Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Learning to turn a wrench

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by JVigar, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Hi all, I'm wishing to learn the basics of working on bikes. I'm thinking of buying a two stroke (such as a RS250 or a RGV) to play with as a track bike and to learn how to do top end rebuild etc.

    My questions are:

    1. What books (in addition to the service manual) should I consider?
    2. Are any training courses in Victoria that are for hobbyists rather than apprentice mechanics? (cause google didn't find much)
    3. Should I consider a 125GP bike instead?
    4. Or since I'm on good terms with my local suzi dealer, should I annoy them till they let me work out the back for free?
    5. Is a 2 stroke a better way to learn?
    6. Should I hold off for a TSS500GP and learn by building that?

    What I know already:

    1. Yes, I have a lot of spare time. I am about to finish my degree and I will have a whole summer to fill.
    2. Yes I have a bit of money to spend. I know track days and bikes are expensive
    3. Yes I have looked at the prices for replacement parts from suzuki for the RGV and Aprillia. And I wasn't very happy
    4. I am aware that there is only so much you can learn from a book.
    5. And I know I will make mistakes that could hurt, alot.

    Many thanks
  2. books are a smart idea probably. definetly get a service manual for the bike you get.

    I just have a crack. I learn by making mistakes. which happens allot
  3. I'm no expert but I just learned by owning a chinese quad :LOL: , had to fix it all the time.

    ...and remember, Lefty-Loosy, Righty-Tighty! :grin:
  4. Maybe try to set up some local spanner nights. Either having some more experienced people guide you working on your bike or simply watching others while they are working on their bikes. You can not only learn from their mistakes but the mistakes won't cost you.
  5. Go with something a little less exciting to start off with.
  6. find a cheap bike for sale that has a few minor-ish issues. Try something common that you can get a workshop manual for, strip down build back up.

    I personally wouldn't want to be learning on my daily ride, simply because if you can't get something done that day then you're without a bike for a little bit.
  7. go to a wrecker and buy a wreck, it may not go, but you can learn most of the stuff you need to know with it up on blocks in the shed :wink:
  8. +1 hornet, if you can get the engine running well, try and sell it when your done.
  9. Or in my case.

    Lefty-Loosy, Righty- overtighty, drill out a new hole, tap thread, spend 2 weeks looking the elusive M16 bolt. Leak, buy copper washer.
  10. hehehe been there, done that... more than once... Im a slow learner
  11. If you're not an enthusiast, I don't see any reason to go for a two stroke.

    If you end up selling this bike, working on a 2-stroke engine won't have taught you much you're likely to ever use again.

    Get a cheap old 600 imo. The skills you learn will be useable on a much wider range of vehicles.
  12. Not as exciting as bikes but I recently had a little project going.

    I bought a seized up ride-on mower for $200 and spent a week or two pulling the engine apart, unseizing it, and putting it back together.

    It's only a lawnmower... Who cares if you break it?

    End result = One working ride on mower for $200 and a greater understanding of the voodoo within the crankcase. :wink: