People love the feeling of cruising down the open road on a big hog, wind blowing through their hair, and that sense of satisfaction of owning a great machine. Now, that’s where you come in. With such an increase in people buying motorcyles, and an increase in motorcycle culture, the demand for mechanics who know these hogs inside and out is climbing right along with them. Motorcycle repair and maintanence is one of the more exciting and cutting-edge auto careers there is right now.
A motorcycle mechanic is an automotive service technician responsible for the assembly, maintainance and restoration of motorcycles and other vehicles with handlebar controls such as three-wheelers and ATVs. An increase in off-roading and motorbike racing means that not only are more people using these vehicles, but the frequency of repair that’s needed for them is increasing as well, meaning that a steady supply of mechanics who are well-versed in the knowledge of these vehicles is extremely important.
When customers bring in motorcycles or ATVs for maintenance or repair, motorcycle mechanics will mediate a discussion between the customer and the service manager. The customer will explain the problems they’re having with the machine, and as a motorcycle mechanic, you’ll give advice and thoughts on what the problem might be, and what the course of action should be.
Working with the service manager, you’ll diagnose problems and locate the causes of them, whether it be in the electrical system, or the frame. You’ll be thoroughly inspecting the vehicle and may have to dismantle and repair or replace parts, perform routine maintenance and cleaning and replace worn-out parts.
The main way to get into automotive careers like being a motorcycle mechanic is to first have some over-arching, generic training as an auto-mechanic, and then go about getting trained for specific manufacturers, like Harley Davidson, so that you’re familiar with their models and parts and all of their idiosyncracies. The best way to do this is by going to school for motorcycle repair specifically. Aside from a main overview of motorcycle repair, there are also specific factory courses where you’ll learn the ins and outs of a variety of makes and models. Depending on the program, and what you want to study, it’s a length of study anywhere from one and a half to three years.
It’s not all Harleys, however. Everything from extremely fast, competitive racing bikes like Kawasakis, to off-roading all-terrain vehicles falls under the jurisdiction of a motorcycle mechanic. So whether you’ve always been a gear-head for this kind of stuff, or are just thinking about it now, the increasing popularity of these kinds of vehicles means that a career in repairing and tuning them up is going to be stable, rewarding and challenging.