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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/23/2006 7:56:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 10:11:58 AM EDT by byron2112]
I've been thinking of changing careers....I'm interested in Harleys ,their history and all....I am looking into becoming a mechanic.

I've only begun to research this.Apparently you have to go through the MMI(Mortorcycle Mechanics Institute) training.

Harley itself seems like a pretty healthy company,lotsa people throwing money at their bikes all the time and maintaining them like Ferrari's...and from what I hear it's a good company to work for.

What I don't have the first clue too is exactly what kinda career it is as far as the details...money,benefits,advancment,retirement and all those sorta details.

I'm also curious about the availability of jobs.Apparently the huge majority of guys that go through the MMI training are for Harleys,so I wonder if this is a dream for a buncha people and there might be a glut of mechanics for the Harley make.According to the school,BMW is really hurting for mechanics in this country and you could easily find a job with that training,but working on BMW bikes....I dunno...seems pretty specialized.

I also don't know how Harley would compare to working for Honda or one a those manufactures.



Anybody have a any experience in this field,or have some knowledge I can bounce some questions off of?
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:05:20 PM EDT
A good buddy of mine was a Harley wrench in northern WI, back in the shovelhead days. He saw the Evo in its testing phase, but never trained on it.

AFAIK the dealerships actually aren't owned by Harley, they're all franchised, so you'll be working for some guy rather than the company itself.

There are several schools out there, but only a few are actually affiliated with HD.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:07:38 PM EDT
Just learn to fix oil leaks and you'll do well.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:13:49 PM EDT
grow a goatee, throw on a bandana, pair of dickies plus cop an elitist bad-ass attitude and you'll be in like flint!

I had a neighbor thats a wrench at a large hd dealer in socal. he makes in the low 20's and gets to ride a different bike home each day
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:14:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
Just learn to fix oil leaks and you'll do well.



Nowdays it's replace "Made in Japan" parts with "Made in USA" ones (for the hardores), and replacing painted & polished with chrome for the RUBs.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:18:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
Just learn to fix oil leaks and you'll do well.



Nowdays it's replace "Made in Japan" parts with "Made in USA" ones (for the hardores), and replacing painted & polished with chrome for the RUBs.



like the brakes, front forks, and suspension innards?
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:21:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:
A good buddy of mine was a Harley wrench in northern WI, back in the shovelhead days. He saw the Evo in its testing phase, but never trained on it.

AFAIK the dealerships actually aren't owned by Harley, they're all franchised, so you'll be working for some guy rather than the company itself.

There are several schools out there, but only a few are actually affiliated with HD.



I think you're right,I did read they're independently owned...I assume there are certain standards required with the franchises,but I could be wrong....why I was thinking it would be preferrable to work for a dealership rather than some custom outfit....but,like I said,I don't really know.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:22:23 PM EDT
I'm not a Harley Mechanic by trade, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Oh, I also wrench on my custom, and one of my best friends owns a custom bike shop. Here's what I know (or at least pretend to know), from years of talking to guys in the business:

Briefly, working for Harley actually means working for a local dealer. You will be servicing mostly stock (by my standard) bikes. You'll be installing alot of upgrades for new customers, ordered straight out of the catalog with the extra money alloted during financing. Basically, you'll be the fasted pipe installer on the block. You probably won't be permitted to do anything really out of the ordinary (turning custom oil filter housings on a lathe, for example). You will be a mechanic, not a bike builder. Your employer will consider aftermarket bolt on parts to be custom, and will refuse true custom jobs. Make sure you're okay with this.

The first place rich dudes go is the dealer, so ya - the work is steady.

Don't let anybody fool you - Harley's are JUST as specialized as a BMW. Specialized and technical have different meanings, so don't confuse the terms. Becoming qualified to repair either takes about the same amount of time. If there is a demand for BMW mechanics, then by all means go that route. The work required on your part is the same. After a couple of years, working on both bikes is just a job. If you want to realize your true potential and explore the unkown, build your own ride at home regardless of who you work for. You'll be more qualified than many.

At any rate, it's important to understand that you will not be working directly for a manufacturer. You will be working for a dealer. There's a difference. Regardless of makes serviced, some dealers are better than others.

