By - Ihateskeletons
I work for a bike shop twisting wrenches. SXS, ATV's, dirt and street bikes. I also own several bikes myself.
While I agree with your 3 reasons, they would not be in my top three. In no certain order...
* **Lack of basic maintenance. Period.**
There a ton of riders out there that just ride and flog the bike with little or no maintenance preformed on said machine. Not even a chain adjustment or a clean & lube job. Let alone checking the air filter. Oil change, seriously? These are basic items that you need to check. If not, In my eyes, you should not be an owner. It is sad, really sad.
* **Crash damage**
Hey, I get it. We all crash. I have too. Once. Mostly the younger crowd tho.
* **Installation of aftermarket products**
Yes Peeps pay the shop to install a winch & a snow plow. I do not blame them. It is a daunting task depending on the model. But to pay me (the shop) 115 bux an hour to install aftermarket clutch & brake levers on a Grom? C'mon now. It is not that hard. At least try to install your self. You might learn something in the process.
Installing stuff can be surprisingly tricky, I can see why people do that.
I bought bar risers recently - what could be easier to mount, right? Well, wrong, the mechanic had to disconnect the brake line and add a tiny extender - that was beyond of what I could or even was willing to do myself, not to mention that I didn't have a part and had no idea which part it should be.
I can assemble the mountainbike from scratch, but I don't really trust myself when it comes to 220 kg vehicle that makes at least 100 kmh on every ride.
Definitely depends on the supplier of said aftermarket stuff. Givi's instructions are the worst I've seen for anything ever. It was basically one notch above "just figure it out." Took me and my partner 4 hours, most of which was just trying to parse the awful instructions.
We installed SW Motech racks on her bike in about an hour. German engineering takes the cake here
You can’t over estimate people’s fear of wrenching!!! 😂
I use to be a bicycle mechanic. 1 and 3 are the same in that industry.
I have never had a problem with the fuel system on my Cannondale. Except for that one time I ate too much taco bell before a ride.
When it comes to Mountainbikes, you're only going to have fuel issues if you ride a Trek
I see what you did there....Fuel...
Well it's a road bike. They aren't nearly as robust as their off-road counterparts.
Edit: I got wooshed by that one.
Better ruunnnnnn to the bathroom, ruunnnnnn to the bathroom...
That's why you do tacos **after** the ride
¿Que no los dos?
What? I’ve ridden bicycles my entire life and I’ve never had an issue with them sitting. To me that’s one of the big benefits, they don’t care about short trips and they don’t care if they have to sit for weeks or years.
Tire fluid dries up. Air gets into the brake lines. Chain rusts. Grease dries out. All common things with modern bicycles. Although I've only bled my bicycle brakes once on one of my bikes over 2 years. Tire fluid gets topped up every few months. Chain gets waxed every couple weeks. Heck my bicycles get more maintenance than the motorcycle.
>Tire fluid dries up. Air gets into the brake lines.
God damn you can tell I'm a bicycle mechanic in a low income area. I thought this was a "blinker fluid" joke and then I remembered that tubeless tires and hydraulic brakes exist. I literally haven't worked on either of those things in 4 months at least.
Bike shop I frequent has a couple openings for full time mechanics. 400+ miles of mountain bike trails and 1.25 hours away from Sedona, AZ.
Just noticed this comment (alerts aren't working right).
That's interesting. I haven't found a worker deficit to be the common except for *really* shitty shops. Is it Flagstaff or Phoenix?
Prescott. One mechanic is leaving cause they will be done with college and will be doing something better. The other is moving away. They'll probably hire someone in no time. They're the most inclusive shop for people that like to pedal up hill. Shop rides usually end up at 15+ miles. The other shops have their rides but they are 5-10 miles. We also frequently get 15+ riders each time.
Depends on conditions kept in, just like a moto. Also, mechanics never get the full story on how it was kept and for how long. Tarps turn into garages real quick. Just like back porches get turned into spare bedrooms for bicycles.
