Why Should I Specialize as a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Mechanic?
Harley Davidson is one of the oldest and most well-established motorcycle manufacturers in the U.S. They established market dominance in 1920 and continue to hold a position as a leading manufacturer in the over-all motorcycle market. Diverse people from all walks of life form an intensely loyal following of enthusiasts. The unique sound of its engine makes a Harley-Davidson instantly recognizable to people who know motorcycles, so much so that the sound itself is patented.
Regardless of the state of the economy, Harley-Davidson sales have remained strong, largely because police, fire rescue, and the military adopted them in the early 1900s. The Detroit Police department was the first to adopt Harley-Davidson motorcycles for officer use beginning in 1908. A few years later, 20,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles were purchased by the army for use during World War I, used to deliver messages before radio communications became reliable. Most had sidecars, some fitted with machine gun mounts for dangerous missions.
Sales fell alarmingly during the Great Depression, but aside from that five-year period and a disastrous stretch from 1969-1981 when AMF bought the company and produced inferior, Japanese-made motorcycles bearing the Harley-Davidson name, sales of Harley-Davidson have remained strong, and the dependable reputation insures the company of a solid future. Growth in the last five years has exploded. More than 3,400 police departments in the U.S. ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles today, and they are currently in use by police in 45 other countries.
Harley Davidson is currently in a rapid expansion phase of hiring due to the sales increase, and the job market is excellent, but with so many motorcycles on the road, jobs at other shops are readily available as well. Specialized training is required to service the unique "V-Twin" cylinder design engine, and there are many options available.
Harley-Davidson offers a bright future. With over 100 years of dependable reputation, a strong base of extremely loyal private enthusiasts, sales all over the world with average yearly profits in excess of 5.5 million and a pervasive family-like corporate image, a Harley-Davidson mechanic would be an excellent choice of specialization.
* Harley-Davidson has partners with the following four colleges:
- Fort Scott Community College in Frontenac, Kansas
- Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas
- Central Carolina Community College, three locations in North Carolina
- Lake Washington Technical College in Seattle, Washington
Some of these schools offer internship programs with Harley-Davidson dealerships. All offer two-year associate degrees and bachelor's degrees with basic education plus emphasis on Harley-Davidson courses.
The following schools offer post-secondary education with specialized Harley-Davidson training:
Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (highly recommended by Harley-Davidson)
MMI offers a 36-week core program designed to teach everything from basic mechanics and diagnostics to noise reduction and business skills. Following this program, you may choose to enter the Harley-Davidson Technology section, a 24-week program which specializes in skills specific to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and then you may take the Harley-Davidson Early Model or the Harley-Davidson Late Model elective, or both. MMI offers job placement assistance and most course materials, including tools, are supplied. Scholarships and need-based tuition reduction programs are available for those who qualify.
MMI Locations that offer Harley-Davidson training:
MMI - Phoenix, AZ
2844 W. Deer Valley Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Toll Free: 1-877-201-2666
MMI - Orlando, FL
9751 Delegates Dr
Orlando, FL 32837
Toll Free: 1-877-201-2991
Wyotech offers core training in general motorcycle mechanics followed by specialized training for motorcycle brands including Harley-Davidson. The program is designed to provide students with the skills to diagnose, service, and repair modern motorcycles. Eight core courses include suspension systems; brake systems; two-stroke engines; four-stroke engines; service; and fundamentals of electricity, electrical systems, and fuel systems, followed by three Harley-Davidson specialty courses:
- Harley-Davidson Engines
- Harley-Davidson Chassis
- Harley-Davidson Engine Controls
Wyotech has a financial aid staff to help with tuition funding and scholarship applications.
Wyotech locations that offer Harley-Davidson Motorcycle training:
420 Whitney Place
Fremont CA, 94539
Phone: (510) 490-6900
470 Destination Daytona Lane
Ormond Beach FL, 32174
Phone: (386) 255-0295
Fax: (386) 252-3523
Most students can receive help with loans, grants or scholarships. Here are a few options to research:
CLC Premier Loan - The College Loan Corporation
Toll free line: 1-888-252-4334
The Signature Student Loan
Toll free line: 1-800-695-3317
You may download an application for Federal Student Aid, including Pell grants and all other federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Federal Stafford and PLUS (Parent Loan) Programs
In-state programs: almost every state has a program set up to benefit students who wish to attend school in their home state. Check with your state Department of Higher Education for details.
Fun fact: A tomato can was used as the carburetor in the first experimental Harley Davidson motorcycle, built in 1903.
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