® Answerman

Qualified advice is getting hard to find. I know of someone in my industry who actually charges people who call him with questions. While I appreciate the concept and don't fault him for this, neither can I see my way to doing it. The fact is I enjoy talking with folks about their bikes. Having started in the industry back when motorcycles were much more prevalent and an egalitarian activity and thus one that demanded rider involvement in upkeep, and after two-thirds of my career spent in votech training, I understand and enjoy helping DIY folks with their bikes. I think it's an important part of motorcycle ownership. And you could say it's symbiotic; it works both ways. Whether they end up being paying customers or not, they're not any the less customers. I enjoy answering questions, and I hope those who look me up for advice gain something from it. I enjoy playing "answerman."

Even when people don't want my help. Yes, a small percentage of the folks who contact me have already decided what they will do and are just looking for confirmation. Hmm, not the best situation, but it's okay, even if helping ends up looking like something different. They come to me with previous bad advice that in many cases isn't going to serve them well. I try to navigate through these pitfalls. It is much less rewarding, because often they don't believe what I tell them. But I still try. It's part of my job to educate. But you can't force it.

What kinds of misconceptions do people have? A lot of those who call and email me are convinced by all the insidious hype about oxygenated fuel. Others believe that aftermarket exhausts increase performance. Many insist on using troubleshooting techniques that are not technique at all but really folklore. Most seem unaware of the harm that silicone sealer can be, or why K&N air filters are not the best choice. And there is a lot more. But it's okay. These people's need is just as valid as that of the others who contact me. Despite bad ideas, they're still very important and I enjoy working with them.

Folks who look me up should never feel hesitant or think they are bothering me. I will never regret time spent with folks sincerely looking for advice.

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