As for the pay, I can't help you there. I know they don't make what I make, which means I wouldn't take the gig. YMMV.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:13:22 AM EDT
Thanks Subnet.

Anybody else here?
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:26:38 AM EDT
I've got friends who have worked for various dealers and have a friend who works for his fathers dealership, now none of these are Harley dealers, I wouldn't plan on becoming rich from working for someone else, around here a decent ammount of the mechanics will get laid off in the winter months unless they also do atv's and snowmobiles, at one time I was considering going to school for it but a friend who was the service manager at a pretty big local Honda dealership talked me out of it, I'm told although it can be a fun job at times(I love working on and tinkering with my bike) its not easy to make a living at it, he told me if I really wanted to do it do the bike classes and watercraft and move down south.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:27:48 AM EDT
My wife works at an HD dealer(motorclothes)..the wrenches there avg. 12-15 an hour ,they work on "book hour" so the avg. varies..MMI is good ,you only get out of it what you put in,so there are a lot of worthlees "mechanics" coming out of there too...So, getting a job shouldn't be a problem ...I build custom bikes from scratch in my spare time ,it's way more satisfying than service work .....my .02
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:33:51 AM EDT
I wouldn't do it for the money they make. I make better cash and get to ride my own bike now, and I turn my own wrench.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:34:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By byron2112:
I've been thinking of changing careers....I'm interested in Harleys ,their history and all....I am looking into becoming a mechanic. Just curious, what will you be changing from?

I've only begun to research this.Apparently you have to go through the MMI(Mortorcycle Mechanics Institute) training. Some dealers will look for MMI grads (and I believe MMI has some sort of placement), some may allow you to apprentice. Realistically, you have a better chance through MMI.

Harley itself seems like a pretty healthy company,lotsa people throwing money at their bikes all the time and maintaining them like Ferrari's...and from what I hear it's a good company to work for. They are a good compamy and new franchises are still opening in Texas. They are independent dealers just like Auto dealers.

What I don't have the first clue too is exactly what kinda career it is as far as the details...money,benefits,advancment,retirement and all those sorta details. Having worked as an auto tech and having run my own custom cycle business, I can tell you generally that - wages are commission, paid based on labor hours for the repair based on HD's labor guide; most dealers have the same benefits packages - 401K, insurance, etc.; advancement would be from tech to shop foreman to maybe service advisor, to service manager; retirement is your 401K (at least around here); - Whether you'll like it depends a lot on who you work for. When there is lots of work, there is generally a lot of pressure to get it done - service advisors overpromising when things will be repaired, or you are pulled off a job to handle a waiting customer who spends a lot at the dealer - that kind of thing.

I'm also curious about the availability of jobs.Apparently the huge majority of guys that go through the MMI training are for Harleys,so I wonder if this is a dream for a buncha people and there might be a glut of mechanics for the Harley make.According to the school,BMW is really hurting for mechanics in this country and you could easily find a job with that training,but working on BMW bikes....I dunno...seems pretty specialized. The entire industry has become specialized per manufacturer and general knowledge only gets you so far now.

I also don't know how Harley would compare to working for Honda or one a those manufactures. Harley and Honda are the biggest sellers and have PLENTY of service work. They may also have plenty of techs, as well. The local BMW shop looks like crap compared to the HD shops or the Japanese shops in this area, YMMV.



Anybody have a any experience in this field,or have some knowledge I can bounce some questions off of?

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:57:27 AM EDT
Byron:

It ain't harley, but this is worth a look:

SUNY Canton Motorsports

It's not strictly motorcycles, but rather bikes, atvs, and snowmobiles. Covers the recreational motorsports industry.

Participants earn college credit, get a certificate, and are simultaneously earn Polaris certifications in ATV, Motorcycle and Sleds...

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:47:37 PM EDT
I used to spin at a HD dealer here in IL.

If you have no experience as a mechanic, this may not be a great career change. There is a huge investment in tools, and training if you go to MMI or like school. Not to mention, you do not know if this is something you would really like.

