Originally Posted by Snarky
Like he said, don't buy Snap-On tools, especially when starting out unless you got a really compelling reason. (Like the Snap-On trucks stops by all the time and you get good deals) I got 35$ (a piece) Snap-On wrenches and I got 8$ a piece Craftsman wrenches. It takes forever to get a Snap-On driver to get you a replacement or repaired tool half the time. It's just as easy to replacement tools at Sears, but they cost less. If you need a special tool you'll use all the time that Sears doesn't carry go with Snap-On second. If you're only going to use it once or twice, go with Harborfreight or Northern Tool.
Cobalt and Husky stuff is disposable usually. I only buy it sometimes for back ups.
Matco and Cornwell stuff is good too, but trucks are rare sometimes.
Here's the deal: if you already know how to work on a bike. You can probably get a job doing it if you know your stuff.
If you don't, do a lot of research, and practice on your own bike. Maybe take an online course in it. Maybe move some place where you can take a hands on class.
However, you can get hands on experience just working under a master mechanic helping out, which you will be doing whether you take a class or not. Most businesses won't allow somebody who has never worked on a vehicle in real world conditions, to perform work solo. School training or no school training, the sad fact is that those schools just don't provide the trust in skill that many businesses require.
If you want to go to school just to get a certification for being a motorcycle mechanic: don't bother. As far as I know there is no sanctioning body that certifies motorcycle mechanics nationally.
If you had an ASE certification and knew how to work on cars, than that's probably more beneficial than any motorcycle repair class. If anyone still values the ASE anymore, than that shows you have knowledge in mechanical systems. Cars are more complicated (more cylinders, more wheels), generally have more advanced technology (direct injection versus throttle body, auto trannys), and require more specialized tools (cam positioning tools, advanced on-board diagnostic readers) than motorcycles. That's not saying that motorcycles are not more dangerous if you get it wrong but cars are probably more difficult to work on as a whole.
The things that a automotive training wont get you for motorcycls, but it probably easily acquired knowledge:
The ability to service and replace chains: easy to learn.
The ability to replace wheel bearings on a bike(much different from cars): easy to learn.
The ability to build and true spoke wheels: moderate to learn.
The ability to service and tune motorcycle forks. harder to learn [imo].
The knowledge about bike clutches and stators. Moderate to learn.
Most everything else is the same.
Braking systems are similar. Bikes are a bit easier unless there is ABS or Traction control, then it's about the same in difficulty.
The Manual Transmissions are a little different, but the repair is not shockingly off.
Electrical system is much simpler in a bike.
Computer systems are much less standardized in bikes, but if you have the right scanner, it's similar for diagnostics.
Drive trains in bikes can be shaft, belt, or chain. Some can be complicated, but generally less difficult to work on than cars.
Bike suspension can need fine tuning and the ability to see fine details. In cars its just brutal work.
Most of this stuff doesn't matter. Most shops would rather replace parts than rebuild them, it's almost to the point where it's cheaper and easier to put a good used engine in a bike, than it is to rebuild a mechanically abused one. You would still want to know forks, wheels, and clutches though.
90% of running and not crashed bikes probably either got a wheel out of whack (if it's a spoked dirt bike or cruiser), a worn clutch, or leaky forks for basic wear and tear repairs.
Cars and Bikes are generally repaired the same way: a mechanic will use his basic knowledge on internal combustion engines and how the system as a whole is supposed to work as a whole to diagnose the problem with the vehicle. The mechanic will then perform the repair and/or replace the damaged parts using a digital (no one with modern facilities uses paper anymore) service manual as a supplement to make sure all tolerances are followed.