History of RepairManual.com

RepairManual.com is a family run business dedicated to helping people find the repair information they need to fix their own equipment. We stock thousands of printed manuals and ship them out as quick as possible, every day. We hope to serve you.

The long story….

Founder, Len Nelson has been riding, racing and wrenching on his own motorcycles since his dad first handed him a wrench. Quickly he started tinkering with all types of motorized equipment including lawnmowers, boat engines, lawn tractors and cars with much success. By high-school he had rebuilt several small engines and was spending nearly all his free time riding, wrenching and helping others with their projects. A knack for computers drew him to learn more about networking online and by 1987 he had cultivated an online Motorcycle community hosted on a rescued IBM XT clone computer, a Haynes 1200 Baud Smartmodem (quickly upgraded to a 2400), running free bulletin board software. The BBS was crude (ASCII text) but it worked and within months of creating the forum, people began sharing information with one another with a focus on how to repair motorcycles themselves. The demand for repair data was glaringly obvious- there was little supply of repair information other than local dealers, many of whom seemed less than interested in supplying the public with repair manuals.

In 1990 the Internet and Prodigy’s online service converged and Lenard was given the opportunity to launch an online Motorcycle Community of Interest which included file libraries, chat rooms, bulletin boards, web pages and advertising all in one. Of course their would be a section dedicated to do-it-yourself wrenching developed out of the lessons learned from running the previous motorcycle BBS.

In 1995, Len was recruited to join an online motorcycle magazine called Motorcycle Online (Motorcycle.com). He made the journey from Hillsdale, New Jersey to Redondo Beach, California and took over as the Director of Operations selling the idea of an online motorcycle magazine to anyone who would listen. One person that did listen was Matt Tusken from Clymer Manuals. Seeing how easy it was to disseminate motorcycle and gear articles though the magazine’s website Len presented the idea of delivering repair information online. By allowing independent dealers and customers access to information quickly they would be able to service their ATVs, motorcycles and scooters without delay. This would get customers riding more and needing more parts – seemed like a win win for everyone in the industry.

Worried about a conflict of interest, Brent Plummer, CEO of Motorcycle Online suggested Len go it his own. So in 1997 Len signed a distribution agreement with Clymer Repair Manuals and built a website. RepairManual.com became the first distributor to sell Clymer books using the internet as a sales and marketing channel. The company was run from a tiny beach-front apartment in Redondo Beach, CA. Shortly afterwards Chilton and Haynes Manuals agreed to sell books through RepairManual.com and business boomed.

Lenard quickly learned that while motorcycle customers were on board with the idea it wasn’t the case for existing publishers or many of the OEMs. He met with stiff resistance to the idea and learned that the motorcycle manufacturer lobby was doing everything they could to restrict public access to repair information by actively fighting against any attempts to include motorcycles in future revisions of the Right to Repair Act.

*** PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO REPAIR! Your right to repair your vehicle is being threatened. Learn more at Repair.org   ***

An opportunity to develop online help systems for the Power Management and Control division of Siemens AG presented itself and Lenard wasted no time getting involved. Upon completion of the project he applied his new skills to create a prototype of an online motorcycle manual and presented it to several publishers. Fear and loathing prevailed and the idea of online distribution was squashed again.

During this time Motocom Inc. continued to grow selling printed books.  In 2001 Len got married and the company moved to a larger building. With the capital and resources now available to make online motorcycle manuals a reality, Lenard launched the publishing business of Cyclepedia Press LLC at Cyclepedia.com, and Jill took over running RepairManual.com.   Cyclepedia currently has over 200 published full color, online repair manuals for ATVs, motorcycles, and scooters. Cyclepedia manuals are sold in printed form through RepairManual.com.

On behalf of all of us here at RepairManual.com we appreciate your business and support. Be confident knowing we are a real brick and mortar company that you can call or email and talk with a real person. This is our full time business – thanks for putting your trust in us and please tell others about us.


Motocom, Inc., d/b/a RepairManual.com offers access to a diverse repair manual library. In-as-much as our roots are grounded in motorcycles and motorcycling, we offer repair manuals relating to cars, trucks, vans, all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, tractors, and personal watercraft.

Two broad classes of repair manuals are offered at RepairManual.com, namely, reproductions of original repair manuals, and original repair manuals, i.e., titles of others, which we purchase new or used from OEMs and publishers via their authorized distribution channels and pass on to you our customers. In connection to our content, we strive to locate, secure and clear the titles we make available to you directly as reproductions.

As to the former, namely our reproduction titles, we offer copies of public domain content, more particularly, titles published prior to 1989 and without copyright notice. For decades, an outstanding feature distinguishing United States copyright law from that of the rest of the world has been an emphasis on formalities, among other things a requirement that the public be given formal notice of every work in which copyright is claimed. This facet of the law has origins in the original Copyright Act of 1790. and has remained in the successive Act revisions of 1831,1870, 1909,1976 (effective 1978). Many of the formalities under the 1909 and 1976 Acts have been lifted with the accession of the United States to the Berne Convention, via passage of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988.

Before 1978, federal copyright was generally secured by the act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming compliance with all other statutory conditions. United States works in the public domain on January 1, 1978 remained in the public domain under the 1976 Copyright Act. As of March 1, 1989, the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act, copyright notice, among other things, was prospectively eliminated as a condition to copyright protection. However, where a copyright notice is required, essentially for all published Pre-Beme content, and its omission is not excused, the legal consequence is to inject the work into the public domain.

In connection to our business, namely the offering of manuals and parts, we by necessity make use of trademarks and/or trade dress of others to describe the items we offer. In doing so, no representation of affiliation, association or the like is intended, unless otherwise stated. Moreover, we are in fact owners of intellectual property, property that is a valuable asset to our business.