June 22, 2024

Didcot Gateway

Building Cars, People First

How to explain your motorcycle problem to a mechanic

Whenever your bike issues that aren’t as obvious as toothless sprockets or flat tires, proper communication is the only way for your mechanic to sort you out. Especially if you are communicating on phone and they aren’t on site with your bike. A vague answer makes it impossible for them to make a diagnosis.

In this guide, I will help you be precise and communicate clearly for a mechanic to be able to help you troubleshoot your bike. As an OEM motorcycle parts dealer, I have learnt to think like a mechanic.   

Verbal questions and probes

For you to build a mental framework you have to probe some questions to identify the situation or problem of your bike. Think about what happened before the problem, what were you doing? Gather as much background details and scenarios as possible. Act like a detective interrogating a witness and rely on the information you gather to your mechanic.

Getting the scenario surrounding the problem right is key to making a diagnosis. What happened before and after? Were you coming from a long ride? Was it raining? What was your speed? Did you hit a bump? Jog your memory to reveal every detail around your problem.

I know some questions might seem irrelevant but they might result in a lightbulb moment for your mechanic. Whatever it is, don’t hold back.

Be in tune with your bike

Feel your bike to get in touch with all the sensations on it. With your hands on the grips, your feet on the pegs and your ass on the seat, you can feel all rattles. If it’s shaking, knocking, shuddering, etc. you have thousands of nerve endings waiting to detect. Take note of the parts from which unusual sounds and sensations originate. For an attentive rider, you can diagnose your bike with so many maladies. From loose cam chain to wrong bearings, glazed brakes, warped clutch, unbalanced wheels, among others.

Imitate the sounds

Sounds are like pictures, worth a thousand words. To mechanics, maybe more. Ever watched Car Talk? You might want to watch it to get the motivation you need to make that screeching sound. In addition to sounding crazy, you might just get a solution and save the day.

In a nutshell, your mechanic isn’t a magician who’ll just go ‘abracadabra’ and your bike is healed. They are just like you and me but with logic and they need details to fix your motorcycle faster.