Riding down the wrong road in life, Evan took a turn to train for a new career. After earning MTTI’s Top Tech Award, he’s now on track towards becoming a top tech where he works, and in the motorcycle industry.
During my teen years, I surrounded myself with people who were doing the wrong things. Even knowing that their values weren’t the same as mine, I fell under their influence. Finally, I reached a breaking point. I made a bad decision that afterwards I regretted.
I needed steady work and an income, but it was difficult to convince employers to hire me. Worrying about my future, I felt at risk for making more mistakes in life. I went from job-to-job, doing seasonal work as a landscaper—and then, for a while, working as a laborer. That job paid well and had benefits, but the work made me miserable. I was unhappy thinking this might be my long-term career.
I figured I would just have to keep working as a laborer. Fortunately, my grandmother’s husband, Bob, helped me get a better lawyer, who worked out a solution to my situation. My mom, my grandmother and Bob all encouraged me to go to school. They kept telling me, “You should do it!”
Bob knew Ward. He and Cheryl, the Admissions Representative for the Motorcycle Tech program, suggested I write to Ward. In my letter, I explained that I was working hard to make up for some poor choices I had made in the past. I had been riding and working on bikes since I was 6 years old. I knew that working on bikes was what I loved most to do—and with the proper training and guidance, I believed I could make a good living and a happy life as a motorcycle mechanic.
It felt really good when Ward gave me a chance to prove myself. Still, I felt anxious about whether I could succeed in the program. Once school started in the fall, I began getting to know my classmates. Day-by-day, I became more comfortable with everyone, and with what I was learning in the classroom and shop. At school, I was getting more detailed information than when I had researched on my own how to work on bikes.
The skills we were learning made me happy—especially because I could do them. Erin in Career Services helped me search for a job. It’s difficult for me to be sociable with others until I get to know them, so my interview skills weren’t great. Erin coached me on how to talk with employers about what I wanted to do during my internship. She helped me know how to answer the hard questions about my past that employers might ask me.
I went in to get some parts and heard they were looking for help. Past MTTI grads had been hired there; they told me that Motorsports Nation is a good place to work. I transferred my internship to Motorsports Nation—and after my second day there, they hired me. They appreciate my strong work ethic, knowing that I will do whatever they ask me to do.
As a Tech, I am assembling new bikes out of crates, prepping bikes for new owners, and even starting to provide service. It’s my dream job. In what other kind of job can you go for a ride while being paid to work? We recently held a demo of the 2021 Can-Am Spyder RT. It is a three-wheeled motorcycle that has a single rear drive wheel and two wheels in front for steering, laid out like a modern snowmobile. My boss asked if I wanted to go for a ride—I did, and it was awesome!
To be a top tech takes the ambition to figure everything out—not giving up or making mistakes that cost the shop. I know what it is like to search shops for a good mechanic. I had brought my bike to places where they gave it back to me, saying they couldn’t fix it. I don’t want to do that to anyone. I want to be the person they bring it to, who fixes it right the first time. A good mechanic is hard to find—I want to be that mechanic.
I don’t have to freak out about having to go to a job I don’t like. I’m not feeling angry any more about work and wanting to quit. Working at a job that I feel I’m meant to do—that I love—helps keep me out of trouble. It gives me a sense of purpose, and security in life—now and for the future.
The school has extremely knowledgeable and supportive teachers, who have a lot of experience in their industry. People who are new to the motorcycle industry can come out of the program and be well on their way to becoming good mechanics. During the program, I met like-minded people who have similar interests—people who I will stay in touch with my whole life. MTTI made me feel like I was somewhere I belong—that I am part of their community. That’s a very good feeling.