Looking To Break Into The Motorcycle Industry? Here’s How!

After 28 years of working in the motorcycle industry, I
have become a student of the game. Common traits and a shared
passion for powersports seem to bond the industry players together.
It also amazes me how many people got their start. When asked, most of
my colleagues all have one thing in common… and that’s a dealership.
From parts, sales, shipping and receiving or just being the “gopher.”
Once you have your foot in the door, these jobs end up being stepping
stones toward other jobs. After years of moving around and up, my
colleagues eventually landed their dream motorcycle industry job.

It’s interesting to see just how many great influential industry leaders got
their start in a dealership. It is also exciting to know that anyone can
make their start the same way, just by following the footsteps of others
who have succeeded. Rarely does it happen overnight, not to say it doesn’t
happen. A little off topic, but one of the highlights of my career with MIJ
was getting a phone call from a recent college grad, who landed his dream
job of being the rider support guy for Alpinestars. He called to thank me for
creating MIJ and allowing people a way to break into the motorcycle Industry.

This industry is always hungry for people who have passion, who are
willing to work hard, and who have an outgoing personality. Honestly, it’s that
simple! That’s why if you are interested in breaking in the motorcycle industry
and your passion is motorcycles, you should seriously consider working
at a dealership. Start where there’s an opening — any opening — and
prove to management that you live and breathe motorcycles. Guess what
will happen? You’ll interact with other motorcycle enthusiasts on a daily
basis, and you’ll be networking with future opportunities without even
realizing it.

For those already working in a dealership, your workplace is a hotbed
for networking. Think about how many people from the industry step foot in
a motorcycle shop. On any given day there are OEM District Managers,
Brand Managers, Distributor Representatives, and many more —
all who could be a great contact in the future for all types of industry jobs.

Now don’t get me wrong, dealerships offer some amazing opportunities —
and some of the highest wages I’ve heard about (depending on the job)
— so please don’t think that only good jobs are outside of the motorcycle
dealership. This Personnel File is about getting your foot in the door and in my
opinion motorcycle shops offer the best chance to get your foot in the
door. The possibilities are endless for someone who is motivated, excited,
and willing to do whatever it takes to break into the motorcycle industry.

Now don’t get me wrong, dealerships offer some amazing opportunities —
and some of the highest wages I’ve heard about (depending on the job)
— so please don’t think that only good jobs are outside of the motorcycle
dealership. This Personnel File is about getting your foot in the door and in my
opinion motorcycle shops offer the best chance to get your foot in the
door. The possibilities are endless for someone who is motivated, excited,
and willing to do whatever it takes to break into the motorcycle industry.
fun, then one day realized their motorcycle passion could
be so much more than a hobby. I hope those guys and gals
still exist; I really do.

If you are one of those people who still dream about working
in the motorcycle industry, a good resume will get you into
the door. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, and are
going for an entry level position, make sure your passion
for motorcycles shines through in your cover letter.

Start volunteering, do anything in the motorcycle industry.
Hear of a motorcycle event in your area, even a fundraising
ride? Go volunteer. You’ll not only have something
motorcycle related to put on your resume, but you’ll also
meet a lot of people who ride and share your passion. You’ll
even run into people who already work in the industry…so
don’t wait for a dealership job to start networking.

Once you get an interview, again, show your passion.
Dealerships should always ask why a potential employee
wants to work in the industry, so make sure you have a
good answer for that question. Just remember, once you
get a job at a dealership, don’t forget that every day you are
there is a day to prove your worth.

Dealers are concerned about the quality of people they
have working for them. They complain about their lack of
motivation, how their employees don’t seem to care, and
how some have negative attitudes. Don’t let yourself be
included in that group!

In order to succeed, you’ll need to stand out… and you’ll
need to take every opportunity you get to prove that not
only do you deserve to be there, but you also WANT to be
there. By doing that, you may start your motorcycle career
taking phone calls and scheduling motorcycle service
appointments, but years from now you may be the one
chatting me up about how you broke into the industry and
have been living your dream!

But please, if we do meet years from now and you’re the
top dog of the motorcycle industry, remember your roots.
Remember all those things you had to do to succeed. Don’t
forget that kid who applied for a job who had no experience
and just passion was YOU once.

Never forget the reason you got into the motorcycle
industry. Appreciate the hard work you put in, be proud of
it and your success… but don’t let it go to your head. If you
do that, you’ll forget the passion that brought you to the
motorcycle industry in the first place!

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One thought on “Looking To Break Into The Motorcycle Industry? Here’s How!

  1. Brad Hagi on Reply

    Absolutely love this article as it could not be truer words.

    I started out as a gopher at a dealership at 14 because I spent so much time hanging out the owner finally said grab a broom,clean the shop roll bikes in and out, wash customer bikes.

    This led to me assembling bikes out of crated which led me me to being a line mechanic.

    This led me to service writer which led me to parts manager.

    One day somebody called in sick and I was asked to moved to sales.

    A year later I was promoted to Sales manager and a year later the owner of the dealership drown and suddenly I was GM.

    This led to an offer as a District Manager for Yamaha and 8 years later I would be recruited by Ducati and move to Europe.

    6 years later was recruited by KTM and back to the United States ss Vice President.

    A few years later and I got the call to fly over to Austria and was offered to become President for KTM Japan and 2 years later I am President for KTM Asia.

    So this article is really accurate if you have passion and work hard the sky is the limit.

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