After 10 years of catering to all of North Hollywood's motorized scooter and motorcycle needs, NoHo Scooters at 5144 Vineland Ave. is going out of business Saturday due to paltry sales.
“Sales haven't been so good. You know, the economy is down,” said Mike Frankovich, a self-described “scooter junkie” and store owner. “Realistically, it's time for a change.”
Frankovich said much of the remaining inventory would go up for auction or be sold online. Many of the vintage scooters in the shop belong to him and are not for sale; those rides are frequently rented out to studios, and will still be available for rental via the Internet, he said.
A scooter repair service, run under seperate management, will continue to operate out of the back of the property until its owners can find a new location, Frankovich said. A flyer identifies the mechanics as “Greasy,” “Jano” and “Junior,” and reads: “Come see us in the alley.”
While scooter sales have been steadily declining over the last few years, Frankovich recalled that 2008 was the golden year for the vehicles. He speculates that rising gas prices may have been one of the culprits for attenuated business.
“Like, we had nothing on our floor, everything that was on our floor had sold tags on it,” he said. “Then the following year-- that was the first time gas went over $4 a gallon.”
Frankovich's interest in scooters goes back to the 1980s.
“My sister had an old Honda scooter I used to ride around the neighborhood [in the 1980s],” he said.
North Hollywood will be deprived of its comprehensive scooter source, but there will still be scooting opportunities for local enthusiasts. The Los Angeles Scooter Group, which Frankovich helps run as assistant organizer, boasts 936 followers on its Meetup.com page and holds frequent events.