Depending on his level of experience, a motorcycle mechanic will be called upon to do everything from cleaning motorcycle sparkplugs to overhauling engines. For anyone with a mechanical bent and a general love of motorcycles, becoming a motorcycle mechanic can be a satisfying and rewarding career. Opportunities exist not only with manufacturers, but on racetracks as well, as mechanics are routinely called upon to service bikes during competition.
1. Apprentice yourself to an experienced motorcycle mechanic. Almost every town has motorcycle shops, and any shop worth its salt will have at least one mechanic on staff. Confirm that the shop offers a trade certification program. Certification will be proof of your experience and will help you gain entrée into other levels of the business. As an apprentice, you may not be paid initially, and the work may seem unglamorous. Gradually, as you acquire more skill, this will change. According to schoolsintheusa.com, motorcycle apprenticeship programs last on average between four and five years before trade certification is obtained.
2. Enroll in a training program. Motorcycle Mechanics Institute of America, for instance, offers a 36-week core program that teaches basic motorcycle mechanics and primes its students for entry-level technician jobs. Students choose which brand of motorcycle they wish to study. In 2009, depending on the chosen course of study, tuition to MMIA runs between $25,000 and $35,000.
3. Study at home. Many books exist containing instructions for motorcycle maintenance. “Motorcycle Basics Techbook” by Chilton is only one such example. If you don’t have a motorcycle already, purchase one. Cheap motorcycles can be purchased at local police auctions or on ebay.com. Having a motorcycle present will allow you to put knowledge to practice.