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some people are too smart or too cheap for their own GOOD!

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I posted this in the ktm forum, but feel the message is important for us all. First a lot of people treat motorcycle repair and maintenance far too cavalier . They don't think that a dirt bike breaking down or  not running right is a big deal . It is a very big deal and can injure and kill you ... I know a lot of riders know it but a lot  don't. post,                                                                                                                                                                                               (name removed) please don't take this the wrong way . trying to use three bound on the head gasket ? you need to take your motor to qualified mechanic. you are having too many assembly problems... this is like you working on your suspension. I give you a lot of credit . but your taking to much risk with your life and well being... sad but true story , a friend called me from many states away one night with a problem rebuilding a motor . he had a recent graduate from mmi rebuilding for him. I talked to him on the phone and wasn't impressed with him. told my friend to stop what they were doing and have a true mechanic do the work. I even called a trusted mechanic in his area and had him go over and take a look it . the mechanic told him not to let his boy ride it and he would rebuild it cheap as a favor . what did my idiot friend say , the guy rebuilt it for free and it's fine ... the mechanic told me it had that look (amateur) with permatex oozing out. this part still brings tears to my eyes . his son raced the bike twice and the second time it locked up and paralyzed his son . he can text with a pencil and speak that's it.... you need to take a step back check your ego ... you have all the heart in the world but your knowledge and skill doesn't match it ... let qualified people do the work and you my friend ride the wheels of the bike  :ride: don't risk your life and heath  :thumbsup:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     If your not truly mechanical don't work on your bike... If you have the money but are too cheap ( grow up ) doesn't matter how old your are...If you don't have the skill mechanically or the money to keep your bike in safe  good running order don't ride,fined something else to do! If someone shots and a gun is unsafe they take it to a gunsmith and get it fixed . only a total idiot would try to shot with it... We all know people that buy all the tools and look and talk like they know what there doing but don't... it could be a person with a camera with all the gear but are clueless . But cameras don't put you in the hospital or kill you and a dirt bike riders worse fear THE CHAIR... If this sounds strong and offends you I'm sorry .but it is the reality of what can happen in this sport. 

Edited by mx481
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Im 15 and have done some work on my bike and so far im fine but... now this kinda is scaring me... 

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Point taken. Know your limits and try recognize when those limits kick in.  Riding can be dangerous enough, no sense adding more variables.  I grew up wrenching and was an aircraft mech in the USAF but still buy the factory shop manual for every machine I own and follow it.

 

S rider7 - no reason to back off, just check on what you're doing and do it right.  If you don't know, ask.  Bikes are a puzzle and all the pieces need to fit correctly, with the correct torque, clearances, etc to work. If trailside fixes happen, redo them when you get home in a more controlled environment.

 

Sad outcome in the OP's post so just be careful. 

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I completely 100% agree.  I am a professional motorcycle tech and you would not believe the bikes that come in to my shop.  Complete death traps and people decline all these repairs.  What is the most baffling is that they treat us like the bad guys for trying to help.  Oh I don't need new tires your just trying to make money, or my forks still work why do I need to replace the seals.  I am literally trying to save these peoples lives and they treat me like I'm the a-hole

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Point taken. Know your limits and try recognize when those limits kick in.  Riding can be dangerous enough, no sense adding more variables.  I grew up wrenching and was an aircraft mech in the USAF but still buy the factory shop manual for every machine I own and follow it.

 

S rider7 - no reason to back off, just check on what you're doing and do it right.  If you don't know, ask.  Bikes are a puzzle and all the pieces need to fit correctly, with the correct torque, clearances, etc to work. If trailside fixes happen, redo them when you get home in a more controlled environment.

 

Sad outcome in the OP's post so just be careful. 

Alright, i'll make sure to ask on here for anything i need. I mean I used to find old Brigs and straton engines and rebuild them and sell them for a profit if i could.. but bikes have a lot more that can go wrong.. so i have alot to learn but im definately excited!

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You're on the right track. (pun intended)   Read, watch vids, take some classes at the local Jr College if that's possible.  Robey14 - don't envy you. Every bike I get used has all the fluids dumped and a front to back check.  You've seen way more than me but yeah, completely cracked and etched tires on road bikes, random leaks and foamy oil, not to mention missing bolts, etc.  All you can do is try.

