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How many of you are afraid to work on their own bike?

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I hear and see so often that it is way too difficult, people don't want to attempt repairs other than simple maintenance.  A top end, and God forbid, a complete engine overhaul is way out of the question.  I don't get it.  They are mechanical parts.  They don't do weird stuff and stuff outside the laws of mechanics and physics.  I tell people that all the time, just get a factory service manual, some tools, and dive in.  It can be very rewarding and sometimes even fun.  I just don't get people that are afraid of repairing an inanimate object.

So, you scared girly men, go for it! :thumbsup::D

Edited by cjjeepercreeper
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To be fair I see a lot of messed up bikes that people should've taken to a shop in the first place. Not to say they couldn't do it, but they try without a manual, proper tools, or lack of patience ( people who cross thread, then drive it in till it ugga's).

 

 

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i could say i bought my bike from one of those kind of guys that shouldn't of worked on it, he is a very fast 200A gncc racer, but wasn't extremely mechanically inclined, the clutch springs were held in with plastic mounting flange bolts, 2 springs were different pull strengths than the other, bolts driven in without washers so the bolt just ate into the plastics, etc.

Although i am only 16 years old my dad has over 40 years of wrenching on dirtbikes under his belt, i still learn but do enjoy doing a lot to my bike, most people say what i do is a waste of time and is pointless but i really do enjoy it.

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It's not for everybody, for sure.  There are people who need their toolboxes welded shut.  Shops and dealers exist for these people.

It's kind of intimidating too, if you've never done it before and don't know what to expect.  There's tips/tricks to doing it and doing it right. 

Once you've been inside an engine or two, you start to realize it's not all that complicated.  Makes it easier to troubleshoot/diagnose problems when they occur too. 

 

IMG_20140802_153703187_HDR-L.jpg

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I think for a lot of people, it is simply the fear of the unknown. They simply have no familiarity with doing mechanical type things. Then, there is the fear of the repair bill when they screw something up. Then there's the time issue. Some people really just don't have the time to sit down and read a manual, then buy the tools, and then pray that everything goes together correctly the first time.

I won't bag on anyone that does not want to work on their own bike. I can see both sides of the coin. I, simply because I'm too cheap to pay someone to do what I can do, do all of my own work. I can split cases with ease. Give me a transmission in a box and I can get it back together, and between the case halves and working correctly. I often times think that if I stopped wasting time with things like engine rebuilding, and instead focused on trading stocks, or investing, how RICH I could be.. So I guess that's maybe another reason to pay someone else to work on things for you.

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I've gotten lazy and the "thrill' is gone, that is my issue. After forty years + i just don't have the want to anymore. My dad was a brilliant machinist and I learned to do things the right way and did for many years. And unfortunately trusting an "expert" has cost me dearly in recent times. If you still have the energy I heartily recommend doing everything yourself.

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I am not the most mechanically minded person, but I believe there is nothing a trained mechanic can do that I cant do.

Sure it might take me 4 times as long, with all the head scratching, manual checking and double checking going on. However the experience and knowledge of your machine gained makes it worthwhile. Probably more important to me than the dollars saved by not taking it to a shop.

I can understand those with busy lives not having the time to go through this themselves, and leaving the shop to do all there work.

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Great topic. I have always been one of those guys scared to work on his bikes other than basic maintenance. Always paid the shop for anything more complicated then an oil or filter change.

Last summer I was determined to stop being such a pussy and have been slowly getting to know my bike. So far the most difficult thing I've done was change the clutch and I'm really glad I did. For most guys that is a super simple job but to me it was a big deal because I was terrified of ruining my bike somehow.

I have successfully changed a couple front tires this season and am happy to not be paying the shop for that anymore either.

The issue for myself and others is absolutely the fear of the unknown. If you didn't grow up wrenching now and then the internal workings of an engine seem like sorcery and it's bloody scary. 

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Perfect application for YouTube by someone that knows what they are doing clearly explaining and demonstrating rebuilding your motor.   Once you've done a few it isn't too bad, but there are so many things that can be done wrong if you don't know what you are doing.  Just go to any TT bike specific forum and you'll see endless topics from people who just rebuilt their motors and it does this or that...

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Worked on my own bikes for twenty years of racing up threw the ranks. Now I do twostroke engines on the side and make good buck at it. Couldn't afford to have someone else do it and race at same time. ive done bottom ends at the track in back of trailer more than once. But wish there was a site like this back then :thumbsup: i actually did go to local boces for small engine repair.  Older brother was teacher and still is. He tought me alot I just perfected it :rolleyes: never took anything anywhere to be fixed even my trucks . Just a rear shock years ago I took to bike shop and owner acutely did it I watched and learned . 

