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maintenance musings...

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Ok, I'll admit, I'm lazy... I'd just as soon trade in my bike every three years or so, to avoid the serious work involved with an older bike!

BUT, thats not going to happen, this time around. I've got some serious debt to pay off, and a career to establish, before I can justify new toys!

So, as I contemplate my not-new-anymore-but-still-loved '04YZ250F, I thought a good topic might be, what you can realistically, as a recreational rider, expect to replace/repair, when? And what should you keep in mind with your maintenance program?

So far, I'm waited longer than advised on a few things, which is a little embarrassing, but everything has still ended up ok... I just had my valves checked for the first time (I know, I know, bad me) but it was still running great, and only one was out of spec, not too bad...

I'm also just now replacing my fork oil & seals...

I relubed the swingarm bearings and headstock bearings when I first got the bike, but waited too long to relube them, and when I noticed my steering feeling 'rough' took a look at the bearings, and those are being replaced while my forks are being done (yeah, lazy again, but its way more productive for me to be at work on Sat afternoon right now, than in the garage, unfortunately... :applause: )

So, what next? Has anyone had to do anything to the REAR shock? Is a top end something I realistically need to worry about, or am I in good shape as long as my valves are in spec? :ride:

Interested to hear how other thumpettes keep their bikes in shape! :thumbsup:

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Ok, I'll admit, I'm lazy... I'd just as soon trade in my bike every three years or so, to avoid the serious work involved with an older bike!

BUT, thats not going to happen, this time around. I've got some serious debt to pay off, and a career to establish, before I can justify new toys!

So, as I contemplate my not-new-anymore-but-still-loved '04YZ250F, I thought a good topic might be, what you can realistically, as a recreational rider, expect to replace/repair, when? And what should you keep in mind with your maintenance program?

So far, I'm waited longer than advised on a few things, which is a little embarrassing, but everything has still ended up ok... I just had my valves checked for the first time (I know, I know, bad me) but it was still running great, and only one was out of spec, not too bad...

I'm also just now replacing my fork oil & seals...

I relubed the swingarm bearings and headstock bearings when I first got the bike, but waited too long to relube them, and when I noticed my steering feeling 'rough' took a look at the bearings, and those are being replaced while my forks are being done (yeah, lazy again, but its way more productive for me to be at work on Sat afternoon right now, than in the garage, unfortunately... :applause: )

So, what next? Has anyone had to do anything to the REAR shock? Is a top end something I realistically need to worry about, or am I in good shape as long as my valves are in spec? :ride:

Interested to hear how other thumpettes keep their bikes in shape! :thumbsup:

Check the swing arm berrings and the berrings in the lower shock linkage. The shock has berrings, too. I am going through a sidecar pretty much one berring at a time. Haven't run across one that is really any good.

I have to check the ones on my KDX cuz the rear end is squeeking.

If you're doing fork seals.....check the shock for leakage, too.

I am cheap.....so on a 4 stroke....I'd ride it until it doesn't ride well, then do the top end. Much more pricey then a top end on a 2 stroke. But....if you wait too long....you've just cost yourself a buncha money.

Are you going to another practice once you move....or opening your own?

peace,

janette

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I did a top end on my YZF250 once a year and checked the valves every month. I had to replace the valves every 3 to 4 months. Needless to say I was very hard on the lil 250F so I sold it and got a 250 2-stroke. It all boils down to how hard you ride and how often. If you've seen the little pistons on those 250F's you might want to think about doing a top end before it's too late, but that's just me.

I also change the fork oil and shock oil every 3 to 4 months too along with lubing the linkage once a year. It all depends on the climate you ride in and how often & hard you ride.

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I just did wheel bearings earlier this summer. Not so bad. Brake pads done, shock bearings were last summer; those I paid to have done since I was told they needed to be pressed in. I probably could have figured it out on my own. My headset still feels fine though I should probably check it and repack those bearings. Ummm, dunno what else ... I don't have a linkage so I don't worry about that :thumbsup: And it's probably time to do the swingarm bearings again.

Anyway I should shut up since KTMs are weirder than Jap bikes about a lot of things so anything I've done will probably be diametrically opposite what you might find. I know when I have friends who ride Jap bikes help me, they're like "whoa that's weird, I've never seen that thingy before." So I stopped asking for help.

