View Full Version : how to become motorcycle mechanic
Could anyone offer me some insight on becoming motorcycle mechanic. Should I check out local dealerships on apprenticeship opportunities or find out about taking classes.
Thanks in advance
See if there are any small shops around and hang out there. Talk to the mechanics, and ask lots of questions. See if they will let you help. I worked a full time job, then went to a shop till 10pm, almost everyday. It gave me some experience, and I learned alot. It also helped me get my foot in the door at a major dealership. Some advice: make sure you work at reputable shops. There are alot of, um, shady shops around. DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP in that crap. Also, don't plan on getting "rich". You can make a decent living if work is steady. I treated it (not making much money) as if it were my college, and the pay was the new knowledge I had learned. I don't do it for a living anymore, I only work on mine and my CLOSE friend's bikes, usually for a 6pack;f PM me if ya have Q's. Good luck!
You should take the motorcycle mechanic class and get your certificate first before applying for a job, or have an independent service shop of your own. There's a nationally recognized moto mechanic program that you can go to. While a piece of paper doesn't necessarily mean that you're a superior mechanic, it sure alleviate the customer's apprehension. It at least that you are competent to work on a motorcycle, especially the newfangled ones nowadays with electric this and electronic that.
After you get your standard certificate you can go further by attending a brand specific course in order to get certified on those particular brands.
Motorcycle Mechanic Institute (aka MMI) http://www.uticorp.com/default.aspx?tabid=41&bhcp=1
As fnfalman suggested look into MMI, also look into AMI, AMI is located in Daytona and MMI has a few location around the country, FLA and AZ,. I have been thinking of taking the AMI program, but I need to raise funding to pay for schooling and pay my mortgage while I'm away.
One of the guys that co-own his independent shop is an MMI graduate plus he's certified for Yamaha and Suzuki and Ducati. One of the guys that I ride with went to AMI and is now one of BMW Motorrad USA's chief mechanics. Neither are rolling in doughs but they make a decent living doing what they love.
The only thing I have against the schools is that they are expensive. And when you graduate, your paying on the school loan, not on tools, which you will borrow from someone like me. Most guys won't mind for a while, but it starts to cause problems. Tools are expensive and you'll need quite a few of them. I've worked with plenty MMI and AMI grads, and it gives you the basics. One of my best friends is from MMI in Florida. He brings his bike to me for anything more than an oilchange. FWIW...
Originally posted by fnfalman
Neither are rolling in doughs but they make a decent living doing what they love.
"If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life"
I feel this way about my flooring biz.!
And soon working more with bikes, I have enough of them!
i attend MMI right now in Phoenix. i am actually taking the HD program, in addition i am taking all of the other offerings (yamaha, kawa, honda, suzuki), including BMW motorcycles which has now been added. there are participating dealerships all across the country who will pay off your school debt, if you work for them for two years minimum, then you can go and do whatever you want. lots of people are taking advantage of that offer. email me anytime, i can definitely answer any ???'s you have about the subject;c
NHGlockster1 how long is the preliminary course and how long are the additional courses? And if I can ask what is the cost? classroom and books/tools?
sorry for the long time to respond. the classe's length are depending on what you decide to take. most people take the HD programs (you can add the classic HD, 1936 to the EVO era), that alone will take you just over a year. if you want only to take a specific course (yamaha only for example) it will last you just under a year. the HD program for the year or so costs a little over 20 grand. i have a couple student loans, and some federal loans and grants that make it no cost to me out of pocket while in school. you have the option to pay back the interest on the student loans if i want to. so, basically, i started school in Nov. 2005, and with every class offered by the school, i graduate in the summer of 08. it will cost me about 35 grand when all is said and done, but as i said before, some dealerships will pay for some (if not all) of my tuition. i dont have all the details on that yet, but as i do, ill let ya know. for what its worth, i would recommend this to anyone. you get out of it what you put into it. theres a couple people in my school who dont take it very seriously, but its thier money, do with it what you want. another thing to consider, is the AZ school is much better than the florida school, i did some research on it, and it is just a better equipped school. let me know if you ever consider going, i can get you the inside scoop on apartments, jobs, and info on the school
oh, i forgot to mention, there is a one time $95.00 lab fee when you first get here, then all other supplies and books are supplied. you will have to get a digital multimeter, but sears has a nice craftsman digital that most of the students use, i think they paid under 30 bucks for it, or you can see the on-campus snap-on dealer and buy the blue point meter. some other stuff thats cool, the snap-on dealer has a 2 or 3 page sheet of specialty tools and stuff you can buy (if you want, you will NOT need it during school) for just over half off list price. It DOES include snap-on boxes, they will ship your stuff home if you want, or wherever you want. some local dealers offer discounts on parts or bikes, lots of cool hidden benifits that Im still learning about. thats about it.
The dealer program sounds pretty new, but not a bad deal.
If you have Steve G. as one of your instructors (you should, he's one of the HD instructors there), tell him Cryptoboy (Sean, from V-Twin forum) said hi!
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