Some things to think about before dropping your bike off…

Hi..My name is JD. I’ve been working on bikes for many years. Actually, I’ve been working on LOTS of things over the past 45+ years. Just ask my Grandmother about the toaster…

I enjoy working on motorcycles..all kinds, shape and sizes. Old, new, in between..preferably older bikes, though. My favorites are the mid 80’s Viragos, Shovelheads, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Triumphs, BSA’s and the like. You know, the classics. If you have to work on a bike that makes you swear, cuss and throw wrenches, well, it ain’t doing either one of us much good.

We do frame work, engine/trans rebuilds, restorations, tuning, tire changes, oil changes, differentials, wheel lacing and truing, powder coating…pretty much the whole gamut. Which also means, we need to know about a lot (a LOT!) of different bikes. Which brings us to my “Top 11 List”…Wait, we’ll get to that shortly…But first, let me just say, before you read the Top 11 List, remember, I’m fairly mild mannered, easy going, honest (to a fault), and I get along with “most” everybody…but, sometimes, there are exceptions. Here’s where the “Top 11 List” comes into play…

Things that we don’t like, or do, here at PanikSwitch:

1: Evolution, Twin Cams,Milwaukee 8’s or new Indians. No sir, we just don’t work on them. Why? Well, there’s enough Harley and Indian mechanics around the Central Maine area, who needs one more? If you still insist that we work on your new, shiny Harley-Davidson or Indian motorcycle, see Addendum #12.

2: Attitudes. If you come in to our humble shop, and grace us with a bitchy attitude, you’ll be doing exactly what the guys from #1 do…Reading addendum #12

3. Pushing us to work faster…Look, I know you have that “All-important-ride” to do tomorrow…but it’s not our fault you waited to the last minute to get your repairs done. Did your tires wear out overnight, sitting in the garage? Probably not…The more you call to inquire about your baby, and it’s necessary repairs, the more your bill goes up. Plain. and. Simple.

4: Expect us to know everything. I realize that you probably know more about your bike than I do…I’ve had a few kindly folks tell me that…and that’s great! It’s good that you know your bike really well. However, refer to paragraph 3, line 2 above…We know most about most every bike. However, we don’t know everything about every bike. You say that the tech at the dealership knows his bikes extra-good? Well, remember, he only needs to know a few models of whatever make that they sell…We need to know ALL bikes…Since we do work on such a wide variety of older bikes, remember, a lot of these parts needed are extremely hard to find. Some need to be ordered from overseas, which means a longer wait time. Don’t yell at me…yell at the guy who bought the bike to begin with, knowing that parts were hard to find. Besides, if you come to us looking for parts, chances are good you couldn’t find them either…sooo, there’s that…lol…

5: YouTube. If you mention, just once, that you saw on YouTube (or any other video channel) how to do it quicker, better, or cheaper, then it’s on to addendum #12.

6: Your buddy. Your buddy says he can do it quicker, cheaper or better…sort of like #5, but your buddy says he saw it on YouTube…so, it’s second-hand bullshit. Refer to addendum #12 then proceed to have your “buddy” fix your bike.

7: Discounts and deals. Does your electric company offer you a discount if you ask them? Probably not…How about your Doctor? Do you ask for discounts or deals when checking out at Home Depot or Hannafords? Yea..I didn’t think so. Everytime I’ve given a discount for something, it’s bit me in the ass…I get the “You changed my tires 4 months ago, and now the oil filter is loose” routine…W. T. F? How does that even…aaww, nevermind..moving on. (Barry, read this

8: No yelling at the techs. If you want to yell at someone because the clutch doesn’t feel like it did when it came in (after asking us to adjust it for you), yell at me. Go ahead. These guys do not get paid enough to listen to your bullshit. No amount of money could compensate for that. And, if your clutch feels different, it’s probably because it was so far out of damn adjustment, and now it’s back within specs. Oh, if you do proceed to yell at me, refer to addendum #12.

9: You’re not special. No, you are not. Nobody that comes in here, gets treated differently when it comes to how much you spend here. If you spend $10, or $10,000, you’re all an important customer to me. You’re not just a customer, either…You’re a buddy for life. That is, if you follow the “rules”…Yes, that means you, Meagan.

10: No customer supplied parts. This is probably the most important, and the one that’ll piss more people off. As of September 1st, 2018, we will NOT install parts that you provide. If you want us to install tires, lights, handlebars, etc…we only install parts that we provide. We’ve had more pissed off customers that had to wait more than 2 weeks because the parts that they bought were not the right ones…Not. Our. Fault. If we order it, it will be the right parts. Less wait time, means more happy for you. We’ve taken your parts for the past 5 years. We’ve installed your parts for the past 5 years. Times change…and so do we.

11: Diagnosing over the phone. Easy enough to understand, right? Well, let me make it perfectly clear. You call, ask me about how to fix your old Sporty generator…I say “No.”. It’s that easy. Really…it is.

                Addendum #12: (For any customer who decides the previous rules do not apply to them) While facing the front counter, turn left 90 degrees. Walk three feet, then turn left 90 degrees again. Walk 14 steps forward. After you proceed through the front door, please do us all a favor, and forget you ever came here, forget our name, forget our number. I don’t mean to sound rude, assholish, or like a peckahead, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 10 years, it’s that we do not need unnecessary bullshit in our shop. These 11 rules will cut down the needless errors, by bringing us good, quality customers…It may be fewer customers, but we’ll be able to keep the high success rate that we’ve earned, and keep you guys happy and riding confidently.

We strive to keep you guys riding all year long…it’s our goal to do the proper maintenance on your machines, while keeping our bills paid. It’s simple economics. Just plain simple.


3 Replies to “Some things to think about before dropping your bike off…”

  1. Not likely I’ll ever have the opportunity to break any of your rules. However, none of your rules sound like anything but common sense and courtesy to me and #12 is a lot less messy than a ball bat.

  2. Know where you are coming from. Should be # 12.
    If you are an auto mechanic don’t think you are a bike mechanic . They are not the same. Trust me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *