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Discussion Starter #1
One question.
Does helping someone online fix their bike harm the mechanics industry?
I was told not to do this anymore because we didnt become mechanics to fix your sh!t for free.
thoughts?
:nerd
 

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Well, that question seems to be more about preservation of the industry, than helping an owner save money and learn about his own bike. That's precisely what these forums are for.
No "mechanic" has ever touched my bike in 10 years. Yes, I've made plenty mistakes, figured them out, and corrected them.
The problem is there are plenty of so-called mechanics that rip people off, and they make mistakes too.

Besides, working on your own vehicles shows initiative and a willingness to learn how your machine works.

Just my 2 cents...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So your position is; helping an owner fix his bike for free on the internet has absolutely no effect on the mechanics industry?
 

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Interesting question, and one that could be asked of many services/products: would a question about bread baking on a home cooking forum threaten the livelihood of bakers?

I believe if we saw camaraderie of those with like interests disappear just because a person felt they should be ENTITLED to perform works/repairs on products, then we are entering a sad state of mandatory regulated industry.

If a mechanic is too proud to help a person, stuff him, he doesn't HAVE to provide help. For those of us who do provide advice/assistance, it might not always be correct (as is the mechanic's) but we are proud to be able to contribute to the joys of motorcycling by helping a member get his machine back on the road.

This is not always a cost-related matter. Many a time there is some urgency to effect a niggling repair and a forum member will invariably come to the rescue.

Let us also consider the darker side. How many of these really proud mechanics purport to know their stuff, charge like a wounded bull for a job, only for the bike to show its original symptoms after leaving the workshop?

The solution? Find a good tech/mechanic and use him/her when necessary. In the meantime, we will use our own devices whether that be using our own skills or the 'borrowed' skills of another.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Interesting. When was the last time an Italian mother released her marinara recipe online for all to see?
One worth her salt would never commit such a crime.
As an Attorney shall I begin to give away all my education to the public for an eternity in pro bono?
Yes this is a question to ponder.
 

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Interesting question, and one that could be asked of many services/products: would a question about bread baking on a home cooking forum threaten the livelihood of bakers?

I believe if we saw camaraderie of those with like interests disappear just because a person felt they should be ENTITLED to perform works/repairs on products, then we are entering a sad state of mandatory regulated industry.

If a mechanic is too proud to help a person, stuff him, he doesn't HAVE to provide help. For those of us who do provide advice/assistance, it might not always be correct (as is the mechanic's) but we are proud to be able to contribute to the joys of motorcycling by helping a member get his machine back on the road.

This is not always a cost-related matter. Many a time there is some urgency to effect a niggling repair and a forum member will invariably come to the rescue.

Let us also consider the darker side. How many of these really proud mechanics purport to know their stuff, charge like a wounded bull for a job, only for the bike to show its original symptoms after leaving the workshop?

The solution? Find a good tech/mechanic and use him/her when necessary. In the meantime, we will use our own devices whether that be using our own skills or the 'borrowed' skills of another.
This is so well said, and represents my outlook entirely.
Rep given.
 

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Very interesting question Mace!

Having come from the industry and seeing how the amount of actual "repair work" has declined here in the northeast, I'm very interested in people's opinions on this.

Back in the day (late 80's early 90's), bikes had reached a developmental stage where carbs were king and parts were getting smaller in design. The market was FLOODED with massive amounts of bikes, easily adapted aftermarket parts, and required a level of "hands on" ability to fix them. They were initially brought to the dealer for initial service, then would never return because that age of owner already decided that no one was going to touch their bike but themselves. I fell into that category, in addition to not being able to afford the dealer's hourly rate. I learned early that I needed to learn fix my own sh!t. Well, that ship has sailed.

In 2004 when I left the industry, sport bike sales and service fell to an all time low. It wasn't because of the internet. Young people buying sport bikes were now realizing that FI was a "maintenance free" type of addition. Bikes needed oil changes, tires, brakes and that was it. They didn't need to learn to work on them, because there was nothing to fix. In addition, the decline of American professional road racing took a huge hit when the GP guys got old, hurt, and retired. The pool of Americans in local roadracing fell short when the AMA stuff stopped happening. It was weird, and it sucked.

