It’s rare that I review a business that started out as a client of mine because I don’t want to feel like I’m showing any favoritism, but Joe Carey owner/operator of Capital Region Mobile Small Engine Service has become my goto guy for anything related to my small engine equipment.
So, it’s a long name, but it tells you everything about the business. You might think the best thing about this type of service is that they come to you and repair your equipment right at your house or business, but that as it turns out is really just the icing on the cake!
I first discovered Joe Carey through my dad who used him for his small engine servicing. I ended up doing a couple of small design jobs for Joe’s business through SillyCar Design and then started hiring him for my small engine equipment services. The best part about this business is Joe himself. He is reliable, he is the one always doing the work and the icing on the cake, he comes to you! Joe shows up looking like a true professional in his Capital Region Mobile Small Engine Service “uniform” as I like to call it, and his mobile shop is immaculate and ready to handle most jobs without a second visit.
I used to have to pay a shop to come and pick up my tractor for servicing, now my bill from Joe is sometimes less than the travel fee from the other shops! Another great bonus. Joe knows small engines super well. I have included a couple of photos and a video of my snowblower in action since that is the most recent job I’ve had done. I had broken my pull cord off and the snowblower was squeaky and just needed a good tune up. Joe had it running like new in less than an hour. No squeaking and smooth as butter! I’m now looking forward to an easy winter. And as my snowblower is smaller than what I really should have for my driveway, this wet, heavy snow that I’m cleaning in the photos and video was a great test of Joe’s work and the snowblower performed beautifully! It’s 13 years old or so and I expect to have it for a long time to come. Oh, and the price for the work was fantastic!
I have recommended Joe to several people and every one of them has thanked me for recommending him. That’s the true compliment and should tell you what type of business Capital Region Mobile Small Engine Service is. I don’t like to recommend any business unless I’ve used them and have been extremely happy with them myself first.
So, if you’re looking for a good business for your small engine servicing and repair needs, look no further!
So, I broke my old pusher style snow shovel and wanted to replace it with something better, but all the pusher style shovels in the stores either were very flimsy or had a metal edge on the bottom and I wanted to be able to use the shovel on my back deck and my large pool deck as well as on the driveway.
After much research on the internet and in stores, I decided to give the Snowcaster shovel a try based on a balance of bang for the buck and the fact that you can just buy parts for it, so for example if the handle breaks, you can just buy a new handle etc.
The Snowcaster comes in many widths and offers models with and without wheels for commercial applications. I got the 30 inch model with no wheels because I wanted it wide but not too wide to do my shoveling on the decks and other not so wide sections that I shovel.
Now, things I like about this shovel are that the blade is made out of smooth durable plastic that won’t scratch your decks all up. It was very easy to assemble and is very sturdy and well engineered. The way the handle hooks on to the blade is very well done, and you can buy just the triangle bracket if something does happen and it breaks. I don’t see this thing breaking under normal use. It feels super sturdy. It clears a nice wide path and makes quick work of my big driveway too.
Now, don’t get one of these thinking you’re going to clear away really deep snow. That’s not what this is for. I have a snowblower and a scoop type snow shovel for that. This is for up to 4 inches of very light snow or up to 2 inches of wet snow (in my opinion). That being said, sometimes I find it easier and faster overall to go out twice with this thing twice rather than wait for all the snow to fall and try to get it with the snowblower and scoop shovel.
For the types of snow it’s intended for, this thing works AWESOME! You can clear a very large area very quickly and it works great on wooden decks and Trex composite decks. It’s actually fun to use! The only question I have will be durability of the blade which will tell over time.
Update: December 2017. I’m in to my second season with this shovel and the blade has a couple of minor dings on it, but otherwise it’s still in great shape and works awesome still. I will add more updates as the years go on. I’m sure this shovel will be with me a long time…..
If you’d like to get one for yourself, just go to thesnowcaster.com and check them out. Though I hate to add this, you can buy these much cheaper on eBay because they charge a ton to ship direct from the website and you can usually find a seller with free shipping on eBay. I’m not sure why this is, but I wish they had competitive pricing on their own site so that I could buy direct from them. If you do buy on eBay, just make sure it has the Snowcaster logo on the blade and handle to know that you’re getting the real thing, and ask questions first to make sure the seller is legit too!
2008 Kawasaki Versys Long Term Review – 1st Posting!
This is my 2008 Kawasaki Versys. I purchased it in September of 2008. Scroll down for newer stories and updates!
Specs:for detailed general specifications on the 2008 Versys,click here to go to motorcycle.com and see their review and specs. I’m not repeating them, because that’s not what this page is about.
My personal specs. are as follows. I purchased the Versys with the accessory saddlebags from Phibbs Power Sports in Albany, New York. They were fantastic (for more on that click the Phibbs Power Sports link on the right). Price of the bike: $6199.00, plus bags: $521.32, plus tax title and registration: $576.17, plus Freight and setup: $225.00, Plus NYS inspection and documentary fee: $26.00, plus tire tax: $2.50 each tire for a grand total of $7552.49. Retail price of the bike was $6899 and the retail price of the bags was $819.90 for a total retail of $7718.90 before tax and all the other fees, so I think I did ok price wise…
My only gripe at purchase time was with the saddle bags. When you order them, you need to order three parts, the bags, the brackets and the trim kit. Except, I thought the trim kit was an accessory so I told the dealers (I dealt with two dealers before settling on Phibbs) I didn’t want the trim kit. They did not know and neither did I that the trim kit is required to hold the reflectors on the back of the bag….. oopsy! Kawasaki’s website is much more clearly written now to say that the trim kit is required. I also save some bucks by getting a trim kit on ebay from Leesons Motorsports in Bridgeport, WV for $93.95 including shipping and insurance. The retail for the trim kit was $120.00.
