Small Business Spotlight

Motorbike maintenance and repairman with the magic touch

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Motorbike maintenance and repairman with the magic touch

Motorbike fans follow Trevor Harker around town, and from shop to shop, for his craft

Trevor Harker, the owner of Moto World Racing, a motorcycle repairs and maintenance company, has been in the motorbike business for 40 years. It’s this experience, which has through the years assured him a set of ride-or-die customers, that's helped keep him afloat when his 9-year-old business shut down for a year due to Covid.

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Trevor Harker (left) and fellow members of the Chariots of Fire, a band of bikers who help needy communities.

Modest and soft-spoken, Trevor’s eyes light up when he explains how his passion for bikes started when his Dad would take him for rides to Simon’s Town at night. 

“I actually believe I got the motorbike vibrations before that, riding around on the back of a motorbike with my mom when I was still in the womb, with her holding onto my dad for love and dear life.”

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Trevor Harker has loved bikes always – even before he was born, he says. Image courtesy of Trevor Harker.

THE “GO-TO GUY” FOR ANYTHING BIKE

Moto World Racing is back up and running, thanks to the motorbike fans that have followed him around town, and from shop to shop, for his specialist repair services skills. 

“I’ve known Trevor for many years from the biking world. He’s honest, open, and hands-on – the go-to guy if you ever need anything,” says civil engineer Eugene Ripepi, who’s also a friend and fellow motorbike missionary. 

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They are both members of the motorbiking ministry Chariots of Fire, a band of bikers who help needy communities. “He services almost all of the members’ bikes,” says Eugene.

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This is Trevor’s personal sports touring bike, a ’94 model Honda CBR 1000F.

MOTORBIKERS ON A MISSION

“Trevor has a big heart for the community and a passion for outreach,” says Eugene. High praise from the road captain himself, who is responsible for organising and leading the Sunday rides where they do outreach work. Riders from around Cape Town travel all over the Western Cape on their motorbikes to help struggling residents.

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Like the residents of the small town of Zoar, just outside of Ladismith, who got a drop-off of clothing and food, as well as goodie bags of toiletries and sanitary products. The Christian band of motorbike missionaries will ride (with discipline and in formation) in their adventure bikes and superbikes, on our national highways, to deliver supplies. 

They’ll bring trailers and bakkies and Land Rovers, to help disperse donations. They’ll do everything from teaching women to knit and crochet, to helping in the aftermath of a fire.

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Trevor’s customers are so loyal they have followed him wherever he’s worked from. Image courtesy of Trevor Harker Chariots Prayer Rider.

HE’S PUT YEARS INTO MOTO WORLD RACING

When Trevor opened Moto World Racing in 2015, he was fixing bikes out of his cousin’s garage in Rondebosch East. When his cousin pulled out, finding affordable rent was the goal and challenge. He started in Brackenfell, then moved to Salt River Industrial Park, which became impractical because of the potholes in the road that damaged his client’s bikes even further.

He has persevered through the moves, but Covid forced to shut down for a year. He might not have made it had it not been for his loyal customer base that has followed him and his artisanship all over Cape Town.

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“Lockdown put a lot of pressure on me as a business owner. My wife had cancer in 2018 and so had been unemployed for two years already when Covid hit. It really tested my tenacity,” says Trevor.

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Trevor’s back in the garage, at his current premises in Montague Gardens. Image courtesy of Justin Nurse.

LOCKDOWN WAS TOUGH, BUT HERE’S WHAT’S NEXT

He’s been back in the garage since the beginning of the year, running his business from a refurbished container garage in Montague Gardens, with one employee. Trevor’s been honing his skills for 40 years, and he’s looking forward to another chance to grow his shop to pass those skills to more people again.

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Trevor is back in the garage, running his business from a refurbished container garage in Montague Gardens.

“I like to help people”, Trevor says, modestly mentioning that he’s trained several motorbike apprentices over the years as a way to help them recover from drug addiction and other challenges. He’s taken aspiring mechanics with struggles at home under his wing and taught them the tricks of the trade: from servicing a bike and accident repairs, through to complete engine rebuilds. 

Empowering someone by teaching them motorcycle maintenance is at once noble and pragmatic – it’s therapy for him and them. “I have so much experience and I don’t want to go to the grave with all my knowledge. Like I’ve done in the past, I want to help young people to build their careers as mechanics.” 

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A DREAM IS TO PASS ON SKILLS

In the immediate future he knows that any big cash investment he gets will go to growing and stabilising his business. It’s been a hard 18 months for everyone that even the thought of being able to put down a deposit for three month’s rent feels like a far-off reality right now. 

Still he knows he must hold on to his dream to buy a low-rider trailer for transporting his client’s bikes. Trevor is burning rubber and the midnight oil to make sure it happens, all the while keeping the faith.

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Trevor says he’d love to pass on his skills to young apprentices. Seen here working with his assistant, Graham van der Merwe from Heideveld. Image courtesy Justin Nurse.

By Justin Nurse

CONTACT MOTO WORLD RACING

Call Trevor Harker, 064 030 8636. Or email motoworldracing777@gmail.com


A BUSINESS COULD WIN AN INTEREST-FREE LOAN OF UP TO R100K*

Moto World Racing is a featured business in the Small Business Spotlight, a CapeTownMagazine.com and Lulalend initiative to help boost small businesses.

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From now till the end of October, you can nominate an SME braving it in business in our Small Business Spotlight Initiative. Nominate as many as you like, from anywhere in the country, even nominate your own. NOTE: One nomination per business please. It's not the quantity (number of nominations) that advance your nomination, it is what you tell us about its impact. Like Fix Forward, the platform and development programme that's helped 300 small-scale contractors. And South African interior design studio and founders who call themselves “interior farmers”. Or this female-run business in Malmesbury, that turns recycled paper products into beautiful flowers and herbs, called Growing Paper.

LULALEND IS HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES GROW

Read more about how our partner Lulalend, who provides fast and easy access to funding to SMEs, is helping small business owners, as well as check how much funding you may qualify for by viewing their business funding calculator.

HELPING SMES RECOVER POST-COVID

Why you should join our small business initiative and nominate an enterprise for an interest-free loan opportunity. CEO of SweepSouth, Michael Jordan and more founders share what to do to help your business survive the impact of Covid-19.

For Further reading

Our regularly updated lockdown feature, helps you keep abreast of the president’s updates on the country’s economy.

For over 10 years CapeTownmagazine has been helping SMEs through the New Places Project.

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