Reader Question – I am having trouble looking for a motorbike mechanics apprenticeship?

I was just wondering if there was anyone here with an apprenticeship that may know how to get your foot in the door and get noticed by a potential employer? Its been really bugging me because im currently signing on at the job center and it isnt a good life ill be honest, ive got the bike to upkeep etc and i just cant hack i said, i would really appreciate any advice you guys may have for me =]Thanks alot

Answer: Below is my answer to a similar question…….MMI is THE ONLY school authorized and sponsored by all the major manufacturers!!!! WyoTech has motorcycle courses, but is not factory authorized. If you are looking to get into a shop as a technician, go to MMI, no dealership will hire you without formal training by the factories and don’t recognize WyoTech as official training since they aren’t factory autorized.Best Answer – Chosen by AskerIt is worth it…..if your heart is in it!!!$25k is nothing for an education that can lead to a career. And the cost of tools……start out basic and build up as you go. I was at my last job for 2 years, a high-end custom dealership and I made $74k my second year on salary. I left there due to the economy’s hard hit on the high-end bike sales, went from selling 200 units a year, to about 75. I have only been at my new job for 8 months, they initially wanted me to be a flate-rate tech, but I refused that, flat-rate is rushing to get the job done and out, rushing causes mistakes and costs you and the shop money…..I don’t like mistakes, so I ended up signing an employment contract for $65k/yr for 2 years then a 10% raise bi-yearly after that.I graduated HD’s program at MMI in ’91, spent 5 years at 2 different dealerships, left HD and went into building custom bikes, engines, and dyno tuning, R&D bike & engine builder for Titan and Stroker Cycles. Factory trained by Big Dog, American Ironhorse, Titan, Indian, S&S Factory for engines & transmissions, and have been to DynoJet’s facility for certification on Dyno Operations and Tuning and, I just graduated MMI again in May…took HD Late Model for career updating….don’t see too many Twin Cams at the custom bike shops. And the dealership I work for now, is sending me back next winter to get updated on the 2010 models.The road to get where I am and farther is not easy and not cheap, but if bikes are your passion, it’s worth it. I have seen people with skills better than mine fail at the business and I have seen people I wouldln’t let fix my ’s tri-cycle make it big…….it’s really all up to you.Oh..and also…tuition re-imbursement from ANYONE is almost non-existant….in 20 years, i have never met anyone who found an employer to r-imburse them for their tuition. If you go to work for a dealer and they send you out for update training, they will pay for that.EDIT: This is a reply to someone who answered a guy’s question about getting a job at a shop by starting out changing oil and “apprenticing”……we are now in the 21st century!!!!……the age of FACTORY SPECIFIC COMPUTER SYSTEMS…..apprenticing just simply doesn’t happen anymore….there is way too much technology and annual production changes for that without training…………”There is not a reputable shop in this country that will hire you with no experience to just change oil and learn from them. There are some bikes out there that if you don’t know the procedure to bleed the oil system, you can fry the engine within a few minutes….YES THERE IS ACTUALLY AN ENGINE MADE MADE BY AN AMERICAN MANUFACTURER THAT REQUIRES YOU TO BLEED THE OIL SYSTEM, SIMILAR TO BLEEDING BRAKES!!! And, there is no way in hell you can learn on your own, the technical procedures for all the different makes and models of motorcycles…it REQUIRES EDUACATION AND TRAINING. I have been working on bikes since the late 80′s, started with my Shovelhead and my friends all had Shovels, Pans and IronHead Sportsters, then I bought an ’86 Softail with an Evo that had some extensive engine work done to it that needed some repair, although the bottom ends were almost the same, the top ends were a little different. It was at that point, I realized I could make a decent living do this, so I enrolled at MMI and graduated from HD’s program in 1991, spent 5 years at 2 different dealerships, and then went into the custom field, I have built a couple BEST OF SHOW bikes, but super high-end bikes ($50k and above) are a royal pain the *ss to work on, ever been afraid to work on a bike with a $6,000 paint job or a $12,000 billet engine, due to fear of scratching it???…**** DOES happen, and eventually will!!! If anyone has ever dealt with a Big Dog or American Ironhorse bike, they know the electrics are not wired like old-school HD’s…if you haven’t been trained by them, you do not know what you are doing……Big Dog manuals are almost impossible to get by the public, if you aren’t one of their dealers or svc centers…good luck…American Ironhorse doesn’t (didn’t) even make a service manual.The new Harleys are all but impossible to work on if you don’t have the HD Computer System called Digital Technician….ONLY HD Dealers have this system and the ONLY place you can get trained on how to use this system is MMI!!!

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