boron alloy steel and a five-pin tumbler lock. It comes with a 10-year guarantee. Consider using different locks from different manufacturers to make a thief’s job that little bit harder.

bike, garage, lock, secure

Again, using bolts to secure the hasps instead of screws will make them harder to break.

Fit an alarm

At the end of the day, a determined burglar is always going to be able to break into your shed. The next step is to make sure they don’t hang around if they do breach the external security. An alarm is the obvious answer.

They’re available from most DIY/hardware stores or online.

This particular model combines a movement sensor with a door trigger and can be armed and disarmed using a key-fob remote control. The sensor is angled to cover the Windows, so if anyone breaks the glass the alarm should sound.

Home security devices have improved significantly in recent years, so you may also consider fitting an alarm or camera that can be monitored via a smartphone.

Obscure the view through the Windows

If a thief can see you have an expensive bike, they’re more likely to go through the effort of breaking into your shed rather than moving onto an easier target.

Windows are an obvious weak point. If your shed is purely for storage, try to find one without any Windows. If you’ll be using it as a workshop, a bit of natural light may be worth the slight loss of security.

Why Build a Motorcycle Garage, aka Man Cave?

If you really value your machine and take good care of it in every way possible, then it is a no-brainer to build a garage for it. Building a garage has many fold benefits.

First, your motorcycle remains safe from any kind of threat like getting stolen.

over, it is not a good idea to leave your beloved motorcycle on the street and let it endure every weather possible from bright sunshine to hail to snow and rain. This takes a toll on the health of your motorcycle as well as the exteriors and the paint job on it.

You do not want unnecessary expenses where your money can be well spent in taking care of the health of your machine. So, it makes sense. over, the best reason to own a motorcycle garage is that you can convert it into a man-cave.

“What kind of reason is that?” you may ask. So, let me elaborate. We ride motorcycles because it gives us a sense of freedom and a sense of being and knowing who you are underneath.

You can be yourself when you ride and there is nobody to judge you for that. You feel at peace and so comfortable with yourself, which is a rare feeling in today’s times. This same effect can be achieved by owning a motorcycle garage. This will be a place that reflects your passion to ride and where you store your own motorcycle, the machine of freedom. You can make this garage your man cave.

When you enter your garage you are instantly disconnected from the outside world and its whims and nuances. It is a safe haven for you. It matches your personality and reflects who you are underneath. Whenever you have a rough day, you can come down here, sit on your couch, drink a beer and relax. Even a moment of relaxation is precious. If you want to spend some alone time, you can come here. If you want to be creative you can hop onto your man cave.

There is no one stopping you and this place is yours, you own it and it reflects you. This place has a relationship with you, a bond which helps you to feel more alive, to feel good. What else do we want in our lives? A little freedom and a little peace. This is your own cave.

There is no one stopping you and this place is yours, you own it and it reflects you. This place has a relationship with you, a bond which helps you to feel more alive, to feel good. What else do we want in our lives? A little freedom and a little peace. This is your own cave.

Build your own motorcycle garage

If I have inspired you in any way to build your own motorcycle garage, your own man cave, but you don’t know where to start, I am here to help you. I will give you some tips to get started with your motorcycle garage and how to customize it.

Before starting out

Before start building your motorcycle garage, you should have some things, spaces, etc.

Choose a theme

You should choose a theme which you like a lot and you should proceed with everything according to it which suits the theme.

You can choose a rustic ambiance, a modern, industrial one or a minimalistic one.

The list goes on but you should choose one which appeals to you the most, which calms you and you feel a lot more yourself when you are there.

Tools Collection

You need tools for you motorcycle garageā€¦

Chemical Cabinet

Chemicals are important as hand tools, and every skilled mechanic must have to make the magic happen. Maybe you are not a skilled mechanic but you have chemicals. So that’s the only important thing.

Since the cabinet doors make great surfaces for displaying those decals you accumulate, they naturally get covered with them.

Brake oils, electrical contact cleaner, chain lubes, polishes and waxes, paint sprays.


You should strip down the plain old simple walls in your garage and get something better. You can get wooden planks nailed to the wall to give it a more rustic feeling or paint it in dark colors to make it seem futuristic or just leave it by exposing the bricks and mortar which is an evergreen look. The thing is you should be satisfied with your ambiance.


Lighting is the most useful tool to enhance the atmosphere of a place. You should install bright lights on the ceilings which can be used when you have a repairing to do on your motorcycle, but it would be preferable to install ambient lightings. Small corner lamps, wall lamps, and rice lights can enhance the ambiance of your man cave.


You should also hang various posters of thing that appeal you. For example, I am a movie buff, so I like collecting movie posters. You should also look for various neon-lit signs available in the market. According to me, neon enhances everything.

Technical Library

If you are the kind of person that do it by yourself, you must have a place to store mechanical books, motorcycle manuals, reference guides, etc.


You would need at least a sofa, a coffee table, and a work table to get things going. Since this will be your own cave, you expect to hang out here leisurely and also spend your time working here. You should put up furniture which would cater to all your needs.

The item of attraction should be your beast of a machine, your motorcycle, which ideally should be centered and most emphasis should be put on it. You can hang a light over it and dock the motorcycle on stands, so it is the main attraction of your garage where it can be viewed from any part of the room.

Motorcycle Accessories

Lastly, but not less important, you should separate a space to place your motorcycle accessories, as suit, helmet, gloves and boots

I know there are a lot of components but building your own man cave is a worthwhile task. When you come back from a great ride and you enter your motorcycle garage, it should feel like home and working towards making your garage feel like home is definitely worthwhile.


Riding is a joy not everyone gets to feel. Owning a motorcycle and treating it like a friend who is there for you and has your back at every step of the way is a great feeling. Riding a motorcycle can take things out of your mind and give you a fresh perspective. This same feeling should be brought out from your motorcycle garage. A safe place which is detached from the rest of the world where you can go and relax.

You should leave your stress and frustrations outside the door and when you enter your man cave there is nothing but living in the present and forgetting your problems. It gives you a fresh new perspective on things which you could not see before.

This should be the target of creating a garage as your man cave, where man and machine live in harmony, where there is only creativity and freedom in the air.

  • A room which reflects your personality and your passion, which screams for the best part you are made of and instills a desire to grow.
  • A room which you can call your own, which has your back, every time.
  • A room where you don’t need to feign and you can strip yourself down to what you are made of and be yourself, escaping the judgment of the world and feel peaceful inside and outside.
  • Your room, your own motorcycle garage, your own man cave.

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