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hmmm, is there really a POINT in a bike's life it does need maintenance?

for me that is more a constant process

if I fix it right away it costs time and pennies

if I don't it can get out of hand

I wash the bikes with a garden hose, then scrub the plastic with WD40, lube the whole bike, in the process I check all the main components

if something screams for grease, adjusting or replacement I'll listen

I change fluids often, check valves fairly often

only had to replace two valves each in the 250s, each got one top end, one got new linkage bearings

the Thug squealed funny, so I took the steering head apart, checked and greased, didn't find anything but new bearings are on my 'to-order-list' so next time they will be on hand

the only one neglected in the bunch is the sewing machine, because there are barely new parts to get, so I am looking for good used parts, but not much luck so far

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First of all, I start out with the manufacturer's recommendations in the owner's manual for the motor. Then I modify or add maintenance as it seems to be necessary. But then there are parts that I didn't even think about. For example, I did not realize how nasty the bearings would get in my swingarm on my 80. That poor bike was ridden nonstop for 3 years...not seasons, years....that bike runs ice too, before I even thought about the bearings. Yup, every single one had to be replaced. Now I will be looking at those bearings twice a year. I caught my head bearings just in time so they don't need replacing.

As far as top end in the fourstroke goes, see what the manual recommends. I can tell in my smoker when her top end is going to go and rebuild accordingly. But the thumper I really have no idea.

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I go over my bike when washing and make sure she is as should be. I'm with the penny's now thing too and I like the peace of mind.

The forks and shock are checked out and get fresh oil or are recharged once a year. I check the bearings regularly and regrease or replace as needed, and the valves are checked 3 or 4 times a year. I waited to long to get a fresh top end, but it didn't seem to hurt the bike any, there was just no power. You can set your valves right on but what you really need to check is if your leaking any air by them. If you bike is 3 years old this would be a good thing to get checked out.

Kimberly

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hmmm, is there really a POINT in a bike's life it does need maintenance?

for me that is more a constant process

if I fix it right away it costs time and pennies

if I don't it can get out of hand

:ride:

Totally agree!! I have the bikes set up on a rotational maintenance schedule. My hubby will come into the garage and see a bike torn down to the frame for lube and service check. He just shakes his head and goes to his side. :applause: He takes care of the cars and trucks and I take care of the bikes and trailers. I finally got myself a motorcycle airlift platform, makes life so easy. :thumbsup:

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You should have the shock oil changed out and replace the seals & bushings if they need it, could prob'ly use new spherical bearings for it, too...

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hmmm, is there really a POINT in a bike's life it does need maintenance?

for me that is more a constant process

if I fix it right away it costs time and pennies

if I don't it can get out of hand

I agree! :thumbsup: Most of the little stuff I usually keep right up with, with the 'washing inspection'... but, I'll admit, its the 'bigger' stuff that requires tearing stuff down that I'm lazy with (well, to give myself a little slack, I'm also working 60+ hours a week), and thats what I'm looking for suggestions about, to see if there's anything bigger I haven't thought of, that really needs to be done. I have some extra $$ at the moment for parts and/or labor (damn well better, wih the hours I'm working!! :applause: ), so I figure, this is a good time to get some work done BEFORE things start squeaking/leaking! :applause:

Plus, we're moving back to CA in six months, and I'm not sure what our garage/workshop situation will be like.

Check the swing arm berrings and the berrings in the lower shock linkage. The shock has berrings, too.

Hey Thorina, do the rear bearings need to be pressed on, like the headstock bearings, if they need replacement? We don't have a press, so I'm wondering if I should have the guy doing my fork seals and headstock bearings take a look at my swingarm and shock bearings while he's at it... :applause: Well, I'll probably have already talked to him by the time you read this, but it would still be good to hear your opinion, for the general knowledge of all! :ride:

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I have to say, I'm impressed (and a little chagrined!) by the maintenance schedules of some of TTs thumpettes! :thumbsup:

And now that I'm thinking about it, and my bike is loaded to go to the shop, I think I could focus my question more... given the background I have given, with a 3yr old bike with a lot of hours on it put on by a beginner, and probably now intermediate, rider, who now has more money than time, and is willing to part with her beloved bike for a few weeks for a bit of an overhaul by a mechanic, what NEEDS to be done that I should have this guy do, and what SHOULD be done?

:ride:

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I have to say, I'm impressed (and a little chagrined!) by the maintenance schedules of some of TTs thumpettes! :applause:

And now that I'm thinking about it, and my bike is loaded to go to the shop, I think I could focus my question more... given the background I have given, with a 3yr old bike with a lot of hours on it put on by a beginner, and probably now intermediate, rider, who now has more money than time, and is willing to part with her beloved bike for a few weeks for a bit of an overhaul by a mechanic, what NEEDS to be done that I should have this guy do, and what SHOULD be done?

