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Motorcycle repairs and maintenance2

Updated on May 10, 2011

Repairing your bike.

Many motorcyclists do their own repairs. I know that to be true, as I supplied spare parts to them for 30 years. My motorcycle workshops did a lot of maintenance, but mostly for an educated consumer who were capable of doing it themselves. Many women become pretty talented at servicing their own bikes, as they sometimes feel as if they are treated like fools when they had repairs done in the past, so decide to learn for themselves.

If you decide you are going to do the lot yourself, you will need a few tools that are specific to motorcycles such as a mini tension wrench to torque engine and chassis components to exact specs.

A car has higher tensions with larger bolts, so you need a tension wrench that will read accurately at very low torque settings for a motorcycle.

You also need a good workshop manual for your exact model, a small shed and a bike lifter.

If you are handy it is easy to make a bike lifter. Just go take a look at a new one, then build it using a lever to lift it in place of the hydraulic ram.

The unit displayed is small and compact. The good quality ones are fairly expensive to buy.

If you can't afford a decent one, you could buy a Chinese one, but the hydraulics suck.

Combo spanner set.
Combo spanner set.

Hand tools.

  • A set of metric T bar spanners up to 12mm. You will need to cover the range here as some bikes use 11mm and 9mm bolts for engine cases and bodywork. Don't bother with bigger T bar spanners as you will need more leverage for the 14/17/21 ml  bolts, and that is when you need socket spanners.
  • A full metric socket set with fine socket walls and several extensions and adapters ranging from 4mm to 36mm. I use two sets, a small one up to 17mm and a larger set from 10mm to 36mm.
  • A set of inner and outer circlip pliers from small to large enough to remove fork seal circlips. You will need bother inner and outer circlip pliers in straight and angles tips.
  • A good quality 12" shifter. Handy for holding the ends of through bolts while undoing them and re tightening them after replacement.
  • A set of open ended spanners to 29 mm at least.
  • A drainage container.
  • A full set of phillips head screwdrivers.
  • Impact tool.
  • Other bolt head bits to suit fairing bolts etc.
  • 1200 degree casing engine paint to clean up the motor while apart.
  • A multi meter.

My Honda  Goldwing outside Bikes & Bits Brighton, 1997.
My Honda Goldwing outside Bikes & Bits Brighton, 1997.

The Motorcycle workshop Manual

Always follow the exact procedure in the manual when working on motorcycles. If you do, you will be able to do all of it yourself in time.

Engine rebuilds, gearbox bearing replacement, none of it is rocket science if you can read and follow instructions providing you have some spanner experience.

When I hire a mechanic his ability to follow the manual and do as the manufacturer requires is paramount to his employment. I have seen many wiz kids who don't, and more importantly seen their results.

I lived off motorcycle design faults and so I am not saying they always get it right, I will say that unless you have the capacity to design a better new component and fit it, stick with the manual.

Final Inspection.

When you finish repairing your machines engine.

  1. do a complete lubricant level check
  2. ensure all mounts are firm
  3. exhaust pipe sealed at the cylinder head
  4. no oil on the outside of the bike
  5. and check tire pressures if the job has taken a week or more.

Other repairs.

If you need to remove the rear or front wheel to replace brake pads, machine discs, replace wheel bearings, renew swing arm bushes..... do any other jobs you can while you have the component disassembled.

When the motorcycle is repaired do a complete safety check of all components ensuring all fasteners are tensioned correctly and any fairing or cover mounts secure.


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    • profile image

      Hailu 3 years ago

      This arilcte is a home run, pure and simple!

    • profile image

      Peter 3 years ago

      That's a very naive point of view, Guest. There's nothing about aaintcttrg and maintaining an engaged and excited workforce that . . .

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I did! Let me know of anything you want added Candie.

      I will probably write a few hubs on motorcycle repairs and maintenance.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      OOH! You did this motorcycle repair for me! Super! I've bookmarked it for use later! Thanks Ern!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Hello, hello. I hope he finds it helpful.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I'll pass that on to my son. He is into all of this.