motorcycle mechanic tuning a bike

Following these five steps will help to elevate motorcycle mechanics to the top of their field. In the process, they will learn the ins and outs of motorcycle repair. Motorcycle mechanics acquire a unique skillset that enables them to be part of a distinct group. Here are some of the duties performed by a motorcycle mechanic on a daily basis.

1.   Complete Minimum Education Requirements2.   Select a Motorcycle Mechanic Training Program3.   Complete Training Program in Motorcycle Repair4.   Acquire Work Experience5.   Continuing Education and Career Advancement

Following these five steps will help to elevate motorcycle mechanics to the top of their field. In the process, they will learn the ins and outs of motorcycle repair. Motorcycle mechanics acquire a unique skillset that enables them to be part of a distinct group. Here are some of the duties performed by a motorcycle mechanic on a daily basis.

  • Run diagnostic tests and explain results
  • General maintenance
  • Diagnose transmission issues
  • Conduct motorcycle inspections
  • Provide estimates prior to repair
  • Mount and balance motorcycle tires
  • Dismantle engines
  • Change oil
  • Overhaul electrical systems and engines
  • Straighten and fix dented frames
  • Custom installations
  • Part and accessory replacement
  • Inspects, tests and repairs subassemblies
  • Measures generator output

These are only some of the duties performed by motorcycle mechanics as there are a number of other issues they are capable of solving.

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Complete Minimum Education Requirements

The majority of motorcycle mechanics have earned a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalency. This typically provides some of the basic foundations needed to understand the techniques and procedures that are taught in motorcycle repair training programs. Each program has its own admissions standards, although most require a GED or high school diploma in order to gain entry. Standardized test scores may be requested as well. Applicants might be asked to take an entrance exam, although that is not too common.

The education of a motorcycle mechanic is critical to his/her ability to find work in this profession. Most motorcycle mechanics have earned a certificate of completion from a post-secondary school while a small portion hold an associate degree. There are some motorcycle mechanics with no educational training past the high school level, although that comprises only a small percentage of the overall group.


Select a Motorcycle Mechanic Training Program

There are a lot of specifics involved with motorcycle repair and that requires some type of formal education. Those who are interested in pursuing a career as a motorcycle mechanic will need to decide on a form of training. Most training programs are offered through post-secondary schools, such as technical institutes, vocational schools, community colleges, career training programs and adult learning centers.

When one of these programs are completed, graduates are awarded a certificate. This is generally one of the primary job requirements when entering the motorcycle repair field. Most certificate programs last anywhere from nine months to a year. Most programs set a minimum grade in each class that is offered.

There are some junior colleges that offer an Associate Degree in Motorcycle Technology or Motorcycle Repair. However, there are not an abundance of schools offering this type of degree. The completion of this training option typically takes two years to complete and holds high value among employers. Nevertheless, certificate programs are more widely available.

Tuition for certificate programs are also lower than the cost of an Associate Degree program and some institutes even offer financial aid options. It is also important to examine the following aspects when deciding on a motorcycle training program to attend:

  • Class Size
  • School Accreditation
  • Job Placement Rate
  • On-site Facilities
  • Faculty size

Complete Training Program in Motorcycle Repair

Once a motorcycle training program has been decided upon, then comes the time to complete the coursework that will lead to receiving a certificate or diploma. Students will begin a unique type of curriculum that is divided into two parts. The programs are structured with classroom instruction and hands-on learning. Here is a little more about each of those areas of study:

  • Classroom Instruction

    Students will learn motorcycle theory as well as all the vital aspects of motorcycle repair. This also includes detailed lessons on electrical systems, chassis and suspension, diagnostics, drivability and other important areas. Coursework is designed to equip students with the knowledge necessary to disassemble, repair and inspect motorcycles from all different manufacturers. This requires a fair amount of written work.

  • Hands-on training

    Students put their classroom knowledge to use by doing actual motorcycle repair work. Some schools have facilities with areas that are designated for motorcycle repair. Other programs have established relationships with local repair shops and students conduct their hands-on training in those locations. Students are graded on the proficiency of their repair work while also shown how to complete procedures through a step-by-step process.

Once the necessary training has been completed, it is time to find work as a motorcycle mechanic. There are a lot of motorcycle dealerships, repair shops and service centers that are always on the lookout for new mechanics. While some of those establishments require a certain amount of experience, mostly all require some type of certification. Novice motorcycle mechanics have the option to start out at an entry-level position in which they perform more basic repair services.

There are other job opportunities that require customized work as many motorcycle owners are always looking for new ways to soup up their bikes. Working in a shop that caters to this type of audience could lead to higher pay rates as this particular clientele is often inclined to spend more money on their motorcycles.

Work experience also builds a mechanic’s overall knowledge of motorcycle repair. There are many lessons to be learned from veteran mechanics who have logged valuable experience in the industry. New and aspiring motorcycle mechanics can benefit from on-the-job learning as it is an unofficial form of training that is ongoing.


Acquire Work Experience

This two-part curriculum is taught by experienced motorcycle mechanics and different schools adjust their enrollment times accordingly. Some allow for admission throughout the year, while others limit new students to fall or spring semesters. Completing the coursework with the passing scores will qualify students to begin working as motorcycle mechanics.

Unlike other mechanical positions, there is no universal body that offers motorcycle mechanic certifications. That means that graduates of a training program will not have to sit for a national test in order to claim a certification. Even the ASE does not issue certifications for motorcycles. A certificate of completion from an accredited motorcycle training program will usually serve as an adequate credential when applying for a job.


Continuing Education and Career Advancement

Continuing education is available when it comes to specialty training as mechanics can become more knowledgeable and skilled in certain areas. This may also help with higher pay rates and better job opportunities. Here is a look at a few of the ways mechanics can continue their education.

  • Manufacturer specialized training

    This is the most common form of continuing education, as mechanics learn the innermost details of particular motorcycle brands. Specialized training applies to different brands, such as Honda, Kawasaki, Harley Davidson and more. This will open up more job possibilities working for these individual manufacturers.

  • Self-Employment

    Motorcycle mechanics have the opportunity to go into business for themselves and become self-employed. Advancing one’s career could mean opening up his/her own repair shop. One of the best ways to learn everything that goes into owning a motorcycle repair shop is by spending an ample amount of time working in one.

  • Small Engine Mechanics

    Obtaining a sound knowledge of small engine mechanics can carry over into other related fields. For example, a motorcycle mechanic can also acquire a working knowledge of how to fix and repair outdoor power equipment because a lot of the same principles apply. This may also apply to some marine equipment.

  • Promotions

    Many motorcycle repair shops and dealerships conduct in-house promotions as mechanics are often elevated to the role of service manager and even general manager. There is no hierarchy of certifications that would lead to master-level status, although promotions and raises are a way of advancing one’s career as a motorcycle mechanic.

As technology continues to advance, it is important for motorcycle mechanics to stay on top of the latest innovations. With computer systems being integrated more often, it is essential for mechanics to keep on learning. Workshops, seminars and tutorials are continually available as this serves as a way for mechanics to stay current and provide clients with the most up-to-date service and repair.