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View Full Version : Do you work on your own bike?


Gone
15th March 2007, 14:25
In response to DavidCar's request I am putting up this poll.

I do maintenance and add ons to my bike....anything involving removing major components of the engine or actually removing the engine itself I will leave up to a real mechanic.

I had a bad experience with my first dirt bike....Timing issue that I could never fix - wasnt my fault but I spent months with the engine in and out of the bike nevertheless.

acenorm
15th March 2007, 14:40
I try and do work on my bike, but I know my limitations. I can do oil changes, and change primary fluid, change grips, bars, and put on add ons etc, but certain mechanical stuff I leave to my indy. My wife usually cringes and wants to know what it will cost before I touch my bike, but I keep telling her that I won't learn if I don't make an attempt myself.

Best Regards,
Norm

Mohntonite
15th March 2007, 14:53
So far I have done everything myself.
Relocate signals, Chrome switch housings, Grips, Levers, mirrors, risers, Braided stainless front brake line, cut rear fender, R/T/B module with red lenses added, Side mount plate with light (extended wires to reach under seat), I would like to do a 1212 kit . And install my self. I think I can handle that. So i pretty much do it all my self. And it helps me buy more when I tell my wife " think of how much I'm saving on instalation cost by doing it myself. I'm saving hundreds. So can I buy more , can i , can I, PLEASE, I LUV YOU... Thanx Hun, Youre the BEST" :D

XL883
15th March 2007, 14:56
Just the basics that any rider would normally be able to do ie: fluid changes, accessory installation, checking fastener torques, belt adjustment check...you know, things like that. I don't have the competency or patience to troubleshoot an involved mainteance issue or to open an engine or tranny which I know nothing about.

83XLX
15th March 2007, 15:05
I've done everything necessary to my bike that I have the means to do. I have to leave welding, valve work, and cylinder boring/honing to a machine shop, but I have done everything else, including a top-end job on the patio!

khaskins
15th March 2007, 15:22
Fluids, plugs, minor adjustments, add-ons and the like. I've chopped the rear fender and planning the install. Sanding the ebay tins and preping for paint, which someone else will do, can't paint for sh!t. Trying to learn how to do more. Just takes patience and time. I don't have much of either.

justdrew
15th March 2007, 15:39
I do all the work that needs to be done to my bike.
I do a bit of work on it that doesn't too....
What I don't do is mount tires. That's work without the right tools
Bolt on stuff, fluids, electrical, scheduled maintinence, suspension, jetting, brakes.
THere's a 1212 or 1250 job in my future that I'm sure I'll be able to handle.
I'm not the fastest mechanic, but I know everything is torqued correctly and lock-tite.
I was never a gear head growing up, but I had to figure out how to maintain various beater cars I've owned due to having more time than money in my younger years.
These days I could probably pay someone to do it, but it gives me a chance to do something with my hands now that I've moved from a blue collar to white collar job.

Terp84Alum
15th March 2007, 15:40
I do the easy stuff.

thatbikerguy
15th March 2007, 15:42
I do the easy stuff.

Same here...:smoke

Jimbo999
15th March 2007, 15:42
The engine was out when I bought my bike.....Slight wreck damage as
well........A friend Mech moonlighted the work while I helped out ( Mostly
getting him another beer and handing him tools ) and watched everything.
At the end, I was doing stuff under his supervision. That helped me over
the beginners learning curve and I've done all my own work since.

:tour

Rob Henderson
15th March 2007, 15:44
I do minimal stuff

grips
A/C
small bolt-ons
etc

Most stuff I go to my Indy as I am a Mechanical Midget. I live in an apartment so even if I wanted to I don't have any place to work on her.

snowman
15th March 2007, 15:52
So far I've done all my own stuff. I've been doing this for a long time so it's just the way I like it. Just finishing up the new wide tire rear, VROD fender, custom side panels, plus some frame and seat mods...:wonderlan :wonderlan :wonderlan

fast fish
15th March 2007, 16:00
I do as much of the work that I possibly can. With some tools and a couple of service manuals, I can do pretty well.

When I get stumped, I have a private mechanic do the work who is REAL good. I try to never go to my local dealer except for parts.

Big_Baazzoo
15th March 2007, 16:55
I do everything I can do, except major engine work. I hear guys tell about paying the dealer to bolt on mirrors and sissy bars, and I cringe. I will mount my own tire, buy I pay to get it balanced.

Casper
15th March 2007, 17:11
I do as much as I can, but there are still plenty of things I don't know how to do just yet. So far, the biggest job I've done was the 1250cc conversion. I'm sure that, over time, I'll learn how to do more, but for now I do have limitations.

XLFREAK
15th March 2007, 17:37
I do everthing but machine work. Try and save money wherever I can.

tooracer
15th March 2007, 18:05
I bought the bike as a hobby . I work on it as much as I ride . My philosophy is that I will attempt everything on it and if I screw it up there is always someone who can correct the situation . So far I have never had to have anybody else do anything . With the manuals and advice from people in the know and this Forum , eveything has gone well .

coconl
15th March 2007, 18:09
Everything I touch I break so I feel more comfortable with the mechanic doing the work . when I touch something it usually cost me twice as much to do the job.And I have to pay twice {me and The mechanic}:doh

LuxBlue
15th March 2007, 18:13
I like working on my bike and generally do a better job than the dealer. I haven't let them touch my bike ever since they put on my fork lowers and braided lines. I spent an hour lining up and adjusting everything after that fiasco. I have an Indy I trust for tire mounting and I tackle everything else. I would however let NRHS do anything I wanted done to my motor. Someday they will!

