Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shop Stop: Geiger Works, Philadelphia PA

Theres just something about walking into a warehouse for the very first time and having your vision clogged up with the site of old bikes floor to ceiling. It's a lot to take in and more questions are raised then answered. Where did all this stuff come from? Who owned these? What are the stories behind each and every item. It's a very romantic notion, I know, but I'm a hopeless romantic at heart - what can I say?

John Geiger's romance with Italian motor scooters started over 20 years ago and like me he's a polygamist with his machines. An ex girlfriend turned him onto Vespa's and while she faded out of the picture, the relationship with scooters grew from an infatuation to a way of life. It's not often that someone can earn a living working on the things one loves, but it's even rarer to be able to have such a tight focus on one particular machine such as old Vespas and Lambretta's and still earn a living. 

As a side story, I first got my '74 Vespa in the late 90's. I loved the styling of the scooters and I loved the folklore of Mods riding through London in the early 60's. I found my Vespa resting in a barn in Western Mass with a seized engine and a heavy blanket of dust and splattered paint. Though it was rough, it was complete and the price was right (free). I had owned two motorcycles prior to this, a 70's Honda XR75 as a kid and later a Triumph TR25 - both of which came to me in running order. Finding a machine in need of love (and a whole lot of sorting out) was a whole new experience for me. With the help of my father (who was building a Triton Cafe Racer at the time - perfect irony - see mods vs rockers)  we got the piston unstuck from the cylinder and had the scooter running in a few hours. For the next month I tracked down tires, fuel line, petcock  and carburetor parts all while doing my best to clean and restore the Vespa's appearance. Working on that machine gave me a sense of ownership, understanding and love that I never experienced with a motorcycle before. I also had one of the best bonding moments with my father that I can ever recall. This moment carried forward and I still love rescuing beaten bikes to this day. It just makes it so much more special.

Over the years my Vespa served me well but wear and tear on the engine began to set in and I knew it needed an overhaul, complete with boring, honing and rewiring (if you've ever wired a vespa than I don't have to tell you about fishing wires through the pressed steel frame). The bike eventually went into the corner of my garage and began to gather dust. After many failed attempts to breathe new life into the old girl, I threw my hands up and took her down to Geiger Works in the Kensington section of Philsdelphia.

Jon is one of those guys who loves riding small displacement vehicles on journeys that some would think twice about even on a large motorcycle. He builds his engines to be fast and reliable so when the need to ride 500 miles on a scooter arrises, he's ready. I met Jon at a motorcycle rally a few Novembers ago up near Reading PA. He was on his P200 all the way from Philly (a 120 mile round trip on an icy day). I knew he was the man to take on my engine's reconditioning. When I went down to his shop to drop off my bike I was pleased to see he was an even bigger hoarder than I am. Scooters and motorcycles covering every inch of floorspace and stacked to the ceiling on large industrial shelves. An old lathe sat on a crate in one corner "I found that in the trash" Jon boasted to me "I couldn't let it get scrapped". I could certainly relate.

Jon started working on scooters like anyone else: He found an old Vespa that needed work, so he took it apart - though that bike is still apart and up on a shelf. The passion for mechanics definite;y stuck because soon Jon was working as a mechanic for Philadelphia Vespa.  As scooters gained popularity, Jon and his crew of avid riders became the centerpiece for scooter rallies and events. After leaving Hostile City scooter club (because too many new plastic scooters were showing up), Jon helped co-found The Rabble Rousers - a hardcore group of vintage scooter riding, beer swilling hooligans from the City of Brotherly Love. Again I could relate to the passion of keeping it all vintage - I was in the right spot.

I talked to Jon for a few hours from bikes, machining tools to punk rock. Turns out we both had a fondness for the Bad Brains and we both were at many of the same shows throughout our days. I can't recommend Jon Geiger enough for reviving your old two stroke, he's a nice, honest guy with a solid reputation. I've seen pictures of his work on his site - but more importantly I've seen his scooters in action... and they're usually a long way from home.

John Geiger, 2013
There are absolutely no shortage of parts here.


Like two lost souls, one consoling the other.

