Interview with Motorcycle mechanic Daniel Kan
This week, I spoke to mechanic Daniel Kan of Southern Cross Motorcycles, which happens to be my local garage. Dan is 25 and has been riding for eight years.
Is the shop busy at the moment?
Fairly, not as busy as the last few years, but this week’s picked up, big time, obviously because of the Olympics, everybody’s like, “oh, tube’s going to be ram packed, can’t take the car anywhere, yep, gotta get the bike back out”. We’re getting a lot of that at the moment, bringing bikes out of storage.
How’re the Olympics going to affect you personally?
Not going to affect me, riding bikes, traffic is traffic, never really a big deal for any of us.
What do people usually being their bikes in for?
Now, mostly when they break down, not many people doing the periodic maintenance. There’re still some die-hards that love their bikes and what them maintained correctly.
Do you need to love motorbikes to do this job?
Pretty much, it’s not really a job you do for the millions. I do it because it’s one of the few things that I know very well. I enjoy coming to work, it’s not a chore at all.
And you get to ride all the bikes?
What do you ride?
My everyday bike is a Suzuki SV650, but also a stunt prepared scooter for bashing around.
Any maintenance tips for new riders?
Start with the basics, if you’re on a geared bike, drive chains, and make sure brake lights are working. Most importantly tyre pressure, whether scooter or bike rider check tyre pressure once a week, it will save you money on everything. It’ll save you tyres, it’ll save you brakes, it’ll save you fuel. Pretty much everything, it is the one most important thing you should keep on top of.
Open or full face helmet?
Full face, unless on a super slow bike, but definitely not on a sports bike.
Summer clothing advise?
It might be hot out there, but a jacket and padded trousers, boots, it’s one of those things, if you fall off it’s going to hurt either way, but you try to minimise it as much as you can. Get the best helmet you can afford, one area you don’t want to skimp on; it’s a matter of how much you think your head is worth really.
Are there many career options in motorcycling?
There’s a lot of things you can do, it’s not just to do with twisting spanners, there’s the whole sales department, clothing and accessories.
What should everyone have in their tool kit?
A few basic tools, stuff you need to access spark plugs, fuse boxes, any tools you’ll need to get at those two at the very least, so you can do some basic checks to get yourself out of trouble.
Safety tips for new riders?
Drive like everyone else on the road is an absolute muppet and have no idea what they’re doing and you should be alright.