I had a thread here called The Good Old Days, where in 2000 we had to build so many 929's that we couldn't keep up with the sales or keeping them on the floor. We built 8 in one day and they were all already accounted for (sold). When the 1000 came out in 04, we sold 1 that I knew of, and had one on the floor that sat for a while. I can honestly say I haven't seen a 1000RR on the floor there in over 4 years. The industry took a huge swing, and cruisers, motards, dual sport stuff and tourers took over. But that take over wasn't something that was going to overtake the sales push that the 90's sport bikes had. The industry here flatlined.



My shop had 4 techs then, and we were pushing appointments out 4 weeks sometimes. Now, the shop has 2 techs, and the mandatory tech on a Saturday is no more. The schedule can have bikes turned around in 1 day for routine maintenance, and the struggle to get bikes back to customers is gone.

I don't think the invention of the forum has had any effect on the shop mechanic - dealer or independent. We offer advice to the guy who has already decided he's not going to a legit mechanic. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So; your position is: helping someone online fix their bike for free has absolutely no impact on the motorcycle mechanics industry?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Before you feel compelled to answer; let me first offer my humble opinion.
Yes. Indeed it does. Not only does it effect the industry it destroys small business. On top of that; 99% percent of the people you help online, either come back and lie and say it was something else than what you offered, refuse to come back at all, do not even give a thanks or ghost until they need help again. Not to mention never pay it forward.
Its as if they laugh and go ride the junkpile and never look back.
what is our motivation?
To continually help people who can help themselves?
Philosophy 101 lol
 

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So; your position is: helping someone online fix their bike for free has absolutely no impact on the motorcycle mechanics industry?
Yes, I don't think guys like us on forums are taking money from repair shops. On the flip side of that, I would offer that a clueless kid with his new to him F3 that comes here and asks a questions, get his answer, finds it's fun to work on his bike, may actually be motivated to go to MMI and join the industry. Only to be let down once he makes it because nobody works on F3's anymore because of reasons mentioned below, and that the "type" of work is just oil changes and routine maintenance. The industry is changing, bikes need less "work" these days, and newer bikes (say within 5 years of manufacture) don't need repair unless a catastrophic failure occurs, tires are worn, or brake pads are low.

The guys who come to the internet to look for answers IMO don't have money to pay shops, have relatively simple demands mostly (bike doesn't charge, bike wont start, bike wont rev above 6k, what kind of tires should I get etc). This site for example, is mostly active with older bikes, where shops around here (dealer and independant) won't even accept because of their age, and even if a mint 93 RR came to a shop they would decline just on the fact of being liable in any damage that might occur, knowing that certain OEM stuff isn't available anymore. Remember, I can only speak of my area, and that's how it is up here. Can I assume it's different in FL? There must be a tremendously more amount of bikes that need work down there (warm year 'round). Up here, for the non diehard heated grips goldwing matching trailer rider, its a 5-6 month hobbie and that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I value your opinion and we can agree to disagree.
Every single time you help some kid fix his bike for free is one less time he will have to bring it to a shop for professional service.
Ironically, I would never have been able to fix a few of my own bikes without asking for help from you and others.
That does not take away from me looking at this subject objectively and being honest with myself when presented with my own question.
I would bet that if most mechanics refused to offer free help, the amount of work that would eventually come in to shops would increase tenfold.
 

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I value your opinion and we can agree to disagree.
Every single time you help some kid fix his bike for free is one less time he will have to bring it to a shop for professional service.
Ironically, I would never have been able to fix a few of my own bikes without asking for help from you and others.
That does not take away from me looking at this subject objectively and being honest with myself when presented with my own question.
I would bet that if most mechanics refused to offer free help, the amount of work that would eventually come in to shops would increase tenfold.
As I you, and your question is valid. That's what this forum is all about, everyone has different thoughts and experiences. I think we all value what we each have to say, and to disagree will keep communication going.

