More first-time riders: 5 Questions for Russell Shimek

Russell Shimek, owner of Throttle Addiction. (submitted photo)

For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Russell Shimek, owner of the full-service motorcycle shop Throttle Addiction, 1000 N. Third St., in Grand Forks.

Q: How has business been in 2020? Have you seen a lot of first-time riders this year?

A: We’ve been fortunate. We’ve seen above average business throughout the summer. Long-trip destinations are down, but the amount of short trips in the local areas has increased. We have actually (seen more first-time riders), and that's reassuring because, for a while, it seemed like all the riders were getting older and there weren't a lot of new riders coming in. This year especially we did notice a large number of 20-year-olds and maybe some 18-year-olds with beginner bikes then we watch them move up into Harley's or larger motorcycles.

Q: What is something new riders need to know? What advice do you give them?

A: Making sure that the bike is safe, as far as the tires and the brakes. Especially with the long winters, we see them come in in the spring and, and there's 5 to 10 pounds of air pressure in the tires and that's extremely dangerous. So we encourage checking your own tires and making sure that the bike is safe to ride.


Q: Winter is the off season, but you could still be busy. What do you do?

A: Our winter storage that we do with the motorcycles has actually increased from the previous year. When our storage facility fills up, we do service, we do custom builds and we do a lot of performance engine modifications on those bikes. Or else we will actually go in and pick up the bike for customers throughout the winter.

Q: If owners want to store their bikes at home, what do they need to know?

A: They need to have a low amperage trickle charger and have a good fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, and try to reduce condensation as much as possible. Having a constant temperature is best. The problem lies where the temperature in a garage is going up and down, especially in the spring, then moisture becomes an issue.

Q: You guys do dyno tuning, what is it? What else do you do?

A: It's a way for us to have the motorcycle hooked up to a computer and duplicate real-life riding situations. In turn, it lets us tune the bike immediately with our tuning software. Another thing we do is used motorcycle sales. Nine times out of 10 they're Harleys, but we are set up as a motorcycle dealer. We do consignment, and we buy and sell motorcycles ourselves. Every year it increases a little bit, and we don't focus on that a lot but it is definitely a service that we do want to provide. We can actually search for models if somebody is looking for a specific year, model or color. We have been able to find the exact motorcycle that somebody might like.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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