Honda VTX Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in getting into custom motorcycle parts engineering after college. I have been told recently that a person with an engineering degree is not allowed to design and build something without having their PE or, at least, without having a PE to sign off on it. I tend to think it is B.S., but I know some of you are engineers and/or have some experience in the field, so I am hoping for some insight from you guys.

I find it hard to believe that a guy with an education and an understanding of how to handle heat flow, statics, dynamics, physics, calculus, machine design, etc. would not be allowed to build something on his own and then sell it without a PE to sign off on it.....but a guy in his garage with a stinkin grinder and welder could slap something together and say "yep, it works" and sell it without an understanding of the long term effects of things like vibration, for example. Please say it isn't so.......... :?:

Sheesh, I really meant for this to be on the General Forum.......a little help here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Dude.. you can build what you want and sell what you want... but unless you are a PE you won't be building and certifying Bridges, Powerplants, Buildings etc. or anything that else that has a commercial application.

Why don't you go ahead and get your PE? Now is the best time. Do your EIT and then knock it out. If you wait too long it is a serious pain to try to remember everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, actually, I am planning on starting my own business directly out of school. I believe here in Vegas it is 4 years under a PE. I don't want to spend that many years working for someone else. I already have 12 years working for other people, I would like to move on. Thanks for the info. :D
 
L

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
apachebell,

As an engineer (electrical, Computer Science and psychology degrees). I can tell you that unless you want to work in civil engineering you do not need a PE. We have many engineers working for us (mechanical, electrical, software, systems) in the commercial industries and none of them have a PE. If you want to start a business making mechanical, electrical or software products for motorcycles you can do all this without a PE and sell to your hearts content.

Lonewolf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
True LW.. I was talking about larger applications. If you want to submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority or if you want to be an engineer that is actually responsible (and potentially culpable) for a public work, you have to be a PE. No way around it.

apachebell said:
Well, actually, I am planning on starting my own business directly out of school. I believe here in Vegas it is 4 years under a PE. I don't want to spend that many years working for someone else. I already have 12 years working for other people, I would like to move on. Thanks for the info. :D
If you try to get your PE after 12 years you will have some serious studying to do unless you are neck deep in real theory application and number crunching. (not speaking from experience or anything :p)

Good luck with your business. I wish I would have given it a shot earlier in my career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
937 Posts
Only problem is... when someone gets hurt from your design and you are in court trying to explain your design.

If you design any parts that involve a motorcycle which is more than dress-up, I would have a PE review and stamp any design prior to manufacturing the part for the public.

I'm an engineer as well and I belive in covering your A$$

Good Luck!
RKip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
Our Vice President of Engineering does NOT have his P.E. but he does have a kagillion engineers and manglement types working for him (plus he's the best engineer that I've ever known and I've known a bunch of them).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
My wife is a EE PE. The the PE licensing issue is generally for construction - homes, commercial buildings, bridges and the like. You'll probably be able to design and build and sell parts yourself without a PE just fine. It could be that your insurance rates would be much lower if you had the PE though. I'm not sure how that works, especially with regard to automotive accessories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Laws vary from state to state. In most states, you must have a PE to do consulting engineering work. You can design all you want for your own company, but if you contract your services as an engineer, you must have a PE in most states. And believe me they will come after you if the PE board finds out you are doing consulting without a license. Like you were told previously, take the EIT before you graduate. Most engineering schools conduct a review just before the EIT. It will be much harder in 5 or 10 years. Trust me, I know. I had a job before I graduated and decided I didn't need to take the EIT. Ten years later, I applied for a job that required a PE. Its much harder when you haven't touched some of the general disciplines in 10 years. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,418 Posts
If you don't do it now, fresh out of school, you'll probably never do it. And the stamp is worth some extra dough in most engineering jobs, and even when working for yourself, when it comes time to pay liability insurance.

As far as aftermarket motorcycle parts go, most of them are designed by machinists, and are fairly simple assemblies - that is, not a lot of real engineering necessary (of course, every machinist thinks he's an engineer). There's a reason for this - understanding the process of cutting metal is important to being able to create parts - otherwise, it's hard to know whether a particular design is going to be easy or expensive to make. So, if you really want to make motorcycle parts for a living, you need to spend some time actually learning to operate mills, lathes, brakes, and grinders - and do it *before* you start sending stuff to a CNC.

That being said, I have yet to see a machinist that really had more than a rudimentary grasp of statics and dynamics (force). Machinists tend to see everything in terms of "more metal, less metal". This works a lot of the time, but like the saying goes - when all you have to work with is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But as an engineer, it's also wise not to discount a machinists gut response - experience is a valuable asset.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Your insurance company tell you exactly what do you need and what not – that simple. A collapsed crash bar from Lindby – the settlement was $350000…..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
937 Posts
Tapper is right on.... my past is 1st class machinist for 10 years, went through Local 37 of the Aerospace and Machinist Union apprenticeship program, returned to college and obtained my Mechanical Engineering degree.

