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How much of your bike repair do you handle?

  • All

    Votes: 8 25.0%
  • All, but tires

    Votes: 12 37.5%
  • Regular maintenance and some repairs

    Votes: 8 25.0%
  • Regular maintenance only

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Only the simplest things, check air, etc

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Take to shop for all.

    Votes: 2 6.3%

  • Total voters
    32
21 - 40 of 43 Posts

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Premium Member
2005 V-Star 1100 Classic
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1,107 Posts
I selected Regular maintenance and some repairs

I don't particularly need to work on my own, but saving some money is always welcome. And my bike is strictly a toy, which means time is not usually an issue. And even if it was, seems I can order parts via pony express and still get stuff done faster that the shops around here.

Another factor is the value of this bike. Not much. In reality it is a disposable asset, even though I don't think of it that way. But the point is, it doesn't take much work at a shop to run up a bill that exceeds the replacement value of the bike. So if I don't work on something myself, it might be a choice between paying a shop or selling it off for salvage.

On tires, getting a tire on/off the rim is one thing. Balancing is another. And I am a big fan of properly balanced tires on anything, even trailers. A lot of guys think they are balancing their own tires/wheels, but they aren't really by using the various static methods. Not up to my preference anyway. Better to just run beads if you're going to DIY.
 

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Administrator
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14,288 Posts
my main motivation for trying to do as much as i can myself is downtime on the bike. i take it in for new tires because that usually only takes a couple hours and i don't want to invest in the tools/effort to do it myself. but taking the bike to the shop for anything else and i'm probably going to have to leave it with them for several days or weeks. so that involves having to get someone to pick me up, take me back, and not being able to ride for an extended period of time. huge hassle.
 

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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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569 Posts
I do my own work because I know it will get done, unlike the shortcuts many shops take to save time and/or money. And I can also spend the time to do things right instead of fast. My life depends on my bike being safe and properly maintained. My cars, OTOH, I just let the dealer take care of it. Cannot stand working on cars, and they are much cruder and tolerate less than perfect maintenance better than bikes in my experience.
 

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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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569 Posts
I do everything except tires. Even then, I’ll go straight home and reset my rear alignment and belt tension.
That brought out memories. Back in 1980, with no mechanical experience other what l had learned from owning a badly worn A100 for a few months, l bought a new Honda CB100, and to retain the warranty l had to have it serviced by the shop every 1000 miles. After each such service the bike lost 2-3 mph top speed and used ten per cent more fuel. So l made it a habit to ride straight back home, set the timing static with a test lamp, adjust the valves according to spec and the carb idle mixture by ear, and performance was restored. Have no clue why or how their mechanic could mess things up every time, but it made me certain l could not rely on dealer service.
 

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208 Posts
Thankfully the Road Star hasn't needed anything outside of oil and tires since I've owned it. But I'll likely do it myself when the time comes.

I grew up working in a service station so I fix most of my own car tires. Have been inside and rebuilt a few engines (shade tree type) for cars for the kids while in school. So have a variety of tools and I have access to a shop to make that easier.
 

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433 Posts
It's getting tough to get off the ground once I get down, and my hands are getting worse. I'll change the oil, install aftermarket stuff, flush / replace the coolant. I did my brakes time before last, this go around I had a shop do them, mainly because I didn't have the time. Tires, major repairs go to the shop.
 

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43 Posts
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.
At my age and financial ability I would have dealer do it all but since the two dealers near me can't change out a USB cable without screwing something up I am forced to do it all myself for safety sake.

If you are fortunate to have a dealer with a good service department near you, then give them some business. Having them there when you need them can be priceless.
 

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168 Posts
I do it all. My '74 RD350 has my fingerprints on every nut, bolt, bearing, seal, gasket, cable, jet, point, condenser, piston, ring, wire, gear, plate, tube, tire ... you get the picture! Learned out of necessity as a kid, and took the long way around to doing it full time in my later years. Only things I don't do are machine work, body work, and alignments on the 4-wheel variety.

All my cars / trucks / trailers also get fixed by me ... along with all household electrical, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and everything else ... which SUCKS sometimes. 🤣 I've put 350 miles on the RD so far this summer. 😟 Never enough hours in a day ...

When I have saved enough money to buy an airplane, then maybe I'll be able to afford to pay someone else to do all this crap. On second thought ... maybe not! 😁

98804
 

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88 Posts
I do it all. My '74 RD350 has my fingerprints on every nut, bolt, bearing, seal, gasket, cable, jet, point, condenser, piston, ring, wire, gear, plate, tube, tire ... you get the picture! Learned out of necessity as a kid, and took the long way around to doing it full time in my later years. Only things I don't do are machine work, body work, and alignments on the 4-wheel variety.

All my cars / trucks / trailers also get fixed by me ... along with all household electrical, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and everything else ... which SUCKS sometimes. 🤣 I've put 350 miles on the RD so far this summer. 😟 Never enough hours in a day ...

When I have saved enough money to buy an airplane, then maybe I'll be able to afford to pay someone else to do all this crap. On second thought ... maybe not! 😁

View attachment 98804

OOOOoooooooooohhhhhhhhhh a RD............ love those 2 strokes.............been looking for a good one or a 400 have been into the XS models for years..........4 strokes but love the smaller bikes......
 

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We kept a coffee can of sand in the garage to clean the plugs because of the Yamalube. But we found avgas at Santa Monica Airport 107 octane.
sand - clean the plugs. I'm curious, how does that work?
 
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2006 Stratoliner, 2014 Triumph Rocket III Touring, '81 XS650SH Project
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920 Posts
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.
My desire is to do it all. My skill tells me no. I do not have a garage nor do I have many tools. I am rectifying the tool issue as I have been gathering them since I got Rusty, my first restoration project. I live in a townhouse where of course all maintenance is forbidden as it brings down the value of all houses with a 50 mile radius.

I have avoided the HOA Nazis and completed oil changes, wiring issues, and fuel system repairs.
 

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2,873 Posts
"sand - clean the plugs. I'm curious, how does that work?" A quart coffee can with a hole in the plastic lid that fits the the plug with sand in it shake it clean plug.
 
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