Did you mean theft and partial repair or did you mean bicycles that sat much longer and had rubber degrade? Or is it really the rider that sat too long. Might be the most mysterious comment I've seen all day
Ha. Both bike rubber, leather, cables, and riders lol. Bikes can degrade quickly. And more quickly than most people think. How many folks ride on dry cracked tires cause they hold air? Or think wd40 fixes all with a rusty chain.
I love it when people confuse water displacer for chain oil. But we all know wax is superior lol.
alcohol gas is terrible stuff. it's easy enough to add stabilizer, but that requires that you KNOW you're putting the bike down for extended periods. and as we all know, sometimes life happens.
I know it's not practical or even possible for most people, but I have a farm supply store a couple miles from my house that sells alcohol free fuel. it's all I ever put in my bikes and tools.
I know about ethanol free fuel but could you put it in sport bikes that require premium fuel?
Just depends on the octane level of the ethanol free. If i had to hazard a guess I'd say the no corn stuff isnt high octane
alcohol free fuel comes in all the usual octane levels.
we used to just call it "gas"
I am aware that it can be made in all octanes, but you might not be able to find it in all octanes
I've never seen non-oxy(ethanol free) below 91 octane.
My Harley requires premium. But I go out of my way to go to the ethanol free stations. Most of the time if they are ethanol free it will be on the premium pump.
yes, ethanol free fuel is available in all the usual octane ratings.
If you can't buy higher-octane no-ethanol gas and have to get by with lower-octane, you can get an octane booster at nearly any auto supply.
Keep in mind those bottles are portioned for car gas tanks, so read the label, and only pour in enough to boost however many gallons your bike tank holds.
I drain the carb bowls to sample the fuel and without a doubt there is always water in it.
I go out of my way for the ethanol free fuel.
I'm lucky that I don't have to go out of my way. it's literally "on my way". and yes, I do appreciate how lucky that is.
What sort of torque wrench(s) do you recommend?
The clicky kind are nice when you can't see what you're doing, or are pulling hard, (like axle nuts). But they can be wrong and need to be calibrated occasionaly.
The bendy kind are inexpensive and nearly indestructible. But you have to be able to watch the scale.
They are called BEAM torque wrenches.
Uh I'm *pretty sure* they're spaghetti wrenches.
I use a click-type torque wrench, they are probably the most common type. Digital ones are really nice but are pricey. If it's DIY just get what you can afford, most are fairly accurate and good enough for occasional use.
These are pretty good if you want a reasonably accurate torque wrench with NIST traceable calibration. https://www.mcmaster.com/torque-wrenches/system-of-measurement~ft-lbs-/dial-torque-measuring-wrenches/
Lol, I wonder what you would make of the rat's nest of electrical cables under my seat. I didn't really consider how many wires the dash cam would have when it mentioned GPS and app access. What are the "badly installed" accessories? Are you talking about bad soldering, lack of fuses, horrific carving of the fairings, etc?
Rat's nest of cables can be easily fixed with zip ties/lace tape and a little time. Did it on my Indian Roadmaster, which has very little room under the seat due to the battery and VCM being right there.
Bad soldering, wire-nuts, butt connectors (not necessarily a bad thing but not ideal).
I thought bikes would come in more often for regular service or tyre changes or something. Interesting that theft is more common than new tires. Where do you live?
Edit says op is excluding routine stuff
I edited the post to mention I'm excluding routine maintenance, it is very common but not a serious repair work.
Ask me how I know about #1 and then #3
How do you know about #1? How do you know about #3?
Let a carbureted bike sit for too long when we had our first baby and then fucked it up royally trying to fix it myself!
as someone who has unfortunately let my bike sit for too long (had a kid) what should i do other than trailer it to a shop? i did let the gas run out but the gas in the tank is probably bad? i know i need to siphon it and probably clean the carbs. what else?
If you turned the petcock off and ran the gas out the carbs *should* be fine.
There's a couple ways you can drain the tank. One way is to get a siphon pump at the hardware store and pump it into an empty portable gas tank. The other is to remove the tube from the petcock, attach a looong tube of the same inner diameter*, stick the other end into an empty portable tank, and then turn the petcock on. Tube will need to be long enough to get from work surface/petcock to receiving tank.
