2013 Graduate, Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician
Motorcycle Technician at Ocean State Harley-Davidson, Warwick, RI
(In 2018, Mark continues working at Ocean State H-D)
“People who have no experience in using a wrench come out having learned the basics of motorcycle and small engine repair and maintenance. What you put into it, is what you get out of it. Attending MTTI was a turning point for me to change direction in every part of my life.”
I came to MTTI with customer service and retail experience. I was out of work. I hadn’t yet found my niche—and I wanted to do something different I was interested in both Marine and Motorcycle programs. I had always wanted to get a motorcycle, so I looked at the Motorcycle/Power Equipment program first.
I can fix almost anything, and I can show someone else how to do that. High School was difficult for me. I can’t sit in a classroom all day—I need to be doing things. MTTI was much better, because it is hands-on. The teachers have great qualifications and experience, so they can show you what to do. I would complete tasks in the shop and then ask others if I could help them.
Initially I wanted to work in a small shop in preference to a dealership.
I thought I might start my own shop, but there’s a lot of overhead and administrative maintenance. I don’t handle that kind of stress well.
I attended Ocean State Harley Davidson’s Hogs Hot Rod Show and filled out an application.
A couple of weeks later, Amy called—they needed to fill a technician position. She called me in the morning, and I was there at 1:00 pm for the interview—which lasted about 3 ½ hours while Amy also conducted business. Amy asked me what I thought I could bring to the business. At the interview’s end, Amy offered me a three week trial period to show what I could do; now I’ve been there eight months. It’s the best job I’ve ever had!
Ocean State is family run—they treat everyone there like part of the family.
I show my respect and they in turn respect me. Amy comes by every day and says, ‘Good Morning.’ Everyone I work with is friendly and helpful. It’s important to ask for help.
I uncrate and inspect new bikes to make sure there are no defects.
Using the set up manual, I customize the bike according to the height and weight of the rider and adjust the handlebars. I also install accessories, including lights, exhaust, different wheels. Although I work primarily in the set-up department, when it is busy I work departments—do a little of everything.
At MTTI we don’t have courses that are specifically for Harley-Davidson. Students bring in their own bikes, and MTTI has many makes and models of both new and vintage bikes in the shop.
A motorcycle is a motorcycle—even if there are some design differences. I consult the Service Manual, and as long as someone is willing to show me things, the basics I learned at MTTI help me work on any bike. I’m also watching videos and taking tests to get the Harley-Davidson Certification.
Before I enrolled at MTTI I didn’t have anything to show for my years of work.
I knew I needed to go back to school. My car was broken and I couldn’t afford to fix it, so I had to take the bus every day. My willingness to stand in the cold every day, waiting for the bus, impressed my parents—they knew I was serious about making a change.
I could have gone to another school for a year-and-a half program and paid three times the money.
Ward Ring has hired the right people to help you succeed. The addition of a third instructor in the shop allows Jay and Mike to spend more time with people who are new to mechanics, while Gary walks around to see who needs a little more help.
Even people who have no experience in using a wrench come out having learned the basics of motorcycle and small engine repair and maintenance. What you put into it, is what you get out of it.
At the program’s end, I earned the Bronze Wrench Award for Best Shop Skills.
Attending MTTI was a turning point for me to change direction in every part of my life. I’ve recently returned to Church and made my Confirmation. I have a new car, a motorcycle—and better than just a job, I have a new career.
Russ’ Ocean State Harley-Davidson®
5 Albany Road Warwick, RI 02888 &
435 Nooseneck Hill Road Exeter, RI 02822