TW200 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I love working on my t-dub and other bikes, and I have been thinking about becoming a motorcycle mechanic. If there are any mechanics on this forum do you think that would be a good or bad career in today's world?

Sent from Android for Nook Tablet using Taptalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
I have worked as an automotive mechanic and I can tell you that I have become quite disillusioned with the whole idea. In theory this sounds like a great job, but in my experience at least, reality is that it's all about speed, knocking out job after job with no concern for doing it right or attention to detail. The "fast" technicians who knock out job after job without a care in the world, screwing everything up and getting multiple "comebacks" get congratulated by management for their "efficiency" and "sales volume" (numbers on paper), while the good technicians (of which there were FEW where I worked) who do an awesome job and make sure everything is just right (example, lug nuts set to proper torque, correct oil viscosity used, etc.) are told that they need to be faster and have their hours cut... Maybe it's just the company I worked for but I got the feeling that a lot of places, if not all, are like that at least to some degree. Unfortunately I think that many of the people who take their vehicles to a shop for service, do so because it isn't that important to them. So there is, sadly, something to be said for the "just get it done" philosophy. Not my cup of tea. I'm incapable of doing something with less than 100 percent effort. I can't bring myself to "half-ass it" and cut corners just to finish a job quickly and make more money. Those are the people who "do well" in this field. And even then, there's not a lot of money to be made, because there are so many people willing to do it. Sorry to tell it to you like this. I was once in your shoes, asking about these things on forums and thinking excitedly about the great possibilities... Good luck if you do decide to try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,371 Posts
Dealerships want parts changers more than they want honest technicians! You will find many right here who know more about our beloved TWs than you will ever find at a Yamaha dealership. The days of taking your vehicle to a competent technician for a serious technical diagnosis are long gone. It is cheaper and more cost effective to put a new carb on your TW than it is to have a dealer shop mechanic rebuild it and tune your bike so it is running right.

The idea of training to be a motorcycle mechanic is a worthy career choice but it will come with a painful realization that changing parts is where the money is. Working for a shop will be a drag and you will never find the respect a true mechanic deserves. If I had a recommendation for a young and mechanically inclined fellow I would guide you to become a Machinist. Learning the inner workings of engines and the machines that make them will be a far more rewarding career choice. Welder is another great, hands on career choice that will pay you handsomely.

I was trained by the US Navy back in 1970 to be an Engineman and Aviation Jet Mechanic. After the military I tried for a while as a civilian mechanic but ended up as a Correction Officer in the NY Prison system. Working for a dealership was a complete joke and I felt more like a grease monkey than a mechanic. Chose a career path wisely that will provide a good living but most importantly will give you the respect you deserve while maintaining your interest.

GaryL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
i agree with garyl and kj7687 ,as a retired auto tech for over 40 years the trade is not as rewarding as it used to be .the only way you can controll the quality of work and mantain a good customer base is to open your own shop.but first you have to get your papers and that means working for someone else tocomplete the apprenticeship process,and get as much knowhow as you can .most people don't like to pay as much to fix their bike as they would their car,so the door rates arn't as high as a automotive shop.there are other trades that pay better ,witch means you could turn your desire of bikes from a hobby to a small shop sooner.in the real world it still takes cash to start any kind of busness ,so the higher up the pay scale you start at the easer it is to get started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
Doh. I'm in the process of applying for the automotive mechanics program at my college since i like working on my TW. I have no passion to be in the medical, science, liberal arts or law field, etc. my dream job would be to be a a mechanic in a Dakar race? Is there anyone here who recommends me going into dentistry or medical and makes a lot of money without so many years of schooling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,367 Posts
You can look for something you love and do it for a living and hope you still love it when you have to do it every day for forty years. Or you can find something that is interesting, that you can tolerate well, that is kind to your body as it ages and pays very well...and then use that money to do what you love when you are not working. I tried doing what I loved as a profession and found I did not love it very well when I had to do it every day.

Is there anyone here who recommends me going into dentistry or medical and makes a lot of money without so many years of schooling?
It may be you just mis-stated that. If not, you are mis-informed. Dentistry and the Medical professions take a tremendous amount of schooling...and a tremendous amount of money to get that schooling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
dream jobs are just that dreams.for most mechanics it was a dream to be on a race team of some kind. but to get that spot you have to be at the top in the feild,and be at the right place at the right time or know someone to get your foot in the door.the numbers speak for themselves,millions of mechanics in the trade only a few thousands in race teams.it takes a lot of dedication and scrafice to reach your dream job.most get side tracked with family and other comitments of the dayly walk of life,but i wish you well if you decide to follow your dream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,371 Posts
Some guys and gals are good at school with studies and have the financial backing to spend many years pursuing particular fields. If this is you then go for a field that will interest you and pay for the lifestyle you desire. Others are best suited to the trades where some schooling is necessary in the beginning but once trained the experience comes from hands on work doing the job and continually learning and getting better at your chosen field. Any career is a complete drag if it is not doing what you enjoy and a job that maintains your interest.

