Do you service you own bike?

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    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.


    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?


    Hi there! I am a new member to this forum and I currently have an 00 LT which I do ALL of the service and maintenance on.


    [QUOTE=14wntr »]Hi there! I am a new member to this forum and I currently have an 00 LT which I do ALL of the service and maintenance on.[/QUOTE]
    Hi Kirk,
    Welcome to the forum. Stop by often and we’ll see you in Asheville.


    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.


    I’ll do some minor stuff like change the motor oil, transmission oil, final drive gear oil, and change or clean the air filter. I used to change the tires, but lately I just take it in and have the shop do it. If I’m out on a ride and some malfunction occurs, I can usually fix it good enough to get into a repair shop. Any major repairs I will take into the shop. When it comes right down to it, I just don’t trust myself.


    I perform all my own maintenance and rebuilds with the exception of machining such as cylinder boring, for my R90/6.

    Diann has recently purchased an F650GS so I guess I’ll be learning about that as well……….Regards, Rod.


    So far I have changed out the oil and transmission fluid and some minor maintenance items. I will be doing the final drive gear oil and spline lube in the spring along with the valve adjustment if required. the MOA tech library is set up nicely with step by step for most wrenching related work. I am not into changing the tires however I will take the wheels off and install after the tire shop is done. I agree that I feel better about what was done and the quality of the work if I take my time an do it myself with reputable step by step guidance.


    There is little machinery that is easier to service than a modern R bike. I do my own R1200RT, girlfriends R1100S and a K1200RS plus help out others in my club periodically. The dealer is 140 miles away, I took my first auto mech class in 1962, and though I did stuff that payed much better than being a mechanic to make a living, I’ve always done a lot or all of the work on my various machines. The bikes are certainly easier than some cars I’ve owned…

    If you get twitchy about doing valves or something like that on your own, get a friend or club member to show you- believe me there are darn few mysteries in 98% of maintenance and repairs and most do not require any exotic tools you can’t find at your local tool store..


    I do all my own maintenance, currently on an R1200RT. The correct tools and good reference manuals make it all doable.


    I have generally done most of the mods and regular service on my twins. Have been taking the K1600GT to the dealer for service, but have done most of the mods. Will likely start doing my own fluid changes going forward.


    My schedule grants me a limited amount of time that I prefer to use riding so I complete the routine maintenance and leave the major repairs to my dealer.



    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! 😎


    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.

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