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How much of your bike repair do you handle?

  • All

    Votes: 8 26.7%
  • All, but tires

    Votes: 12 40.0%
  • Regular maintenance and some repairs

    Votes: 6 20.0%
  • Regular maintenance only

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Only the simplest things, check air, etc

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Take to shop for all.

    Votes: 2 6.7%

  • Total voters
    30
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #1
How much mechanical work do you do on your bike? Do you take your bike to the shop for all maintenance and repair? Do you do some? How many do all. Is your answer based on knowledge of repair, time to do it, don't want to or other.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #2
I'll start. For years I did 100% of all repairs, and I mean all. But the last few tire changes I've taken my wheels off and taken them to shop to swap the tires. Guess I've gotten lazy in my old age and changing tires is one job I really don't like. In my younger years I did all repair work due to lack of cash flow. At times I would have to beg and borrow knowledge, tools, etc, but always got it done. The more I learned, the more I realize I actually really like working on my bikes. Today with the internet you can fix just about anything with basic mechanical knowledge, years ago it wasn't so easy to find repair info.
 

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Don't know much about engines, so I don't go there.
I do regular maintenance stuff and odd and ends repairs. I'll do it myself if I feel I can handle it. Repair shop is a last resort.
As I've gotten older I've lost a lot of patience and I'm not so eager to jump into a long and drawn out repair.
 

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2,168 Posts
I do all my own repairs, first because I am cheap, second I don't trust the people in the shops around here. I had one tire change at a shop a couple years ago, it had a slow leaking tube and it needed a tire, so I stopped and had it done. Got out on the road and had no back brake, the mechanic didn't adjust it, also a friend had the front caliper fall off, they didn't tighten the bolts.
I will just do my own work and stay alive.
 

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2011 Yamaha VStar 650
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382 Posts
If I can find a write up or video then I'll have a go! Seriously though, I'm comfortable wrenching on my bike or other vehicles... I have not attempted to change a tire yet though.
 
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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #8
If I can find a write up or video then I'll have a go! Seriously though, I'm comfortable wrenching on my bike or other vehicles... I have not attempted to change a tire yet though.
Changing a tire on a 18 inch or larger rim isn't all that bad. But when you get to a 16 inch with a wide tire, it takes some patients, sweat and a few cuss words, at least when I do it.
 

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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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561 Posts
I do everything, although early in life I often let the tire shop change my tires, something I always do myself now.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #12
Quick question for those that are changing the 15 and 16 inch, 130mm and larger tires that most of our bikes have, Do you have a tire machine or using tire irons. I have a set of 24 inch tire irons and some smaller ones I use to walk the tire off. But I bust knuckles every time. I pay $25 for mount and balance per tire off the bike. Guess I'm a whimp, it's worth it for someone with a machine do it.
 

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When I went to put that BattleCruise tire on my Stratoliner, we got one side on , but couldn't get the other, we had to take it to cyclegear, it took him 5 tries with his machine. That sidewall is tough
 

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I try to do as much as I can.........have rebuilt a few bikes from the ground up........its kind my therapy I guess to go out in the garage and just play.......swapped out tires on my XS1100 and a bunch of XS400s I had......have not tried the 650 yet but some day when needed.......but so far have been in the carbs for a re jet and swapped exhaust and the routine maintenance on it..... like stated before there are so many videos to watch so that helps if you feel over whelmed with the job.....and as for tools well can you ever have enough......
 

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I have enough mechanical ability to be dangerous but I somehow manage to do most of the work on my bikes and cars myself. I do admit that when I discovered a broken spark plug on my V6 Grand Prix (in one of the back cylinders, of course) I did give up after a couple of hours and take it to a shop to have it fixed. And I do take my cars in for oil changes. Maybe I'm getting a little lazy in my old age.

About 25 years ago I lost the second gear on my 86 FZ600 and being broke I decided to tear it apart and see if I could fix it. I bought a manual and dug in. I found the broken gear and located a replacement from a scrap yard (complete shaft). I managed to get it back together and it actually worked. The problem was that I used RTV to seal the case up and I used way too much. It started breaking off and clogging up the oil passages. I pulled it apart and cleaned out what I could find but I couldn't get it all without a complete engine tear down. Ended up selling it to a guy for next to nothing who said he could fix it. I didn't have the patience, and I probably would've just made it worse...lol.

These days with the internet I just look for a video or a good write up and watch how others mess it up before I decide if I can handle it. So far, I haven't had to take my bike to a shop for anything. Did my own steering head bearings, fork seals, brakes, etc. I do take the rims in to have tires changed. I changed my own on my XR75 years ago and that was enough for me to know I'm not even attempting it on these bikes.
 

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Normally I only do oil changes but in the last couple of weeks I went on a road that was being repaved. Hit 3 inches of soft sand, gravel, and tar mixture which after 5 miles the workers decided to wet down. As a result my calipers started to stick and wouldn't let off the brake pads. I phoned for service to 2 shops but neither returned my calls. So after a couple of days I searched out on youtube how to do it and fixed it myself. So now I do oil and brakes. Wonder what I will learn next.
 

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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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561 Posts
Les, to my surprise, getting the old 170/80-15 rear tire off and the new on my rear rim went surprisingly smoothly. It was harder to remove the stiff 20 yr old tire than fitting the new, though.
 
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