"Went into OMC on Saturday to do a quick oil, chain and sprocket change
Thanks Matt for the invaluable knowledge and help
Thanks Claire for the coffee and the run to McDonald's, also invaluable!"
"I did the OMC basic maintenance course last night – thought it was excellent, so I thought I’d write a quick review…
The evening is run at the Oval Motorcycle Centre - OMC as it is known. The course was run by Matt who is a biker with many years of “spannering”. There were about 10 bikers on the course, and out of those 10 they picked about 4/5of the bikes to put on the ramps to inspect and teach. Matt confidently said there was never a bike that comes in without him finding something that needs attention.
Matt went through a number of topics each topic covering an area such as Electrics, or brakes. He showed haw to test/inspect the bike in a similar way to how a MOT should be done. This wasn’t about showing us how to change the oil or whatever, it was about performing all the safety checks – a lot of which being things we should be doing on a regular basis (I would say no one last night was doing anywhere near enough maintenance/checks prior to the course). The topics covered are:-
Brakes (pads & discs),
Chain & sprockets,
Forks & rear shock absorber,
Control cables &levers.
The course costs £35 – I would say that is excellent value and if you are thinking of buying a bike at sometime the checks here are a good way to inspect the bike rather than looking at the pretty colour and revving the engine. You will easily recoup the £35 on the bike purchase (or avoiding a repair bill once you’ve bought the bike). So – I highly recommend the course to anyone"
"I know OMC gets a lot of mentions on the forum but ........ if you have a bike and no garage/drive you should take note. OMC provides a warm, clean and really well equipped place to maintain or service your bike. Tea included."
"Before Christmas I got the fettling bug and decided to order myself a new Nitron sport shock for the street triple (the standard shock has a habit of chucking you out of your seat on bumps). I've had a Nitron shock before and they are top gear so I paid my money. Phoning round garages to find someone to fit it got me a best price of £100 Pinch.
I had seen OMC on the forum so I phoned up and Matt suggested I come along to their maintenance evening and then he would have look how difficult it would be as a first job for a spanner novice.
The maintenance evening is great intro to OMC. It starts pretty noddy, but sensible stuff about tyres etc, and moves through suspension, brakes adjustments etc. Matt made the 3.5 hours fly by and you leave thinking that every newbie (and not so newbie) should be required to do a similar basic maintenance course. Lots of tea and lots of helpful well put together information about keeping your bike in roadworthy condition. Matt & Simon are nothing short of encyclopaedic.
Simon said he would help me through it and was helpful and patient. The job was pretty easy, I even cleaned the chain and sorted out a few other bits and bobs. The other fettlers who turned up were friendly and helpful and at no point was I made to feel anything other than welcome.
Although I took 2 hours, I learnt loads, had good time, saved £50 and I know for certain that everything was done properly. I can’t see me using a dealer for oil, chains, pads etc ever again. I am now contemplating fitting a set of Maxton shock internals as I have somewhere to do it."
"Can't express enough gratitude for the OMC team,reliable solid help, life-savers on over a handful of occasions now, great value for money, always worth a pitstop.
Can't imagine biking in London without it.
If you don't use it you're a fool.
"I attended their Basic Maintenance Course last night. Really well thought out and put together, very informative and has made me feel really comfortable about using their (professional and clean) facilities for myown minor servicing jobs. Definitely worth the money!"
"Major praise for Matt and Simon for last nights (22/05/12) sterling course, I have learnt so very much and feel so much more confident as a result.
I have to admit to being terrified of anything maintenance based on my bike and pay through the nose to have all my servicing done, apart from not having any of the tools or space I would need I certainly didn't have the confidence. Needless to say I shan't be taking the bike for minor services any more, il be straight down to the OMC (with a much less dirty chain Matt!)
Thank you for putting together something so invaluable in a total no pressure environment, it was really well thought out, the actual physical examples really helped to solidify what we should be looking for. Im so very impressed with the course, the venue/access and the facilities and of course Matt's unending patience in answering so many questions in such a concise and unhurried way - everything made total sense!
I for one will sign up for every other course they decide to run"
"Went down to the OMC first time yesterday, and must say was delighted!
I saw the ads on the LB site so I thought it was a big impersonal profit-minded business that was sponsoring the site, like you see E.on ads on footballers shirts, and turns out I couldn't have been more wrong!
My perspective is obviously not the general one; I was delighted by the noob-friendly aspect. I have no mechanical experience on motorcycles and so as I turned up , when I was told it was self-service my first thought was ohhh $H!T !!!
Turns out going there is probably the best thing that could've happened to me as a new biker in london!
I know thanks to OMC I will acquire the knowledge I so need/want as well as get the stuff I require properly done on the bike. (without having to hope that some random mechanic gives a turd and does it properly.
Add the fact that you enrich yourself with knowledge and pay very good value, it's almost too good to be true.
Long live OMC and may it bring to many others the joy and satisfaction it brought to me.
"So once again someone singing the praises of a business venture that deserves support in these belt-tightening times.
I've always been a closet fettler and have every plan to go and do some more serious work on my wheels, so yesterday I popped in to try out the service and renewed my coolant with fresh deicer for the comin winter... easy, friendly, helpful, good advice... and value for money. Plus good way to use a couple of hours and learnt more about my bike too... no downsides whatsoever...
Big Thumbs Up."
"Attended last nights Valve Clearance Session run by Matt and it was spot on.
The subject was dealt with thoroughly and logically with a dose of humour here and there and customary tips of the trade.
The group size (8) was spot on and Matt's demonstration units showed in great detail what was involved.
At the end of it while I'm still slightly trepidatious about it (it is after all a big job to and those who know me will vouch that I'm not a natural mechanic) I have a much better understanding of what's involved and am confidant that with a bit of help here and there I could get through it.
