Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Crossing the Crescent City Connection

Heading downriver along Magazine Street.
The chain on the Little Ninja has been loose for about a month.  When I slowed down it would clack-clack-clack and one time it even fell off the rear sprocket.  Time to go to the shop again.  I could figure out how to tighten it myself but I'm not very mechanically minded, more dreamer than technician.  I don't mind paying someone to do something I don't have the patience to master but, since I live in a city, I expect goods and services to be close by.

There are a couple of scooter shops in New Orleans, but only one that doesn't deal in cut rate, Chinese models.  I'm not against things Chinese.  I shop at WalMart when I need something of low quality at a low price, but I don't trust a mechanic used to working on Chinese technology with my Japanese engineered motorcycle.  Why didn't I go to Big Easy Scooters?  I figure they are busy enough with scooters.  Though the staff is pleasant enough, there is still a divide between motor scooter culture and motorcycle culture, even if the Little Ninja's engine is no bigger than a Vespa's.  I'll recommend Big Easy Scooters to anyone who wants a good bike.

There is only one motorcycle dealership in New Orleans.  It's in the Central Business District and it deals with Ducati, Triumph and Vespas (Big Easy Scooters doesn't have the local Vespa monopoly).  I haven't been in this shop though I've heard good things about it.  I've also heard they have a backlog on repair business.  I have a Kawasaki and I prefer going to a Kawasaki certified mechanic, even for something as simple as tightening a chain.

I headed out to Kenner.  Kenner!  It's not far but its a trip over the bridge and a dollar toll to get back.  I can't complain about the service.  Though the shop is woefully inefficient as most motorcycle shops are, the price was much less than I expected and the service was relatively speedy in motorcycle shop terms.

Kawasaki is not an uncommon brand.  Why do I have to go to Kenner for the nearest Kawasaki dealer?  I shouldn't complain.  I haven't seen many car dealerships in New Orleans either.  Both cars and motorcycles are vehicles that don't really fit in the urban transportation grid.  I will say though that, like scooters, motorcycles are much more congenial for cutting through gridlock.  They may have more power than necessary but sometimes even I need to go to Baton Rouge, for instance.  Or Delacroix.

This isn't a New Orleans specific complaint.  There were no motorcycle dealerships within Boston city limits either.

D & L Powersports in Kenner doesn't seem to have a website.  If you need any work on your Kawasaki though, I can recommend them even if I don't enjoy the trip over.

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