Sadly, the things I enjoy doing the most would not put much food on the table or money in the bank. There was a time when having a decent paying government job that also provided for a real retirement pension and other benefits was the way to go. I retired 14 years ago after 27 years at age 49 with a 54% pension based on my final average salary. I am not real sure you younger folks can do this today with any real expectation that your state won't go belly up or that social security will in fact be there. It is imperative that you plan wisely now and start your own retirement fund so you too will be able to sit at your computers when you hit 62 and play here on the TW forum and then go jump on your bike or just go fishing and not have to worry about paying the bills.

One thing I can tell you from the wisdom my age has afforded me is I wish I had the wisdom back when I was 18 and planned much better than I did. I am not hurting but I am not rich either and all this wishing does not seem to produce much of anything but dreams. Do exactly the opposite of what our government does. Live within your means and of every hundred dollars you earn put $25 away every single week. I call it Pay Yourself First!

GaryL
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 Bad dog

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,367 Posts
Live within your means and of every hundred dollars you earn put $25 away every single week.
And that young friends, is the secret of a happy life. And, I'm pretty sure Gary L doesn't consider living within your means to mean being able to pay the minimum payment on your credit cards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
I love working on my t-dub and other bikes, and I have been thinking about becoming a motorcycle mechanic. If there are any mechanics on this forum do you think that would be a good or bad career in today's world?

Sent from Android for Nook Tablet using Taptalk
Go for it! Living 60 miles or so north of Dayton, I need a good mechanic for the new Tw and any other bikes my old mind might decide to purchase in a moment of weakness....get that certificate and you have at least one customer...:cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: tcepilot

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
GaryL hit the nail on the head. First thing you do with every paycheck; " Feed the pig. "
Excellent Idea: Once I returned to umpiring high school baseball, then football and basketball....I took $10 out of each game, and put it aside...over 15 years that has worked out well....How else do you think I paid cash for the new 2014 Tw back in March? Pretty painless{of course being retired from the State of Ohio and getting a small SS Check starting at 62 helped, but that goes to the savings account and bills....the Officiating fees go to my beer, cigars, gas, and rainy day accounts thus the cash for the Tw...}

As far as being a Mechanic, I watched my dad his entire post WWII life as one...not a fun job at times, long hours, stiffed on pay by cheap customers, etc...but if you can branch out, have yourself as a boss....and keep the Obama Government Jack Boots away from your door, there is nothing like being your own boss or independent contractor....go for it, if it's your passion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tcepilot and Fred

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,371 Posts
A mechanic working for a dealer will be doing OK to see $20/ hour and absolutely zero job security or pension benefits. The dealer is probably charging your labor out at closer to $75/ hour. Do the math!

I am a pretty decent Carpenter and have a hard time getting customers to pay me $25/ Hr. yet they think nothing of paying an electrician $400/day or when the poop won't go down the toilet they immediately call a plumber or Roto rooter and pay through their nose to get things flowing.

Chose wisely but chose a profession that pays well and has some sort of benefits package that won't go south when you want to. How about a Heavy Equipment Operator for a guy who loves playing in the dirt!