MMI is a good school, and has a lot of very talented teachers. But you only get as much out of it as you put into it.

The money is not good. At least not everywhere.

You will be working for a franchised dealer. Therefore wages and benefits (if any) depend on the owner(s). And in my experience are nothing to write home about.

All officially franchised dealers have whats called a Bar & Shield rating that basically rates how well the dealer is doing in Corporate's eyes. Regarding Sales, Parts, and Service. Also small things like floor space, demo bikes, apparel dept, and parts displays as well as general cleanliness and appearance of the shop. It is HD's way of keeping their finger on the pulse of each licensed dealer.

There is lots and lots of maintenance work. Fluid & Oil Changes, Tires, Adjustments, Brakes, Etc.

There is lots and lots of "parts changing" for the shiny-er, louder, or more expensive, hence "more desireable to the rolex rider weekend warrior" parts.

The bikes do break. Most mechanics doing any kind of repair have a strong mechanical ability and have been at it a while.

HD also has this training program called PHD for dealership mechanics. This has two parts, an in-house section you learn and send in "tests" for grading as your time permits, then a bunch of service training classes, for us they were usually at the factory in Milwaukee or Tomahawk, WI. This does take time to achieve, and is only offered to experienced career minded mechanics with ability. This is the program for the real mechanics, not the parts changers. Dealers pay and are alotted only so many spots, so this is covetted. The programs are very good. There is also new classes that come out with this program and refresher courses.

Some dealers like the one I worked at have their own Dyno and VERY equipped engine/machine shop. Those are cool to be in. But you will have to start at the bottom and show some promise to get there, or be an all-pro machinist or motor-builder already.

Lots of hours in the summer, not so many in the winter.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:52:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TodaysTomSawyer:

Originally Posted By byron2112:
I've been thinking of changing careers....I'm interested in Harleys ,their history and all....I am looking into becoming a mechanic. Just curious, what will you be changing from?

I've only begun to research this.Apparently you have to go through the MMI(Mortorcycle Mechanics Institute) training. Some dealers will look for MMI grads (and I believe MMI has some sort of placement), some may allow you to apprentice. Realistically, you have a better chance through MMI.

Harley itself seems like a pretty healthy company,lotsa people throwing money at their bikes all the time and maintaining them like Ferrari's...and from what I hear it's a good company to work for. They are a good compamy and new franchises are still opening in Texas. They are independent dealers just like Auto dealers.

What I don't have the first clue too is exactly what kinda career it is as far as the details...money,benefits,advancment,retirement and all those sorta details. Having worked as an auto tech and having run my own custom cycle business, I can tell you generally that - wages are commission, paid based on labor hours for the repair based on HD's labor guide; most dealers have the same benefits packages - 401K, insurance, etc.; advancement would be from tech to shop foreman to maybe service advisor, to service manager; retirement is your 401K (at least around here); - Whether you'll like it depends a lot on who you work for. When there is lots of work, there is generally a lot of pressure to get it done - service advisors overpromising when things will be repaired, or you are pulled off a job to handle a waiting customer who spends a lot at the dealer - that kind of thing.

I'm also curious about the availability of jobs.Apparently the huge majority of guys that go through the MMI training are for Harleys,so I wonder if this is a dream for a buncha people and there might be a glut of mechanics for the Harley make.According to the school,BMW is really hurting for mechanics in this country and you could easily find a job with that training,but working on BMW bikes....I dunno...seems pretty specialized. The entire industry has become specialized per manufacturer and general knowledge only gets you so far now.

I also don't know how Harley would compare to working for Honda or one a those manufactures. Harley and Honda are the biggest sellers and have PLENTY of service work. They may also have plenty of techs, as well. The local BMW shop looks like crap compared to the HD shops or the Japanese shops in this area, YMMV.



Anybody have a any experience in this field,or have some knowledge I can bounce some questions off of?




Thanks for the replies guys.

I currently work in retail.

Not a bad job,make $17 an hour,medical...used to have a good retirment,but not anymore...it's just a job I'm sick of and it's not what I want to do for the rest of my days...have no inclination to work towards an uppermangment postion.

