As any motorcycle owner would tell you, using a motorcycle long enough would eventually lead to wear, tear or even just unfortunate accidents. If you are having motorcycle problems due to wear and tear, to avoid further issues this article will give you some tips in finding a good motorcycle mechanic. By considering these tips, you can avoid looking for a lawyer for motorcycle accidents that could potentially happen because you did not address the issues.
In this article, Lemmy from RevZilla speaks about key things you can look for in a good motorcycle mechanic.
Things to look out for:
Tip #1 – Look for A Professional Shop
But let’s jump right into sort first tip and that’s going to be look for a shop that’s a professional shop. When I say professional, I don’t necessarily mean fancy and new and they have a great big dealership sign. I mean a shop that’s set up to do great work. So a shop that’s really well organized. That’s awesome. Great lighting. I know that sounds silly, but it’s hard to do good work if it’s a dirty, dark, dingy environment. These are all things that sort of point to a mechanic who set up his workspace in order to provide the best work possible. I know that I do my best work when I’m in the best type of environment in order to create that work. We will move up to the next topic.
Tip #2 – Presence of Repair Order
Now, to me, this could be, from your perspective, the most important thing to look for, and that’s the presence of an R.O, R.O’s are repair orders. These are the write-ups that you should get at the beginning of a job that basically break down the costs on all of the service and parts that you’re going to need to perform. The job that you talked about with your mechanic. Now R.O’s are really important simply because you’re going to sign a copy and you’re going to walk out of the shop with a copy and the shop is going to retain a copy as well. You and your mechanic and your service writer, if there is one, should all be on the same page as to what’s going on.
Tip #3 – Follow Up Contact
Now kind of related to this too is follow up contact. Now, there’s all sorts of times when a RO is fine.
I do the job and I move on. However, there are sometimes to when a bike gets sort of broken into and we find additional work. One of the signs of a great mechanic is a mechanic who gets in touch with the customer, who informs the customer that there is additional work going on and then allows the customer to figure out exactly how they want to proceed. To me, it’s not really OK to go above and beyond the service cost on the R.O without letting the customer know that can put them in a financial bind and they might just not want that particular mechanic doing that job.
There are techs (technicians), too, who are going to look for particular problems on your motorcycle. So, you may get a call back that your your bike is maybe missing a turn signal bulb that’s gone out. You need that for inspection or perhaps you are missing a valve stem cap. Now, remember the tech gets paid on the job. We get paid to find stuff wrong with your motorcycle. Now, we’re not doing that just to be greedy. We’re actually finding legitimate problems with your bike and we’re telling you about them. So you have the option or the opportunity to repair them if you so desire. This is one of those times when capitalism really does work out well for everybody involved
Tip #4 – Discussing Repair Options
Now, next tip, I think it’s important, is sort of discussing the different repair options. So whether you’re dealing with the tech himself or you’re dealing with a service writer, repair options should be discussed with you because there’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat. Let’s say perhaps you had a low side crash and you bring your bike in and you know, there are different parts available.
There are aftermarket replacement parts, there is also OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) ones. The aftermarket ones are in many cases, more affordable. However, the OEM ones may help your bike retain better value. It’s impossible for us as a mechanic to know how you feel. So what we’re going to do is give you a ring. You know, we’re going to find out what it is that’s important to you and discuss some different repair options. This can also be important, too, with older motorcycles a lot of times because new parts just aren’t available anymore, original equipment or aftermarket.
So many times we’ll have to source parts and that’s also important because some customers have different levels of expectations with those parts. Do they want something that looks brand new? Are they comfortable buying a used part and then having us put some work into them to make them usable? Again, totally impossible for us to know and if you have a mechanic who’s contacting you about these items, that’s a sign of a tech who’s got your best interest at heart, a point that I think is a truth.
Tip #5 – Shop Imposed Damage
Mechanics break things we do. We all break stuff. Here’s the thing, though, how that gets dealt with really is the sign of a good mechanic or a bad mechanic in my mind. So if something is damaged on your motorcycle and you’re never even told about it, that’s a red flag. That’s not good at all. The integrity move for a mechanic is to fix your bike as good or better than it was brought into the shop.
You shouldn’t have to deal with our bust enough of and that really does involve sometimes a financial penalty. There have been plenty of times where I’ve accepted a job and I’ve actually lost money on it simply because I broke something but I tried to restore the customer to the position they were in before they rolled into my shop.
Tip #6 – Specialization
Specialization. I think this is something that when you’re on the other side of the counter, you don’t always think about. But specialization is key, whether that’s from shop to shop or within a shop.
There are some people who will self-selecting to doing things. You may see shops that are geared towards British bikes or perhaps antique Harley, or maybe they only work on dirt bikes. Well, that’s actually really good for you, the customer, because they’re saying, look, this is the stuff that we’re good at and this is the stuff that we know we can do well and quickly and efficiently. So when you have somebody self-selecting like that, that’s a great thing.
Similarly, when a mechanic turns away work or, maybe direct you to someone else, what they’re saying is you can probably get better work, oftentimes at a lower price from a different mechanic. Believe it or not, they’re actually helping you out, even though that may be inconvenient.
Tip #7 – Suggesting Additional Work
The final point I’ll also kind of spit out here is good mechanics will also suggest additional work. Now, I know you think we already covered this and we were talking about stuff that they may see that’s wrong.
However, before they call you up with sort of a breakdown of charges or before the R.O. is written up, a mechanic should be sort of already thinking through the job in his head to suggest other things that might make sense while they’re working on your motorcycle. So an easy “for instance” is, whenever I’m asked to do a Harley primary service, just swap out the fluid there, I like to pull the Derby cover anyway. I’ll generally suggest that we also perform a clutch adjustment while we’re in there because I won’t have to charge much, if any, additional labor in order to do it. However, it’ll save the person whose bike I’m working on from coming back to the shop later to have the exact same thing done. A good mechanic will take care of you and take care of himself at the exact same time.
So again, this isn’t really an exhaustive list, right? This is just some things that I think you could look for. This isn’t set in stone either. I’m sure there’s some shop that does everything fantastically and I’m sure that there’s probably a mechanic out there who does great work, who’s never touched an R.O in his life. However, if you have absolutely nothing else to go on, sticking with some of the tips exhibited by a shop that I’ve talked about here, I think we’ll probably put you in pretty good hands
Comment by Bulmawc: I am very happy with my shop and feel extremely lucky. One thing I will add is education. I always end up learning something. I also discuss upgrades whether they will be doing them or not. They have told me not to waste my money at least half the time. As far as tires I used to get mine from a famous online retailer who will not be named. They charge me $50 mount and balance front or rear labor. I can bring in my own tire or they will up charge me $5 compared to that famous unnamed online retailer and I don’t have to look ridiculous bringing the tire over.