Johnny G
15th March 2007, 19:03
I would be in the poor farm if I had to pay someone to do all the chit I have done to my bike. I do all my own work . My moto is -uck the warranty

beuz
15th March 2007, 19:14
Nobody else but me is allowed to put his dirty fingers on my 2 sportsters......GRRRR !!!

MOREHP
15th March 2007, 19:36
I do it all myself and love every minute of it!!!!!

shotgun46
15th March 2007, 19:46
rag man we work on our own bikes the wife and I friends even show up here for me to help them or work on their bikes ! but i will not do the work on my glide yet ( cept tires & oil ) and tune up stuff ! i have a hard with anybody touching my bike ! its kinda like touching my wifes bresteses !

Gone
15th March 2007, 20:01
rag man we work on our own bikes the wife and I friends even show up here for me to help them or work on their bikes ! but i will not do the work on my glide yet ( cept tires & oil ) and tune up stuff ! i have a hard with anybody touching my bike ! its kinda like touching my wifes bresteses !

Hand that back here now, you stroke a man's bike like that well you might as well be strokin his lady.

avnsteve
15th March 2007, 20:42
I do work on my own scoot because the service industry in this world (generally speaking) sucks. I don't believe anybody else would care for my bike the way I do.

tonyhds
15th March 2007, 20:45
I do work on my own scoot because the service industry in this world (generally speaking) sucks. I don't believe anybody else would care for my bike the way I do.

what Steve said.

66impala
15th March 2007, 21:00
I have only owned a rubbermount 883, and I do all my own service work since the free 1k check and wiring up my tach.

These bikes seem to be bullet proof almost like owning a honda, the maintenace can be easily done by someone.

Im not going to tear into the transmission gear set, or tinker with the clutch discs! Gapping new spark plugs once a year and changing the air filter is easy. Changing the seat, ONE bolt!

Now trying to Balance a Check book once a month, Thats hard work...

OutlawTexan67
15th March 2007, 21:01
I do everything on all my bikes and cars.I dont let anyone else on my stuff unless I just cant do it and then I will stay and watch what they are doing.

s0uthernrebel78
15th March 2007, 21:04
I put on my new grips, pegs, bars, relocated the fro nt turn signals, but putting tires on and stuff like that i will there to the pro's but I try to to as much as possible or have the help of one of my buddies

Rob Henderson
15th March 2007, 21:10
Everything I touch I break so I feel more comfortable with the mechanic doing the work . when I touch something it usually cost me twice as much to do the job.And I have to pay twice {me and The mechanic}:doh

MEEEEE TOOOOOOOO!

kane
15th March 2007, 21:11
I do whatever I have the tools to do. So, that means no change of tire but the whole wheel is ok. No welding but grinding, cutting, drilling etc. is ok.
When it comes to larger operations like making a new swing, new bars, major enginework and so on I have many people who knows stuff around me so if I tell them what and how 'I want it I pretty much get it that way:D

Mikel_NY
15th March 2007, 22:34
I am in between the poll answers,

I did most of my 88" conversion myself (except 4 hours worth of bolt torque questions), 13 hours of machining the cases and cam chest areas and 40 hours total from project start to finish.

BUT I let my INDY do all the HARD work !!

SO, I'm not sure how to answer the poll correctly






.

xllent01
15th March 2007, 22:48
Those who have ridden for along time prolly do, i've had every bike i'ved owned stripped down to the frame at one time or another,
and loved every minute of it.:banarock

jamman
15th March 2007, 23:05
nobody but me feels up my honey...

Ironhead77
15th March 2007, 23:10
I do all the work on my scoot my self, with some help from a few friends. I figure I was the one who built her, so who would I trust with her but me!

ponti1
15th March 2007, 23:30
I like doing as much of the work as I can...particularly customizations.

I have let my stealer do the maintenance intervals, as they included free lifetime maintenance intervals in the purchase price (a couple hundred over MSRP).

1200C
15th March 2007, 23:45
1000 mile service-dealer, everything else-me...

Big D
15th March 2007, 23:54
I'm with Big Bazoo here... I was stunned at what dealers wanted for 10K service. So I did that myself. Wound up making a spiffy little gage to help check primary chain tension on my Superglide.

Last winter I did some modest mod's- new bars with internal wiring, tank off, new brake line, bled brakes, front end fall-away adjustment. Had to borrow a lift, and buy/borrow a tool here and there...

Got most of the info right here at the XLF.

Crack cases? Heads off? Not sure about that...

flathead45
15th March 2007, 23:58
don't we all????

DC in PHX
16th March 2007, 00:12
I do everything myself except for tire changes.
DC

Sporting Lad
16th March 2007, 00:14
Some work, I LIKE to do--it allows me to feel more connected to my bike.
Other work, I DON'T like to do--but I do it anyway, because I'm not willing to pay the mechanical man to do odious/onerous (look in the dictionary) :p jobs that I CAN do myself.
Then there's the tech stuff that I WOULD like to do, but don't have the tools for and am not willing to perform expensive experiments on my precious, just to "see if I can". Those I let my indy take care of.

011200custom
16th March 2007, 00:17
Tire changes are easy. Bought a couple of c-clamps to break the beads. Couple of tire irons and rim protectors to slip over the edge of the rim. Piece of cake.

johnnybgood
16th March 2007, 01:39
I do most of my own stuff. There is usually a little cussing spell involved and the wife will say "Why do you even fool with it if it makes you all pissed off?" ..................she doesn't realize that I'm really enjoying it.:laugh

John

68B_Body
16th March 2007, 01:50
i do everything myself unless it requires any machine work. i cant afford to pay some guy that dresses nicer than me at the dealership to do any work.

wvmedic
16th March 2007, 01:57
I will do all of the wrenching on my bike, this is the first street bike I have ever worked on. I like to wrench on my bike, that way I know exactly what is being done. Besides I can't afford to pay anyone to wrench on her for me.

