If you come across a good mechanic, especially one who works out of a small business or one-man shop, chances are, he is just that–one man running his shop. This means he lives, breathes, eats, and dreams motorcycles, and there are eternal black grease stains under and around his fingernail beds. This means that when he is not wrenching, he is most likely doing something else related to his business, like looking up parts, ordering parts, answering the phones or email, throwing out the trash, bookkeeping, and other everyday tasks that a one-man shop owner does. This means then, that his hourly labor rate, when divided up according to all the hours that he spends doing these tasks, ends up being much lower than what he actually charges you.

With this in mind, here is a list of things that you should avoid when dealing with your one-man shop mechanic, lest you annoy him. And you wouldn’t wanna do that. Because he takes good care of your motorcycle.

1. Don’t ask your mechanic all kinds of questions about parts, ask him to look up parts and parts costs, how to do the job, and then buy the parts for cheap online, take the job to another shop up the road, AND THEN visit the one-man shop to show off the parts you bought and the work you got done at another shop. Why?!

2. Don’t ask your mechanic to change a gasket on your engine, then when you pick up your bike you blame him for your turn signals not working. Um, gasket and turn signals = totally unrelated!

3. Don’t call your mechanic at 5:30am in the morning. It is likely his cell phone number you are calling, and he and his wife are fast asleep; what’s more, your question can probably wait until 8:00am, a decent hour for making phone calls, in case you didn’t know.

4. If you drop off your bike for a job, don’t call your mechanic 12 times in a span of 1 minute, unless you want to be blackballed from the shop for life. Can you say psycho?

5. Don’t haggle with your mechanic about his hourly labor rate. It is not negotiable. And it is actually an insult. If your motorcycle could talk, it would tell you to shut the #$&% up! It loves being in the shop, where it gets the attention and care it needs!

Trish Tolentino