DIY servicing

Now, I am facing a dilemma (albeit not that big). I’ve just purchased a bike (CBR954RR) that came with the booklet religiously stamped at every service interval, and a minor one is creeping on me.

The average garage wants £210 to change oil/filter, check things over, and run through the service. I checked the booklet and the service manual, and I can definitely do everything myself, it would cost no more than £50 in stuff to buy, and I can go even further and replace brake fluids and coolants. Unlike my Thundercat, the new bike is injected so I don’t need to balance the carbs (which I don’t know how to do anyway).

The question is, if I do my own service I save at least £150, but I don’t get the book stamped, which may affect the resale value of the bike. Perhaps by more than the £150 saved.

I’d love to hear your opinions on:

  • is the money saved on diy servicing more than loss of not having the book stamped?
  • If you are doing your own service, how can you prove you really did it? What do you check for when buying a bike that was DIY serviced?


P.S: Went a bit deeper in the manual and WOW! even doing the valve clearance is fairly easy:w00t:. Just remove the tank and the airbox and you’re in. For the Thundercat you had to nearly disassemble everything just to get to the gasket cover. Are bikes getting easier to service or am I hallucinating?

Depends on age I guess

I service My bikes myself, most of the time.
If you really really want your book stamped
A way to get round getting the stamp, take it to what ever garage you take it to get them to do an oil change, Oil plus 1hr labor, and they are obliged to stamp your book.
half the price if not more

at least when you do it yourself you know the jobs been done

It’s a 2003, 21Kmiles. Absolutely mint.

I’ve thought about this before and I suppose you really need to ask yourself what you would prefer to buy?!!

The service stamp is only worth anything if it is a good garage/mechanic…how do you know?

Personally, I would prefer to buy a bike that has been maintained by a serious owner
(eg:buy from a known forum member) who knows about the bike,
its problems and how to look after it, than from biketrader with a fully stamped “book”. :wink:

I prefer doing the work myself when I can (as above, you know a good job has been done)
and I keep all the receipts and maintain a service spreadsheet with dates and mileage…

i had pretty much the same dilemma when i got my bike, but decided that when i come to sell it, the buyer of a 2004 CBF, isnt really going to be bothered about a fully stamped book.

i’ve done all the work and written in the stamp section what works been done and when, ie, what oil, filter etc

its all genuine and anyone that comes to view it will see that i look after my bikes

I was in this postition recently with my 08 R6 requiring its 2nd service (6000 miles). the yamaha dealers wanted £210 to change the oil and filter and give the bike a look over/grease things up. I thought no way am i paying that sort of money for something I could do myself for a lot less.
However llcoolj off here recommended Road and Track in Aylesbury. Called them up and they wanted £120 inc and for this they would do an oil and filter change, look over the bike/re grease areas, strip and clean the brakes (also de glazed my pads) and did a full brake fluid change (front and rear)!
Absolutely spot on company, very professional. You can watch and have a run through of everything there doing and there’s also tea on hand.
Total time took was 1-2 hours. may of been quicker hadn’t I been so nosey:) But still they were a sound bunch, in no rush to have bikes in and out for the sake of a quick buck.
And they’ll stamp your book for you.

I paid a lot more to have my service done but it was the 12k service. The 18k service is coming up now. Where did you get a quote for £210? The thing that annoyed me with my service was that they told me the price excluding VAT and when I actually came to paying it was more than what I had anticipated. The dealer does look after me though and give me free bits etc and are quite helpful but I guess I am paying for it in the long run.

I put my bird in ,and two weaks later striped off the fairing to give it a good clean,

the oil filter was atleast 1 year old, checked the oil :w00t:,

so i do it me self now.

runs smooth,:smiley:


The dealer stamp is only really worth it if its under warranty. After that I don’t think they are worth anything. As a buyer I dont except a FSH as a reason to put the price up. The dealers may not have doen what they are supposed to.

If you want to do your own servicing but attempt to keep a similar history, record everything you do on a sheet of paper kept in the service log along with all receipts to show you actually bought what you said you did, this will also have dates which will match up. Its a bit anal but a good way to show you’ve looked after the bike.

I would rather see that along with a tidy machine than something someone hasn’t personally maintained and a book full of stamps.

I believe you are right. And if it was me, I’d prefer a meticulous owner that did his own servicing to someone that has a full FSH. So probably most sophisticated bikers.

