A Fan moped shop has closed but plans to come lower back quickly with more horsepower.
RVA Mopeds closed the remaining month at 1529 W. Cary St. In the Fan, as owner Sal Burgess rides off to the Sunshine State to have a look at for about 12 months on the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida. He stated he’ll then go back to his native Richmond to reopen RVA Mopeds and upload motorcycles sales and provider to the shop’s offerings.
Burgess opened the store approximately years ago, which specializes in repairing and promoting vintage mopeds, often from the Seventies and ’80s.
He first got into the moped scene in 2010. He became dwelling together with his uncle in Roanoke and attending New River Community College and was annoyed with the city’s bus line to get around.
“(My uncle) become like, ‘Why don’t you get a moped?’ and I became like, ‘I don’t just like the way the ones scooters’ look and sound. It’ll appear like a dork,’” Burgess said, giggling.
He got here round at the idea and purchased a used Tomos Sprint, using it till it died at 14,000 miles — a protracted existence for a moped. Burgess moved lower back to Richmond in 2011 and dove into the nearby moped scene.
“I eventually related up with some men that took me below their wing and handled my disturbing questions. They helped me rebuild (the Tomos) completely,” he stated.
For the next few years, he worked on his friends’ mopeds as a facet gig, at the same time as additionally adding to his non-public moped fleet, which at one point totaled 17. Eventually, Burgess wanted to hire a garage to work on them all. However, part of the rent settlement turned into that he needed to open an LLC. His commercial enterprise was born.
“It turned into just me. I’d purchase, promote, build and service them. It wasn’t a storefront; it became a store. You’d roll into a gravel driveway, and there’s a bay door extensive open and me with a wrench,” Burgess said.
“I suppose a whole lot of humans don’t recognize the feeling you get whilst you take something that’s 30 years old and simplest supposed to go 25 miles in line with hour, and also you almost double that speed. …They’re fun and easy to paintings on, parking is a breeze, and that they’re pretty reasonably-priced to make it go speedy. It maintains you are smiling.”
He stated RVA Mopeds’ principal clients had been humans with driver’s license problems and VCU college students. Most of the mopeds he bought went for approximately $1,000 or less.
Training to enhance sales
His wish to get educated on motorcycles is driven by a preference to drum up greater sales in the wintry, nonriding months while moped paintings slow down at the store.
His Florida schooling will make Burgess an authorized Honda and BMW motorbike mechanic.
“I additionally need to have showroom floors with not handiest my builds, however, also ultra-modern bikes from Honda,” Burgess said of his plans for his eventual go back to Richmond. “I’d want to check out getting rid of a business mortgage and franchise out a dealership.”
Once returned, he stated he’ll “honestly” maintain the RVA Moped call.
His private fleet of mopeds is down to 3. However, he stated he’ll continually love antique motorcycles.
“I’ll continually be a moped individual,” he stated. “A lot of human beings are like, ‘Well, why don’t you get an actual motorbike?’ I’m like, ‘These are actual motorcycles.’”