I'm very interested to hear what our other members have to say on this thread.

I know Jondog changes his own tires. That to me is awesome but, something I will always go do at the dealership (for free :wink), and had never thought to get a few tools and do myself at home. I guess a comfortability factor has to be accounted for too. As much as I can turn a wrench and read a manual, I'll probably never feel comfortable changing tires in my garage. I'll leave that to the tire machine and balancer at the shop. BUT, maybe my opinion would change if I didn't have those readily available to me. Yeah, probably lol
 

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Interesting that this can extend beyond 'forum advice' depriving the industry of work.

The whole DIY industry from home renovations to car repairs abounds with products for the DIYer. We see wallpapering kits, special paint rollers, wall tiles with DIY instuctions, and even DIY kits for verandas, etc.

For cars we have the oil change kits which will include a filter spanner (wrench) and the plastic drain tray, and before the ECU and Fuel Injection days we have the home tuning kit complete with strobe timing light. What I point out here that we all adapt to the changing world and in that there will be winners and losers.

For me, I will do my own oil and filter changes, but available space (a problem with some UK homes) makes it impractical to do other jobs. Only a week ago I took a bike to my local centre for new fork seals - a job that many would do themselves. As has been said, I choose to do the work myself not necessarily for financial reasons, but because I know the oil will be right and the sump plug torqued correctly!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I enjoy an adult conversation/debate.
I think the entire concept of change is based on two men battling back and forth.
In my mind; as a decent mechanic.....offering free advice on the internet is similar to taking bread off your table;
and offering it to the birds.
However i am subject to change my mindset at any time
'who can offer me a solid reason to do so?
 

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Before you feel compelled to answer; let me first offer my humble opinion.
Yes. Indeed it does. Not only does it effect the industry it destroys small business. On top of that; 99% percent of the people you help online, either come back and lie and say it was something else than what you offered, refuse to come back at all, do not even give a thanks or ghost until they need help again. Not to mention never pay it forward.
Its as if they laugh and go ride the junkpile and never look back.
what is our motivation?
To continually help people who can help themselves?
Philosophy 101 lol
You use such extremes to back up your point, I have a hard time not rolling my eyes some. Not an attack, just my observation and opinion.

I value your opinion and we can agree to disagree.
Every single time you help some kid fix his bike for free is one less time he will have to bring it to a shop for professional service.
Ironically, I would never have been able to fix a few of my own bikes without asking for help from you and others.
That does not take away from me looking at this subject objectively and being honest with myself when presented with my own question.
I would bet that if most mechanics refused to offer free help, the amount of work that would eventually come in to shops would increase tenfold.
Tenfold? I sincerely doubt it. You're talking about an economic boom for mechanics that work on old bikes. Not realistic. imo.

I enjoy an adult conversation/debate.
I think the entire concept of evolution is based on two men battling back and forth.
In my mind; as a decent mechanic.....offering free advice on the internet is similar to taking bread off your table;
and offering it to the birds.

However i am subject to change my mindset at any time
'who can offer me a solid reason to do so?
Offering it to the birds? Is that how you look at us?
I ask myself why are you even here?
This forum is all about people helping people with no money involved.

And to finally answer your question about does this type of forum take food from your table.

Flat out - no.
Since neither of us have one shred of statistical evidence to support our opinion, it is debatable. However, I know with certainty that your opinions are heavily biased, and not reliable to me.

Times change, these are old bikes, not everyone can afford your hourly rate, etc, etc, etc...
Why do you think forums like these came to be?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You mad,
Lol obviously you have an emotional reaction to my opinion.
However, I have no emotional reaction to yours...this is paramount. People who react emotionally to others opinions usually do so because they know the stance they follow is inherently wrong.
I am here because I choose to be.
What I also choose is to never....ever fix a bike for free again
That is my choice and my opinion is valid, as is yours.
Have a great weekend my friend.
 

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I enjoy an adult conversation/debate. . .