All in, highly recommended if you're thinking of attempting this type of job. Am looking forward to the next instalment."
"Had a brilliant afternoon at the OMC today. Changed the head race bearings (didn't even know what these were until a couple of weeks ago lol!) which involved all sorts of tools (including a power tool woohoo!) a lot of grease and muck and copious amounts of tea. Matt you are a gem, every time I go there I learn not only how to do the job in hand, but also a **** load more about how bikes function and what everything does.
Now, with my confidence rocketing with every turn of the ratchet, its about time I tackle one of the more simple jobs on my own with a manual - bring the oil and filter change (sounds simple but this is huge for me!!)!"
"Just to say thanks to Simon and Matt at OMC, we had a great time yesterday and learned a some invaluable tricks of the trade. Matt's ingenious idea to use an inner tube to fix Sergio's crumbling rubber seal on the exhaust was pretty resourceful! We'll definitely be back if you have us"
"Been there almost every saturday now, apart from standard maintenance (brakes, tires, chain and sprocket and carbs) had a very intermittent problem which would make the bike hiccup like crazy at 6/8000 revs, thought of anything possible as fuel injectors, ecu, carbs, finally got the problem in front of Matt which takes it for a test ride and it comes out as electrical fault, bloody kill switch which was supposed to have been sorted from my previous mechanic was faulty again.
The kill switch is now dead, going to replace it at my next visit but a year and a half later i can finally say my bike is running like its suppose to again, THANKS GUYS"
"Having 'dropped' my bike and grazed the pannier infill panel, Matt's magic has returned it to new. Thanks Matt another excellent job."
"Okay, so after 10,000miles, my race head bearings have suddenly failed. Why, how - I've no idea, I blame the London streets.
Anyway - we ordered the parts to be delivered to OMC, and I got a call from Matt to let me know they had arrived, and to book myself in.
Got there yesterday afternoon, and stripped the front end. Matt has loads of experience on working with Aprilia - so there were some handy tips, which I wouldn't have thought of.
The job went well,
The bike went back together with no 'bits' left in the tray.
My first visit, and certainly not my last. Does wonders for capable people who don't have the tools handy at home.
"Took a day off work today to get some basic training on fixing and maintaining my bike down at the Oval Motorcycle center. Simon very kindly ran me through the following:
-Removing/replacing the battery safely and charging it
-Removing and checking the spark plug
-Checking brake pad and pistons
-Checking and replacing air filter
-Removing indicators, basic electrical connections
-Checking radiator fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid and oil.
-Tighten and loosen chain, general wear and tear checks
-Cleaning, oiling chain
-General bodywork care
-Basic understanding of a working engine
-Tighten, loosen clutch
-What can go wrong with wear and tear, what it looks like.
Had a really enjoyable day learning about the basics and it's a really good feeling to have the confidence to tinker with and maintain your own bike without having to take it to the garage for minor work and incurring major costs! OMC has great facilities with every tool you could ever need!
I'd like to say thank you to Simon for taking the time to talk me through everything, his paitence, and the endless supply of tea and biccies! Very much appreciated and no doubt I will back again to clean up the CBR125 before selling and then working on the big bike."
"Went to OMC yesterday to replace the Cam Chain Tensioner on my Hornet and what a great experience. The guys in there are extremely helpful, friendly and patient and even helped me find a solution to fix my headlight.
I will definitely be going back as I'd rather pay £22/hour to do things myself and learn a bit as I go along than chuck a wad of cash at places like the one in Vauxhall beginning with 'M' for not having any work done at all!
What a great idea - well done guys."
"Big thanks to OMC for 'supervising' my first service on Friday evening. Whilst the service itself was simple enough it was really good to give the bike a once over and learn some more about it.
Felt bad for keeping Matt from the Ace on a sunny Friday evening but very grateful. Thanks guys."
"Grabbed a ramp and then was helped with splitting callipers to change the brake seals. With all the tools available it was a lovely easy affair. Dead simple to do and the super advanced brake suction device helps with bleeding them through quickly and easily. Great help on hand when you need it and fantastic facilities for doing the work. Even good music in the background! Queen rocks! "I want it aaaaallllllllllllll and I want it nooooowwwww!"
Now I know what a doddle the job is with the right tools!"
"This place does exactly what it says on the tin.
It is an open workshop, has all the tools you need and makes light of any job you need.
I wheeled the bike in there for an hour and changed my steering damper, OK should have been a 20 min job, but the environment lends itself to tinkering . I rode in with no tools, and rode out with no tools. £20 well spent in my opinion.
Simon is a friendly bloke, wish him all the best for this venture."
Nine of us just finished OMC's first basic bike maintenance course - and I think everyone had a good time, and learned lots. Matt and Simon crammed in tonnes, and I'm very impressed they held up till about 11pm after a 7pm start.
The evening wasn't as practical as some of us half-expected, but still hands on enough with us inspecting our own bikes and example bike parts as part of the course. Any more practical elements could easily have taken the course well over 4 hours though! That's probably more than anyone can absorb in one evening, let alone teach.
All the topics were useful for both complete beginners, or refreshers for more experienced bikers - though some of the most useful tips were perhaps nuggets of Matt's experience over the years. Not least that "dust caps" are more vital than you may think, and how best to oil a chain.
So, all in all a great evening and a bargain price, and thoroughly recommend the course to anyone who's not an expert on bike maintenance already. It should be compulsory for all newbies!
Its a great introduction to OMC and I'm looking forward to what the next session brings.
Nice to see how easy it is with the right tools"
Oval Motorcycle Centre
15-17 Clyston Street
Tues - Fri 10am - 6pm
Sat ---------10am - 7pm
Evening By Appointment
Bench Time Includes: