Do you service you own bike?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  womanridge 9 years, 4 months ago.

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    1. How many of you service the motorcycle(s) you ride??

    2. What level of maintenance are you comfortable with??

    Oil/filter changes?


    Major service?

    Change and balance your own tires?

    Just courious! ๐Ÿ˜Ž



    I did it all on my ’05 LT and now on my ’09 LT. I’ll be doing the full 24,000 this weekend. I also install all my farkles. When I need extra help I go to a tech session in Myrtle Beach, SC. I have the Clymer and Paul Sayah’s vids for the LT.



    Yes, I service both my ’66 R69S and my ’05 GS. I was forced into this when I got the R69S almost 12 years ago… no-one else was going to do it ๐Ÿ˜‰ When the GS went out of warranty there was no reason not to service it, too.

    I do normal service and tire changes. On the R69S I can do everything that doesn’t require a machine shop except for transmissions. I don’t have the experience or tooling to feel comfortable digging into my transmission. I do have the experience (and tooling) for the R69S FD, though.

    On the GS I’d likely stop at anything that requires me to open cases as I don’t have the needed tooling. I would feel comfortable pulling heads or cylinders and replacing seals, though.

    The modern bikes are easier to maintain than the older (with the exception of the brakes). Plus I have to service the older bike 5 times as often.


    Navy CWO

    I feel more secure knowing that everything has been done correctly so I do all maintenance, less transmission or engine overhaul, on my bikes (1991 R 100GS & 1967 BSA 441) as well as my wife’s Honda Rebel. My Dad taught me at an early age to work on Ford model A’s and B’s as that was his hobby and I never got away from “wrenching”. Also, as a young sailor I really couldn’t afford to pay someone to work on my bike. BTW, I also maintain my 1946 Ford 2N tractor as well!



    I am a retired auto/motorcycle mechanic. I service all of my vehicles, bikes and cars. There is a certain satisfaction you get in doing the work yourself. Plus you know that everything is done right.



    :)It is interesting that those of you who do your own maintenance, feel much as I (probably many others) that if we do it – it will be done correctly!! In my case it is both that and an economic issue.



    I have done some of my own maintenance in the past, but not so much lately. I do not really enjoy it all that much and with limited time, I would rather be doing other things. Also, I am spoiled to have two excellent and one good service options available to me.


    Merlin III

    This is only my second year owning a BMW. I got Clymer’s manual and I got Jim Von Baden’s CD, but I still need to work with someone more experienced to have a lot of confidence.



    I do my own minor servicing and farkeling, as well as tire changes and balancing. If i had someone nearby who could watch over my shoulder and give a few tips, i would do more… but the valves are something that i don’t feel comfortable with yet.



    [QUOTE=sdpc2 ยป]I do my own minor servicing and farkeling, as well as tire changes and balancing. If i had someone nearby who could watch over my shoulder and give a few tips, i would do more… but the valves are something that i don’t feel comfortable with yet.[/QUOTE]

    Try this site. [url][/url] Helped me a lot. First time I did mine, years ago, I must of adusted them 20 times to make sure I did not screw it up. Now I adjust, recheck and done. So easy, give it a try..good luck.




    1. How many of you service the motorcycle(s) you ride??

    2. What level of maintenance are you comfortable with??


    Yes to oil/filter changes, valve adjustments, most minor maintenance, mount and balance tires, brakes, etc.



    I have owned 2 BMWs, the first was a 2001 R1200C and I learned how to do all of the routine maintenance from this site: [url][/url]. I did
    all of the routine maintenance, but didn’t do any tire changes as part of that. My current BMW is the 2009 R1200RT and I just did most of the 12,000 mile regular service work myself, I didn’t do the valve adjustment, but will be doing that the next time myself. I found Jim Von Baden’s video very helpful for this along with tech information from the RA and MOA websites. I recently purchased a GS 911 and was able to check the faults and reset the maintenance alerts myself and will be picking up a Twinmax so that I can do the valves and balance the carbs myself. I found that the most time consuming part of doing the routine maintenance on an RT is taking all the tupperware off and putting it back on, the rest of it is pretty straight forward and easy so far……………Don



    Cool – I just read the PDF, and it jives fairly well with my own experience. I’ve been wrenching my 2000 R1100R since about the 100k mark seven years ago. I do minor and major services, changed the clutch… some other stuff. I haven’t ventured into rebuilding engine / tranny / FD. Regarding the valve adjust PDF document – I do use a torque wrench to torque the 10mm keeper nut, and remeasure the valve clearance after torquing. I use a ‘slight’ drag feel on the gages – and strive to have the EXACT same drag on all of the valves. The better they’re all matched, the better the carb balancing goes… and she runs SO smooth. No dealer tech ever tuned my bike like I’m willing to do it. And, yes, they respond SO well to the RIGHT tuning. Taking your time and doing it well is a good investment. She will pay you back and then some.



    Oil changes & adding farkels and such I can do. Don’t have any real mechanical background or skills so I end up shelling out $$$ for the regular maintenance work.


    Adam Arcane

    I used to be an air cooled German car mechanic, Porsches and VWs. I’ve seen so many weird things happen in professional shops that I have always done my own services. There are many excellent mechanics out there, but there are also some dufus dudes, alas. I have had enough experience to know that my own work is 100% trustworthy. Besides, the nearest dealer that I’d use is in San Francisco, a six hour round trip. Also, I enjoy doing my own work.

    I crank up my favorite music, which runs from Led Zeppelin to Schumann, and enjoy the process. I remove my own wheels as well, and take them to my local car garage, whose tire machine accommodates motorcycle tires. $20 per wheel, while I wait. Cash. I balance them at home, but since my riding rarely is over 70 mph (NorCal coastal twisties), balance is unnecessary.

    My BMW bikes are ’69 R69US, ’96 1100GS, ’07 1200S, and ’08 1200GS. All easy to work on. I imagine paying myself the hundreds of dollars the service shop would charge me, and I rest assured of the work done, including torque specs with a $300 Snap On wrench.
    OTL mag has some cool stuff from time to time on working on your own bike, with nice photos. The mag was the first to run a step by step photo piece on adjusting the valve clearance on the HP2 Sport double overhead cam engines (and all Boxers since 2010). Jim von Baden’s CDs are exemplary and cheap to buy.

    Did you hear the one about the guy who was riding home from the dealer after having new tires mounted and the rear wheel fell off?

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