Jeff.

Clarinetcat
16th March 2007, 02:01
I'm in the minority... big f#@king surprise there. :rolleyes:

I still don't own any tools...
I've been spending too much extra cash on instruments. :smackh

Even if I had the tools, I don't know what I'm doing anyways...
Hell, I had to ask how to move the seat bolt (http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=41735) when I installed my new seat last fall.

I'll gladly pay my mechanic, thank you very much.

DC in PHX
16th March 2007, 04:52
I'm in the minority... big f#@king surprise there. :rolleyes:

I still don't own any tools...
I've been spending too much extra cash on instruments. :smackh

Even if I had the tools, I don't know what I'm doing anyways...
Hell, I had to ask how to move the seat bolt (http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=41735) when I installed my new seat last fall.

I'll gladly pay my mechanic, thank you very much.

It is the duty of a gentleman to give employment to the artisan

Smitty001
16th March 2007, 06:05
I am a mechanic, So I shutter when someone other than me touches my bike.
So other then warranty work I do it myself. And usually I end up fixing that.


Smitty:wonderlan

sdjr
16th March 2007, 08:00
I do the bolt on stuff...wish I had done the 1200 upgrade myself now, but that came right after I bought it...The next big thing to attempt is the ignition module, it's down in the case, behind the 5 speed medallion, and it seems a little intimidating....

ed_in_az
16th March 2007, 08:51
I did my own conversion and that put me over the edge as far as doing my own work. I now do all maintenance except swapping tires on the rims. Me no likey.

MakuaKane
16th March 2007, 10:56
I had to vote for the "basic maint." at the moment, but I'm learning as fast as I can. I'm also fed up with the mechanics at my local shop not even wanting owners to change their own oil. Next hurdle for me is the 10K maintenance, and I do intend to do it myself. If needed, a case of beer will be on stand-by to bribe my moto-mech. friend to look over my shoulder to make sure I don't screw up.

davidcar
16th March 2007, 11:13
Ragman thanks for putting this up, Regards David

davidcar
16th March 2007, 11:15
Well there sure are some interesting points of view. Here In Oz it seems to be that most think a HD is hard to work on. I voted for the 1st option I work 100% on my bike (except for machine work e.g. face heads)

davidcar
16th March 2007, 11:34
SDJR, the ign is not that hard but is time consuming if you want a neat finish, DYNA 2000i has good instructions and even tell you the way to get your timing correct, if you have done wire work in the past you should be ok.

t.c. Johnson
16th March 2007, 14:43
All my bikes have been so old or so wierd that I have had to do all my own wrenching.

A new Sporty is like a vacation.

PilotCFI
16th March 2007, 17:47
I do some (Installed tach from HD kit, passenger pegs, sissy bar/luggage rack, replace indicator lamps, change engine oil) Now it's going in for new tires. I did let the local indie change transmission oil and he put in less than a quart of Redline (I supplied the Redline), so now I need to put in the rest. I also let him adjust primary chain tension.

With retirement looming, I'll learn to do more....

Kozak
16th March 2007, 17:51
You have to do your own work. Dealers don't want to work on an oboselete bike. Thats what they said when I went in to get a part.

Johnny Wolf
16th March 2007, 19:25
You have to do your own work. Dealers don't want to work on an oboselete bike. Thats what they said when I went in to get a part.


My "stealer" would never turn away work...hell, they'd probably work on a Schwinn if someone brought it in. I don't mean this in the good way, they will never turn someone down if they have a chance to take their money.

sportysrock
16th March 2007, 19:41
I am somewhere between the choices of all the work and some of it, but headed towards all of it. If it is warranty work then it would be foolish to buy the parts and do the work too. I have the manual and going forward, the job is mine.

wizend
16th March 2007, 20:01
I touch the bike, others may work on the parts. I have yet to tear into the engine though. I may be intimidated but not afraid.

ejonny
16th March 2007, 22:07
I voted "I Do all my work. . ." but I suppose if there was something under warranty or if I just plain couldn't figure it out or something I'd have someone else do it. I've been enjoying doing the things that I can figure out, and would rather not pay someone else: Like $325 for my first 1000 mile "service?" :yikes I don't think so!

moedog883
16th March 2007, 23:42
I've done the basics. Fluids, jets, installed a new Arlen Ness BS, new grips, Slip on's, seat etc. I reallly wanna do the conversion, but I'm a bit intimidated by it. I figure I can do it with the right manual and all your help. I was never a mechanic, but it beats paying labor costs.

racerwill
16th March 2007, 23:58
so far I've done all the work to mine since I've had it....... I bought it from another master tech who did all the work too........I thought I was really gonna like taking it all apart and puttin' it back together nicer every winter, its a ritual with all the race cars ....sandblasting and checking all the welds, and putting it all back together with any changes for rules or go faster reasons... painting, and shining everything for opening day........then the beatings begin....lol

turns out with the bike, all I want to do is ride it

Ww

oakies
17th March 2007, 04:33
Do everything except tearing into the engine...Have changed tires, but its really not worth the effort to do it myself...

sporty99
17th March 2007, 07:48
i do all my own wrenching,so far bumped it up to a 1200,forward control and fabed a mount and bolted on v&h staggerd short shots(04-06) to a 99.doing everything your self saves money for more upgrades.

cuban_sporty_rider
17th March 2007, 10:14
i would like to do more work myself. im a HUMMER mech in the Army and have the tools, but taking it into my motorpool *gulp* on my riding weekends, that sux. im planning on getting a place with a garage when i get out of the desert this time. the winters a crappy in NC, so it is optimal time to swap the 1200 jugs that will be waiting on me to return in 6 months.

