A motorcyclist who buys his own motorcycle is not just getting a new toy to use as a workhorse, but also getting his paycheck.
The motorcycle mechanic who makes that choice is paying for the upkeep of his work-horse.
“If you’re going to do your job and take your time to do it well, you have to have a car to go to work and your wife to take care of you,” said John Pinto, a former bike mechanic for 20 years who owns his own business in Sacramento.
The mechanic has his own cars and his own maintenance and repair crews, but he has to pay for the cost of fuel, maintenance and insurance.
Pinto said the mechanic pays $1,800 for his motorcycle, but that his wife pays $2,500.
That’s because Pinto said she works long hours to help keep his business running, but they don’t have much income to live on.
“The only thing that I can really get by on is my car, but I have a motorcycle,” Pinto told the Sacramento Bee.
He said his wife works part-time and spends money on gas and groceries to pay the bills.
In addition to paying the bills, Pinto also makes sure to keep up with the state’s safety regulations, including requirements that he wear a helmet, use a properly equipped vehicle and stay in a safe distance from other drivers.
But the mechanics profession is changing.
Motorcycle mechanics are seeing an uptick in new customers and more and more motorcycle owners are choosing to own their own machines, according to an Associated Press report in 2017.
New motorcycles have been coming on the market in recent years.
Most new motorcycles sold in 2017 were made in Europe, but new models like the Ducati San Marco, Harley-Davidson V-Strom, Harley Davidson Sportster and Ducati Superbike were also on the road, according the AP.
With the rise of electric vehicles, some of those bikes are even making their way to America.
It’s an issue Pinto has heard about from his friends, but said he’s also heard that he is not alone.
A recent survey from the National Motor Vehicle Association found that more than half of American motorcycles owners say they are worried about the future of their hobby.
This year, the motorcycle industry is set to meet for its annual convention in Las Vegas, and it’s looking to bring more attention to the growing popularity of the hobby, Pina said.
So far, the AMA’s survey showed that the percentage of motorcycles owners who said they had a “very positive” or “extremely positive” view of the profession had grown from 27 percent in 2015 to 35 percent in 2017, according Toews.
And the AMA has seen a steady increase in motorcycle riders over the past five years, according The Associated Press.
Currently, there are more than 30,000 motorcycle owners, according USA Today.
But that’s a number that could increase over time, the newspaper reported.