My father first got an electric bike that we would ride in the backyard. Then we bought a real gas-powered bike. I’m more of an-off-the-road person; I started trail riding with dirt bikes for fun and moved on to motocross. I raced first on a smaller KTM85 2-stroke, then on a 152 2-stroke and eventually upgraded to a 250 4-stroke.
They offer BMW, KIA, Ducati and a full Indian line-up, in addition to KTM. They are the only full-service KTM dealer in this area, west of route 495. Way back, my Dad bought his first motorcycle there. Over the years, I bought parts to replace air filters, adjust and replace handlebars and make other small repairs. I could perform basic maintenance, but not work on an engine—I couldn’t replace a clutch.
I read all of the reviews on the internet—the school has very good reviews. I spent a Guest Day shadowing the program, during which I was able to observe instruction in the classroom and the shop. I liked what I saw the class doing and felt comfortable in the school environment. Looking at what they were able to teach, I knew I would enjoy the program; I felt confident it would lead me somewhere.
MTTI teaches much more in the motorcycle program than I had been able to learn on my own. During the program, we took engines apart and didn’t just replace the parts—we figured out what was wrong and fixed them.
It was a new place, new teachers, new people—even though I had some knowledge about dirt bikes and motorcycles, a lot in the curriculum was new to me. My classmates ranged from around my age—recently out of high school—to guys in their 60’s. Shy at first, I didn’t know what to expect. After a couple of weeks, the class gelled and it felt like a family. Everyone in the class was cool—all nice people, open to one another and to learning.
I started to understand what I hadn’t before—how things work. I’d think to myself: ‘Now that makes sense’. As we moved forward to cover new topics, everything fell in line; the course ran smoothly. The most difficult area to understand was electronics. By that time, the pandemic had emerged, forcing us to learn online. Even with the challenge of learning remotely, I enjoyed the program.
I really wanted to do well in internship, so I would be hired. Fortunately, everyone at Wagner was super nice and outgoing—they were all there to help. I concentrated on working hard to prove myself. I’ve been working my way up—from watching someone else do the tasks to doing them on my own. I began by doing tire changes to working on sales bikes, then performing set-up to ready the bikes for their new owners. The best part came when I was given permission to do test drives. I’ve driven some cool—even some scary big—bikes. A highlight was the first time driving a big cruiser—a 2021 KTM 250 XSF; it’s the new version of the KTM bike I own.
They would touch base with me while I was in school, to see when I would be ready to start interning. During the 2-3 weeks we were out of school because of COVID-19, Wagner contacted me and asked me to work for them in Parts. When we were able to go back to the school to complete the shop skills, I worked after school, from 4-6 pm. Even before I graduated school, I was already on the payroll.
I’m hoping, in the future, to go to KTM to become Certified for working on KTM bikes. My goal now is to continue getting more in-depth experience working on engines, and to be ready when I am offered the opportunity to become KTM Certified.
My mom and dad have always had my back and supported me in doing what I enjoy. My dad, who had raced with me, was my first teacher. He liked the idea of my attending the motorcycle program. He knew I would be happy—interested in what I was learning—and good at it. Throughout the program he would ask about what I was working on in class. After having finished school, our roles are reversed—now I’m his teacher.
I had a great experience at MTTI. I made friends, some of whom I’ve stayed in touch with. I’ve already recommended MTTI to a friend. I told him about the Instructors—how they know their stuff and were helpful to me. They wanted to share their knowledge and experience, because they want us to do well in the industry.
When friends ask me about training for a career, I tell them, ‘Do what you love, what makes you happy’. For me it was dirt bikes. So that’s what I decided to pursue—training to work on dirt bikes and motorcycles. MTTI has been a good place to learn how to do that.