Working on your own bike?

Is working on your own bike something you would entertain? Do you do it to save money, ensure the job is well done and you know the parts are what your bike needs? Or do you trust your mechanic to do it all for you and are happy to spend the money?

The joy of an older bike is that you have to well acquaint yourself to working on it and replacing parts every so often. The good side is that you end up with a “newer” bike at the end of it all.

In the past three days I’ve replaced my original 18 year old pogo stick rear shock with a nice Hagon shock, replaced the blowing collector box with a nice solid one, greased linkages.

Over the last few months I have replaced an old rear disc with a nice new PFM one, replaced original calipers with R1 calipers, braided brake lines, braided clutch line, clutch slave seals, new heavy duty clutch and a nice flip screen. Nothing like keeping myself busy and out of trouble.

Next up is some nice exhaust cans as mine are not very healthy and beginning to rot. They will do for MOT time, but that is about it.

The good thing is that it is all easy enough to do yourself and worth the effort as you know the job is done to your standards. My standards are high!

i have started working on my own bike - servicing, adding extra’s, etc. Its good it helps you to understand your bike. I have an advantage of being able to use works workshop and (if i need help) having mechanics around for advice! i wouldn’t do it whilst the bike is in warranty though as it can cause problems should something go wrong!

since moving into my new house, with garage i have been more keen to undertake work on my bandit. however, im still quite new to mechanicing so i often get my mates over, or go to theirs if its something a bit tricky.

you certainly get a smug self satisfied feeling afterwards

i cant do anything, useless.

i started out working on my own bike because it was getting expensive to keep paying someone else to sort it every time I crashed it.

Now I do all my own servicing, fork rebuilds, brakes, Valve checks and of course straightening it out when it needs it. I have yet to take the engine fully apart but am looking forward to the opportunity

Additionally i have now rebuilt 4 VFR’s for mates that have crashed them and make a bit of pocket money doing VFR servicing.

I do my own spannering but only because I have had such poor service in the past. No one on here I am glad to say!

I dont like getting my hands dirty, I love it! I have to work in an office so the joy of being able to get my hands dirty and doing comething hands on is fantastic.

You make lots of mistakes, but usually only the once, if you are not sure of any job get some one else to help you. Only thing I have not yet done was fork re furbishmnet, may now do that myself as Zeno damper who post on here is going away for a few months.

Doing your own work is much easier on older bikes as it was the time before “mass centralisation” so components were easier to access and there was more “slack” in the bike for errors, the problem with modern sprotsbieks is theres alot less room to work on them everything bunched together for mass centralisation and the tolerances are much closer for things so theres alot less room for error.

I worked on my 1996 CBR but I wouldn’t touch my new GSXR, slipper clutches etc scare me…

Do trackday bike stuff and leave the service history side to the dealers.

Got 7 working again on Saturday - blocked fuel filter. stripped tank and airbox off, tested plugs then through process of elimination and a knowledgable Scotsman settled on the blackened filter as the problem.

New one installed and she runs a treat. All for £11 filter and a day’s messing about. very satisfying but if I didn’t have alternative transport I’d be less keen to strip it down I must say.

Thanks to Haynes Manuals for not picturing the important bits, Daytona at Ruislip for their fantastic parts desk, and ChrisD (the aforementioned Scots dude) for arriving after I’d stripped it down but before I started panicking.

So I can now:

Change both wheels

Change Chain and Sprockets

Strip and poke about on top of engine

Change oil

Change brake pads and plugs

Change sprocket bearings

Install Crash Bungs

Next on agenda - reset 675’s odometer without consulting guide book.

I will ‘have a go’ at the smaller stuff - but the days of stripping and engine down and having the block in the kitchen sink for degreasing and carbs spreab about the kitchen table are long gone - says my missus

No problem completely stripping and reassembling a mountain bike, but stick a motor on it and I’m fecking useless. Does checking the tyre pressure count?

with envy!

Iv always worked on my bikes i enjoy it

Forgot to say that oil changes, airfilter (K&N in my instance so no messing about for quite a while!), sparks and the like are straightforward. Why pay someone to do these when it is easy enough to do yourself?

I’ve now got some ART exhaust racecans on the way, so it will be a 20 minute job to take old ones off and put new ones on! Looking forward to it. I’ll keep the originals for resale and MOT day…

have got best mate who is bike mechanic he will do all the work and i make the tea!!!

its a good system that works for me!!!

do all my own servicing and my local honda agent will stamp my service book if I buy the parts from him. Don’t think I would go for a major engine overhaul but normal servicing easy.

Keen to have a go, but not confident in my own abilities. Was all ready to take off rusty exhaust so got the WD40 out and squirted all the rusty nuts. My lovely toolbox-owner came over and whipped the thing off while I was waiting for the kettle to boil. Came out with the tea to find the exhaust system on the floor already! I was rather disappointed which kinda surprised me. Never mind, I’ll have a go at putting the welded exhaust back on at the weekend. Oh, and I’ve figured out where the spark plugs are, and I know where the petrol goes in. Air-cooled so don’t have to worry about water, and have got myself a yellow duster and some Autosol so I’ll even be able to clean it!

I do my own servicing, bar serious engine work. Infact I’m due to change the plugs and coolant now, service the pads (scrape the carbon deposits off) and change the oil and filter.

I’m still looking for a Suzuki dealer that wants my business and knows what they’re doing. I haven’t found one yet! Well, there’s Crescent Suzuki, but they’re too far away to go for a service. Shame I can’t mail-order it!

Jay a good Suzuki dealer is the Motorcycle Service Centre on the Harrow Road just up from Paddington. I am the same as you with dealers having had so many nightmare experiences before. I went to these guys on advice of Westie.

I went for a new set of pads front and back. Its a proper old shop with old school blokes working there. I had a lenghty discussion with them and they made me feel very very welcome and did a fantastic job.

I know Westie has just had a major service with them, cam chain adjustment, valve clearances etc and they also performed superbly.

I would reccommend that you would be safe to use them if you ever needed too and as a rule I dont trust bike shops at all.

I thought it said W*nking… i was about to confess all then!!!

Thanks mate, will beat it in mind. I’m going to have a sniff round West London Suzuki first as I’ve just noticed they’re much nearer to me than I first thought, and I got off the phone to their workshop now and was left with a very good impression, i.e. busy but had the time to be helpful and polite, which is in stark constrast to MANY other workshops I’ve spoken to.