Snuffy
17th March 2007, 14:02
I like the doing the heavy stuff: turning the key on, pushing the starter switch, checking the oil, kicking the tires, changing the oil, looking to see what the temp is on the oil. Cleaning the bugs off the shield, occasionally wiping the dirt and grime off [what the rain misses], switching the turn signals off and on. Once in a while turning the high beam to low. You know the heavy stuff, all the other just taxes my brain.

longrun-pa
17th March 2007, 14:30
Checked 'all', but should say "most". I don't have the machinery to do the machine work, but do have, and understand, mics, indicators, calipers etc for close tolerance measurements. Do all the interesting stuff as well as the mundane. This is my first H-D, but have wrenched on Triumphs for years. Probably the job I hate most is lacing / truing wheels...real test of your patience!
If you have the right specs, right tools, and right attitude, there isn't much you can't do on one of these things. Plus, you learn how to cuss out an engineer!
So...who's gonna start the thread for "who works on their own guns"?

Gone
18th March 2007, 04:28
Do my own - mainly because I'm too cheap to pay someone else to do it. Did new tires and brake pads today.

bills bikes
18th March 2007, 19:14
i do it all if i dont get it right i work on it till i do lots of fun

jrclark19
18th March 2007, 21:03
I do all my own work except for the machine work, valve seats, cycl. hone, Cam bushings, etc....

racerwill
19th March 2007, 02:30
My "stealer" would never turn away work...hell, they'd probably work on a Schwinn if someone brought it in. I don't mean this in the good way, they will never turn someone down if they have a chance to take their money.

hey Johnny.... any repair facility that is willing to help whomever comes their way should be commended..... they're not there to take your money, they're there to care for their customers..... skilled hands cost money in any trade.

Ww

KC_Sportster
19th March 2007, 04:08
From the 1,000 mile service I've done the add-on/swap out work myself. Front springs, turn signal relocation front and rear, handlebars, grips, forward controls, etc. so far. Was a mechanic for 12 years so have some background. Warranty work will be done by the delear but I intend for that to be it.

It's funny, I have a friend that rags on me if I pay retail for parts at a dealer as he buys online to save as much as possible. Then he takes the bike and the parts to the dealer to have them installed. I think I'm probably coming out ahead but am not sure.

racerwill
19th March 2007, 12:47
It's funny, I have a friend that rags on me if I pay retail for parts at a dealer as he buys online to save as much as possible. Then he takes the bike and the parts to the dealer to have them installed. I think I'm probably coming out ahead but am not sure.

you do come out ahead in the long run.... would you bring your own food to a resteraunt?

Ww

rbcss
19th March 2007, 14:19
I do most of all my repairs and add ons. I would like to get into the engine and trans. I have the shop manual but I been tring to get Dennis from fix my hog to do a complete version on the sportster. like he has done to some other harley's but he feels that most sportster owner bring thier bike into a shop for repairs. I think if everybody that wrenches on thier bikes and keeps on him to do a full version, he would make a DVD.

ponti1
19th March 2007, 19:27
I do most of all my repairs and add ons. I would like to get into the engine and trans. I have the shop manual but I been tring to get Dennis from fix my hog to do a complete version on the sportster. like he has done to some other harley's but he feels that most sportster owner bring thier bike into a shop for repairs. I think if everybody that wrenches on thier bikes and keeps on him to do a full version, he would make a DVD.

Hey, rbcss, you do know that they have a FixMyHog 2-disc set specifically for sportsters, right?

here's the link:
http://www.fixmyhog.com/Harley-Davidson-Sportster-2-Disc-Set-p-658.html

thescreenman
19th March 2007, 20:19
I work on my bike,car and house.If i dont have the knowlage ill find it in trust of someone i know.If i cant afford the tools or my buddies dont have them ,then and only then it will be sent out.Most of the time it gets sent out it comes back with a disapointment.EX.couldnt cut my seats on my heads.Told the guy change the guides while your at it.my buddy that does my heads is away for another month.heads came back with guides knurled not changed.So now i wait another month and get them done again.

06XL12R
19th March 2007, 20:55
The only time mine gets touched by anyone is for warenty work, or inspection stickers. I even change the tires my self, I just have the dealer balance them.

rbcss
19th March 2007, 21:01
Hey, rbcss, you do know that they have a FixMyHog 2-disc set specifically for sportsters, right?

here's the link:
http://www.fixmyhog.com/Harley-Davidson-Sportster-2-Disc-Set-p-658.html

Yes I do, I have had quite the e-mail session with Dennis over the weekend. he's seem to be a real good guy but I would like to have a more indepth dvd like some of the other HD. like getting into the engine and transmission. I talked to others on line that has this DVD and nobody has had a negitive responce to the DVD. Dennis feels the DVD for the sportster would not pay off like the other DVD's he sold. and like any other business, it need to make money or don't do it. that's why I stated before if anyone would like to get more involed in wrenching on the bike beside just basic maintence, e-mail him and tell him you would be interested in the more extensive DVD.

Phelan
19th March 2007, 21:04
I do basic work on my bike - still in the learning process. I hope to do more in the future as time and aquisition of tools allows.

black-n-blue sporty
19th March 2007, 21:16
I have done pretty much everything on my bike so far since I owned it. I am somewhat handy when it comes to stuff, and if not you can figure it out by reading the manual or reading stuff on here.

KC_Sportster
20th March 2007, 05:36
you do come out ahead in the long run.... would you bring your own food to a resteraunt?

