210 Hawks Mountain Road, Perkinsville, Vt.
Michael Todd opened Hawks Mountain Motorcycles in 2004. Todd is a certified motorcycle mechanic, and specializes in servicing and repairing all makes and models of motorcycles, and more recently, he offers full service and repair on all makes and models of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. “This work is a passion,” Todd explained, “and when you love what you do, it’s not work.”
Todd is no stranger to engines and machinery. He has been a mechanic his whole life; his father was a mechanic and machinist, and his brother was a mechanic as well. After getting out of the U.S. Army in 1979, Todd worked in the machine tool industry for about 26 years. At the same time, he’d work on vehicles on the side.
The last shop Todd worked fo as a toolmaker hinted towards their closing. At that time, he was part of a motorcycle-riding group, and had learned about classes opening at the American Motorcycle Institute in Florida. It was a five-month course, and there was an eight-month waiting period to get in. With that course looking like a better option, and after discussing it with his wife Tara, Todd applied and was accepted to attend AMI. He loaded up and left Christmas day, and in April of 2004, his wife called to tell him that the machine tool shop had closed.
Todd graduated AMI with honors, the only one in his class, maintaining 3.5 grade point average. “It was about the knowledge I had when I went there,” he said. The school was accredited, so they must teach a certain way. Most students didn’t comprehend how the school was teaching them, like how to read a micrometer, “so I taught the class how to read the micrometer,” and that’s when students started to understand. Teachers then sent Todd over to another classroom to teach a student how to lace a wheel, and other mentor opportunities arose.
AMI appreciated the way Todd taught other students, and they wanted him to stay and teach, “but I had a plan.” Todd was going to come home to his wife and start up his bike shop.
In the winter of 2001, Todd rebuilt his wife’s Sportster. This custom bike had parts that Todd made himself, which he couldn’t find or purchase. Without a plan in mind, that bike won two out of three motorcycle shows that he entered it in. People began to ask when Todd could work on their bikes, and Todd’s knowledge and expertise then became a local necessity.
Today, Todd and his employee, Nick Stromberg, service and repair motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Stromberg is a GM trained mechanic “with the right attitude and level of knowledge.” The two have worked together for a couple of years, and Stromberg continues to learn and advance. “A motor is a motor,” Todd explained. “We can work on anything.”
Hawks Mountain Motorcycles also offers custom motorcycle services, bike repairs, and motorcycle storage. They are an official Vermont State Inspections site for motorcycles only, as well as their own on-site machine shop for manufacturing and repairing parts. Todd carries many parts for repair jobs, but can also order many parts, and get them within a day or two for little to no shipping cost. He looks forward to stocking OEM oils for different makes of snowmobiles, as well as the NGK spark plugs, belts, and more.
When it comes to motorcycle storage, “The biggest thing is the battery. The Yuasa battery manufacturer says not to leave your battery on a tender or maintainer all winter. They can’t take it. Instead, plug it in every four to six weeks for a day or two.” As the riding season starts to wind down, make an appointment at Hawks Mountain Motorcycles to get your bike ready to store. If you have questions about how to store your bike, or if you need a place to store it, give Todd a call.
Hawks Moutnain Motorcycles is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they can be reached at 802-263-9447. Like their Facebook page @HawksMtn1.