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Motorcycle Mechanics

Motorcycle Service Technicians


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What's Needed:

  • Most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed a motorcycle service technician certificate or related associate degree at a vocational school or community college
  • Some repair shops and dealership will hire individuals who have taken automotive and motorcycle repair classes in high school and provide them with the training they need in order to become technicians.
  • Companies such as Harley Davidson and Honda also require technicians to be trained at special schools.

What you study:

You will study all of the following in a motorcycle service technician course:

  • Fundamentals of Electricity
  • Electrical Systems
  • Small Engine Basics
  • Two-stroke and Four-stroke Engine Repair
  • Fuel Systems
  • Transmission Systems
  • Brake Systems
  • Motorcycle Diagnostics

What courses you'll take

Below are examples of courses that you'll likely take as a student pursuing a career in motorcycle service.

Course Studies Purpose
Motorcycle Engines Fundamentals of 2-stroke and 4-stroke internal combustion motorcycle engines; components, including valves, camshafts, crankshafts, pistons, and cylinders; configurations, including v-twin (cylinders arranged in a V pattern) and in-line fours (all four cylinders mounted in a straight line); service procedures and troubleshooting. Get students familiar with the structure and workings of engines used in motorcycles.
Motorcycle Fuel Systems Gasoline and its use as motorcycle fuel; types of fuel systems, including carburetion (blending air and fuel), fuel injection (pumping fuel through a nozzle at high pressure) and oil injection (mixing gas and oil with a pump); disassembling, reassembling, servicing and troubleshooting fuel systems on motorcycles. Give understanding of components used in the fueling of a motorcycle.
Drive Systems, Chassis, Transmissions and Suspensions Assembly, theory and function of motorcycle chassis (frame), suspension (springs and other shock absorbers) drive systems (chains and other mechanisms for transmitting energy from one area of the motorcycle to another) and transmission systems (gears that adapt application of power for various speeds); diagnosing and repairing problems with these systems. Prepare students to analyze and fix motorcycle parts related to engines.
Electrical and Electronic Systems Core concepts of electrical circuits; conventions, symbols and terminology used in wiring diagrams; design, operation and servicing of electrical and electronic components of motorcycles, including battery and charger, ignition and lights. Ready students to diagnose and repair electrical problems in motorcycles.
Motorcycle Diagnosis and Tuning Assessing and treating problems with all the systems studied in the classes above, with an emphasis on engine components that commonly cause trouble, such as ignitions, transmissions and clutches, and on using computers to troubleshoot issues with electronic components. Enable students to solve motorcycle problems involving any and all systems.

Video Overview

Quickly highlights what motorcycle mechanics do in their daily work. Slightly out of date but still a helpful summary. Created for the US Department of Labor.


Certifications and Licensing

While no official certification is required to become a motorcycle service technician, many individuals complete vocational courses that result in either a certificate or A.A. degree in motorcycle repair. Aspiring technicians who want to work for Harley Davidson and other major motorcycle brands must hold a certification issued by a school that specializes in that type of motorcycle before working at a dealership or company-licensed repair shop.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

Although they must be available to meet with clients, most motorcycle service technicians are permitted to work flexible hours. You may come in early in the morning to meet with clients but can complete repairs on your own schedule so long as you do so within an agreed-upon timeframe.

Work location:

Whether you work in a dealership or private repair shop, you will enjoy a very active work environment. You may get to spend time making repairs outside and have the freedom to move around the shop throughout the day.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics: This Bureau of Labor Statistics handbook offers general information about career prospects, training and salary expectations in the field of automotive mechanics. In order to get a well-balanced view of the particular roles and responsibilities of motorcycle service technicians, it's important that prospective techs visit industry-oriented websites.
  • National Motorcycle Dealers Association: While the NMDA does not provide in-depth information about training for motorcycle service technicians, the site does offer an excellent overview of the field of motorcycle sales and service. Beginning technicians who are interested in finding member dealerships in their geographic area will find this site especially helpful.
  • National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation: The NATEF website provides comprehensive information about accredited automotive technician programs. Individuals who are just beginning to explore a career in motorcycle service will find this website particularly helpful when evaluating vocational schools and certification programs.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column -- for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
ALHuntsville$36,930$22K - $56K400.02%
ARLittle Rock - North Little Rock - Conway$31,020$24K - $41K900.03%
AZPhoenix - Mesa - Glendale$35,370$26K - $55K1700.01%
AZTucsonN/AN/A - N/A900.02%
CABakersfield - Delano$33,710$26K - $47K400.02%
CALos Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale (Metro Area)$39,020$18K - $67K2900.01%
CAOakland - Fremont - Hayward (Metro Area)$41,500$33K - $59KN/AN/A
CAOxnard - Thousand Oaks - Ventura$40,130$25K - $59K700.03%
CARiverside - San Bernardino - Ontario$33,150$24K - $60K700.01%
CASacramento - Arden - Arcade - Roseville$38,850$32K - $48KN/AN/A
CASan Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos$31,790$21K - $53K2600.02%
CASan Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City (Metro Area)$44,640$33K - $62KN/AN/A
CASan Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara$33,770$21K - $59K800.01%
CASanta Ana - Anaheim - Irvine (Metro Area)$43,170$23K - $68KN/AN/A
COBoulder$28,940$18K - $44K500.03%
COColorado Springs$23,880$18K - $38K300.01%
CODenver - Aurora - Broomfield$30,950$22K - $58K1000.01%
COFort Collins - Loveland$35,430$23K - $65KN/AN/A
CTBridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk$38,740$21K - $53KN/AN/A
DCWashington - Arlington - Alexandria (Metro Area)$37,440$21K - $65K1100.00%
FLDeltona - Daytona Beach - Ormond Beach$32,740$25K - $46KN/AN/A
FLFort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach - Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$39,580$31K - $52KN/AN/A
FLPensacola - Ferry Pass - Brent$18,770$17K - $38KN/AN/A
FLTampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater$29,030$17K - $57K1000.01%
GAAtlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta$36,360$21K - $61K1900.01%
IADes Moines - West Des Moines$30,160$18K - $46K400.01%
IDIdaho Falls$33,590$25K - $47KN/AN/A
ILChicago - Joliet - Naperville (Metro Area)$37,740$24K - $47K2800.01%
INFort Wayne$32,840$27K - $38K400.02%
INGary (Metro Area)$30,670$22K - $37K1000.04%
KSWichita$28,820$22K - $37KN/AN/A
KYElizabethtown$28,250$21K - $36KN/AN/A
KYLouisville - Jefferson County$32,220$26K - $47K800.01%
LALafayette$35,620$30K - $48KN/AN/A
LANew Orleans - Metairie - Kenner$33,670$22K - $39K1000.02%
MABrockton - Bridgewater - Easton (Metro Area)$46,380$36K - $57K400.05%
MDBaltimore - Towson$38,740$26K - $62KN/AN/A
MIWarren - Troy - Farmington Hills (Metro Area)$33,150$20K - $38K1800.02%
MNDuluth$35,780$31K - $46K300.02%
MNMinneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington$35,070$24K - $51K1800.01%
MOJoplin$30,310$21K - $52K300.04%
MOKansas City$32,810$22K - $47K900.01%
MOSpringfield$26,010$17K - $37K600.03%
MOSt. Louis$33,350$22K - $47K1600.01%
NCAsheville$24,290$18K - $47KN/AN/A
NCCharlotte - Gastonia - Rock Hill$39,750$27K - $48K1000.01%
NCHickory - Lenoir - Morganton$27,700$23K - $31KN/AN/A
NCRaleigh - Cary$39,950$26K - $70K600.01%
NCWinston - Salem$23,070$20K - $34KN/AN/A
NDFargo$37,410$31K - $47KN/AN/A
NJEdison - New Brunswick (Metro Area)$42,240$27K - $55K700.01%
NVLas Vegas - Paradise$42,140$18K - $53KN/AN/A
NYAlbany - Schenectady - Troy$32,370$26K - $51K800.02%
NYNassau - Suffolk (Metro Area)$34,200$25K - $49KN/AN/A
NYNew York - White Plains - Wayne (Metro Area)$51,500$29K - $60K1500.00%
NYRochester$34,510$31K - $38KN/AN/A
NYSyracuse$29,330$24K - $38KN/AN/A
OHCincinnati - Middletown$27,830$21K - $36K1200.01%
OHCleveland - Elyria - Mentor$29,010$19K - $39KN/AN/A
OKOklahoma City$33,600$23K - $47K600.01%
ORPortland - Vancouver - Hillsboro$34,870$26K - $56K1400.01%
ORSalem$35,300$26K - $46K300.02%
PAHarrisburg - Carlisle$30,160$19K - $41K400.01%
PALancaster$37,980$21K - $49K400.02%
PAPhiladelphia (Metro Area)$37,650$26K - $49K1200.01%
PAPittsburgh$33,440$22K - $45K1300.01%
PAScranton - Wilkes - Barre$35,580$22K - $47K400.02%
PAYork - Hanover$42,120$25K - $57K400.03%
RIProvidence - Fall River - Warwick$38,770$27K - $49KN/AN/A
SCColumbia$19,050$16K - $47K800.02%
SCGreenville - Mauldin - Easley$36,080$18K - $47K500.02%
SCMyrtle Beach - North Myrtle Beach - Conway$27,620$24K - $38K600.05%
SDRapid City$32,960$26K - $64KN/AN/A
TNMemphis$25,800$20K - $37K400.01%
TNNashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro - Franklin$33,150$22K - $45K900.01%
TXBeaumont - Port Arthur$57,170$27K - $71KN/AN/A
TXFort Worth - Arlington (Metro Area)$44,900$20K - $66KN/AN/A
TXHouston - Sugar Land - Baytown$32,030$25K - $79KN/AN/A
TXMcAllen - Edinburg - Mission$37,870$20K - $68K600.02%
TXSan Antonio - New Braunfels$38,180$25K - $64K900.01%
UTOgden - Clearfield$51,240$22K - $68KN/AN/A
UTSalt Lake City$29,590$17K - $49K900.01%
VARichmond$34,260$22K - $53K600.01%
VAVirginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News$37,430$23K - $55KN/AN/A
WASeattle - Bellevue - Everett (Metro Area)$45,270$33K - $58K1000.01%
WIMilwaukee - Waukesha - West Allis$36,640$20K - $60K1000.01%