:applause:

Since you have the money right now.....have the shop go through the whole dang thing. If the mech. thinks it's time for a new top end, then do it!

Yes, have them check the swing arm berrings and all the linkage, too.

If you've never changed out the coolant, now is a good time to do that, as well. After 3 years, it might be getting a little icky. It's not expensive unless you decide to use Engine Ice.

This is something you can do at home, just as easily.....but not while doing 60+ hour weeks. They may offer a pressurized coolant system cleaning....if it's not too much....let them do that. After 3 years, the coolant can get icky and you're moving to a place that you REALLY need your cooling system in tip top shape.

Ask the dealer if they have a "maintenence package deal".....many shops do. Like a "20 point inspection" or some such deal. A simple compression test will tell if it's time for a new piston and rings. :thumbsup: They may have even done it because you did bring it in to get the valves done.

I sounds like ya just want to tell the shop it's time for it's annual Pap Smear and mamogram.....check the Thyroid. :ride:

First ask them how much a top end job is. If they did the valves, then they'd have an idea whether it seems like it needs it.

Do NOT give them Carte Blanche, though. Tell them not to do ANYTHING until you ok it. Ask them to go through it and give you a list of what they feel needs to be done and an explaination as to why it should be done.

You can tell them you want a list of what may need to be done in the future because you're moving and ya wouldn't want some fancy CA mechanic screwing ya over.

When I worked in the shop, anytime we got a bike in, we visually went over every inch of the bike. If it came in for a new rear tire, I checked the coolant and level, checked the oil and level, "wiggle" checked all the berrings, checked wires, etc, etc, etc. Did it in the car shop, too.

If the shop is not willing to give you a viable explaination on what needs to be done, then it's not a shop you should be having touch your bike.

I recently had a shop tell me I NEEDED new ball joints in my truck. (I was getting tires) Ok, what makes ya think I need ball joints. He shows me the side to side play on the driver's side front wheel. (Ball joint replacement is about an $800 job) He goes on to tell me that the Rangers ball joints go out at 80K. Ok, I already know that (but I like to play stupid).....even though the truck has almost 100K....the ball joints are just fine, I check them all the time knowing that Rangers are notorious for them going out.

The side to side play in the front end is actually from the tie rod end going bad and a broken shock on that side from an unexpected 4 by expedition on the way home from a race one night through a washed out road a year and a half ago. I wouldn't be surprized if the tie rod was a tad tweeked, as well.

But.....it does NOT need ball joints. If it did....it'd have up and down play. :applause:

Your owner's manual should have a maintenence schedule in it. Also, if you don't already have one....now is the time to buy the factory service manual or the Clymers manual to your bike. They run from $20-$60 depending.

L2F, PM me and I'll give ya my cell # if ya want to talk about anything the shop tells ya needs to be done.

Make sure ya tell the bike....scoot down....scoot down....scoot down....now relax.....you'll feel a little pressure. :applause:

peace,

janette

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I've got some serious debt to pay off, and a career to establish, before I can justify new toys
rider, who now has more money than time,

:thumbsup:

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Make sure ya tell the bike....scoot down....scoot down....scoot down....now relax.....you'll feel a little pressure. :ride:

OMGosh!!! THAT is hella funny!!! :thumbsup:

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:thumbsup:

:applause: Not as much of a contradiction as it may appear, fiep... I do have more money than time right now ,although that doesn't mean I've got a LOT of money, just that I have no time! :applause: I've been at my job a little over 6 months, and am starting to make some decent cash on commission, but I'm working a lot of hours to do so... and I came out of school with a lot of debt that needs attending to first, so therefore its a better decision IMO to spend $200-300 to have a mechanic do things unfamiliar to me that need to be done, rather than buy a new bike, and spend a Saturday in the office ( :applause: ) earning the money to pay him for doing so, because work expects me to be there anyway...

For example:

New dirt bike = ~$6000 > charge at mechanic for small overhaul of old dirt bike = ~$300

Then:

(Approx. $$ I make per hour at work)(hours it would take me to do an unfamliar task)(x) > (the hourly rate of my mechanic)(hours it would take him to do the same task)

with x = the "I'd rather be riding than wrenching" attitude variable.

Dirt bike economics 101! :ride:

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L2F, PM me and I'll give ya my cell # if ya want to talk about anything the shop tells ya needs to be done.

PM sent!

Make sure ya tell the bike....scoot down....scoot down....scoot down....now relax.....you'll feel a little pressure. :applause:

peace,

janette

:ride::applause::applause::applause::applause::thumbsup:

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There is more to dirt bike maintenance than just periodic oil changes?

I'm in big trouble . . .

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