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What makes a good mechanic?

4099 Views 35 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  qwerty
Some years ago I was told that a good mechanic is of average intelligence and likes his work. Since this was new information, I shut up and heard the man out. He is above average intelligence and doesn't like mechanical work particularly, but is intrigued by how things are thought out and why.

He quickly gravitated to computers when gravity dropped them on us, for example.

My inspiration for this is an encounter recently where my brother had his Honda Rebel quit in the city one night. It would not go into neutral, then the neutral light would not come on. The upshot of it was I spent several days going through the Honda Shop Manual on CD and the flow charts for trouble-shooting. It came down to a diode on the wiring harness, according to Honda, but they were wrong. The place we had to work was the shop of a developer of wind generators. An engineer dropped by and took it on himself to look over our shoulders a bit. Said he had never worked on motorcycles before, but had found electrical issues on cars. He had aced his Motorcycle Safety Course written exam-- and just went home when it came time to get on the bike! He did the same thing with airplanes. But, he would be glad to help. Soon he was pointing to the monitor and saying,

"Its in this loop right here."

Well, I had been there, but obliged him. It was fused, but that tested and looked perfect. And he saw that, but within seconds he said,

"My intuition tells me that's a bad fuse."

And he was right. It would read good, turn it and there would be just nothing. I don't know when I would have found this. My brother has his areas of intuitive genius, but he was talking of selling the bike.

This isn't to tell a story; but it is to ask if your observations of others, your personal experience with mechanicking, as a survival skill, recreation, compassion channel, or to earn income; do you see a sixth sense giftedness at work that enhances basic training and experience? Does intuition and language like "I am sensing," "shoot from the hip" override intelligence sometimes? Personally, I get some of my answers before I ever

get out of bed. What is it that you see in mechanical problem solving?

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A good mechanic is what you guys describe. Let me tell you about Andy who was with Yamaha for 15 years then the dealership that deals with kust about every other brand for another 15 years. After a battle with cancer he now works at home semi-retired. He got my first T-Dub running when I discovered that its Cdi had been stolen at the auction and the old Indian Raven put me onto him when I balked at the price of a new one. He had a few amongst his things in his garage.

I took my new prospect the old Babe around to him for an opinion before settling on the deal as agreed by the owner who had bought it from a dealer and had pottered around the farm for a couple of years but knew nothing about bikes. Andy climbed into it for an afternoon and an evening pulled out the carb and disembowlelled the ignition, got her running nicely advised me that the poor old girl had been worked near to death and had been given a facelift by another guy in town who could not get her running right and used to come to Andy to milk him for info while dressing mutton as lamb. He advised me not to buy her and charged =$40 for his time. When I fetched her he showed me what to look out for when a TW has been abused.

I’ll take some pics and put this experience up on another thread for public information. The same day there was another TDub for sale and I went to look at it. It turned out it was the dirty dealer now working from home since his garage went bankrupt. I looked at the bike and pointed out the nicely painted over welds that are the scars of past abuse. He looked distinctly uncomfortable. I smiled to myself thinking how lucky to have Andy to add to the wealth of experience on this forum. Andy said he’ll go with me to look at any future prospects since he has plenty of time on his hands and can’t work a 9 hour day for anyone anymore.
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