Ww

Nope. Imagine how they would fix that up for you when they cooked it. :D

rvguy
20th March 2007, 05:48
I have to qualify my answer. I am no mechanic, but I did the 'basic add-on' (stage I). I will also attempt the 5k service. The XL is a bike where an owner can choose to learn what is necessary to maintain/add-on. This is just one of the many incredibly cool things about owning one. Ride on!

rvguy
20th March 2007, 05:51
I do as much as I can, but there are still plenty of things I don't know how to do just yet. So far, the biggest job I've done was the 1250cc conversion. I'm sure that, over time, I'll learn how to do more, but for now I do have limitations.

If your 1250 is running well, IMHO that is the next level from bolting on/maintaining yer bike. HUAHHH

hammerdown14
20th March 2007, 15:35
i let mechanics do the engine and tranny/forks, i do everything else,including carbs......so far

Lunchbox
23rd March 2007, 11:40
I will try and do most of the work myself. Then when i mess something up i know what not to do next time. :doh They only things i dont do is the stuff i really have no idea on (like head work) plus i dont have the tools for it. Guess it it time to go shopping...:banana

Ranger Bob
23rd March 2007, 13:09
I've done all my own mechanic work on my bikes since the 60's. For a lot of good reasons.

1. At first I was too young and poor to afford paying someone else to do what I could learn to do myself.

2. Saves money for more fun, fuel and parts.

3. The more you do all the work on your machine, the better you get to know it, inside & out.

4. The longer you do it, the easier it gets.

5. It's fun (usually) to do. Takes my mind off everything else; the troubles of the world, bills, women, etc. Cheaper than a shrink :shhhh

6. Enjoy riding & using my bike more knowing I do all the work to keep it in fine condition.

Sometimes it can be a real brain-teasing puzzle. Some folks do crossword puzzles, I work on my bike.

Whenever I'm not riding, I'll be found in the garage wrenching, cleaning, polishing or just plain prissing up my scooter. Never any wasted time, plus keeps me out of the bars and off the streetcorners :)

Regards,
Bob G
The more I learn about women, the more I like my motorcycle

cgbm1
23rd March 2007, 15:26
I do everything on my bike that way i know it is done and done right and if something aint right, it's my fault. I rebuild the motor, frame mods, make and modify parts,weld, polish, cut, grind, weld, what ever i need to do except boring cylinders or grinding valve seats, since i don't hae the machines to do it. I am not rich, and have learned from hands on since i was 6 years old and now i/m on my second bike. I don't do the flashy expensive stuff, but it is my labor of love and i make it the way it tells me to as i spend many hours sitting there, just looking at it, until my wife breaks the special monment screaming at me. anyway here is a photo album of some pics of my past and current projects. Stay safe.

http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/spubar44/

adrian.morris@sunderland.
23rd March 2007, 16:27
I tend to do most things these days as I've had some very bad experiences and I'm skint. I recently changed the triple trees to wide glide three degree raked ones and am very pleased with the reults. This meant changing the bars as well. I don't have a lot of free time so I also use a local indy who is very good.

XLFREAK
24th March 2007, 01:55
I wish I could do my own work. I just do not have the time or patience to do it myself. But I am currently in the process of moving into a new house that has a garage. When I get settled in, I will probably start reading up on some stuff. I already bought the service manual from HD. Don't understand much about what it says in there. That book is for people that already know how to work on bikes. I also need to buy tools. Will also probably buy the fix thy hog video.

aussteks
24th March 2007, 06:13
Hell, I don't even trust a Dealer dyno tech with my bike...but I do need a qualified person to mount/balance a new tire.

I only know one capable in my area.

;<)

pitpndlm
27th March 2007, 03:10
I've learned you'll always suprise yourself of what you are capeable of if you only try. Dont go in blind, service manuals, online research, word of mouth, asking other owners at events, etc always makes it easier. Remember it is a machine and it usually works in a logical format. And almost anything can be fixed.

hdsportster71
29th March 2007, 04:50
I do all the work to my bike even the paint. Here is a link to a site that can help ya with it. I also did ghost flames on my bike which isnt talked about on these pages. You can find everything on google though. following the method on these pages and my paint job looks as good as any factory paint job.
Well it wont let me post the links yet but you should be able to find it if you search for chuckhawks on google go to the motorcycle and riding section on his page.

Lemur13
29th March 2007, 09:56
if you haven't read ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE, you should... working on your bike is half the experience... i try to do everything myself, but i only got my first moto 2 years ago, so i'm still learning... it will never go to a shop unless i'm having it bored or something that i don't have the tools for...

ladydihd1
2nd April 2007, 23:22
I wish I could do more of my own work. I can change oil, foot pegs, mirrors and other very simple things. If I could do more of my own work I may not be so broke. :rolleyes:

shad0w0528
11th April 2007, 06:06
i am in the process of a 1250 conversion with new cams,just like working on a car ya have to have a manual.you have to like a torque wrench

shopteach
11th April 2007, 06:07
I do all my work and have built several ground up bikes. The catch is I'm a dual ASE master certified tech(auto and truck)and master certified machinist.I probably have 60k invested in hand tools accumulated over a career so I have the right tool to do the job the right way. Sure there is some shoddy work but most techs take pride in what they do. I teach auto tech and try to instill the same sense of pride in the students. If every one could do everything or wanted to I would not have a job. Just don't paint us all with the same brush.:madhead

f77
11th April 2007, 12:19
only basic maintenace for me

samppa
11th April 2007, 13:05
I'm not a mechanic but I try to do everything by myself. I once had to return my evo twice to a dealer becouse of leaking rocker box gaskets and still do it again at home to get it right... So I figured I'll save some gas and do all I can by myself.

FM is quite thorough with most of the stuff and then luckily we have these forums where amateur mechanics like me can ask stupid questions :-)

AussieGazza
13th April 2007, 00:21
I have done a V8 engine (except for machining). Have not needed yet to do a motorbike, but again, will do all but machining.

