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Ryan wheels in a new Harley for ECCA
ryan and lawmakers
Flanked by state Sen. Jack Hill, far left, and state Reps. Jon Burns and Bill Hitchens, Michael Ryan shows off the Harley-Davidson motorcycle he won for the Effingham College and Career Academy. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Michael Ryan’s proficiency in repairing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle earned the Effingham College and Career Academy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The South Effingham High School student, who is in the transportation pathway at ECCA, took third place in the SkillsUSA motorcycle repair national competition this summer — and his finish resulted in Harley-Davidson providing the ECCA with a new motorcycle. Students will learn motorcycle technology and repair on the new Harley.

Ryan was challenged to perform the tasks found in a motorcycle dealership service department. He had to perform scheduled maintenance tasks and use service, diagnostic and parts manuals.

He also had to perform electrical diagnosis, brake service, chassis and suspension service and fuel delivery system inspection. Ryan also had to work on transmission and drive and power train systems.

Judges looked for clean and organized work habits, correct use of reference materials, ability to follow directions and technical skills.

“The hardest part was probably the electrical part of it,” he said.

Ryan’s dad has a motorcycle and he was worked on it with him.

“I have my own little dirt bike I’ve worked on before,” he said.

What helped the most was an internship with Harley-Davidson of Savannah. Ryan was there for about a year.

“I loved it there,” he said. “It was fun. I got a lot of hand-on learning, naturally. I learned a lot from them.”

Ryan said he would like to own his own motorcycle one day.

“I was thinking about a Harley, maybe a Sportster or a Road King,” he said.

His mother Michelle, though, isn’t so eager to see her son on a hog.

“No, not at all,” she said. “Maybe when he moves out of my house.”