A Forres man is fulfilling his lifelong dream to open a motorcycle retail and repair shop in the town, bringing a new ‘vibe’ to an empty building and creating a social space for enthusiasts.
Matz Rayner, 32, and his partner Nicole will open Mr Moto in the old Pedigreed Cars site in Bogton Place on 1 May, as a motorcycle retail and repair centre, as well as a place for bikers to meet.
The couple are fervently working away to prepare the building for the big day.
Matz said his love of bikes started when he was 18: “I grew up fixing things — and breaking even more! When bikes entered my life, motorcycle repairs were a natural fit, I worked hard and found a huge passion for it.
A life of bikes
“I started working in a local motorcycle shop 11 years ago as a novice, before long I was running the workshop and carrying out any work possible from electrical repairs to engine rebuilds, I’ve worked on pre-war Nortons, exotic Ducatis, race bikes, even jet skis! I’m only just leaving that job now.
“I want to create something my kids can one day enjoy, give them the opportunities I never had. We are throwing everything at this, using our own savings, it will be our sole source of income. “
And it’s yet another boost for the town, bringing much-valued custom from local and visiting bikers. Matz said: “Bikers don’t come up the A9, they come over the Dava. They’ll stop here, and that’ll encourage people to explore the town.
A place for bikers to hang out
“Mr Moto will be a hub for the burgeoning motorcycle scene, Forres is full of bikers looking for somewhere to hang out, relax and plan rides. Our shop will have comfortable seating, a flat-screen TV, bikes on display, magazines and most importantly, free tea and coffee at all times.
He added: “As for the business itself, aside from all manner of repairs on both motorcycles and ATVs, we will also be selling used bikes and in a month or two, we’ll have an MOT station for bikes, a Forres exclusive!
Matz said he’ll be organising weekly ride-outs and charity events, and the first has already been planned for the end of July. These will be family-friendly events that people can come along to even if they don’t have bikes.
Matz and Nicole have been transforming the building which they described as a hollowed-out shell.
“The building has been a labour of love, but we’ve worked hard at it, slowly transforming it into our dream. The location is perfect, we sit near the A96 and right on the road to Grantown, the best biking road for miles. I can already feel a good relationship with my landlords Liam and Eileen, we’re all on the same page and they appreciate hard work.
“We’re both excited and nervous about our opening day. The reaction and support have been unbelievable, with such a positive reaction to our Facebook page already. We hope to do Forres proud, it’s waited too long for a motorcycle shop.”
Mr Moto opens on 1 May and all are welcome to pop in and see the new business on its opening day.
Update: Opening day has been postponed to 6 May.