Buellbomb
13th April 2007, 14:56
Yes, I do it all.

aussteks
28th April 2007, 04:58
Yes, I do it all.

Gimme five, bro!
:rolleyes:

aussteks
28th April 2007, 05:04
Yes, I do it all.

Gimme five, bro!
:rolleyes:

CommandoRoadster
28th April 2007, 07:35
I pretty much have to! Even if you can find someone around here to work on Ironheads,it's gonna get back-burnered,so they can make the quick bucks installing all the latest computer gimcrackery,on the Twin Cams,and Road Pigs!:madtwo
:drinkbeer
Cheers!
Bruce

tigerdog
1st May 2007, 00:19
I love wrenching on my bike.

warpig
1st May 2007, 01:34
I am pretty damn particular with my bikes and cars. Mechanics never do things the way I want them so I do it all myself.

If I could find a perfectionist for a mechanic I would not be against haveing them work on my bike.

auslander
1st May 2007, 02:18
I started off taking it to the dealer, but now it's only if it might be a warranty claim. It's just easier to do it myself. I can have it done in less time than I would spend taking it in and dealing with them.

Any custom work will be done by me, custom fab is what I dig. Just got to get it figured out what I want to do. That and stop riding long enough to tear it apart.

quakefiend420
1st May 2007, 11:09
i haven't had my sporty in the shop yet

fliud changes, pipe install, little accessories, front tube change, and belt change is what i've done to it so far

when i do the 1250 kit i think i'm gonna let the shop handle it, though...that's a bit outside my skill range

sycle1
1st May 2007, 11:50
I have let others work on my bike but was not impressed by either of them.
They say they have done this and that but when you check they haven't.
I will be taking the work and trying to do it all myself in future.
I hate paying for stuff and not getting it.

roadtrain
2nd May 2007, 05:01
Yes I maintain and rebuild all of my bikes when required. I also restore pre 1970 Triumphs. I like working on bikes as much as riding them.

mit243
15th May 2007, 23:27
Just got done doing a tune up on my bike. Bought the service manual and the fix my hog dvd for the sportster. If you haven't started to do a little wrenching your missing out on part of the fun. If I can do my on service anybody should be able to do it!!!:tour

ambulldogg
16th May 2007, 04:40
it is kinda hard to find somebody to lay hands on an ironhead! so yes i do and i love it cause i know my bike!

07sporty
16th May 2007, 04:54
I can't vote because I do not do all my own work, yet i do a lot of it, and i actually am a mechanic(just for diesel engines...) somewhere in between the first too is me!!

Takingabreak
16th May 2007, 08:19
I think you needed a fourth option.

Wile I do my own work(I'm a Auto tech by trade) I will let the dealer work on mine for things under warranty.

So one that reads...

I do my own work, unless the dealer is doing it for free!

jfs92579
16th May 2007, 08:45
Are the Fix My Hog DVDs detailed? Thinking about getting it just want some feed back.

xtremraptor
16th May 2007, 09:44
there's nothing on the bike i can't do without the help of the fine folks in here, my manual, and the help of my friends here at home.

well okay, so i won't try anything that pertains to needing a machine shop.

other than that the wrenches are twisting by my hand.

1200 sporty
31st May 2007, 20:03
in reply to what norm has posted; the way i learned how to fix what was not broke was to take it apart and put it back together. it took me two weeks to figure out where everything went when putting it back together but it ran and now i never have to pay somebody to do anything again.

sycle1
1st June 2007, 09:40
If you don't do the work on your bike how are you going to learn anything?
I enjoy working on her nearly as much as riding her.
Note I said, nearly.

tstoeckel
23rd June 2007, 01:35
Working on my bike is therapy. I don't like working on the cars and, beyond oil and brake pads, I'll happily pay someone to work on 'em. My bike is different. I enjoy working on the bike (within reason). Partly because I just like wrenching and partly because my very life depends on it. I guess I have trust issues with strangers working on something that could easily strand me or kill me because they were distracted by the tune playing on the radio while my engine was exposed and vulnerable.

Thus, I own tools.

parker313
25th July 2007, 02:48
with a manual and a friend who used to wrench, I have done an oil change, new air cleaner, rejet, and 1000 mile service. By myself, I changed out the pegs, shifter, grips and slip on pipes. I have little to no experience wrenching on bikes or cars, so this was big for me. The manual :tour and recommendations from folks here go a long way, and save hundreds in labor costs.

mid30
29th July 2007, 02:16
I havent had to do much other than RM but did have to change out the batterie cable the other day. I plan on doing most of the stuff needed when needed. I am to cheap to pay someone else to do the work I can do.

Roadster_Rider
29th July 2007, 02:49
Everything but tire changes. :)

Antique Engine
29th July 2007, 03:44
Everything, including tire changes. No one touches my junk but me, period.

bookman
9th August 2007, 16:12
I have always admired and envied the people who do thier own work on cars, houses, and motorcycles etc, but untill recently have never done any maintenance/repair work.

After buying may training wheels (VN750), I rebuilt the petcock with the help of a friend and just last week changed the oil and filter. I needed some help with removing the tank, but needed very little help rebuilding the petcock, and didn't need any for the oil change. I intend to do most of the maintenance on the bike myself, and may even try to tackle the first repair.