I do like to tinker as someone else mentioned,and it seems Harleys have a lot of trick work done to them...and they're just plain beautifull machines to be around.

Anyway,I just got back from talking to a couplea guys at the service counter.This is a really high volume shop...pretty highly rated service and all.They both said they liked working there....when we asked what the money was like they said you started out at $10-13 an hour depending on the dealer(both theses techs had gone through MMI,and said you pretty much have to go)....when I asked them if this was a career,one guy said no right away,and the other dude was wishy-washy(I counted that as a no).Basically I got the impression that they both enjoyed working on the bikes(one guy said he got alotta satisfaction outta fixing them)and they were treated well,but as far as the dough it doesn't sound like they were getting enough to be happy(obviously we didn't get specific).

This friend of mine that's looking into this too mentioned that a friend of his told him the techs at some Texas Chopper outfit were making $32 and hour...both these guys were pretty shocked to hear that....said that'd be pretty rare.

Soo....I dunno....I was thinking going in a guy might be able to make himself $25-30 an hour after a couple/few years if was good at his craft...
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:01:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Recorderguy:
I used to spin at a HD dealer here in IL.

If you have no experience as a mechanic, this may not be a great career change. There is a huge investment in tools, and training if you go to MMI or like school. Not to mention, you do not know if this is something you would really like.

MMI is a good school, and has a lot of very talented teachers. But you only get as much out of it as you put into it.

The money is not good. At least not everywhere.

You will be working for a franchised dealer. Therefore wages and benefits (if any) depend on the owner(s). And in my experience are nothing to write home about.

All officially franchised dealers have whats called a Bar & Shield rating that basically rates how well the dealer is doing in Corporate's eyes. Regarding Sales, Parts, and Service. Also small things like floor space, demo bikes, apparel dept, and parts displays as well as general cleanliness and appearance of the shop. It is HD's way of keeping their finger on the pulse of each licensed dealer.

There is lots and lots of maintenance work. Fluid & Oil Changes, Tires, Adjustments, Brakes, Etc.

There is lots and lots of "parts changing" for the shiny-er, louder, or more expensive, hence "more desireable to the rolex rider weekend warrior" parts.

The bikes do break. Most mechanics doing any kind of repair have a strong mechanical ability and have been at it a while.

HD also has this training program called PHD for dealership mechanics. This has two parts, an in-house section you learn and send in "tests" for grading as your time permits, then a bunch of service training classes, for us they were usually at the factory in Milwaukee or Tomahawk, WI. This does take time to achieve, and is only offered to experienced career minded mechanics with ability. This is the program for the real mechanics, not the parts changers. Dealers pay and are alotted only so many spots, so this is covetted. The programs are very good. There is also new classes that come out with this program and refresher courses.

Some dealers like the one I worked at have their own Dyno and VERY equipped engine/machine shop. Those are cool to be in. But you will have to start at the bottom and show some promise to get there, or be an all-pro machinist or motor-builder already.

Lots of hours in the summer, not so many in the winter.



Great post thanks.

I do have some experience working on cars,rebuilt some motors and stuff.but I'm not working on stuff all the time.

This PHD program you're talking about,the "real" mechanics,these are the kinda guys I'm wondering what kinda money they can make.

I wouldn't be interested in being just a "parts changer",unless you're saying dedication and enthusiasm isn't enough,and "parts changer" is all a person can be unless they possess some god given gift or 10 years experience?
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:16:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By byron2112:

Great post thanks.

I do have some experience working on cars,rebuilt some motors and stuff.but I'm not working on stuff all the time.

This PHD program you're talking about,the "real" mechanics,these are the kinda guys I'm wondering what kinda money they can make.

I wouldn't be interested in being just a "parts changer",unless you're saying dedication and enthusiasm isn't enough,and "parts changer" is all a person can be unless they possess some god given gift or 10 years experience?



Unless you start out at some incredibly small dealership chances are you'll start out as a parts swapper. can you move up from there, yeah, other oppurtinities will open up if your a good worker, but guys making $30+ an hour in custom shops have been doing it a long time, and theirs tons of people trying to get those positions, if you know your stuff and work hard you can land one of those positions. Just dont expect anything to happen overnight you could be at it for years before your making more then $15-17 n hour. I'd still like to do it, my fiancee tells me I should do it but at this point in my life I just cannt afford to be going back to school.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:19:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
Just learn to fix oil leaks and you'll do well.



