Should the wife help work on your bike?

Guys I'm totally devistated right now.

I'll try to make this short but from time to time my wife helps me work on my bike like clean the filter, help put tubes in when with her small hands...helps me with grips..ect....little stuff.

Well last week I was going through my usual routine of oil change, filter cleaning. My wife has a box of surgical gloves and she takes the dirty filter off and cleans it for me....She's assumed that Job and she likes to do it. She said "I'll oil up the other filter and put it on the bike for ya while I have the gloves on"

I'm like Ok! Cool. I can't remember what I was doing but she said "I got the filter in, do you want me to put the seat back on for ya"? I was sorta shocked because she usually just leaves the oiled filter in a zip lock bag for me to install. What a great woman...she really likes helping out with the bikes. So I said "sure if you want to" :)

Anyway everything was fine and I went riding.

Last night I decided to clean the filter and change the oil again. I take off the seat and to my horror. The filter was just laying in the air box. :D

It was dirty but so was the inside of my airbox intake. I'm assuming it was never screwed on right.

I'm so depressed about this. I'm mad at myself for not checking the filter. I keep thinking about how much I rode. I rode 3 times total and put aroud 5 hours on this bike on a very dusty track.

I'm not mad at her now but I did say some choice words that I shouldn't have said.

I use silkolene oil filter and it's some sticky stuff. The outer part of the filter was dirty like usual and the sealing surface of the filter showed small signs of dirt. There is a dusty film in the intake along with a oily dirt residue at the opening of the airbox.

I plan on taking the airbox completely off along with the carb. I'm going to clean both of them.

Is there anything else you guys would recommend I do?

How much damage could I have caused?


I think alot depends how long the filter was unattached. If it fell off 5 minutes after you started riding your in trouble. If it stayed on for a while you might be alright.

Devastated? Look at this way she didn't burn your garage down she left your air filter loose. Many guys can't even own a motorcycle because their wife. My wife smashes up her car every year. I put up with it because she has many other good qualities. Look around and see how many guys have a big, fat, nasty wife. It sounds like you have a good one. Besides there are ways your wife can make it up to a you.

Don't let her work on your car. :)


Dude, calm down. Dirt, particularly sand, does cause wear. If you ran without a filter for a month or two, you would need a top end. Going without one for a couple of rides won't be noticed. Change the oil and filter to get any out that worked its way past the rings or valve seals. If you're paranoid, change it again after a ride to get any out that was in a bearing or the crankcase the first time you changed it. Check the valve clearances a little earlier than normal or if you have problems starting it. Oh, and you might clean the air boot out.

One thing I would do but probably superfluous, and I can explain how it happens, is take the bottom cover off of the accelerator pump and clean it. I helped a guy with a YZ400 that ran rough at a track the other day. The air filter was dead dry. No oil or tack on it at all. We ended up taking the carb off (unrelated problem) and the AP bowl was filthy. You can take the AP bowl off without taking the carb off.

You wouldn't have to do anything and your bike would be fine. And you've got to quit complaining. At my age, a woman who would clean and oil the air filter is a catch.

Good luck,


[ July 17, 2002: Message edited by: Bill ]

Firstly, clean your airbox, boot, and give it an oil change or two as suggested.

Secondly, be thankful you have a great wife who wants to be involved - but what you want to do is tell her that you have heard about a new technique on ThumperTalk for installing your airfilter, and then take here through the process - so next time, you know she will have done it right. Get her to watch you, then do it herself... she knows exactly what to do next time, and you save your marriage and get to rest easy, but still keep her involved.

BTW, does she have any mechanically-inclined single sisters? :):D


[ July 17, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

The Only way your wife should work on your bike is playing the "lucky Bike Mechanic :) "

Of Course the garage Door Needs to be closed to Play

[ July 17, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

You can easily replace the motor, but finding a wife who will help you work on the bike is a one in a million deal! Maybe get her some roses to apologize then calmly explain to her how to do it correctly and let her have another shot. Then take her to dinner! Ego's suggestion isn't bad either. :)

As for the bike, clean the intake tract up as best you can. In an ideal world you could take the top end off and check it out really carefully, but in the real world most of the dirt has probably blown through so you have to weigh if the effort is worth the return for a weekend warrior. I'd be tempted to leave the top end together. Change the oil with some cheapo car oil and do a few easy laps around the yard, then change it and do it one more time then put in the good oil. That should get most of any fine dirt that snuck by the rings. Keep an eye on your valve clearances for a while, sand can do a number on the valve seats.

The only damage that you have caused is yelling at your wife.

Everyone one makes mistakes, even the best of the best.

This gal was working for YOU, and she made a mistake based on YOUR training.

So a leader, be a husband, be a teacher.

I'm definately going to clean the intake and carb. I like the idea of changing the oil after letting it run for a short time. I'll do that tonight and check the valve clearances.

To be honest my worst fears was dirt collecting between the valve seating areas and causing some pitting. Is that possible?

As for my wife. She knows me and my ways after 8 years. And she is the best! I do realize that I have a good woman at home....It's good to be reminded of that...thanx

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