How to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic

How to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic
Last updated at November 1, 2021

If your love for motorcycles extends beyond just riding them, and you love the idea of fixing motorbikes for a living, you could consider becoming a motorcycle mechanic.

When you think motorcycle mechanics, you might think of someone wrenching away in a workshop. But there’s more to it than that if you want to earn a living in this line of work. There are opportunities to maintain bikes, build custom motors, fabricate parts, sell motorcycles, and more.

These specialists do everything from building engines and servicing late-model motorbikes to ordering and selling parts and managing the repair schedule. And if you enjoy this kind of job, you can get started at an entry level and work your way up to an expert mechanic.

If you’re curious about what this career path has to offer, we discuss the job’s responsibilities, salary range, work environment, and how to become a motorcycle mechanic in this post.

What is a Motorcycle Mechanic?

A motorcycle mechanic is a professional that understands the inner workings of motorbikes and other small-engine vehicles such as mopeds and ATVs.

These experts are proficient at diagnosing issues in motorbikes and making the necessary repairs to get the motorcycle running like new. 

But motorcycle mechanics do a lot more than internal repairs. They also work on the frames of motorbikes, fix dents, and work with the systems on the vehicle like brakes, suspension, electrical, and steering to get the bike running to the factory or customer’s specifications.

With experience and a lot of training, many mechanics end up opening their own shops. They may also become CNC machinists to help with various part fabrication.

What Does a Motorcycle Mechanic Do?

The responsibilities of the job include:

  • Testing motorbikes and diagnosing issues
  • Repairing and replacing parts with the aid of hand and power tools
  • Rebuilding engines
  • Conducting routine maintenance
  • Fixing/replacing circuit boards and other electronic devices in the vehicle

In the same way that not everybody makes a good doctor, not everybody makes a good motorcycle mechanic.

Here are some qualities of a good motorbike technician:

  • Dexterity: These mechanics work with their hands a lot and often need to manipulate small parts of machines. Therefore, aligning parts incorrectly or tightening bolts to the wrong torque can lead to performance issues in the vehicle, so being skillful with the hands is a must.
  • Technical knowledge: Understanding how different parts of the vehicle work and the technology driving it is a must to build and repair bikes. 
  • Product knowledge: A good motorcycle mechanic understands which products can fix a customer’s problem and what services to recommend.
  • Passion: Nearly all successful motorcycle mechanics are passionate about motorbikes, and their passion often reflects in the quality of their work.
  • Communication skills: Because mechanics must address the customer’s concerns and discuss repairs with them, good communication skills are a must.

Besides these qualities, developing strong problem-solving skills can help motorcycle mechanics find success in their field.

Where Do Motorcycle Mechanics Work?

Motorcycle mechanics are not limited to working at motorcycle repair shops. Their expertise is also needed by employers that operate auto garages, body shops, and dealerships. 

Motorcycle Mechanic Salary

The latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that motorcycle mechanics make a mean annual salary of $38,010. These professionals get paid the most in spectator sports, where they are working for high-performance race teams and can earn an annual salary of $68,280. Mechanics at equipment manufacturing facilities and dealerships get paid around $40,000 a year and are typically paid hourly for their services.

Bear in mind that the salary can vary depending on the mechanic’s experience, education, and demand in the area. If you’re willing to move to another state for a better-paying job, Nevada, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and California are the best locations for a higher average salary. Motorbike mechanics earn between $47,000 and $49,000 a year in these states.

Career Outlook

The demand for motorcycle mechanics is expected to grow by 4.8% in the next decade. While it’s not the fastest-growing career, finding work shouldn’t be too difficult.

How Do I Become a Motorcycle Mechanic?

You can become a motorcycle technician in four easy steps:

Step #1: Finish School

Before you can build your expertise in fixing motorcycles, you must finish school and get your high school diploma. If you don’t have a diploma, you can substitute it with a GED.

Step #2: Enroll in a Training Program

Trade schools, technical colleges, and even some community colleges offer motorcycle mechanic training programs. These combine classroom work and hands-on training to teach you about the inner workings of a motorcycle.

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation is an established organization that employers have come to trust. Enrolling in a program accredited by NATEF and recognized by prospective employers is the right way to go.

Depending on the program you enroll in, you will spend between 9 months and two years training on average as you improve your experience level.

Step #3: Earn a Certificate (Optional)

In some states, motorcycle mechanics are required to earn a certification before they can find work. You may need to pass an exam to get the certificate. Check your state’s licensing board website to determine if you need to get certified.

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Improving Career Prospects After Becoming A Moto Mechanic

After you get certified, you can choose to take a manufacturer-specialized course to improve your credentials in the motorcycling industry. This will allow you to find work at dealerships and earn a higher hourly rate or salary.

If you’re aiming to open your own shop, earning an associate’s degree in business or management will teach you how to run a business and understand the various jobs that come with it.

Conclusion: Should You Become A Motorcycle Repairman?

If you love working with your hands and seem to have a knack for mechanics, becoming one may be the perfect job for you.

The pay and job outlook is decent, but you must remember that you might need to work evenings and weekends depending on your location and employer requirements.

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