Are you very interested in and passionate about machines, especially motorcycles? Congratulations! You’re a gearhead! You can join the ranks of Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes Magazine and member of American Motorcyclist Association’s Hall of Fame; Robert M. Pirsig, author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance;” and Pacific Beachcomber CEO Richard Bailey. While not all gearheads will publish a magazine or write a book, many of them would like to get paid doing what they love – working on motorcycles.
Profile of a Gearhead
A typical gearhead is a lot like Richard Bailey (millions aside) who likes to ride in big open spaces and tweak his machine to make it more powerful. Gearheads like anything with an engine, love their tools, can remember every detail about any motorcycle they’ve ever owned, and would rather spend their lottery winnings on a bike than a Caribbean cruise with their spouse.
Where do Gearheads Work?
Many gearheads are simply motorcycle enthusiasts on the side, indulging in their passion for motorcycle riding and tinkering after work and on weekends with supplies from outlets like BikeBandit. But for gearheads who make a career out of it, jobs at motorcycle dealers, manufacturers, and restorers are a dream come true. If parts are where their true passions lie, working at a parts dealer or even getting the entrepreneurial spirit and selling them themselves online are options. Motorcycle sales may be a career path for gearheads who also have sales skills. Passion for travel can lead to motorcycle tour guide jobs like Andrew Collins, who works as an expedition guide for Outback Adventure Treks, a motorcycle tour company in Australia.
The Gearhead Career
Gearheads have a variety of career opportunities, depending on their interests and passions. Motorcycle mechanics can make upwards of £26,000 in the UK, notes My World of Work. Adventure motorcycle touring jobs can be almost anywhere in the world, and Andrew Collins used his combined passion for adventure and vehicles while in college to prepare for an alternative career. He used his passions by studying things like anthropology and archaeology, getting some off-road driver training with 4×4 clubs, and getting some experience in the hospitality industry as a ski instructor before heading to Australia to look for guide work.
Careers in Motorcycle Design
Those gearheads for whom tinkering, repairing, and riding motorcycles just isn’t enough, a career in motorcycle design may be the only cure. Gearhead writer and artist Dave Fields works with motorcycle themes for his writing and woodburning art projects. Writing for Examiner.com, Fields looked into where gearheads can get the training and preparation they need to be able to design motorcycles rather than just ride and upgrade them.
He found it takes some heavy-duty engineering and design coursework at exclusive universities. Getting a job at UK manufacturer Triumph requires years of design experience, as well. The future motorcycle designers studying at these schools get to develop the motorcycles of the future.