Power sports mechanic, Snow City Cycle Marine
We service motorcycles, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, ATVs and scooters. A day could involve building a new unit, doing routine maintenance or tearing down a complete engine.
I dropped out of high school, went to the University of Toronto as a mature student for one year and realized it wasn’t for me. Then I went to George Brown College to become a tool and die maker. I was a tool maker for 20 years, and toward the end of my career I had my own machine shop. Although I was making an okay living, I wasn’t really happy.
I was always interested in motorcycles. It’s a passion. I ride motorcycles, and my friends and I build our own custom motorcycles in our garages.
When I took Centennial College’s motorcycle technician program, it wasn’t with the idea that I would start a career as a motorcycle mechanic. I was going to learn the nitty- gritty so I could I do a better job of building these bikes. One of the instructors was the lead mechanic here at Snow City, and he offered me a job. He thought I’d fit in.
At Centennial, they give you an understanding of how all the different systems work together for you to be able to ride down the street.
This is my second year at it. By no stretch do I know everything – there’s always something new and interesting to learn. That was the main reason I left my previous career to start in this field.
Maybe these things go in waves, but right now motorcycle culture, especially in Toronto, is on the rise. I’ve noticed there are a lot more people getting turned on by motorcycles. Riders have their own cliques to go out with. You go down to Ossington and you see the café racer chopper crowd, and then you have the cruiser dudes and the sport bikers.
In this job, there’s a lot of pressure to perform – especially in the summer. ATVs and boats come through. Every day a customer is expecting to have that unit done, and you need to work as quickly as possible without making mistakes.
The technology is changing. Since I’ve been an employee here I’ve been to three technical schools: Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. We’re also a Bombardier dealer, and I constantly have to keep up with things they’ve done differently from previous models.
The biggest difference between motorcycle and car owners is your average car owners just want to get where they’re going, while motorcycle owners love their motorcycles and pay very close attention to them. Sometimes you have people come in who describe the most obscure thing and want you to figure it out. Sometimes that’s fun and sometimes it’s really challenging. People can be fanatical about their bikes.