The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'

Topic-icon Just my opinion....

9 months 5 days ago - 9 months 5 days ago #4159 by Wobbly
Just my opinion.... was created by Wobbly
If I can get on my soap box for a minute...

Long time readers of my responses may recognize a slight distrust of most people working in motorcycle shops these days. The reason for this is, if you are smart enough to recognize the geometric relationship between bore and circumference mentioned in This Thread , can troubleshoot electronics ignitions, program electronic fuel injections, and master a hundred other engine and gearbox building skills, then you are also smart enough to recognize that you could be making $100K per year as an engineer, instead of making $40K per year as a mechanic. The skill sets are nearly identical !!

So on the rare occasions I visit local shops, I'm not surprised to see tattooed 20-somethings posing as mechanics in place of highly skilled 40-somethings that used to be. Motorcycle dealerships and repair shops are simply not profitable enough any more to support that level of acquired skill. I'm sure it exists somewhere, but it is no longer the norm.

This is one reason why it's so important to follow ABC Cannon #6 and do your own work.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
Last edit: 9 months 5 days ago by Wobbly.

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9 months 4 days ago #4162 by 1872
Replied by 1872 on topic Just my opinion....
When I fixed things fir a living, I knew how to fix the things I worked on regularly, anything else usually took some time to find information to troubleshoot. Shops now sell new bikes with everything computer controlled. Mechanical advance, carbs, points and even mechanical speedos are a thing from ancient history. New techs are trained in new motorcycles, not old. Troubleshooting now uses computer codes to determine problems. I never saw a diagnostic plug on an airhead. The best trained young tech never saw and certainly never worked on the old tech.
Old tech requires a different skill set and if I were still fixing things for a living, I would not spend the time to learn old technology since the primary reason to have a job is to make money and at a new motorcycle (or anything else) dealer money is made working on the new products.
I agree, learn your machine and work on it.


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8 months 4 weeks ago #4175 by 16457
Replied by 16457 on topic Just my opinion....
+ 1. This applies to everything now. Mechanics are taught to replace "systems" as that is how cars and bikes are designed. You no longer turn rotors or rebuild calipers, you simply replace the whole units. This is counter to my way of thinking. This is also good and bad too as it makes it easier for us to work on our cars and bikes as we just buy the parts at Auto Zone and replace systems. But bad because all those parts are junk iron made in China that are designed and last for maybe 3 years. This applies to everything, washers, dryers, TV's, computers, clothes, shoes, bikes, cars. Sorry, didn't intend to slightly highjack the topic but back to the original post, yes, this is what made me learn how to work on my own bikes 15 years ago. Look at it this way, it makes us better, better riders, better mechanics, better story tellers and its a good excuse to get folks together to wrench on old stuff. Does that mean we are all getting old, or, just older, there is a difference.

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8 months 4 weeks ago #4187 by Rocinante
Replied by Rocinante on topic Just my opinion....
Yup, and I sure miss a good parts guy, too.

Was in an auto shop the other day, mechanic said he understood carburetors but had never actually worked on one. Sigh.


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