PSI: For those who want to fix bikes for a living
Words & Photos: John Gunnell
So you say you want to fix motorcycles for a living? Better check into the PowerSport Institute in North Randall, Ohio, a branch of Ohio Technical College. At PSI the goal is to teach students to repair motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft. Its motto is “Powersport Technician Training for All 4 Seasons.”
PSI offers three diploma programs. The PowerSport Specialist Program runs 48 weeks (1200 clock hours) and consists of 10 of the school’s 17 current courses. The PowerSport Technician Program runs 72 weeks (1500 clock hours) and consists of the same 10 courses, plus four in-house “factory” schools, instead of just two of them. PSI’s third curriculum—American V-Twin Specialist—is another 48-week program. Core courses from other programs are included, but Japanese factory schools are not. AVS students take: 1) V-Twin Technology, 2) Victory Technology and 3) Custom Motorcycle Building and Performance.
Officially supported by Polaris/Victory, the American V-Twin module teaches students how to work on both Victorys and Harleys. The skills needed to build motorcycles from the ground up and to test them on a dyno are included, as well as some basic painting skills and electrical wiring.
The school currently has 210 students and over 400 machines for them to work on. PSI’s “Motorcycle World” complex also features the training campus, a motorcross/snowcross racecourse and other unique training and event facilities. .It is so big that the school was able to expand its Partners in Education program that offers training on Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, American V-Twins and several other brands.
Tom King, the twin schools’ Director of Enrollment, said there are plans to expand the manufacturer training classes in the PowerSport Technician program and to add Custom Paint & Graphics classes and an Associate Degree program. A motorcross/snowcross course, complete with grandstands, is in the works.
Individual sections of the school look like retail stores selling Kawasakis, Hondas, Yamahas and Victory bikes. It has a flavor of youthful enthusiasm in its new campus, but all of the traditional teaching talents and skills are also there. PSI’s mission is to educate power sport technicians and make it fun to be in school. For information on the PowerSport Institute contact the Ohio Technical College – Main Campus, 1374 East 51 St., Cleveland, OH 44103. You can also call 1-800-322-7000 or visit www.ohiotechnicalcollege.com.