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[NSW] Learning about Bike Maintenance

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Archaeon, May 19, 2012.

  1. .. Ok, after embarrassingly having to run along a busy street in Liverpool to clutch start the bike because it refused to start though normal means (in boots and leathers) .. It has become apparent that there is something lacking in my love for riding.

    Mechanical Knowledge.

    I can ride, drive, work a bobcat, excavator... even know how to fly a plane! I have a basic understanding of how things work, and why they work.. But I have absolutely no clue on how to fix something when it decides to break down.

    Can any mechs out there help with this dilemma of mine? I'm the type that learns very fast, so long as I can touch it and experience it.. I take considerably longer to absorb info through textbooks, classrooms, and listening and writing.

    So I guess I want to know if anyone knows where I can get some hand-on experience in learning how to maintain a motorcycle. Even if its just basics, it'll be a start so I can understand in greater detail how bikes work, so I have more intel at my disposal when the time comes to "troubleshoot" a potential problem.

    At the moment, it's a case of "Maybe this is the cause, but what the hell do I unscrew or unplug to reach whatever that thing is that controls the function that doesn't work anymore"
  2. I had no mechanical skills whatsoever when I got my CBR250RR. I did most (not all) of the servicing myself by downloading a manual and looking at helpful internet sites. Probably took 10 times as long as a mechanic and made 10 times the errors but it was pretty satisfying in the end. Had to outlay some cash on tools to begin with though - just bought cheapish ones.
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  3. Could try out the Motor Cycle Maintenance at Jannali I think they do it every couple of months.


    Also a couple of other links


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  4. like anything you gotta start at the start.

    (all the stuff listed above is simple, the only slightly complex stuff is engine internals such as gears and timing cams, clutch etc., also suspension internals, everything else is not too hard) Its not really rocket science.

    a valve adjust (under shim buckets) would be the first maintenance task that may blow your engine

    Simple things first.
    you will need some tools and later a stand so you can take wheels etc. off
    decide what you want to do yourself and what you want to pay (big $$$) for

    Buy the factory service manual for your model ($60-120 or so) which will show you every individual part and how it goes together, all the torques and tolerances etc.

    in the words of top gear, how hard can it be?
    mostly just time consuming, and sometimes stroke inducing.

    Just remember there are two ways to learn anything: get taught and shown, or f uck it up yourself and then you know how not to do it. (trial and error)

    A cheapy project bike would be a good start

    try this website: http://www.dansmc.com/MC_repaircourse.htm

    the best i have found so far
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  5. Cheers guys, some good reading avail.. Did I mention don't like reading lol..
    Seriously though, Kudos!

    Anyone on NR keen on setting something up for noobs in each state? It.ll be awesome!
    A place to get hand-on without having the fear of stuffing something up "by accident" :grin:
  6. There is no substitute for time and experience on the tools, expecting to learn from someone else in a matter of hours is unrealistic - considering it takes an apprentice car mechanic 3? years before he can lose the apprentice tag and that is time on the tools almost every day. Say you want just 1/12 of those skills and knowledge, that is still 3 months worth of time.

    Start with small jobs like oil changes, spark plugs, chain, carby cleaning. These jobs are pretty simple. Youtube some howto videos, this can be easier than reading a book and most basic jobs are pretty generic on bikes. But mostly just go out there and get your hands dirty, don't wait for somebody to come and hold your hand!

    If you want to get into more advanced jobs there is a lot of theory to understand behind how and why engines work, there is no real alternative to reading here unless you want to risk breaking (important) stuff. I've been backyarding (mostly on cars) for 8 years and I've spent many, many hours hours reading - whether it be internet forums, howto guides, or service manuals etc there is no escaping it.
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  7. By no means am i looking for shortcuts. I did my first year avionics apprenticeship before ansett collapsed, which kinda forced me to change fields into IT... as the saying goes close enough isn't good enough.

    What I was seeking was someone experienced to guide me in the ways of motor mechanics. Trial and error can be costly.. and i'm not just talking cash.

    There is always an alternative to reading manuals. The important part is the source and the delivery. Not saying that reading wont help, just that there are other ways to learn besides reading. In my case... Monkey see monkey do :grin:
  8. get an apprenticeship
  9. :rofl: hahaha.. yeah good one!

    Minimum wage - can't do it
    Too old to hire - can't do it
    Lifestyle choices, unwilling to make $$$ sacrifices - can't do it
    Not looking for a career in mechanics - can't do it

    Gonna go chat with my local mechanic to see if he can spare a few Saturdays teaching me little things, and offer to help him out for free..

    Probs wont let me touch anything (OH&S n all) but surely he'll let me drink a beer while I watch him... smear oil over his face while wiping the sweat off.. then look up at me and I say.. "workin' up quite a sweat there mate..." drinks more beer..
  10. judging by the shit you have written you could pick it up ...

    it isn't exactly brain surgery

    you just take shit apart and then put it back together with new parts

    I love working on my bike, getting it all prepared, figuring shit out, greasy hands
    its fun until you get stuck!
  11. idk about you but for most people that is half fu*king impossible