Motorcycle Mechanic Job Description
Motorcycle mechanics specialize in repairing, adjusting, and diagnosing problems with motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, dirt bikes, and other similar vehicles.
Some of the work that motorcycle mechanics do is very routine, and other types are extremely complicated. In many cases, mechanics have to completely rebuild an engine or re-calibrate pistons. They commonly service brakes, engines, ignition systems, transmissions, and sometimes make body repairs as well.
In some cases, computers play a big role in the jobs of motorcycle mechanics. For instance, mechanics who work on racing bikes use computers to help them tune and customize the bikes. Without the computer's help, they could make mistakes that could lead to potentially deadly high speed accidents.
Motorcycle mechanics use many common tools to do a lot of their work. Pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches are often used in a repair shop. They also use more complex tools like computerized engine analyzers, voltmeters, and pneumatic power tools when required for a job.
Mechanics normally need to provide their own basic tools for their work, but employers provide the more expensive tools that are needed for diagnostics and repairs.
The majority of motorcycle mechanics work for dealerships and specialized repair shops, and the work can be very seasonal.
Many motorcycle owners like to use their bikes in the spring and summer, and then put them away during the fall and winter. For some mechanics, this means that they work overtime during some parts of the year, and then part time during other parts of the year.
How to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic
A minimum of a high school diploma is required for many motorcycle mechanic positions, but experience can often substitute for a high school education.
Because motorcycles are becoming more and more complex, employers increasingly prefer to hire candidates who have attended a training program in small engine repair, motorcycle mechanics, or automobile mechanics. These programs teach the basics of engine, transmission, and brake repair, and provide hands on experience that students can use in their career as a mechanic.
Candidates with formal training are more desirable to employers because they don't need to receive as much on the job training as those with no experience. When less training is required, the risk for the employer is much smaller.
New motorcycle mechanics normally begin their training by working closely with a more experienced mechanic. They start out with basic tasks like replacing spark plugs. As they gain more experience, they move onto more complicated tasks like engine diagnosis and replacement.
Depending on a mechanic's previous experience, training can last anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some employers send their mechanics to training sessions provided by the motorcycle manufacturers. By having their employees trained at these sessions, employers are able to provide warranty service and become official repair shops.
There are currently 18,000 motorcycle mechanics in the United States, with 890 new motorcycle mechanic job openings created each year.
Motorcycle Mechanic jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Motorcycle Mechanic Salaries
Salaries by State
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Motorcycle Mechanic salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most motorcycle mechanics make between $26,000 - $40,200 per year, or $12.48 - $19.32 per hour.