Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic
Once you've purchased the motorcycle of your dreams, it's time to find a trustworthy mechanic who can help you make the most of your bike.
The most important reason to hire a motorcycle mechanic is to help keep you safe by reducing the risk of mechanical failure.
Hiring a professional motorcycle mechanic might seem expensive compared to doing the work yourself, but think of a it as a wise investment. If you're like most people, you scrimped and saved to buy your bike. Enjoy your purchase and have a professional keep your bike in top condition.
What makes a good motorcycle mechanic? Most bikers agree that the best mechanics possess the following traits:
- Experience. Some motorcycle mechanics pick up their training through informal apprenticeships, but most attend a community college or vocational education program and later work under the supervision of a more experienced mechanic.
- Specialized training. While there's no nationally recognized certification program, mechanics can take specialized training program. Every make and model of motorcycle is slightly different, so this training is crucial.
- Professionalism. Top-notch mechanics might love bikes, but they also treat their business as a business. They make repairs promptly, keep accurate records of the work, and don't attempt to make repairs that they are not trained to do.
- Personality. They will be pleasant to work with, and eager to answer any questions that you might have about your motorcycle. They will have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to quality customer service.
There are thousands of motorcycle mechanics in the United States. You can find them working at retail motorcycle dealerships, rental companies, or independent shops. You might also be able to find a self-employed motorcycle mechanic to work on your bike.
Most mechanics can repair engines, but some can also work on brakes, transmissions, ignition systems, and minor body repairs. Many mechanics are trained to service only specific makes and models of motorcycles. You'll need to do some research to find a mechanic with the skills and experience that fit your needs.
The best way to find a trustworthy motorcycle mechanic is to ask for recommendations from other bikers, or to contact the dealership where you purchased your bike. However, you can also check the records of mechanics in your area by asking the Better Business Bureau whether any complaints have ever been filed against a particular mechanic.
Take the time to ask your mechanic a few basic questions before you allow him to work on your bike. For example:
- Can you provide me with a written estimate?
- How long will the work take?
- Is there a guarantee?
- Did you receive your training through high school, a community college, or a vocational school program?
- How long have you been working as a motorcycle mechanic?
- Do you have specific experience working with bikes that are similar to mine?
- Can you give me at least three references who can describe the quality of your work?
- Do you have insurance in case my bike is damaged while in your care?
- Do you offer any coupons or money-saving discounts?
If your motorcycle mechanic mentions any unfamiliar technical terms, you can often look up the definitions in your bike's owner's manual. If your manual was lost or destroyed, purchase another copy online.
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