Edited by Motox367
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A lot of it comes down to natural mechanical ability and aptitude to learn. You also need some confidence in yourself. 

At 15 I did my first 2st topend, no help from anyone , from there I kept going. I have since rebuilt v6 outboards , Cummings diesel engines, and multiple gas engines. Never had any formal training. I'm not afraid of tackling any project. 

With that said sometimes I don't feel like dealing with things and I will have it done. 

With dirtbikes I couldn't imagine not being able to work on them. It's part of the sport. You ride it, you break it, you fix it. If you can't you shouldn't own a bike unless you have some deep pockets. 

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I do all my own stuff on the dirt bikes. Some stuff on the street bikes I've had done at the local shop. Timing belts on the wretched Ducati for one. But there's really not much to even a 4 stroke dirt bike, so I'm not paying anyone to do normal stuff.

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I have 3 bikes at the mo in about 4000 pieces. I restore dirt bikes, its the only thing im good at - the only thing i really enjoy. Every last nut, bolt washer, bearing is gone over, replaced, repaired, cleaned up by me. I do most of the spray painting - frames i take elsewhere.

Even the experts can stuff it up - only one guy i trust doing my head work ( i dont have the right tools - plus he gives me a bit of work now and then ) is a KTM mechanic about 40k from me.

I guess with a 4 stroke it can be daunting for some - all that timing & valve crap. Its just like anything tho - once youve done a few, its like riding a bike  :crazy:

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Personally I don't have an issue with it. Hell even on my cars I don't worry it's not ever been a problem for me


I'm an aircraft mechanic and I know guys who are totally comfortable fixing planes all day long. But they won't even touch their cars.

The difference is the instruction, most people wouldn't be as scared of fixing their stuff if they had the proper manuals

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58 minutes ago, GreenMT_Rider said:

A lot of it comes down to natural mechanical ability and aptitude to learn. You also need some confidence in yourself. 

At 15 I did my first 2st topend, no help from anyone , from there I kept going. I have since rebuilt v6 outboards , Cummings diesel engines, and multiple gas engines. Never had any formal training. I'm not afraid of tackling any project. 

With that said sometimes I don't feel like dealing with things and I will have it done. 

With dirtbikes I couldn't imagine not being able to work on them. It's part of the sport. You ride it, you break it, you fix it. If you can't you shouldn't own a bike unless you have some deep pockets. 

Yes, natural ability.  I have that, I can picture in my head how all the parts work together and what happens when they do.  I suppose it would be a bit daunting if it was a big fat mystery. 

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Im only 15 but I love to work on bikes and learn about them currently I'm trying to buy a cheap bike on craigslist too fix up and this website has taught me some really great I do and tips for fixing and repairing

 

Edited by Dane Richardson
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As a racer and my own mechanic having a practice bike and race bike to take care of on top of riding 3 times per week , at 17 I have learned the inside and out of my 250f's.

My first top end rebuild was a bit scary , but now I can do them over night. I do all my own engine , suspension , bearings , electrical. My father is a machinist and has taught me even to make my own parts and tools. All my suspension tools , wheel spacers , bar risers ( for the XR50 ) bearing punches ect ect , are all made my myself. 

The best thing you can learn to do as a rider is how to maintain and work on your machine. 

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I think the problem is im NOT afraid to work on my own stuff:devil:

but really, nothing of mine goes to a shop. And yes plenty of mistakes get made. But I usually think the experience is worth it in the end.

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I do my own. I am mechanically inclined. I work on everything at the house. From driers to bikes to cars to carpentry to plumbing.

 

My kids do all their own as well. My 15 year old just finished fixing a pressure washer that a neighbor gave him. He'll sell it for $200.

 

Its just nuts and bolts. Easy. Read a manual.

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I took my 450 to the shop for a top end. I honestly don't have the time or confidence to work on it myself. I wanted it done right within a week, and it was.  It would have taken me a month, and I would have questioned whether it was done right. I work 7am-6pm every week day, and on the weekend I want to ride. I've been looking for a blown up bike to repair and build my confidence mechanically. But for something I wanted done correctly the first time, within a week, on a bike that propels me 45mph 30 feet in the air; I want the peace of mind. I do oil changes, clutches, air filters, brakes, chains, sprockets, muffler packing, and basic maintenance. But with that top end I wanted it race worthy in a timely fashion.  Also, a catastrohpic failure on the track can result in injury. Which could possibly place me in very difficult financial situation. When I was younger I did all my work. But I also lived at home, didn't have a job, and didn't worry if I was going to get injured. There's much more on the line now.

Hopefully I can find that blown up bike soon so I can build my skills, but for now if there is a catastrophic failure on my race bike it's going to my guy at the shop. They have great prices anyway and it wasn't extremely more then if I purchased the parts myself. 

Edited by kNewc
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