Meet Ty, Cam and Jack of Lucky Wheels DIY Moto Garage in Los Angeles, CA!
We first heard about Lucky Wheels Garage from some friends of ours that have signed up for their workshops! They offer some really great classes like; Intro to Motorcycle Maintenance as well as provide a DIY workspace for rent so you can learn how to wrench on your moto yourself with all the tools you need. if you live in the LA area, stop by and say hi and see what they are all about.
The three of us met working in the film industry in Austin, TX and have been best buds ever since. We were working as grips on movies and tv, and found a common thread with some other grips who rode old Hondas, and we formed a little club called Deth Grips. The six of us rode and wrenched together constantly, and our hobby of tinkering on bikes turned into a complete obsession.
A few years went by and Cam and I moved to LA to continue careers as grips. We moved into a warehouse in east downtown and 18 months later we were basically living in a motorcycle shop. Our friends were constantly working on their bikes at our place, and we spent every minute we weren’t working on movies wrenching on bikes. Meanwhile, Jack and the other Deth Grips had started an unofficial co-op garage in Austin where they were working on bikes and providing a place for other local riders to turn a wrench. Both places had become gathering points for the DIY moto community in their own respects.
The three of us got a job on a movie in New Mexico and had a chance to go on a camping trip after the show wrapped. Cam and I were riding our Sportsters, and Jack followed in his 64′ Ford with an old 125 Honda in the back for getting rowdy in the dirt. We were sitting around the campfire one night and started spitballing, and the idea for Lucky Wheels was born. 8 Months later, after a lot of late nights, countless hours researching how to start a business, tracking down old tools and refurbishing them, finding a building and spending a month turning it into a suitable shop, it became a reality and we are super excited to see where it goes.
The goal for Lucky Wheels is to have a place where riders of any kind can gather and share our love of riding and turning wrenches. Lots of people in LA don’t have the proper space or tools to get projects done on their bikes, and that’s the gap we aim to fill. In addition to that, the growing community of DIY-spirited riders at the shop provides a non-intimidating, inspiring environment for people to do some bigger projects than they could get done alone. There is always someone around to lend some advice or an extra set of hands, or just to shoot the shit about bikes over a game of pool, and come up with new ideas for projects. After a month in business we have 20 members, and it continues to grow.
One of the coolest things so far is the people we’ve met at the shop. Our members are at a wide range of skill levels and ages, etc. Some are doing maintenance, fixing up old bikes, others are building choppers and trackers. It’s super cool to get a taste of every bike type and to see people’s excitement for their favorite types of bikes. Out of our 20 members, 5 are women, which we think is awesome, and it definitely beats the local ratio of male to female riders.
We have 4 lifts, a plethora of wrenches and hand tools, engine specific tools and precise measuring tools, a tire changer, soda and sand blasters, as well as a basic fab shop out back with MIG and TIG welders, a plasma cutter, tubing bender, fixturing table and frame jig. The sky is the limit for someone with the DIY attitude, and we are meeting lots of people who are stoked to have a place to take their customizing to the next level. We are also rolling out some retail upgrades this month, and we’ll be carrying custom parts and gear from Lowbrow Customs, Biltwell, and some badass local makers of riding gear, so stay tuned.
Another aspect of Lucky Wheels are the classes we’ll be offering in the coming months. Currently we offer an Intro to Motorcycle Maintenance class, where we go over the basic systems of your bike, demonstrate with some old motors, and we finish with a hands on oil change. As we move forward we’ll be offering some more specific/advanced maintenance classes, as well as some fabrication classes.
When we first heard about Babes Ride Out, we thought it was such a cool idea. We have lots of women friends who ride, and their excitement about an event to gather and ride was uncontainable. It’s so awesome to see how many women are riding from all over to attend Babes, and is inspiring to us to see women have such a great event to share their passion for life on two wheels. We are stoked to support Babes Ride Out in any way we can, and look forward to providing a welcoming place for women riders to hang out, improve their wrench turning skills, and ride. We are working with some local clubs to start a monthly ladies wrench night at the shop.
In terms of why we ride, it’s all about getting out to new places and meeting new people. We rode out to LA from Texas on our 70’s Hondas and we’ve been hooked on road trips ever since. Ride em don’t hide em!