Twisty571
5th September 2007, 21:43
My bike is new so not alot of problems yet :) I am not a bike mechanic as of yet but am learning as much as I can so hopefully I will never need another mechanic! I did get to rebuild a head on my buds womens 99'883H and it wasn't bad. I want to build my own bike 1 day....

bretton
5th September 2007, 21:55
I guess this is a thing I just grew up with since I bought my first bike. Never did have enough money to pay for someone else to do any work and afford to run any thing so over along period have learned to do just about everything myself except reboring. Ive built wheels ,resprayed, welded, machined parts on an old lathe and even had one of those nickel plating kits for vintage bikes. i dont think you can beat the satisfaction of doing as much as you can yourself, but you can make some awful mistakes learning if your not careful. This was ok when I could pick up old bikes for 20 30 years ago. Not sure how viable that route is now.:tour

XLFREAK
7th October 2007, 02:53
Feb 2006, the OL wanted to surprise me by gettin my CH fixed (tranny). It was a sweet thing she done. At that time I hadn't rode in awhile due to my work. Well, the tranny is back the way it was before she had it fixed. For what she paid for repairs, I could got a running IH, or 2 more Triumphs from a barn.

I've built scooters from the ground up since the 70s. If my scoots don't get touched by me.... they go untouched, till I get to them.

onerigidrider
8th November 2007, 06:21
No one touches my bikes but me. like another poster said, if you dare take IH to the shop they get thrown to the back of the pack. Stealerships charge too much for too little and Indies aren't as particular as I am.

Built up my shop over the years. Lot's of trial and error. Lots of learning from some righteous bros who didn't mind helpin out a noob. Now I return the favor whenever I can to pay it forward...

stealthammer
9th November 2007, 01:36
A great followup to this poll might be: If you do work on your own bike, are you willing to work on someone elses?

Generally I am willing work on almost anyone's bike who is willing to help out(most minor stuff without charge - or maybe for the cost of a couple of beers). I love it when someone wants to learn how to maintain or customize their own bike, because it usually leads to them taking better care of it.

If you think however, that you can drop your bike off and get something done for free, I might just part it out.....

JonnyRtn
10th November 2007, 03:24
Work on mine and good buddies stuff only. Been burnt by.... You tuned up my stuff but now the brake light is out.... you were the last one to work on it.....But ill help a dude out in a pinch, someone along side the road will get me to stop also if they look to forlorn. Drained gas into a beer can for more than one guy in my life.

ozark
8th December 2007, 19:51
In response to DavidCar's request I am putting up this poll.

I do maintenance and add ons to my bike....anything involving removing major components of the engine or actually removing the engine itself I will leave up to a real mechanic.

I had a bad experience with my first dirt bike....Timing issue that I could never fix - wasnt my fault but I spent months with the engine in and out of the bike nevertheless.

I do most of my own work. I read the manual, ask lots of dumb questions, try to work out the process in my head, make sure I have the right tools then dig in.

I have been really lucky, I've never had an engine or tranny crap out on a Sporty. Chances are if that happens it's off to the shop.

Ozark

ozark
8th December 2007, 20:06
I do everything I can do, except major engine work. I hear guys tell about paying the dealer to bolt on mirrors and sissy bars, and I cringe. I will mount my own tire, buy I pay to get it balanced.

Kind of makes me cringe too. About a year ago a customer of mine told me she took her bike to a dealer to have a pair of throw-over saddlebags installed. The :censor dealer told her throw-overs won't fit a Sporty. I emailed her directions and she installed them herself in about 20 minutes. I suggested that she buy a manual and do her own work. She did. Earlier this month she emailed me that she had done her own 10,000 mile maintenance and saved hundreds of dollars.

Ozark

Kettelhead
18th January 2008, 02:31
I do everything but the machine work. I even do the paint work.

64physhy
18th January 2008, 05:15
I'll do anything but internal engine. One day, maybe my sac will drop and I'll be able to do that, too.

Gone
18th January 2008, 10:02
Hold on, you mean there's places to take your bike and have some one else do the work?

What will they think of next!

Just kidding, I do everything. I worked as a mechanic for 20 years before I retrained. I still have all my tools, plus an air compressor and a welder.

ScreamingEag1e
18th January 2008, 14:36
Hold on, you mean there's places to take your bike and have some one else do the work?

What will they think of next!

Just kidding, I do everything. I worked as a mechanic for 20 years before I retrained. I still have all my tools, plus an air compressor and a welder.

Yes, and that place is YOUR house. I'll even pay you. :laugh:laugh:laugh At least i know my shit will run then. If I touch it, it will surely blow up between my legs as I have little mechanical ability. At least I'm honest. A POSER, but honest none the less. :laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh

How's Finland bye the way? Are you suffering from riding withdrawls yet?

Gone
18th January 2008, 15:07
Yes, and that place is YOUR house. I'll even pay you. :laugh:laugh:laugh At least i know my shit will run then. If I touch it, it will surely blow up between my legs as I have little mechanical ability. At least I'm honest. A POSER, but honest none the less. :laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh

How's Finland bye the way? Are you suffering from riding withdrawls yet?


:laugh:laugh:laugh Funny!

I just spoke to my wife about an hour ago and we have no snow at home. I get home next Thursday, so with any luck I might get a ride in on Friday. We leave for the Dominican Republic on Saturday for a week, so I can rent a moped there.:doh

Seriously, thanks for asking.

And BTW, I'd always be happy to fix a bike for a bro.:banana

rabidchimp
19th January 2008, 17:08
I've done the work on my bike, with the exception of mounting tires, and relacing the front wheel after a nice coat of gloss black powder coating. I've only had it for about 1.5 years, not much maintenance required. Just lubricant changes, battery cable replacement, and the occasional tightening of fasteners.
-Aar

Gone
20th January 2008, 22:27
I have had this Sporty since 1994 and except for mounting new tires I have done all the add ons, maintenance etc.on my bike. If I had to get into an electronics problem I would probably have a mechenic do the repair or the analysis for me. :tour :smoke

t&tkennels
24th January 2008, 03:59
ive ridden 2 stroke atv,s for several years & did my own maintenace & engine rebuilds , never once taken one to a dealer or mechanic . But my ironhead is a totally different beast , add on's , maintenace , & simple fabrication is where i limit myself.