 

Sometimes I run into time crunches and I just drop a bike at my trusted shop and give 'em $300 to check it out, If they advise more work, just do it.  Never had a problem and never been ripped off.

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Point taken.  However, at the end of the day it isn't rocket science.  Anyone with some mechanical background, the right tools, a good shop manual, and a little patience can do most any job on a motorcycle.

 

It is unfortunate what happened to your friend's son, but I have seen bikes lock up on the first or second ride after coming back from the shop after a professional rebuild, as well as new from the factory for that matter.  It is great that there are professional mechanics out there with skill and integrity that will give a bike it's due care.  However, in reality they can sometimes be few and far between, especially if you live in areas/times of economic boom.  In the real world money and time prevail.  Granted a reputable business cannot afford to do shoddy work and stay in business, but the underpaid/overworked tech, in most cases, is likely not going to give your bike the same care and attention that you would.  I have encountered complete stupidity and ignorance from dealers/shops, to the point where I wonder "how can they work there and not even know that?".
 

Over the years I have grown more and more selective of whom I let touch my bike, and my sons bikes.  Just because someone is "qualified" does not always mean they can do a better job.  For now, I will do any work that is needed myself.   This is the ONLY way I can be sure it is done right. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you.  There are people who shouldn't be allowed within ten feet of a bike with tools(some work as mechanics...lol).   I just think that your post needs to be reworked so that "qualified" is not exclusive to the paid professionals. 

 

So I am sorry if THIS has offended anyone....

Edited by Fattonz
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Yep, ego is a dangerous thing.  Had a local riding buddy who was an engineer. Fun guy but IMPOSSIBLE to tell him ANYTHING. His last mechanical genius move was to REMOVE the powervalves from his 2000 CR250 to improve the powerband. Yes, you read that right! He had a ministroke one day and over the next few months continued to go downhill. Refused to go to a real, qualified DR. Diagnosed himself with some fringe thing and would not be reasoned with, just thought he was the smartest guy around.  Never went to a DR and finally passed under bad circumstances. Totally preventable.   

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Im 15 and have done some work on my bike and so far im fine but... now this kinda is scaring me... 

 

Alright, i'll make sure to ask on here for anything i need. I mean I used to find old Brigs and straton engines and rebuild them and sell them for a profit if i could.. but bikes have a lot more that can go wrong.. so i have alot to learn but im definately excited!

 

As others have stated, the best tool you can have when working on your bike is a factory shop manual. Yeah, they cost $35-$60, but they contain the carefully spelled out knowledge of the factory itself, complete with pictures. :thumbsup:

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Following up from my previous comment, I just want to add another thought.  We can all agree there is an element of danger involved when unskilled people do work they have no business doing (although everyone has to start somewhere, and most can learn, but you can't fix stupid) . 

 

Anyhow, there is another element of danger involved when people do not do there own work.  I can think of at least two instances off hand where some mechanical knowhow has saved my ass from being stranded in the middle of nowhere...  When you do your own work, you develop a keener sense of intimacy with your machine.  I simply couldn't imagine riding out to the places I do, without having a solid understanding of the equipment I am operating......crazy! 

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Sad sad story...half the fun of the sport for me has been learning,fixing and wrecking my own bikes...at the end of the day it's a dangerous sport with a high chance of injury ..

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I'm sorry but these bikes are not space craft...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work on them. Buy a manual and have at it.

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I'm sorry but these bikes are not space craft...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work on them. Buy a manual and have at it.

Agreed. But far too many are so smart they refuse to even read their owners manuals, much less buy a service manual. I would bet that the same pctg have service manuals as do those that contribute to groups keeping our riding areas open.

