Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My son came to me and told me he was serious about switching careers into motorcycle service. He has a decent job in food service as a bartender at an upscale establishment and makes an OK living. He tells me he wants to be a motorcycle mechanic and was investigating MMI.

I know there a number of industry members here as shop owners, service people.

Questions,

I know nothing about MMI other than it seem expensive,

and is MMI the best choice for him, other schools, better path???

We would appreciate any comments/feedback you can offer.

thanks in advance...

bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
The only advise I can give is that he will be changing from one seasonal job making an 'OK' living to another seasonal job making an 'OK' living.

That said, to take a step sidewise into a field you actually enjoy is not necessarily a bad thing. Nobody ever got rich fixing bikes though, and many dealers routinely lay people off and hire back on during slow/busy times.


MMI is a good school and will certainly teach all the basic core principals you need to work on a bike but the majority of what they have are harley's an japanese I4's. I can almost guarantee you that he will not be learning the fine are of desmodromic valve adjustments lol.

Everybody has a passion. I left college to go to UTI to work on cars as that was what I wanted to do. I learned a lot and acquired a very valuable skill set that a majority of the world view as voodoo black magic wizardry. I now work in the corporate end of the industry. I often think about where I'd be if I had continued on with pursuing my mechanical engineering degree and regret not having done so. I've been fortunate with the opportunities that have been afforded to me over the year though.


While there's always something to be said for doing what you love, making a living out of your hobby is generally not a good business plan. I would say that he would be best off apprenticing at a shop on his free time to get a feel for it first. If I had done this instead of just working on my own and friends cars and actually doing it as a job prior I may have gone a different route.

Best of luck to whatever direction he chooses. As long as he digs it and feels successful that's all that counts in the end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
350 Posts
I have a good friend who left a promising job (on the management track) at a grocery chain to take his family to Florida for motorcycle mechanics school. Motorcycles are his passion, and he became certified in Japanese I-4 as well as Harley. He spent two years in school and loved it. He ended up working as a mechanic and then parts guy at a local dealership. I haven't asked him whether or not he earns more money, but he loves going to work now, whereas getting into store operations at the grocery chain was "meh" to use his word.

If your son really loves working on all bikes, and doing so is his passion, I'd say go for it. I'd rather pay someone who is passionate about motorcycling work on my bike for the things I'm not skilled in, versus someone who is just there for the check and has an ambivalent attitude. If he's passionate about it, he'll excel in it, get promoted, be able to open his own shop, all around doing things he loves.

Danbuc hit the nail on the head when he mentioned spending a little time in a shop, working for free, just to learn the ropes a bit, and ultimately see if he likes it. My friend mentioned above did that for about a year (for free) before making the commitment to go back to school. That's a great place to start, while keeping his current job. That way he can see if the job is what he hopes it will be before making a firm commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,977 Posts
I did just that almost 20 years ago and have worked in both dealership and as an independent shop owner.

Talk him out of it!
Just kidding......... sort of............. maybe not.
If you cannot, PM me and I will give you my number so he can call me, I would be happy to talk to you/him to give you the inside scoop.
what he said.

as a business owner, i never get to work on my own bikes these days. i go into the factory and if there's stuff to do then not doing it costs me $100 per hour.

the money is in routine service, in and out. it can be a bit monotonous at times.

best thing he can do is play with his own bikes. i learnt a lot that way. others around me didn't, and it can show in what sort of knowledge and reputation you gather later on. it's all about later on in life, when you need to be earning enough to buy a house and support a family. that's when how hard you tried to learn 20 years ago pays off. a lot of specialised people, even on here, didn't start out in this field. for example tomtom is a software engineer who started playing with ecu. but by doing what they like, they become experts in the field.

never be afraid to specialise. specialising in garden variety old shit can be a bit of a bad step though, as you really need an owner base who aren't broke and prone to whining. but, look at the guys who are known as (for instance) rd/tz specialists or that sort of thing. there is money to be made if the demand is good. and the reality is, the market for the old stuff is dropping slower than the amount of people in it doing the work. like old school body work, etc, a lot of this stuff is a bit of a dying art.

but i'm just rambling now.

as bruce meyers says, if he's good at it, he'll be busy.

the trick can be, if you own a business, not allowing it to run you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
My nephew is in his early 20s and an MMI grad. He's not married but lives with his gf.
Seems to have a good thing going working for a dealership but he's not exactly pimping it either.

Have him read "Bachelor Pad Economics" and then decide what he's going to do. At the end of the day if he keeps his costs low and doesn't do stupid shit it won't really matter what job he uses to earn his money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DucmanST3

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I want to thank each of you who posted advise on this thread. A sincere thank you.

I'll print it out and discuss it with Gavin. I know he will be appreciative of all the input.

Anyone who wishes to make additional comments is welcome.

Muchas gracias,

Bob
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top