Small engine repair business a dream come true

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When Luke Martin had the idea to open up a motorcycle and small engine repair business in Magdalena, some people thought there might not be enough business in the village to keep it going. He decided to follow his dream anyway, and on June 1 his shop U.S. 60 Cycles opened for business on a side street in Magdalena, in a former bulk plant used by the Santa Fe railroad.

“The shop is just west of the stockyards off Ash Street. I’m not sure if this street has a name,” Martin said. “In the old days while the train was stopped at the stockyards it would take on water and get lubed out of here.”

Martin and U.S. 60 Cycles specialize in not only motorcycle repair and maintenance but also most all brands of ATVs and UTVs. “Those UTVs, the side-by-sides, are new in the industry and are off taking off like rockets,” he said.

“I work on, you name it. Any kind of small engine that needs repairing,” he said. “Generators to lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, pretty much anything with a small motor. Even snow mobiles and personal water crafts like the jet ski by Kawasaki.”

When it comes to fixing motorcycles, Martin got the training he was looking for at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix.

While at MMI Marton logged a perfect attendance record and won 14 out of 36 Student of Course awards.

“I’m glad I went a little later on and not right out of high school,” he said. “I was more mature and had a few years learning business practices at the Golden Spur Saloon, and before that learning automotive mechanics at Magdalena High School under Bryan Baca for almost five years.”

A 2006 Magdalena High School graduate, Martin took a couple of years to take courses at New Mexico Highlands University and then CNM, but direction didn’t interest him. He wanted to learn how to fix things, engines and motors specifically.

He returned to Magdalena to work for Darrell Pettis at the Spur in 2008 but with encouragement from Pettis left in 2013 to attend the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. “Nothing would have happened without Darrell Pettis. Under him I learned how to operate a business,” Martin said.

At MMI, “I made a lot of good friends,” Martin said. “They came from all over the United States, as far away as Orlando and even Guam.”

His 3½ years at MMI was well spent, and he came out as a certified Harley-Davidson mechanic.

“Even the early Harley models. Everything going back to the flat heads, back to the 1930s,” Martin said.

He is also certified to work on Suzukis, Kawasakis, Yamahas and others. After MMI he put in time in as a tech at a dealership in Midland, Texas, where he worked on Victory and Indian motorcycles.

“While I was out at Midland they sent me to Polaris Off-Road vehicles and became familiar with their engines,” Martin said.

Martin believes there is a real need in Catron and Socorro counties for a shop like his.

“There are dealers around the state — Los Lunas, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, but none are close,” he said. “Not only they don’t have to haul their stuff 100 to 120 miles, but I’m also cheaper. The typical dealership these days charge $ 90-$ 100 an hour labor. My shop charges $ 50.”

“People say Magdalena is not big enough,” Martin said. “But every ranch out there has generators, water pumps, ATVs and whatever has a small engine. I can fix it.”

“I think it’s going to work out just fine,” he said. “There’s a ton of guys out there with Harleys, road bikes…”

U.S. 60 Cycles is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

“People can also give me a call, anytime. 505-235-0380,” he said.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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