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I think..........yeah I'll start with that :) .................if one is interested in off road bike riding or any kind of riding really, they are also prone to wanting to wrench their bikes too, or at least try to.  That's where a lot of the fun is actually of course aside from riding.  There's no better gratification than knowing your bike is tip top when you take it out, where all you have to do is worry about dialing it in to your riding pref.  I realize there are a lot of young guys out there in the sport without a shred of wrenching knowledge, and those guys, I say don't get discouraged.  Even the best of guys that know their stuff had to start somewhere sometime.  I won't deny in my early years, the crap I did to bikes to keep them on the road.  I won't deny it, but I certainly don't regret it and you shouldn't either.  We all have to learn somewhere.  Learn young, and in time become proficient in what you do to your bikes.  Get to the point where you're able to spend a entire week dismantling your ride down to the bare frame and putting it all back together by spec, and you'll understand why it's so important to spend wrench time on your bike.  I for example, ride desert trails.  In other words, I "have" to spend time on my rig, otherwise, I risk breaking down in the middle of no where with miles of walking to do back to camp.  Yeah I ride solo, but when it comes to the operation of my bikes, breaking down is usually the last of my worries.  The learning thread is simply this, your bike breaks down, you do a shady job of fixing it, it (the bike) of course breaks down on you, and guess what, you learn real quick that was not the right way to fix it.  More experience under your belt the next time you have to fix that very same thing.  Like many here say, one of the most important things you need is a work shop manual for your rig.  Those factory manuals, man, they tell you everything!  What you don't understand, you can come here and ask, or 9 times out of 10, there's a video online showing you how to do it.  Take your time, do it right, and when you get on your rig, feel confident that it won't break down on you the first 5 minutes of a ride.  These dirt bikes can take a real beating, and eventually they DO break down, so why hassle that?  The sport isn't merely just buying a bike, adding gas and oil and riding it, it's also about maintaining it.  Believe me when I say these rigs can take a lot of punishment and still keep on ticking.  I remember back in my 20's, like the moron I was then always getting high and not paying close attention to what I was doing, I took my bike out to the desert and rode it for about two hours.  When I got back to camp and decided to fire up another doobie, I realized, shit......I forgot to add oil to the bike.  But yet the damn thing ran fine for over 2 hours without oil.  The motor was shot, but this is just an example on how much abuse these bikes can take.  When I inspected my engine the next day, there were micro-fractures everywhere.  The engine was shot.  For newbies wanting to wrench, I say you have to learn somewhere, but don't be foolish enough to think you without any experience are able to tare down a motor and put it back together the first time around from just reading a manual or watching net videos.  That comes in time with a lot of experience.  Know maintenance, and the reasons behind why you should grease your suspension frequently.  Get to the point where everything is a diamond in a rough and with a little elbow grease, you can make 100% working.  If you treat wrenching as a shore or something that you just don't want to do but have to, then you'll never get the full fulfillment of what's it's all about riding and maintaining the piece of machinery that will literally save your life.  Don't do anything half ass.  If you're not sure, check it three times over.  Don't go working on your front suspension and not torque your bolts down to it's specifics.  Do the job right the first time.  Truth is, I speak for myself, but I spend 3 fold the time working on my rigs than I do riding it, but the reward of taking your rig out, firing up, riding it, and not having a single problem is all the reward I need to keep me confident I won't end up dead in the middle of the desert the next time I go riding.  Sure shit happens, just don't let it become a mechanical issue because you either forgot to bolt something down correctly, or you shaved corners trying to get the job done fast.  You bike is an extension of you, make it the best it can possibly be and you'll never go wrong.  My hats off to not just riders out there, but wrencher's that know their bikes and understand what I'm saying.  I don't only ride these bikes, I take great pride knowing they won't let me down because some stupid screw didn't get torqued down right. 

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Wow ^^^. Paragraphs son, Paragraphs. lol.

LOL, yeah, I hear you.  I take more pride working on my bikes than writing, but improvement IS needed.  My bad!

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Last summer I bought a beat up Honda Cbr600f4.  It had been crashed lightly on both sides, but ran well.  The guy that I bought it from seemed afraid of the bike, said he's had 'several' low speed crashes and he wasn't sure what was going on.  It took all of 5 minutes to find the problem - Somebody had had the front wheel off and didn't put the spacers back on the axle on one side.  The only thing holding the front tire in place was the brake pads.  I sure do like riding that bike!

 

I have seen both sides of this problem.  Some (like the guy I bought the CBR from) should never do anything more difficult than playing video games.  Others will throw perfectly good parts away because they are paranoid about stuff failing.

 

I've always tried to find some ground between the extremes, but there is nothing any of us can do to be 100% certain that the motor won't lock up next time we ride...

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As others have stated, the best tool you can have when working on your bike is a factory shop manual. Yeah, they cost $35-$60, but they contain the carefully spelled out knowledge of the factory itself, complete with pictures. :thumbsup:

Totally agree with you on the service manual. It's the 1st thing I order when I get a new bike. If you can read and follow clear directions, you can do a lot of work yourself.

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