In my mind; as a decent mechanic.....offering free advice on the internet is similar to taking bread off your table; and offering it to the birds.
However i am subject to change my mindset at any time
'who can offer me a solid reason to do so?
I will try.:smile

I think the focal point here is what 'value' we place on the assistance offered. If I were to post a resolution about, say, a sticking caliper problem, your thought process (as I see it) is that I have deprived a mechanic of income.

My take is that I have assisted a person resolve an issue. My reward is not financial, but is the glow of knowing that I have helped someone and escalates my reputation as one who is eager to help others rather than one who will not lift a finger without a dollar in return.

I am not a religious person so don't form my view on God's charter to help all, but on my own moral character to be a helpful member of a community. I do not believe a tradesperson/professional person should have a mandate to exclusivity of work in their chosen profession. This could be seen as akin to wiping out the millions of volunteers across the world who could be seen to be taking employment from others. The operation of charity shops might represent the perfect illustration of their 'taking business' from other retailers.

In summary, I ask: Can your mindset turn to help people for moral rather than financial benefit?:wink
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Hello Nigel, first let me say that I have helped many people online in many different forums.
Is the act of fixing a random stranger's moto a selfless act? What I mean is if you feel "good" after helping someone and or receive reputation from that act,who are you doing it for? you or them?
what if you knew helping someone would hurt you? Is that a moral decision that makes sense?
My question is not of morals or the Allegory of the Cave,whether or not to pull others from the shadows........
My stance is that helping fix bikes for free harms the industry. That is only my opinion, However, I cannot fathom how this could be untrue.
In fact it may be the single most destructive thing in the industry I can imagine.
So then where does your responsibility lie? If I were a shop owner would it make sense to instruct my employees to randomly go about town and in the guise of charity, begin to repair every moto they see for the good of man?
Im not quite sure that's a great business move.
Have i changed your mind?
interesting read my friend.
 

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Ah, Mr MACE_. It seems you seek to stretch your original question to bolster your argument.

. . . What I mean is if you feel "good" after helping someone and or receive reputation from that act,who are you doing it for? you or them? . . .
The underlying reason is to perform the assistance 'for them'. We are merely a respondent to a call for help. Any gratitude received is a consequence of our assistance rather than a motivator to offer assistance.

. . . So then where does your responsibility lie? If I were a shop owner would it make sense to instruct my employees to randomly go about town and in the guise of charity, begin to repair every moto they see for the good of man?
Im not quite sure that's a great business move. . .
I agree it's not a good business move, and I respectfully submit that it's a poor counter to my citing of the prospect of charity reducing the profits of private enterprise. The difference is this: By sending employees about town to tout for work is to aggressively and proactively seek out repair work to perform for free. That is totally contrary to a passive response to request via a forum.

I wonder if I might turn this interesting discussion 180 degrees and ask this:
Putting aside your mechanical knowledge, if you were to post on the forum that you had, for instance, a rattling cam chain, and members responded in such a manner as: 'Sorry, we can't help you because we'll deprive a dealer/service centre (center) of income,' how would you react to that?

I would say, 'Stuff the forum,' and I might also feel grossly belittled by those who I believed were like-minded motorcycling enthusiasts and forum colleagues. I should hope you might share that view.

Cheers again:wink
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello Nigel, I sense you have a fairly high level of intelligence and education.
I ask of you this: If the internet is a place; akin to a city inside itself, what difference at all is there between physically driving about town repairing random motos for free............
And randomly repairing them on the internet?
I propose there is no difference at all besides the request for help from the OP.
In reference to motivation, one could argue there is no such thing as a selfless act as the actor and the subject both gain reward.
In addition, my poor counter is my stance or opinion that charity work does take away from business,in the same respect as internet help harms mechanics.
If every man worked for free there would be no business, I sense a small whiff of Socialism from your ideology.
I joke with you of course.
I wonder if all mechanics decided to be elitist pricks and not bow to work for free
How would this change the Matrix?
Cheers!
 
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