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Should I do my own servicing? Essential Tools?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by alex92, May 29, 2010.

  1. Im just getting started with bikes and I don't know all that much about them but I'm keen to learn. I don't have a great deal of time on my hands, and I'm not particularly mechanically minded but I'm a quick learner.

    Just got an MC22 which is dry because the bike hasn't been ridden in 3 months, so obviously I just need to lube it up which is easy enough. If I decided to put a new chain on it, would you guys think it would be OK for me to do myself, or is this something it's better to just get a mechanic to do?

    Because I know you need to break the old chain, cut the new chain to size, and then rejoin the new chain?

    What about removing wheels, replacing brake pads, changing oil and oil filter, replacing seals and bearings etc..?

    Also, what tools are essential for me to keep? My Dad's tool kit is useless so I might go buy a decent tool kit. Would Bunnings have what I require or would I need to go to a specific bike shop?

    Also, do you guys recommend I invest in a stand? Just a rear stand or should I get front aswell?

    Thanks alot
  2. Firstly welcome. I dont believe you've introduced yourself young'un?

    Secondly, where are you?

    Thirdly, as most of you posts are generally questions etc, I'd proberly be correct with most experienced forum users not giving much away (I may be wrong as I often am!)

    Fourthly? I'd go and get a Haynes manual for your bike and year and have a gander. You'll find heaps of stuff you can do yourself.


    ps. You've got a dry bike?
    How had it been stored? Had it been stored properly?
    You'd be very well advised to get it back on the road via a VERY good mechanic.
  3. Without knowing you, I would ask "What's the chance of you stuffing it up and if you do what are the consequences?".

    If you're not mechanically minded try to get someone else to do it and watch and learn for next time.
  4. By all means learn to do the basics and most common items. A quick demo will get you across
    - oil and filter change
    - air filter clean/replace
    - brake pad replacement
    - plug clean/replace

    only very basic tools required for the above and probably covered by your bike tool kit. Doing these yourself more often than the service requirement (eg Oil change every 5000km instead of 10000km) will keep things running better and still work out pretty cheap.

    For a first foray into tools, don't spend a packet on them. Get a fair set of metric or imperial sockets , spanners (basically a simple mechanics set). Bunning will probably cover it. If you end up using them heaps and they annoy you with their quality, replace the items you use frequently with high quality bits.

    If you are not mechanically minded, be careful attacking too many more things until you get some knowledge. Even a bad mechanic is usually more capable than one who has no idea whatsoever (except when they are so rushed that they don't do the work).

    If you have plenty of time, thats a good thing. You wont rush anything and have plenty of time to research the job and get it right. This is where you can "sometimes" do a better job than mechanics who are time poor and looking to maximise profits.

    I don't do much more than the real basic stuff as I don't have the time, my bike is more complex to work on and I ride it daily. I also aren't mechanically minded so I personally trust a mechanic more than myself. Making a major mechanical mistake on my bike will be costly and potentially dangerous.

    A mate of mine learnt heaps by picking up a cheap Harley with some minor issues and pretty much overhauled every system. As it was a project and not his main ride, it didnt matter that it was in bits for months at a time and he spent heaps of time working out what made it tick.
  5. Im in Western SYdney (liverpool region). Will get a manual as you suggested, thanks.
    Well he lost his license so he still started it every 2 weeks and rode it about 200 metres and then back again. It was stored in a garage. Suggestions? I was planning on draining fuel and oil (if thats not too hard) and putting new oil, oil filter and petrol in it.. It starts straight away and idles OK.

    BTW it's an MC22..

    EDIT: just saw above post. Will clean the air filter, and replace the plugs if they look crappy. The brake pads are OK but I need to learn how to change them as well..
  6. If I were you. I'd get it back on the road via a good mechanic. Ask him the questions then do any minor stuff yourself. Best to have it back on the road in great condition. Therefore if anything is amiss, you can go back to your mechanic. A good relationship with a great greasemonkey is worth its weight in gold!
  7. How old is the rubber? How old are the pads?

    Two things I'd change right away!
  8. As the others said you should be able to do the basic things yourself with a good socket set and a spanner. I'd also recommend you get yourself a rear stand as it makes things a lot easier.
  9. +1 for a stand, also allen keys.

    Add lubricating all your control cables and pivots to the list.

    Personally I wouldn't recommend going much further than lube, oil, filters and plugs without some help from someone who actually knows what they are doing. Chain replacement for example requires some specific tools to do it properly (chain breaker and riveter) and the knowledge that for example sprockets and chains should generally be replaced as a set. Brake pads and bleeding isn't too hard, but you don't want to get it wrong.
  10. Number one item, for someone with no experience, is a torque wrench. We don't want you back here asking about stripped threads. :wink:

    Bunnings sell Kincrome socket sets which are 'good enough' (TM); Repco sets are better but a little more expensive. Personally I wouldn't bother with imperial sizes as you're probably not going to use them but many sets lump them in anyway.
  11. What ashes said.
    I do the basic servicing on my bike. There are some specially tools needed every now and then, for example compression tester or a vacuum tester. You need to work out if it's worth it to get and do it yourself or just take to a mechanic.

    For example I have done my bikes 24k service though I need a vacuum sync and I don't have the tools to do it, so I will be taking the bike to a mechanic for that.
    Other thing is, be realistic where your limits are.