What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

16 Comments
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By an edhat reader

I recently noticed that the Honda motorcycle shop on Chapala and Gutierrez is closed. There's some type of handwritten "In Memorium" sign that I couldn't read while driving by. Does anyone know what happened? 

And where do we take our motorcycles to be worked on?

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EastBeach Aug 10, 2018 11:38 AM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

I took my XR250 in for work a few times and was always pleased. I didn't get to know Al and am sorry to hear of his passing. I did run into Jack a few times while mountain biking the front country. He was a very congenial person and his mountain biking friends were a fun bunch. I hope he's doing well.

soarback Aug 10, 2018 11:19 AM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

Just to show you how funny Al was....I brought in my red 1997 Honda vfr750 for service once....that I only rode a few times a year to put a smile on my face. Hardly any miles on it. Al smiled and said...wow...Steve....if you ride it any less, you could always just park it in your living room and use it as a piece of furniture....and he belly laughed loud for a long time....me laughing right along with him....and I said...maybe I could make it into a coffee table....and Al kept on laughing with tears in his eyes. But he understood that I could never part with it. Jack...well he was far and away the best mechanic I ever knew. Once my carbs needed cleaned, and you have to take off the WHOLE fairing part to do it...and he only charged me about $75 bucks to do it. He smiled, and said ....nice bike... I let him take it out for a spin around the block. He had a smile on his face when he came back. Jack is the only other person I ever let ride it. The whole business and the guys were...a blessing...to Santa Barbara...never to be repeated.

a-1534315735 Aug 10, 2018 08:53 AM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

FYI, there is a nine x nine inch article (by Josephine Von Dohlen ) in today's local paper (with 2010 photo by Nik Blaskovich) about Al Baites, his shop, and his generous nature -- and September 1 Celebration of Life details. Thank you Edhat poster for the thread. (I am not into motorcycles one bit, but the story about Al -- and employee Jack Chestnutt -- is cool.)

soarback Aug 10, 2018 06:33 AM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

And wow was his mechanic great too. He helped so amazing with my Vfr750. Was his mechanic named Jack? Does anyone know what Jack is doing now, and if he is going to still be doing repair work anywhere? Thanks

NotReallyDave Aug 09, 2018 08:00 PM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

I feel honored to have known Al and Jack through the motorcycle community. Al was a good ole Midwestern farm boy that hit the road in his youth and had an incredible life here in California. Ride fast, Al, no one can stop you now.

rll_sb Aug 09, 2018 05:49 PM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

He always teased me about my older (1983) Honda Nighthawk. I once asked him how much he would allow me on a trade and he said nothing -- it was too old. I still have the motorcycle but will miss him and the bunch who always seemed to hang around the place. So sorry to hear of his passing,,,

REX OF SB Aug 09, 2018 02:47 PM
What Happened to the Honda Shop on Chapala?

I am so sorry to hear this. Honda Al was true Santa Barbara color. Does anyone know when he died? His shop kept my Honda motorcycles going for years.

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