LOL, and remove mufflers
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 1:52:33 PM EDT


Unless you start out at some incredibly small dealership chances are you'll start out as a parts swapper. can you move up from there, yeah, other oppurtinities will open up if your a good worker, but guys making $30+ an hour in custom shops have been doing it a long time, and theirs tons of people trying to get those positions, if you know your stuff and work hard you can land one of those positions. Just dont expect anything to happen overnight you could be at it for years before your making more then $15-17 n hour. I'd still like to do it, my fiancee tells me I should do it but at this point in my life I just cannt afford to be going back to school.



Pretty much sized it up correctly. In my experience, for every 7 parts changers (some part time)there is 1 mechanic at a good sized HD dealership. Now, some of these parts changers do get to "play mechanic to varying degrees," but this is only for relatively simple repairs until you put in your time, which varies from shop to shop, individual to individual. You also get to learn A LOT as a parts changer and assisting the mechanics, you get out of it what you put in. Think of it like the carpenters union, first you are a laborer, then a skilled laborer, then an aprentice, and so on.

Not actually knowing you and your ability and motivations, I am not real qualified to offer you advice. But here it is anway, I wouldn't just leap into this as a career. Maybe start off working weekends and nights at your local shop, while maintaining a "day job" This will let you (& them) determine what skills and inclinations you have. Every dealer needs some kind of extra help in the busy season, be it in the service department, or parts department which are very closely related...even bike sales, but in my experience that isn't any fun. But, I wouldn't go in there and tell them you want to be the next all-pro HD mechanic. Just say you are very interested in bikes, have some mechanical ability, and will learn whatever they are willing to teach you. You will probably start off detailing bikes and maybe doing oil changes, etc., but then you can move up slowly as they get to know you, and you get to know the product.

It isn't always about the money, when I started in high school they were paying me $6.00/hr, with dollar raises every so often, topping out at $13 when I moved on for bigger and better. Although, I did get a very good discount on top of that. Plus if you are anything like me you will spend as much, if not more, as you make at the dealership. Keep in mind you can't fix 'em if you don't ride 'em... It also is a lot of fun. I had some of the most fun of my life while spinning at the HD dealer.

You will start small, but then see where it goes, I wouldn't invest the time and $ in MMI/UTI/etc. You don't need to be the "mechanic" to learn, change parts, sell parts, etc. whatever, it is a good time. But for the money invested in schooling, you could go to college and get an associates, or continue college, etc, and come out making more than you would EVER make as a HD mechanic, unless you are one of those special few with the "touch." Or you open your own custom shop after many moons of wrenching, which is a headache unto itself.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 4:56:55 PM EDT
Thanks alot for all the great replies,you guys really helped me out here.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 5:24:35 PM EDT
I am a certified PHD H-D "tech". I have been working on Harleys since 1976. IM me for the "real deal" on working for/on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. There are just too many "experts" here, and I don't have the time or the desire to listen to their bullshit.

AB
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 5:34:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By F4Squid:

Originally Posted By byron2112:

Great post thanks.

I do have some experience working on cars,rebuilt some motors and stuff.but I'm not working on stuff all the time.

This PHD program you're talking about,the "real" mechanics,these are the kinda guys I'm wondering what kinda money they can make.

I wouldn't be interested in being just a "parts changer",unless you're saying dedication and enthusiasm isn't enough,and "parts changer" is all a person can be unless they possess some god given gift or 10 years experience?



