By Talya Adams
No matter what you drive, car or motorcycle – no one enjoys taking his or her ride to the shop. I don’t think dread is an innate response to the process, instead I think it’s a learned reaction to negative experiences while visiting mechanics.
Often when I think of trips to the mechanic, I feel stressed because I know I’m going to spend money. The worse the problem, the more money I know I’m in the hole for. It’s not just problems either; basic maintenance work makes me uneasy too. I often have a fear my mechanic will tell me something else is in dire need of addressing as soon as possible for the cool price of a thousand dollars. Is this an irrational response? Maybe, but it’s how my mind works when I take my bike in.
Recently, my co-worker Dominique informed me he’d finally gotten his bike back after it was in the shop for well over two months. To say he was excited would be an understatement; he was pre-planning rides in his mind at the office. Unfortunately, his joy was short lived. Three weeks after having his bike back, it shut down on him. He described the sound as metal falling through his bike then it turned off.
I didn’t want to voice my opinion on what it sounded like to me, because I didn’t want to freak him out. However, when he told me there was no oil in the bike, I felt even more strongly his engine was toast. He went on to relay the bike wouldn’t even respond when he turned the key in the ignition, and I just felt bad for him.
Now, whether the issues arose at the shop, or after is hard to say. Dom didn’t say if he had checked his bike over before riding it (always a good idea to do some simple checks like they teach in the MSF class). Either way, after barely getting his bike back, he’s off of two wheels yet again.
Dom’s benched again as he has to go through the song and dance of figuring out what mechanic to go to and how much it’s going to cost him.
When it comes to finding a good shop and mechanic, spend time researching. Get on Yelp, read reviews. Ask friends and see if they have any recommendations. Call various shops and get quotes. Whatever you do, follow your gut and ask questions. In the end, it could save you a costly mistake.
Stay safe in these streets!