99 comments:

  1. It permits through a straightforward handheld gadget to give precise radiation tallies. The Counter readings are the best accessible available at this point. Estimating a wide cluster of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma, and x-radiation). It is currently the most ideal path for you and your family to shield yourself from unsafe zones and assess your current condition.Best geiger counters

    ReplyDelete
  2. LORONG KATA atau Lorong Kata adalah salah satu website yang dirancang oleh beberapa aktivis dan mahasiswa untuk menuangkan ide-ide publik dalam bentuk fiksi maupun semi-fiksi. Baik dalam konteks sosial, ekonomi, politik, dan olahraga maupun budaya. Asuransi Kendaraan MSIG

    ReplyDelete
  3. A very Great content i found on your website. totally amazing. loved it.
    Looking for a family apartment in Odisha then contact kalinga keshari rath
    kalinga keshari rath
    kalinga keshari rath

    ReplyDelete


  4. Undoubtedly buying the best air purifier is challenging nowadays. There are hundreds of products available in the market, and selecting the one having all the required features is difficult. It would be best if you roamed here and there to find the best Honeywell air purifier. To Get Best Air Purifiers Best To Buy In 2020

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, your blog is amazing. I feel happy after visting your blog. thanks for sharing such type of info. keep it continue and share some other amazing tips and tricks kinemaster mod fname without watermarkc

    ReplyDelete
  6. I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  7. Extremely inspired! Everything is extremely open and clear illumination of issues. It contains really certainties. Your site is extremely important. Much obliged for sharing.
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice story. It's good that they have made something like these. This looks a whole lot better to me.
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site, I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was extremely satisfied to discover this site.I needed to thank you for this incredible read !! I certainly getting a charge out of each and every piece of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you pos
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  14. You have a good point here! I totally agree with what you have said !! Thanks for sharing your views ... hope more people will read this article!
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  15. I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  16. Extremely inspired! Everything is extremely open and clear illumination of issues. It contains really certainties. Your site is extremely important. Much obliged for sharing.
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice story. It's good that they have made something like these. This looks a whole lot better to me.
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! very useful!
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site, I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles next articles
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free resource for free
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was extremely satisfied to discover this site.I needed to thank you for this incredible read !! I certainly getting a charge out of each and every piece of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you pos stuff you pos
    Click
    here for
    more
    info

    ReplyDelete
  23. You have a good point here! I totally agree with what you have said !! Thanks for sharing your views ... hope more people will read this article ! read this article!
    Click
    here for
    more info

    ReplyDelete
  24. Al Nahr Company provides you with all the services related to cleaning, pest control, pesticide spraying, and termite control, all at prices that suit you and with trained workers. For this do not hesitate and contact us as we provide you with protection from harmful insects, cleaning both related to mosques, homes, companies, hotels, restaurants, apartments, boards, and carpets
    شركة النهر للخدمات المنزلية
    شركة تنظيف مكيفات سبليت بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
    شركة تنظبف مجالس بالرياض
    شركة غسيل مجالس بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف سجاد بالرياض
    شركة تسليك مجاري بالرياض

    ReplyDelete
  25. Al Nahr Company provides you with all the services related to cleaning, pest control, pesticide spraying, and termite control, all at prices that suit you and with trained workers. For this do not hesitate and contact us as we provide you with protection from harmful insects, cleaning both related to mosques, homes, companies, hotels, restaurants, apartments, boards, and carpets
    شركة النهر للخدمات المنزلية
    شركة رش مبيدات بجازان
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بجازان
    شركة رش دفان بجازان
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان

    ReplyDelete
  26. Al Nahr Company provides you with all the services related to cleaning, pest control, pesticide spraying, and termite control, all at prices that suit you and with trained workers. For this do not hesitate and contact us as we provide you with protection from harmful insects, cleaning both related to mosques, homes, companies, hotels, restaurants, apartments, boards, and carpets
    شركة النهر للخدمات المنزلية
    شركة تنظيف سجاد بجازان
    شركة تنظيف مجالس بجازان
    شركة تنظيف منازل بجازان
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجازان
    شركة رش مبيدات بالخرج
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالخرج
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالخرج
    شركة تنظيف سجاد بالخرج

    ReplyDelete
  27. zzzoomer Good blog post. I definitely appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  28. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should write zzzoomer more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don't talk about such issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice to see such a great article with pictures. Latest Remote Jobs

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. Canon EOS M100 I don’t know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. We have a great collection for travelers, biker, riding, hippies. We have the best and exclusive t-shirt, crop top, and much more. Suitable for all purposes.You can find all the items at Scopic

    ReplyDelete
  32. You did an excellent job.
    https://crackvip.com/nch-clickcharts-pro-crack/

    ReplyDelete
  33. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!
    language-courses

    ReplyDelete