This doesn’t stop Joe Public to be willing to pay more for a stamped bike though, as he doesn’t know better. In a way this decreases prices for all DIY serviced bikes.

Its a bit similar to bikes with high milage. 30K miles on a bike is nothing if maintained correctly. That said for same year bike with 5K on it can cost double, despite the fact that the 30K bike ran through perhaps 20% of their max mileage. That makes high mileage bikes undervalued and great bargain for us in the know. And that’s thanks to Joe Public crowding these low miles bikes and ignoring high mileage ones. My worry is that the same effect is at play with FSH.

the quotes of £210 were from Flitwick Yamaha in Bedford and Onyerbike in Aylesbury.
I would highly recommend Road and Track. You see everything being done to your bike so know its being done and they are very well priced.
There’s a fair few comments on their work in the Praise and Shame section so see here if your interested in work being done by them but want some personal reviews.

A dodgy mechanic mate of my used to take a copy of the service stamp to a printers and get a duplicate rubber stamp made. This makes the service history nonsense. Who confirms all services are genuine when buying a bike? I never have.

Personally I took my ER6 for its first two services to retain warranty but after that, never. I can do the work so much better and with a higher quality of parts. IMHO unless you are talking about something brand new or really exotic most people would prefer a big pile of receipts for parts and an enthusiastic owner than some rubber stamps. I keep every receipt for all parts, right down to bulbs. I write the mileage down on every receipt. When I performed the valve clearances I took a photo of the engine in bits. I guarantee my bikes are better serviced than any dealer would.

I save so much money and time servicing myself that it far outweighs the negligible loss when selling a bike (or car). Main thing I hate about using a garage is that I can usually do the work faster than physically dropping it off, walking home and arranging other transport while the work is done.

Not to mention, I can feel very smug at being able to fix any problem, at short notice without waiting for space in a garage schedule at busy times etc.

Additional savings can be made sourcing parts yourself too. Garages always charge RRIP-OFF, I can usually source parts and oils anywhere between 30-50% less.

Thats a good point, I had a mate who while getting his car serviced got chatting to the mechanic and ended up bunging him £20 to stamp his service log with about 10 stamps and sign them. All he had to do was write a date in when he reached the relevant mileage.

Could have been running on the same oil for years and someone would have paid a premium for a FSH car.

I’ve owned two bikes with stamped service histories (a 7 and a ten year old bike respectively) - one had a partial service history and one a full service history.In both cases it soon became apparent that:

The fairings had never been removed as the fairing screws needed drilling out. (the fairings need to be removed to change plugs and oil filters).

As expected based on the above - both bikes were running on their original plugs! They had never been changed! (the Yamahas were a rusty red colour and obviously original - a guy on the Yamaha forum reported exactly the same scenario with his Yamaha - it is also known that dealers found the removal and refitting of this particular models fairing a pain in the arse - which it is - so many obviously didn’t bother - with the implication that they lied to their customers when they told them they had changed the plugs - unless of course it was the customer who forged the service history)

Same with the oil filters.

I wasn’t particularly bothered because:

I bought the bikes based on their actual physical condition - e.g. looking and listening for obvious engine defects rather than paying attention to the service history - no obvious defects were apparent after riding and inspecting the bikes - and after a bit of tlc both are running fine.

They were both very cheap.

In conclusion - unless you know the service book is stamped by a reputable shop and you contact the shop to check that the service record is true - service historys don’t mean anything.

Ok, it seems that concensus is that DIY servicing, if I can do it, is the way to go. I’ll do that myself, and just send it to the garage for when it’s due a valve clearance check.

It also seems that a lot of garages don’t do the servicing they should be doing, despite stamping the book and charging hundreds. To be honest, that’s pretty worrying, as for the possible exception of carb balancing, I’d never find out if they didn’t change the oil/spark plugs. :w00t: One potential solution is to rely on mobile mechanics where you can see under your nose what’s being done, and perhaps learn a trick or two.

I do all of mine now too. it’s pretty easy if you know how to wield a spanner (having a naked bike helps). it’;s the getting rid of old fluids that’s the annoying part

Years ago, a friend suspected that the garage were just cleaning the filter and plugs
instead of replacing them. So he marked all of them, just a couple of recognisable nicks…
which were still there…albeit cleaner when he got the “serviced” bike back…
Fair play to the garage concerned, when he told the service dept. manager,
the mech. got the boot. (think they were self employed/contract)