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Old 12-23-2011, 09:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle Mechanics Institute

I've been thinking about getting enrolled in this tech school and taking the harley early and late model courses. One of these days I would like to open my own shop. I was wonder what you all thought about this school, and if this would be getting me started on the right track to opening my own shop? I would probably be going to the phoenix campus so a riding season that doesn't end would be a plus.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IMO don't waste your money! The money that they tell you that you are going to make after graduation is not there. You will start out low guy on the totempole at eight to ten dollars an hour, paid hourly. After that you will be moved up the food chain and will probably go up to about 15-18 dollars an hour, oh by the way at this point it won't be hourly any more they will put you on flat rate ( no way to make a living been there done that) Take that money you would spend on that school put it towards collage business degree. Get a part time job in a bike shop and pay attention and soak up all that you can there. Then after that you will have the knowledge to run a busniess and still be able to work on bikes. Bikes are basic simple machines to repair with some common sense and a service manual. Again this is just my 20+ years in the truck business turning a wrench and management.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Be an electrician. Get a job at a union electrical shop, work hard, get them to enroll you in an apprenticship for 4 years. A journeyman electrician on Gov/union work makes $50 to $55/Hr.

I was a flat rate bike tech, a flat rate car tech, and a service manager too. The money ain't great, and while it's swell at first, the swelling goes down and it's not fun any more.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've worked for 4 dealerships.
Back in the '80's, the shop boy went to MMI. We found out when he got there they made him an instructor.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuMoFo View Post
I've worked for 4 dealerships.
Back in the '80's, the shop boy went to MMI. We found out when he got there they made him an instructor.
Maybe in the 80s, but I doubt it.

I went to MMI in 2003. If you want to work in a dealership with no experience, this is about the only way in. Dealership's just don't hire people without experience or something like MMI. Realize that MMI partnered with the MoCo in the 90's sometime.

The MoCo *requires* that dealerships send their techs to ongoing education. During my 4 years of wrenching, I went to 3 such classes. One was in Milwaukee at the MoCo original factory, but the other two were at MMI campuses... one in Orlando and the other in Phoenix.

The MoCo has a LOT of say in how MMI teaches the Harley courses. They are actually very good for learning how to work on bikes. There is no such relationship at any of the other schools to my knowledge... I know that AMI in Daytona was big in the 90s, and they had a chance to do the same thing, but would not agree to the involvement that the MoCo wants. A co-student went to AMI... for 2 months. He quit and came to MMI/Orlando and said it was a huge improvement.

Here is my experience as I wrote it shortly after graduating:
http://rons-web.com/motorcycles/MMI.aspx

Bottom line? it wasn't for me. The money was NOT what I thought it would be. After just under 4 years, I was the #2 wrench in the shop and making $15 an hour. This was NOT "flat rate", but straight hourly time. That's not much money really. When I went to those classes I mentioned, a few guys indicated they were making closer to $50k a year and were happy, but the dealerships here in the Charlotte area pay nothing close to that.

I certainly won't say "don't do it", but being something like an electrician would probably pay better in the long haul.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have know three guys in the last seven years that went to the one in Phoenix. At this time not one of them is working in that field. Entry level carpenters ans MacDonalds pays more on average than the stealership.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unemployment pays better than a HD stealership.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm pretty set on motorcycle mechanics as a field but Ive seen some information about a school in ohio that would be a lot closer, Powersports institute PSI. Seems they work with SS cycle good side, bad side Buckeyes.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nitram_b4 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
I would not mind going to the school, but I would not plan on it making me money
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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30,000 bucks and I don't think the Early HD's are covered there... I think that is only in Orlando... oh and of course what it takes to live there
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperDude View Post
Maybe in the 80s, but I doubt it.

I went to MMI in 2003. If you want to work in a dealership with no experience, this is about the only way in. Dealership's just don't hire people without experience or something like MMI. Realize that MMI partnered with the MoCo in the 90's sometime.

The MoCo *requires* that dealerships send their techs to ongoing education. During my 4 years of wrenching, I went to 3 such classes. One was in Milwaukee at the MoCo original factory, but the other two were at MMI campuses... one in Orlando and the other in Phoenix.

The MoCo has a LOT of say in how MMI teaches the Harley courses. They are actually very good for learning how to work on bikes. There is no such relationship at any of the other schools to my knowledge... I know that AMI in Daytona was big in the 90s, and they had a chance to do the same thing, but would not agree to the involvement that the MoCo wants. A co-student went to AMI... for 2 months. He quit and came to MMI/Orlando and said it was a huge improvement.

Here is my experience as I wrote it shortly after graduating:
http://rons-web.com/motorcycles/MMI.aspx

Bottom line? it wasn't for me. The money was NOT what I thought it would be. After just under 4 years, I was the #2 wrench in the shop and making $15 an hour. This was NOT "flat rate", but straight hourly time. That's not much money really. When I went to those classes I mentioned, a few guys indicated they were making closer to $50k a year and were happy, but the dealerships here in the Charlotte area pay nothing close to that.

I certainly won't say "don't do it", but being something like an electrician would probably pay better in the long haul.
That was an outstanding write up.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Looking back on my 60 years of life, I've learned that you can make money but you can't make happy. The best paying job I ever had was the most miserable. Do what you love which will make you good at it and the money will come. You can't buy happiness or class. Just one man's opinion; good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You would be better off gettimg your CDL and going up to North Dakota to the oil fields.. there paying Big bucks..
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looking back on my 60 years of life, I've learned that you can make money but you can't make happy. The best paying job I ever had was the most miserable. Do what you love which will make you good at it and the money will come. You can't buy happiness or class. Just one man's opinion; good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Mmi

There is certainly nothing wrong with "chasing your dream".....at least for a few years.

But realize two things...you'll probably NEVER make what you'd call "good money", just working with your hands....and certainly never get "rich" working for someone else.

It's fine to give it a few years...but set some kind of goal that you feel you should meet...and stick to your plan on how to get there....and keep a "backup" in mind....just in case.

Time goes by faster than we realize....and seems to speed up with each passing year! LOL

Good luck with what ever you decide.

....and "ChopperDude"....that was a great write up about your MMI experience....informative, and with a lot of good advice for someone thinking about the school, and their prospects in the field.....great job!
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