CHICAGO—Just down the street from the new Motoworks Chicago location on North Avenue, a Citgo gas station sign screamed the price of $3.33/gallon.
It's free advertising for Johnny Scheff.
Wicker Park is the sister location to his bigger spot in Pilsen. He told me that since he started the business in 2004, the market has grown tremendously. Chicago/Cook County is now the #3 motorcycle/scooter market in the country. Given that less than 1% of the world's scooter riders reside in the United States, there is plenty of room for growth.
He walked me around the space on tonight's WGN News, introduced me to a two loyal Vespa customers, and even let me try one out. You can do the same if you come into the store. I found it easy to ride. The hardest part is the balance - think of it like riding a 200 pound bicycle. When you get into tight corners, you can't just pick it up and move it elsewhere.
But most of all - it was fun. One of the riders there told me that she fills up her gas tank once every three months. How big is it? Just over a gallon. It gets more than 100 miles on a tank.
Of course, if you have a long commute, that probably won't do. The store has other options for you, and can get you out the door with a new scooter for less than $5,000. We watched Johnny make a not-so-difficult sale as we were there this sunny afternoon. No doubt he'll be doing more of it when the weather gets nicer.
Motoworks Chicago VESPA
1710 W. North Avenue
(312) 738 4269