Getting ready to ride

Donald Shaw works on a V-Twin motor attached to a Harley Davidson Road King.

Donald Shaw works on a V-Twin motor attached to a Harley Davidson Road King.

Snuggled up on a hill, just over the Burke County line at 4456 Peach Orchard Road, sits Donald Shaw Motorcycles, the closest motorcycle repair shop to Waynesboro.

Shaw has been there for nearly 37 years. He learned his craft by doing it. He started out by working on lawnmower engines and worked his way up to motorcycles.

Shaw runs a full- service shop. He services tires, brakes, tune-ups, clutches, fuel injection systems and will even build a bike from time-to-time. Most of his business over the decades has been by word-ofmouth and repeat customers. Over the years, he has noticed trends that develop and fade over time. Media influences often determine motorcycle popularity. Lately, he sees more motorcycles sporting V-twin engines.

“The V-twin market is larger than it’s ever been,” Shaw said. “A lot of people are trading in their sports bikes for V-twins.” he said. “More people are riding V-twins than ever before. It’s a different kind of ride. It’s a laid-back style and more of a cruiser ride.”

For the most part, Harley Davidson builds their motorcycles with V-twin engines. However, there are American and Japanese built V-twins as well. The two-cylinder piston engine boasts cylinders that share a common crankshaft and arearrangedinaVconfiguration. Shaw services all of them.

As motorcyclists get their bikes out of winter hibernation and head toward the riding season, Shaw recommends new spark plugs, charging the battery and supplying the cycles with fresh gas.

“Of course, a good service, including an oil change, never hurts,” he said, and mentioned that the most common way that owners neglect their bikes is to let them sit too long without riding them. “The gasoline today is terrible so, it’s really bad on the fuel system.”

Shaw recommends that motorcyclists who do not ride often should use ethanol-free fuel. Otherwise, 91 or 93 Octanes work for fuel injected bikes.

Oil type is determined by the manufacturer. Shaw said that conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, and synthetic every 5,000. Tires should be replaced when the tread starts wearing or when there are cuts on the sidewalls.

“I would say 5,000 to 10,000 miles for spark plug changes because spark plugs don’t cost much,” Shaw said. “They always run better with a fresh set of spark plugs.”

Appointments for motorcycle repair services can be made by calling 706-751-2730.

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