Unless you start out at some incredibly small dealership chances are you'll start out as a parts swapper. can you move up from there, yeah, other oppurtinities will open up if your a good worker, but guys making $30+ an hour in custom shops have been doing it a long time, and theirs tons of people trying to get those positions, if you know your stuff and work hard you can land one of those positions. Just dont expect anything to happen overnight you could be at it for years before your making more then $15-17 n hour. I'd still like to do it, my fiancee tells me I should do it but at this point in my life I just cannt afford to be going back to school.

good luck ever seein $ like that in the mc industry...My second job is at a custom shop,we were on TV on the biker build-offs ...There is NO ONE at the shop makin anything even remotely close to that # ...I would call BS on the 30+ $'s an hour..
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 7:12:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2006 7:13:13 PM EDT by Colt_SBR]
I didn’t notice if you said you rode. Do you ride and do you ride Harleys? If you do, do you maintain your own bike?

I've never worked at a Harley shop. I do build my own custom Harleys and Harley type choppers. Been building and riding Harleys since 1968.

I know a lot of Harley mechanics at various dealerships. Most Harley dealerships have a high turn over of personnel.

Harleys require specialized tools. Most of the tools I have made myself in a machine shop. The dealerships will have the specialized tools required to work on the newer Harleys. Most Harley dealerships refuse to work on older Harleys. Don't ask me why. Dealers could make good money working on the older bikes.

Like others have said, don’t expect to make a lot of money. Not many dealerships have benefits (vacation, health, retirement). If your really interested in being a Harley mechanic, go for it. Most of the people that love Harleys are great people. Like anything, you get some Ass.

Good luck and I’m sure you’ll make the correct career decision. If being a Harley mechanic isn't for you, at least you can work on your own bike.


______________________



Link Posted: 2/25/2006 8:33:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTwin60:
front forks



Front forks?
You mean there are rear ones too?
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 8:51:24 PM EDT
Do you have the cash, time and the desire to go to MMI?
Have you looked into their program in depth?

If you start out at a dealership out of MMI with zero experince working on motorcycles (making a living) then you will start out on the bottom of the barrel type jobs.

Lot lizzard, cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. The shitters, the lounge, the driveway, the work area and of course the bikes.

Next you'll move up to tire buster and chain breaker.
Dirty, dirty, dirty.

Next step up is the oil change guy, the 15 minute tune-up in a can.

At this point you'll probably be offered flat-rate pay or job based pay.
Flat rate means you'll get hourly wages, no matter if you clean the shitter or change a tire.
Job-based pay means you'll only get paid by the job you perform, and that pay will come straight out of the HD book of motorcycle repair prices. Figure that the shop charges $140 an hour, you'll get $15 an hour to do the job.

Flat rate means you'll always have a money when payday rolls around, job-based pay means that if the shop was busy and you had a lot of customers then you'll be making bank.
Of course that means that you'll have to do one hour jobs in about 15-20 minutes to make money.

The next step up is when you get your own lift / work area and a place to park your roll-away.
You'll still be low man on the scrotum pole and you'll still be doing the shitty jobs, however, the lead mechanic should be showing you how to work on the bikes and how to fix them right.
You might be offered a factory school on how to adjust seats or some such nonesense.
Take it. Take all schools they offer.

By this time it's usally nearing the end of summer.
They have let the lot lizzard go and the oil change monkey is getting less and less hours.
This is when the service manager comes to you and says they can't afford to pay you hourly wages (if you took them), that they are going to drop you to job-based pay.
Of course you won't get any jobs after that.

If you get lucky one of the other techs might deceide that it's time for him to move down the road, so now a full time position opens up for you.

Link Posted: 2/25/2006 9:53:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Do you have the cash, time and the desire to go to MMI?
Have you looked into their program in depth?

If you start out at a dealership out of MMI with zero experince working on motorcycles (making a living) then you will start out on the bottom of the barrel type jobs.

Lot lizzard, cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. The shitters, the lounge, the driveway, the work area and of course the bikes.

Next you'll move up to tire buster and chain breaker.
Dirty, dirty, dirty.

Next step up is the oil change guy, the 15 minute tune-up in a can.

At this point you'll probably be offered flat-rate pay or job based pay.
Flat rate means you'll get hourly wages, no matter if you clean the shitter or change a tire.
Job-based pay means you'll only get paid by the job you perform, and that pay will come straight out of the HD book of motorcycle repair prices. Figure that the shop charges $140 an hour, you'll get $15 an hour to do the job.

