Garage Company Is a Temple to All Things Moto
Photography by Josh Clason for Petrolicious
Many of us have dreamt of leaving our day jobs behind and opening up a shop where we can tool on vintage machines for the rest of our lives. Sadly, this thought remains but a dream while we continue to toil away at less romantic occupations. Meet Yoshi Kosaka though, and you’ll recognize the unrelenting smile of someone proudly living that dream.
The shop started as a hobby, a distraction from Yoshi’s dentistry job in Japan. More and more bikes were purchased, and soon enough they were moved from Japan to here in Los Angeles, ground zero of motorcycle culture. More bikes came and went until a building was acquired just to store them. With that building came accidental customers, and with them more friends and more bikes. Eventually the demand for Yoshi’s time, parts, and service was too much to ignore and Garage Company was born. Two location moves later, each time to a bigger space just to hold everything, and we come to the full realization of Yoshi’s dream.
Yoshi positively breathes motorcycles. Even after spending more than 40 years around bikes, even when surrounded by exotica such as an exceedingly rare Harley KRTT, he lights up when discussing even the most mundane Honda CB550. His enthusiasm and affect are contagious. It explains why his “shop” is really more of a temple to all things moto. To browse around The Garage Company – and wandering is openly encouraged – is to have a VIP pass to a museum and cultural center dedicated to the cult of the bike. There are no velvet ropes here. There is no brand snobbery or pretension. New or old, foreign or domestic, all are welcome. Anyone who has visited can tell you what a special place it is. The Garage Company is clearly a place by fans for fans.
And it has fans of its own. Celebrities such as Michael Shumacher and David Beckham have commissioned custom bikes from Garage Company. The shop is also a rallying point for the vintage community in Los Angeles. The yearly Corso Motoclassica – an amalgam of vintage race, swap meet, and concourse show – is sponsored by Yoshi and Garage Company and brings salty riders and newbies alike together to pray at the alter of vintage two-wheelers.
As someone who has had their bike serviced by the Garage crew, I can personally attest to both their friendly demeanor and their depth of knowledge. Whatever obscure sled you’ve got, Yoshi’s crew has seen it, wrenched it, and gotten it back on the road. From vintage Nortons to Chinese scooters, from your new Harley to the little Italian two-stroke you inherited from your uncle – this shop can’t help itself from working on everything. And work they do. They’ve happily accepted delivery of my bike after hours with the simple comment, “we’ll be here for a while.” The Garage Company crew are talented, yes, but more than that they love what they do. And that counts for everything.
Yoshi’s garage is the kind of shop you make a day trip to. The Garage Company stands alone for its unique combination of deep inventory, impressive history, and the welcoming arms they great everyone with. Make the time and visit the shop. If you’re a fan of these reckless machines we call motorcycles, you owe it to yourself to walk through Yoshi’s dream. And if you’re not a fan, you soon will be.