Billsxl1200c
10th February 2008, 04:49
I enjoy working on my bikes! Not only do I save money, time working in the garage is a marriage saver too! :luvsport

steelworker
14th February 2008, 20:46
Machining, porting, etc I leave to the professionals who have the necessary plant and measuring equiment, but I do everything else. Riding Brit bikes as a poverty-stricken student, you have to either learn how to fix it yourself, or start queuing for buses.
I've not had to do it on the sporty (touch wood), but I have split the cases on other bikes I've owned to replace main / big end bearings, etc, without any problems. It's a bit daunting when workshop manuals refer to the fifty different factory tools you'll need to do a job, but there is usually another way; and these days I can afford to treat myself occasionally to a tool that wil make a job easier, rather than strip the engine with a screwdriver and a 1/2" combination spanner.

hidollartoys
23rd March 2008, 16:18
I do all mechanic work except the truly special stuff. " I DONT DO TIRES". I do all my own work on all my bikes, vehicles and trailers, 14 in all. If I cant work on it I cant afford it. I even do all my own home repairs and remodels. " I DONT DO ROOFING". If I dont know how to fix it I will find some one that will help me with info, tools, etc. I also repair my own tools ie hyd jack, welder, compressor, electric hand tools, etc. I am also a salvage bug always on the lookout for broken or discarded items that I am in need of not to mention scrap items for use in my projects. The special order "returns" area at the building supply stores are the first places I check when I am there. Currently rebuilding/ remodeling my lake house with all salvage, bargin and discarded building materials. It is amazing how much stuff is out there. Also just finished (last nite) installing a GM crate engine in my sister-in-law's 1989 PU.

jnlee3
31st March 2008, 21:32
I have not yet started to work on my bike. I've changed out a few parts on my own but really don't have any space yet. Once the garage gets cleaned up, hopefully this summer, I'll be able to get a lift and service manual and start saving some money. I am also looking forward to learning more about my bike and replacing some parts that take more than one or two bolts.

cigarfiend1
1st April 2008, 14:56
So far I have been working on my bike. I want to learn as much as I can about my bike so if I am ever on the side of the road I can fix it myself.

rontech
7th April 2008, 04:26
I had my bike only 2 months ( bought it used) before the head gasket blew. The base gasket went at the same time. HD mech wanted $80/ hr to do the work. it would have cost $600 to $700.
Now I am not rich and don't want to pay that much especially when a head gasket cost $400 for my old Toyota truck, which to me is more labor intensive.
So I did it myself. At least I know what condition the engine is in and I know what has been done to it.
Next up is the primary cover gasket ( got this annoying oil leak out of the primary ), shifter seal, and inspect primary chain and tensioner...

AB,Frank
7th April 2008, 04:56
Yep,do my own stuff but sometimes I wish I could strangle the design
engineer...lol

jimmyp
24th April 2008, 05:30
basic maintenance for me..

xFreebirdx
24th April 2008, 13:29
I do about 90% of it. ;)



http://www.southernfriedcomputer.com/sigs/it.jpg

uteotw
24th April 2008, 17:09
I have never really had occasion to learn anything about bikes. No one's ever taught me anything so I know next to nothing, which totally sucks. I envy people who know how to do stuff.

I shudder when I think of the 1986 Kawasaki 650 I used to ride in college, how I knew nothing, never checked anything, did no maintenance, yet rode that thing all over for years, freeways, long trips, short trips, etc.

Having had my 2007 Sportster for almost a year now, I sure would like to learn stuff, now that I'm older and know stuff needs doing (and having a bike I want to take good care of).

I'd like to add the SE AC in the next few weeks: That should be something I could do myself, right? I'm not completely inept with tools but I do want it done right and would hate to screw it up somehow.

Input?

williamv1203
24th April 2008, 18:04
Since I had to pay over 350. just to have front wheel bearings and swingarm bearings replaced. Parts 30. The rest labor. :frownthre

I do all the work myself. Including total rewire using no harness, all my own fab; wheel bearings and seals, swingarm bearings, forks, top end conversion, tuning, brakes, oil, gearbox, lifters and rods, any mods, all but machine shop specific stuff... :wonderlan

Converted Rice
24th April 2008, 20:04
Just did my 1st repair yesterday. Right turn signal wouln't blink. Went to a local shop (not a dealership) & just got a bad feeling about being there. Took the bike home. Cleaned the contacts & replaced a bulb. Works great now.

bfuqua
27th April 2008, 01:09
I try to do all but the most major repairs on all my vehicles. Transmissions are the one area I stay away from.

jnlee3
28th May 2008, 22:45
I voted in the minority earlier but am now going to venture out and start working on my own bike. I will most likely go through the first service, 15k, with another guy that has been doing his own HD repairs for many years now. Just something to back me up the first time around.

mattkazz72
5th June 2008, 22:23
i do all myself i wish the weather would break so i can get good pics ive changed almost everything but the motor and that will be this winter i think its fun and challenging to do it yourself!

turn8a
5th June 2008, 22:48
I work on all of my other bikes .....But I wanted one bike in my garage that I did not have to work on , all I wanted to do is ride it so I don't touch the Harley (found a great sportster mx). but still work on all of my other bikes.

topflite
6th June 2008, 01:50
I've done a few bolt-ons and a few fabs (added a batwing, bags, stereo, etc.) but I'm
still under warranty for 3 1/2 years and I PAID FOR IT - until the warranty is out, the
stealer can do it. After that, I'm on my own but should be OK - I'm an AP mechanic.

jimmyess333
6th June 2008, 04:54
I do everything I possibly can myself when it comes to both cars and bikes.
Hell, I even do my own tire changes on the bikes, and occasionally on the car.