Flat rate means you'll always have a money when payday rolls around, job-based pay means that if the shop was busy and you had a lot of customers then you'll be making bank.
Of course that means that you'll have to do one hour jobs in about 15-20 minutes to make money.

The next step up is when you get your own lift / work area and a place to park your roll-away.
You'll still be low man on the scrotum pole and you'll still be doing the shitty jobs, however, the lead mechanic should be showing you how to work on the bikes and how to fix them right.
You might be offered a factory school on how to adjust seats or some such nonesense.
Take it. Take all schools they offer.

By this time it's usally nearing the end of summer.
They have let the lot lizzard go and the oil change monkey is getting less and less hours.
This is when the service manager comes to you and says they can't afford to pay you hourly wages (if you took them), that they are going to drop you to job-based pay.
Of course you won't get any jobs after that.

If you get lucky one of the other techs might deceide that it's time for him to move down the road, so now a full time position opens up for you.




Flat rate means you get a percentage of the shops labor rate. Say it pays 10 hours to do a job, and you do it in 5, you get paid for 10. WooHoo! You take 15 do do it, you lose. HOURLY pays as described.
I was getting 40% in one shop I worked in. The shops labor rate was $80 an hour. wOOt!!

AB
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 10:34:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By albob:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Do you have the cash, time and the desire to go to MMI?
Have you looked into their program in depth?

If you start out at a dealership out of MMI with zero experince working on motorcycles (making a living) then you will start out on the bottom of the barrel type jobs.

Lot lizzard, cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. The shitters, the lounge, the driveway, the work area and of course the bikes.

Next you'll move up to tire buster and chain breaker.
Dirty, dirty, dirty.

Next step up is the oil change guy, the 15 minute tune-up in a can.

At this point you'll probably be offered flat-rate pay or job based pay.
Flat rate means you'll get hourly wages, no matter if you clean the shitter or change a tire.
Job-based pay means you'll only get paid by the job you perform, and that pay will come straight out of the HD book of motorcycle repair prices. Figure that the shop charges $140 an hour, you'll get $15 an hour to do the job.

Flat rate means you'll always have a money when payday rolls around, job-based pay means that if the shop was busy and you had a lot of customers then you'll be making bank.
Of course that means that you'll have to do one hour jobs in about 15-20 minutes to make money.

The next step up is when you get your own lift / work area and a place to park your roll-away.
You'll still be low man on the scrotum pole and you'll still be doing the shitty jobs, however, the lead mechanic should be showing you how to work on the bikes and how to fix them right.
You might be offered a factory school on how to adjust seats or some such nonesense.
Take it. Take all schools they offer.

By this time it's usally nearing the end of summer.
They have let the lot lizzard go and the oil change monkey is getting less and less hours.
This is when the service manager comes to you and says they can't afford to pay you hourly wages (if you took them), that they are going to drop you to job-based pay.
Of course you won't get any jobs after that.

If you get lucky one of the other techs might deceide that it's time for him to move down the road, so now a full time position opens up for you.



Flat rate means you get a percentage of the shops labor rate. Say it pays 10 hours to do a job, and you do it in 5, you get paid for 10. WooHoo! You take 15 do do it, you lose. HOURLY pays as described.
I was getting 40% in one shop I worked in. The shops labor rate was $80 an hour. wOOt!!

AB




Me: job-based
You: Flat rate
Same smell, different taste.

I worked at a Honda/Yamaha shop as a job-based employee for a little while, (job-based meaning that I was paid a percentage of the manufacturers book rate for the repair, not a percentage of the shops hourly rates).
I liked working on Honda stuff, their job-based pay rates were higher than the Yamaha rates.

Of course I ended up working on the ATV's from the farm fields while the other guys with more time worked on bikes that didn't smell like cow shit.

Most of the jobs we did we could get done in about half the time that the manufacturers book time said a job could be done in.

The only thing I didn't like about job-based / flat rate was that the other mechanics would take on 3-5 bikes an hour at the start of the day, and they would be working like mad-men to get them done by the end of the day.

The lead mechanic had his pay worked where he was like an independent contractor.
The shop paid him a lot of money, he had to tax his own pay for both the feds and the state.
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