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You're not a biker if..


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..you don't fix your own bike.

That seems to be a fairly widely-held belief, I've even heard it from people who don't own motorbikes.

I've always felt guilty I've done so little to mine. I know people say just watch some youtube videos and get stuck in but I can't help thinking I'll end up making things worse, not tighten up a bolt properly or be unable to reassemble it etc., and electrics.. no chance!

But the fact remains, paying a mechanic is hugely expensive.

What are your thoughts? Everyone should learn or at least try? Or leave it to the pros?

 

 

 

 

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As someone who does everything bar tyre changes on my vehicles I'm an avid believer in that give everything at least a go a couple of times then if you still have trouble then call someone who knows but theres no point in paying someone else to do something that you could do yourself for a fraction of the cost of a garage

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I'm all for people having a go but understand that some don't want to and plenty who just plain shouldn't :mrgreen:

I have an aversion to paying out money to people for things I feel I can do myself but have done so when required. 

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Depends on the cost of paying someone else and the difficulty. I know how much I earn an hour doing other stuff and what my spare times worth to me so if it’s time consuming unless it’s something I fancy having a go at I’ll hand it over to someone else BUT only if I think they’re competent which is far more of an obstacle than the other two things I’ve mentioned.

 

Edited by Slowlycatchymonkey
Another typo 🙄
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Totally agree with @Richzx6r it is best to learn your limitations (Electrics are a good example) the money saved on the things you can do could well cover the things you cant.

I recently had a garage quote stupid time/money for changing break pads on a Mazda MX5 which I did myself on the drive in less than an hour and found the calipers on the car easier than any of the ones on my bikes but the experience gained over the years meant I wasn`t at all worried just got on with it.

Cheers

Ian

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1 minute ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

Depends on the cost of paying someone else and the difficulty.

 

I paid a local mechanic £50 to fit a starter motor (that I supplied) to my old car. I could of probably got it done myself but after looking I realised it could only be done from underneath the car after removing wheels,hubs,drive shaft etc to reach it. Was just barely any access at all so I was happier paying someone to do it  for me :lol:

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I am a firm believer in learning how to do it yourself 

I once had a bike in a garage for a brake bleed and also a wheel bearing change that's the only time a bike has been in and up to now the last time! 

It cost a small fortune at the time for the brake bleed but needs must that was in 2003! 

The last time I had a bike in was for wheel bearings on the front in 2015. We was on the way back from the lakes on the FJR after a week away when the wheel bearings collapsed! we was just coming in towards York so I went to a bike shop that I know of in there and they squeezed us in which was good of them! it cost me £120 for them to replace them which was sickening as I can get bearings for less than £20 and I have all the gear to do the work. 

I was always brought up to learn how to do a job and what you save on labour you can buy the tools for a lifetime! 

Repair manuals are usually pretty good but I just get stuck in 

Its always best to start with small easy jobs 

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What other people think or say is up to them. If you ride a bike and enjoy working on it then fine. If you don't then pay a mechanic to do it. I'm sure there's plenty of mechanics glad of the work.

 

My only comment to anyone is not to work on safety related items unless you know what you're doing. Otherwise do what you enjoy and don't listen to anyone else's opinions.

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Youtube is an amazing resource for repairing practically anything. Odds are you can search for " how to fix a broken flim jam on a yonste 400" and someone will of already made a video

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I try and do more than I'm probably qualified "or knowledgeable" enough to do.  I do have a bit of mechanical know how, I used to rebuild old Land rovers for a hobby, but they were easy to work on.  With the bikes I tend to look at where my limitations start and end,  for instance,  I know I am totally crap with electrics so I leave it to the experts.  Most other things I'll have a go at, if it goes wrong I can always put it in my mates van and get an expert to look at it.  I do find more and more bikes and cars are becoming increasingly difficult to do things with without owning a multitude of specialist tools.  That said, I also believe that "having a go" helps you get to know and understand your bike,  that knowledge is especially useful if you do long distance touring, a little bit of know how can bale you out of the crap.  I agree with Tiggie, you tube is brilliant, I've learnt so much on there.  So I would say to anyone,  if you feel comfortable having a go then do it, if not take it to a garage,  I don't think it reflects on anyone as a biker.  

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5 minutes ago, XTreme said:

I've been hearing that shit for 50 years.......I just reply with two words:

MIKE HAILWOOD

Hailwood-21-900x500.jpg.00cc142babff6001535a1e4e9b9774f9.jpg

Why what'd he do? Myself  I have an allergic reaction to spanners whereas my son in law would have them surgically attached to his hands if he could so once the bike gets its last warranty  service next month he'll be  doing  basic stuff. 

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Than I am not biker. When I had BMW I did enjoy their service system, plus I owned it from new and had extended warranty, by the end of it I got Ktm with extended warranty, so still enjoy service hospitality. Before I had Japanese bikes, newer long enough to go for a service after warranty period. I do oil, filters, brakes and fluids change but nothing more than that. Luckily so far I didn’t have to do anything serious. 
I wouldn’t put my hands on wires, I am bad with electrics almost as water.

I don’t really enjoy doing repairs,just use it as excuse to get out of house jobs which I hate.

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2 minutes ago, S-Westerly said:

Why what'd he do? Myself  I have an allergic reaction to spanners whereas my son in law would have them surgically attached to his hands if he could so once the bike gets its last warranty  service next month he'll be  doing  basic stuff. 

His mechanical ineptitude was legendary..........but when he got on a bike......

He'd turn up at a meeting and just say......"Which direction does the track go and what's the lap record?"

Then completely blitz the whole event, different machines and classes throughout the day.

In fact half the time he didn't even know what he was riding I'm sure! :classic_laugh:

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Now I could if I wanted to but I don't, unless it's something that has me interested.

I have a very good friend who lives for bikes and charges very little,  he actually likes doing it, I can then spend that time doing something I have to do, want to do or something I can do as I'm terrified of letting someone else do 😁 

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Me too @Marino. I've loads of admiration for people who work on their bikes. I'll have a go, but I'm crap with a spanner, and it takes me hours to do even simple jobs (despite the help on youtube). And if I get out of my depth I get stressed I'm going to @Westbeef it, and break something I'll regret. I'd rather pay someone to do the work and have free time to ride the thing instead.

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I love messing about with spanner - but it's something some people love and some people don't. I don't get why anyone should be put down because they don't like working with mechanical or electrical things. I hate learning languages and music, nobody's going to tell me I ought to like them or be good at them.

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I think it can give you a sense of achievement if you stay within your limits, and close to YouTube.

I'm fairly new to the two wheels world, but decided I'd have a go at as much as possible now that I am here. I used to enjoy working on the basics with cars, but accessibility to most of them was so restricted. On bikes, once the Tupperware is off, you can get to most bits.

Did my first spannering today, changing the front discs .

Mighty chuffed with myself :classic_biggrin:

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I started spannering about 10 years of age, building go-carts ( Guiders ) and inventing the skateboard.

First motorbike at 14. Fettled that and got it running with the help of a neighbour, Mr Dickson. Dad died when I was 5 so i did everything myself.

Washing up bottle rockets, riding to school across the fields on half a Norton, model aircraft with their diesel 2 stroke engines ....

And suddenly at 17 i'm in the RAF and at 18 i'm fettling Nimrods ...

So .... the point of the diatribe .... I fix things myself.

Such a joy ................

Edited by Trooper74
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Just now, Six30 said:

means your not a mechanic but you are a biker .... who ever said your not a biker cause you dont fix your own bike is a twat.

That's the most sensible thing you've said since the last most sensible thing 👍 

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