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A good motorcycle mechanic can be hard to find. It takes time, effort, and sometimes quite a bit of money before you can find a truly great one.
It is especially important to find a good mechanic if you have an old bike (pre-2000s). For newer bikes, it is best to go to a service center especially when your warranty is still active.
Nothing ruins a riding season more than a motorcycle that won’t stop breaking down. So when you’re at the shop’s door, how can you tell if a mechanic is the real deal? We have some tips for you below.
Before you maniacally go door-to-door for the best shop in the area, try asking your rider friends or the locals if you have just moved in. Chances are, they know someone. Once you have a list of names and shops, research their business page online and see what other customers are saying about them.
Befriend the service advisor
Your relationship with a shop starts with the service advisor. As the first line of interaction with customers, you can get a good clue of how the shop operates and what your relationship is going to be like in the long run. Whether you like it or not is up to you.
A good mechanic ASKS questions
It is a really good sign when a mechanic takes interest in the bike itself. They normally ask questions about the bike’s age and history which always play a huge part in tracing the problems.
A good mechanic ANSWERS questions
As the popular adage goes, ‘’Honesty is the best policy.’’ Pick someone who is willing to answer questions and be clear on what they are going to do. They should give you a rough estimate on how long and how much a job is going to cost. If they are unclear about these things, you need to be careful–maybe even take your business elsewhere.
Cleanliness and attention to detail is important
Repairing and maintaining a motorcycle requires a great deal of attention to detail. Good mechanics can’t stand seeing motorcycles lined up, collecting dust. The way they treat other motorcycles is a reflection of how they will treat yours.
Beware of unfinished project just laying around.
Maybe they bit off more than they can chew or worse, they can’t get the job done. In any case, you don’t want your precious (insert your motorcycle’s name here) to be lumped in with that pile.
Try a small job
Test the mechanic’s ability by asking for a small and straightforward job. Maybe change the oil or replace a bulb. If they can’t get those right, then there’s a fat chance you can’t trust them with bigger jobs either.
If you are not satisfied with the service, move on. Don’t settle for a shop because it is in your neighborhood or the owner is your friend. Once you are on a motorcycle, your life is on the line. You have to be confident and satisfied with the quality of work done on it.
Great relationships are founded in mutual respect
Don’t tolerate someone who treats you like a second-rate customer. If your mechanic makes you feel like you are taking up their time, they don’t deserve your service. After all, you are paying them for their time.
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t always roll off to the side when a mishap happens. Motorcycle riding is already risky as it is, let’s not add breaking down all the time to the list.
In fact, motorcycle manufacturers and third-party companies such as Damon are racing to embed artificial intelligence into motorcycles to protect riders from all sorts of road hazard.
But for now, a good mechanic could be what’s standing between you and death when you’re zooming at 150 kilometres per hour. And what if you’re in the middle of nowhere when your motorcycle breaks down? There’s no replacement for a good mechanic— don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Author: Farrah Asia is a digital nomad who is passionate about technology and how they change the way we live. You’ll always find her in a warm country riding a motorcycle. She writes for Damon, a company developing an AI-enhanced protection system for motorcycles to make riding smarter, safer and seamlessly connected.