GaryL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
You can look for something you love and do it for a living and hope you still love it when you have to do it every day for forty years. Or you can find something that is interesting, that you can tolerate well, that is kind to your body as it ages and pays very well...and then use that money to do what you love when you are not working. I tried doing what I loved as a profession and found I did not love it very well when I had to do it every day.
Quoted because there is much wisdom here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
My Dad once told me. Don't try to make a living with your hobby because pretty soon it will just be a job! I found out that was very true,but after 30 years in the Power Sports field I still miss it. Best thing I can tell you is talk to the techs and find out what the job is like. Next find out if the shop offers training,benefits,heathcare and vacations. Hate to say it but Harley shops are the best for training but most are open 7 long days. Do your homework and then decide. Good Luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
I have been a licenced Automotive and also a Truck and Coach mechanic for 30yrs and absolutely agree with Ki7687. I currently work as a locomotive mechanic where there is no "flat rate system" and the boss still appreciates a job well done. I still think I would like to be a motorcycle mechanic but I would only work in a shop long enough to get my licence then I would open a one man bike shop from home. That way you get all the money that comes in the door (minus expences and taxs of course) instead of a small percentage. With the low operating cost of working from home you can afford to charge less, make more and take your time to do the job right.
When my kids were little I stayed at home and fixed cars on the days when my wife was home and more as the kids started school. I started out working on everything but eventually just narrowed it down to Toyotas and Hondas because thats what I love to work on. If you do good work the work will snowball and you will always have work.
My daughter has been sewing since she was 8 and always wanted to be a Fashion Designer. She just finished her 3rd year of Fashion Design at Ryerson University (1 more to go) and I have no idea about the industry except that I hear its not easy. I'm glad she is following her passion and if she enjoys going to work for the next 40 years then she is a success in mybook My advice to people with a passion is to follow it because its a long life if you don't enjoy what you do.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
I was a motorcycle mechanic for awhile and a auto mechanic for awhile. It's just like what everyone is saying, it's go go go all the time, quantity over quality. Do it on the side as a hobby and you'll enjoy it much more. You can set the quality of work standards, work on bikes when you want, and if you get really good, you won't lack for bikes to work on. People will drive a long ways to find a decent MC mechanic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Go for it! Living 60 miles or so north of Dayton, I need a good mechanic for the new Tw and any other bikes my old mind might decide to purchase in a moment of weakness....get that certificate and you have at least one customer...:cool:
I have been a licenced Automotive and also a Truck and Coach mechanic for 30yrs and absolutely agree with Ki7687. I currently work as a locomotive mechanic where there is no "flat rate system" and the boss still appreciates a job well done. I still think I would like to be a motorcycle mechanic but I would only work in a shop long enough to get my licence then I would open a one man bike shop from home. That way you get all the money that comes in the door (minus expences and taxs of course) instead of a small percentage. With the low operating cost of working from home you can afford to charge less, make more and take your time to do the job right.
When my kids were little I stayed at home and fixed cars on the days when my wife was home and more as the kids started school. I started out working on everything but eventually just narrowed it down to Toyotas and Hondas because thats what I love to work on. If you do good work the work will snowball and you will always have work.
My daughter has been sewing since she was 8 and always wanted to be a Fashion Designer. She just finished her 3rd year of Fashion Design at Ryerson University (1 more to go) and I have no idea about the industry except that I hear its not easy. I'm glad she is following her passion and if she enjoys going to work for the next 40 years then she is a success in mybook My advice to people with a passion is to follow it because its a long life if you don't enjoy what you do.
I agree. I was going to add, I have been thinking about what I want to do when I retire. I don't want to work for someone else. I want to work where and when I want. I want to do what I love, and only as much as I want to work. The business world won't afford you much leeway. And, if you are good at it, once you are working on your own, then likely you will have a nice income.

I know what GaryL means. My Dad was a carpenter for over 40 years. He couldn't get a reasonable income out on his own. Thankfully he only did the occasional odd job when retired.

What I'm trying to say is find a realistic way for your passion to fit your needs. And if your needs [income requirement] is higher than you can earn, then see if you can do it part time, and not take all your spare time away from you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peterb

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
I was a motorcycle mechanic for awhile and a auto mechanic for awhile. It's just like what everyone is saying, it's go go go all the time, quantity over quality. Do it on the side as a hobby and you'll enjoy it much more. You can set the quality of work standards, work on bikes when you want, and if you get really good, you won't lack for bikes to work on. People will drive a long ways to find a decent MC mechanic.
Nicely put, Scotti
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
I spent 1.5 years getting ready for, and into an auto mechanics apprenticeship program. I REALLY didn't want to work on junk, or "daily drivers", so I held out for an opening at the Jag/Rover/Triumph/MGB dealer.
This was the end of the 70s, and quite the prime place to be.
I finally walked out of the place after 9 months. Should have bailed sooner, but I was trying to tough it out after all my time invested.. It just sucked.
I LOVED working on the cars.
It was all I could do to keep myself from bashing the service managers skull in with a lug wrench. :mad:
I have friends in the 'biz, only 2 are still at it.
I've done many jobs since, but after 1995, I've never worked for someone else. I prefer to control my own destiny, and sanity, even if it means having less $$$
Like many have said, I'd get set up with my own business fixing bikes, on the side at first, then see if you can go full time.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top