One of the hardest things about living in New York is not having enough space. Tiny kitchens, small closets and of course, no garages, sheds or barns where so much tinkering happens. It’s enough to make some of us a little crazy.
Enter Justin Walters and Vax Moto.
For $200 a month you can rent a space for your motorcycle which comes with access to tools (welding tools, lifts, etc) and, more importantly, a low-key no B.S. place to hang with good people and learn a lot about motorcycles. Vax is responsible for keeping more than a few bikes, and their owners, running in this hectic town.
(Full disclosure: I keep my bike at Vax. I also pay full monthly charges. There was no pay to play for this post in anyway.)
The no ego, no B.S. vibe that you find at Vax grew out of a much smaller shop that Walters had opened up years ago in Fort Greene. He was sort of unhappy in his professional life (working in the hospitality industry and as a photographer) and he rented a small garage to work on his bikes. Then he started renting out space to some friends with bikes and saved enough money to invest in tools for the place.
“The garage I had in Fort Greene was so special and near and dear to my heart,” says Walters. “I saw how immediately it worked on a very small tight scale. I saw the reaction and the intrigue from other people and I knew it would be a success.”
It hasn't all been easy though. Walters was forced unexpectedly to move the Vax operation a few months ago. A pain in the ass situation that he calls his biggest professional challenge yet.
How he managed to carry the good vibes through to a much bigger space with a lot more people is one of the things that really impresses me about him. I’ve never encountered any ego or pretentiousness at Vax. People are always willing to help and share some knowledge. “Every little bit you know about your bike, makes you a safer rider,” says Walters. And learning how to troubleshoot a problem is what Vax is perfect for.
For me, Vax is the ultimate place to go tinker on my bike and a much needed place to get a little space in a tight city.