19 September 2004

Race Mechanic? Bah! Humbug!

A friend of mine, who was once a top-rated Harley-Davidson factory race mechanic and now owns a business manufacturing and distributing high-quality performance accessories, told me this story from his own experience.

Once, many years ago when he was just getting started in the motorcycle industry, he applied for a job at an old-line Triumph-BSA dealership. He was a racer and thought he'd add "racing mechanic" to his then-fairly-skimpy resume. The dealer took one look at this and said:

"Race mechanic? Shit, race mechanics put one part on, polish it up, and stand back for twenty minutes admiring their work. Useless bastards! I'm trying to make money here. Hit the bricks!"

In this dealer's experience, my friend was not exactly over-qualified for the job.

This same shop, which was located on a main drag in the San Fernando Valley, had their sign mis-spelled, in bright red, three foot high letters, "TRUIMPH-BSA". I pointed this out to him one day. He said he'd never noticed it but would check it out. About a year later I was riding by and noticed a ladder and a sign painter tending to the sign. He was re-painting the sign, again in bright red, but did not correct the spelling!

At least they spelled "BSA" right.

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