Ok, so after I got the bike and rode it (this is my first ever motorcycle which I purchased about 2 weeks after completing the MSF rider course which was my first real riding ever), I realized that my right hand was getting fatigued after a short time on the bike. This was mostly due to my nervousness and squeezing too hard on the throttle. So my cousing Al Huzar told me about the throttle rocker accessory. So I plopped down $8 to Eastern Performance Cycles through ebay and got myself a throttle rocker. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a plastic extension that straps onto your throttle side grip with velcro and lets you relax your hand by holding the throttle with your palm while riding. At first I thought it would get in the way, but after a very short time, I only notice it when I want to use it… Apparently, there are varying types of these devices of ranging quality. Mine is a Throttle Rocker II and I am very happy with it. Especially for only eight bucks including shipping! The only other accessory I have purchased for this bike is a Kawasaki Versys branded tank protector. Again, a minor gripe. It looks red on the website, but when you get it it’s clear… This makes putting it on without air bubbles showing through a very difficult task. For 40 bucks, I would think they could make it in the color of the tank, so that it would look fantastic and air bubbles wouldn’t even be a thought. If Kawasaki ever gets a handle on this and releases some colored ones, I’ll upgrade, otherwise I’m going to wait a while and then make my own! So needless to say, mine has a few unsightly air bubbles in it. I did use a hair dryer and squeegee when I applied it, but I’m definitely not a professional tank protector application specialist.
So here’s my list of accessories which I will update as needed: 2008 Kawasaki Versys
Kawasaki Versys branded Givi hard case saddlebags
Kawasaki Versys branded tank protector
Throttle Rocker II
First Impressions: My first few months on this bike proved that all the internet reviews of the Versys are accurate. This is a fantastic beginners bike! The only possible shortcoming for beginners is if they are short. The seat height is 33in. I am 6 feet tall with a 34″ inseam and if I was any shorter, I’d feel like the bike was a bit too tall for me. As it is, it fits me perfectly. I will say that my cousin Al Huzar drove it home for me the day I bought it (I wasn’t quite ready for the heavy traffic in Albany) he is only about 5’8″ tall and he did ok with it. He’s been riding since he was a kid. He had to reach for the ground at stops, but while riding, he said it was very comfortable and he thought it rode very nice.
The reviews I’ve read also say you can grow with this bike as it is good for veterans too and I believe that will be true. I have not yet tapped into the power available here. I am very conservative at this point. I do like to lean the bike over in corners (which it loves to do), but I do not go very fast. That being said, I think the bike will hold up well on long trips. So far I’ve ridden about 100 miles for my longest non stop trip and the seat was plenty comfortable. My throttle hand still gets a little fatiqued, but that’s got nothing to do with the bike. I just need to loosen up. As for riding off the smooth pavement (as I’ve read others do with this bike) the only “off road” riding I’ve done is in my yard. My kids like to ride with me. Jack rides in front of me and Grace rides in the back. (Not at the same time!). The bike handles well in the grass whether it’s soft or hard. We have some small hills in our yard and I have to say that even as a beginner, I feel very comfortable on the bike on the grass (keep in mind that I go pretty slow with the kids on the bike, but sometimes that can make a bike less stable… not the Versys. It may be too early to say this, but I think it’s a champ!
Here are some more pics of my bike! Keep scrolling down for more updates! Click the images to see larger versions…
500 mile service.
On 11/03/08, I had my first service done at Phibbs Power Sports. The bike had 591 miles on it and they did the first oil change, checked all the fluids, lubed the chain and adjusted all the cables etc. etc. They are the best! I love Jerry Phibbs. Even though I’m just some punk newby rider, he will spend his time answering my stupid questions for as long as I want. That is just unbelievable to me. No wonder they’ve been in business for so long.
Safety Recall from the manufacturer.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Today, My wife told me I got a safety recall letter from Kawasaki! I immediately freaked out. What could be wrong with my bike! Am I going to die in some freakish accident because my brakes will fail? No. Actually, the saddlebags covered the side reflectors, so apparently this is a huge safety hazard. So they said “don’t ride the bike until you get reflectors”. So, I sent my card back to Kawasaki and they sent me two of the biggest and ugliest reflectors that they want placed right under the Versys logo on the bags. Not only will they not stick well there because of the shape of the bags, but they are darned ugly. So, I’m going to find some reflective tape and put a small stripe near the bottom of each bag. Anyone know where I can get some nice reflective tape?
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Well, today I turned 1,000 miles on my Versys. So far I’ve had very little to complain about. It’s due for it’s 2nd service, so I’ll be scheduling that soon… I also got to do a good deed today! My friend Gary ran out of gas on his way home and when I rode by him, I could tell something was wrong, so I stopped and used the hazards on my Versys to alert traffic while he pushed his Harley (which has no hazards) to the nearest stewarts to fill with gas. I’m real happy that the Versys has a gas gauge!
Second Service at Phibbs Power Sports.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
1,150 Miles… They call it a spring service, change the oil check and adjust a bunch of stuff. I call it making sure Kawasaki can’t screw me if something goes wrong before the warranty is over… I Love Phibbs Powersports though. Look for my review in the list… I waited for the bike to be serviced and also purchased a new jacket (Olympia Viper) for colder weather and pants (Olympia Air Glide). Look for reviews on these to come soon. We also got a new helmet for Melissa who will be taking the MSF basic rider course on the 4th of July weekend. Good Luck Dear! I Love you!
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