Technician Episode 01
Getting started as a technician
Actually I never had much interest in motorcycles until I was a high school student. There were two triggers that spurred my interest. One was that a friend that got a medium-size motorcycle license at that time. I was just riding to school on a 50cc moped at the time and just thought motorcycles would be fun. Another push which was kind of interesting was from a free gift that came with canned coffee I got on my way from school. It was a small plastic model of bike from Yamaha's old motorcycle series. The model I got was the famous RZ bike from the 1980's. It was love at first sight since I had never seen such a cool looking bike. I somehow wanted to start riding motorcycles because of my friend but this desire suddenly changed all at once to “I want to ride the RZ.” However, the RZ at that time was already 20 years old and was getting ancient. The people around me gave advice and eventually I chose “R1-Z” which was a follow-up model to the RZ.
After that, I ran around everywhere on my motorcycle all day and all night and all I could think about was motorcycles. However, at the time I was only interested in them as a rider, and never thought of becoming a technician. My relationship with the shop where I bought this R1-Z got me started on the road to becoming a technician.
This shop was kind of unusual in that it only handled medium-sized motorcycles. The shop opened in the evening and closed at dawn. It was a shop where the regulars were always hanging out and I was one of them. Eventually, I borrowed tools and began doing service work in a corner of the shop. If it was a minor repair of a customer's bike I helped in any way I could and eventually got handed the key to the bike shop (laugh). My interest in bikes all started at first sight of the RZ style and before I knew it I had become a technician. That is my true career record.
The moment I realized I love my job
Now that I think about it I remember one incident. A guy who bought a motorcycle for a cheap price at an Internet auction came by our shop. It turned out that the day after he bought the motorcycle it stopped running because the battery died. The shop where he purchased it claimed not to know anything about it and not knowing what else to do he came to our shop. There was a problem with the charging system, but because the vehicle was an old model there were no parts in stock. He still insisted he wanted it fixed so I figured out a way to repair the vehicle by using old parts and repairing the wiring and whatever else I could do. The customer was really happy even though it took nearly half the price at which he purchased the bike to fix it. He said, “You guys were so nice to me next time I'll purchase a motorcycle from an authorized dealer like yours.” This was a great moment for me since the customer showed how pleased he was with how we took care of him.
Our work also involves an aspect wherein we not only do service work but also provide it at a price equivalent to the safety we provide. Some people may ask why an oil change at our shop costs more than other shops. But an oil change at our shop means lifting the vehicle, checking the surrounding parts while doing reliable service work and then providing the customer accurate advice depending on the state of the oil after the service work. That is our service policy here at YSP.
Many people are attracted by the idea of getting the cheapest possible price. But once even those customers experience real service, they will definitely notice its true value. As a technician it is nice to have customers notice things like that about my job, just like the case of the above customer from the Internet auction.
Message to Yamaha customers
The other day I had the chance to enter the pit at the Moto GP and look their pit work closely. I felt confident that technician in my shop was as good as anybody when it came to service skill. So when I asked why there weren't any Japanese technicians around, I was told that the Japanese technicians spoke poor English and so couldn't communicate with the riders…
Good communication between the rider and technician is not only important during races. There are technicians at the Yamaha authorized dealer who make every effort to meet customer expectations so when visiting a Yamaha dealer, don't forget to say hello to the technicians. We give 100% support to the value and experiences you get from riding your Yamaha!