This is a great combination to develop motorcycle parts, except for the one main ingredient....MONEY!

Therefore I took the security of large salary, lot's of benefits, and flexible schedule. Time is money, it takes money to make money sometimes!

Anyway, I also agree with the EIT... take it now, I didn't and wish I would had. Still have not done it and 14 years later, working as a project engineer in a chemical plant, I would have a lot of refreshing to do if I could find the motivation.

I still suggest getting a PE to review parts that will encounter extreme stress loads to assist you with the final design and any possible court problems you face later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
I forgot to add that my Vice President of Engineering buddy, to this day, wishes that he would have taken the EIT and PE exams. Back in those days it wasn't difficult (some colleges gave the PE away if you passed the EIT).

It's not called EIT anymore. It's called FE (Fundamentals of Engineering).

I don't know any engineer that has seen or taken the FE test later in their career that was glad that they waited. It's not a walk in the park. I hope that you payed attention in class.

RKip- Have you looked at the FE and PE exam criteria? I don't know about your state (forgot to see where you live) but, depending on the state, you can take the FE without a degree if you have work experience and recomendations from other PE's. Some states would even allow you to take the PE without a degree as long as you passed the FE and had work experience and recomendations from PE's. Obviously that's not a factor for you but you might be able to waive the FE based on work experience. It's worth checking. Also- the web is full of study guides . I have "the Big Yellow Book" and some other study material. The book is a good reference if nothing else. Somewhere around here I have a CD that generates an FE test (about 4 years old so it's probably worthless). The last one that I took I made a 75. That wasn't good enough, then life made a few hard lefts and I never went back to it. I'll tell you this, with no college background, that shlt is tough to learn on your own. Try teaching yourself calculus :? I wish that I would have gotten to the point where I could have taken the FE test. I was almost there... Maybe later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
More of the same.....

Like has been said if you dont do the PE thing now you probably never will. To a lesser degree the same applies for a Masters in Engineering.

I can tell you in the medical device arena many of the designs are done by technicians and Co-Ops. Sadly, degreed engineers spend an enormous portion of their time in meetings discussing what to do next or what went wrong. However, what does happen there is a thing called Design Control (mandated by the FDA). Bottom line without getting into too much detail is the design is tested, tested some more, and then (you guessed it) tested again.

I think BIGLRY and Bone are in this stage with their rear brake master cyclinder for the VTX. This is a smart move on their part and it is some of that CYA that was talked about earlier. As an engineer you should adopt the mindset that "somewhere there is some knucklehead that is gonna try to screw me". Do that and you should be ok. Also a "second opinion" never hurts. Just get it in writing with oodles of data.

Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I'm a civil engineer and can tell you from experience to take the FE exam as soon as possible. I waited a year and a half and couldn't believe all the information I forgot in that short time period.

A P.E. is a must for design work in civil engineering - not sure about the particular field you are talking about.

And Yes, If you want to get your PE, you have to work under the direct supervision of a registered PE in your state for four years before you will be eligible to take the exam. They actually have to sign your application and give you a reference before you will be eligible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
EIT and PE Exams

Mech Engineer.

I took the EIT several years out of school. Use the Yellow Book, I think the author is Lindberg. You can get it from Amazon. Great study guide. National Society of Professional Engineers www.nspe.com may have some info on this book. Took it in Atlanta (Auburn War Eagle) with a bunch of Georgia Tech guys that brought the same book to the test with them. Looked like they stopped at the book store on the way to the test to pick up the study guide. Mine was literally worn out from studying. Passed the first time.

I took the PE about 10 years later. Used the Blue Book (Lindberg again) to study. Again, book was literally worn out from studying. Again passed the first time.

Both times I studied for 3 months every night 2 hours per night. I was prepared for each test. I highly recommend these two books.

I don't have to have the PE but it sure brings me prestige when talking with customers, coworkers and management.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Jesus Christ! There's some smart folks around here! I'm impressed! No, I'm not being facetious, either. :)
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
RKip said:
Only problem is... when someone gets hurt from your design and you are in court trying to explain your design.

If you design any parts that involve a motorcycle which is more than dress-up, I would have a PE review and stamp any design prior to manufacturing the part for the public.

I'm an engineer as well and I belive in covering your A$$

Good Luck!
RKip
Great advice....in the 60's/early 70's slugs were made for the front forks, a cheap way to extend them, they came apart and there were lawsuits, a guy i know lost his front end doing a hundred. if a part you make has the potential to fail and cause injury, in todays world, get it PE'd and check out the cost of product liability insurance
just my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
This Engineer never worried about Insurance, or liability.


bin Laden was trained as a civil engineer (grad. 1979, King Abdul Aziz Univ., Jidda)



 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top