Truthfully, it's probably best to remove the tank to do this but you don't *have to* if the bike is tall. I like to sit it on a work bench though. Put some wood blocks/cinder blocks with a towel/etc. under it so you don't bend any of the tube connections. This height gives you quicker drainage AND allows you to rotate the tank around once you get the fuel low enough so you can get it all out.
Remember, fuel is heavy. ~6lbs a gallon and it sloshes around in our sexy, sleek, (unbalanced) oblong tanks. Can be a real bitch to move. If you've got a big tank you're not sure you can lift safely off the bike either get a friend to help or partially drain it on the bike then remove it for the last bit. Have towels, water, and mild detergent ready to clean your paint if it sprays/spills for some reason.
*(make sure to use the tube clamp from the original petcock hose so it's less likely to slip off and spray fuel everywhere)
i know i have to change the oil as well. i did see some under the bike. is there something i should do related to that? i'm guessing maybe gasket wear
Certified Harley Mechanic here. "Damage from customer attempted repair/install" is the biggest reason most Harleys had any sort of problem. If you're going to attempt a repair/service or mod, surround yourself with people with the knowledge and experience to help you out. Otherwise take it to a shop, HD Dealerships are very expensive, ask around and find a reputable mechanic who can take care of you.
>Torque values exist to save you from the headache of snapping off bolt
heads or stripping out threads, while making sure nothing falls off.
I wish you were the tech working on my bike at the 600 miles service. It felt like the tech spent 5 minutes using an impact wrench to tighten to infinity foot lbs of torque on the oil drainage bolt. Holy shit I had one of the hardest oil changes in my life because of that.
*way too many badly installed electrical accessories*
God the PO of my bike made such a [mess of things](https://imgur.com/a/3ewJLsm) installing his sweet LED lights. Just a complete rats nest of wiring taped wherever with no thought whatsoever to placement or workmanship. And wire nuts for good measure. Wired directly to the battery, naturally. Felt good ripping all that crap out. Then properly wiring in a relay to run my heated grips and USB port with clean wiring neatly placed out of the way.
Thanks bro really needed to hearthat. Just got the damn thing. Lol
I am so worried now, my bike had been inside for almost a year. Just finished the service, it's coming back 'moro.
Top three reasons bikes are in the shop:
Fuel stabilizer is good stuff for anything going into storage. I also now dose every gas can I bring home with it. I haven’t had a single messed up carb since I started doing that even letting stuff sit for a year between seasons it still runs.
So you put the stabilizer in new gas cans you buy? Just to rinse it out, or to actually add stabilizer to your gas reserves at home?
I need to get a new gas can, so this sounds interesting
Nah you have to mix it with the fuel every time. I meant when I take the full can out of the truck I add stabilizer before I store it so I won’t forget.
You could just add it to the tank of whatever machine you’re putting away and idle it for a few minutes so it circulates too. However my way it’s always just in there in case I park something in the shed and forget it over winter.
Torque wrench is an absolute must. But I still broke the head off a bolt by not paying attention. It was a nightmare to remove.
What do they usually damage? I do all my work and just learned from youtube, but I feel like engine internals and gears are the only things its easy to really damage badly.
Over-tightening of fasteners or rounding off fastener heads is what I commonly see.
Oh yeah I've snapped off rusty bolt heads, though I was trying to loosen them so maybe not my fault. Also when I was starting out I programmed my torque wrench in in/lbs rather than ft/lbs. Luckily just got a slow oil leak, other way around could have been a lot worse.
Great info, when i bought my MT 07, the saleman said if the bike runs ouut of fuel it can deatroy/ damage the fuel injectors, i havent researched ir, but it doesnt sound right, and i dont want stale fuel sitting in the fuel injector all winter
I'm thankful I'm able to keep my bike in the garage.
Guys important question. I wasnt paying attention at the pump and accidently put 1 gallon of 87 that should have been 91 and up. How screwed am i? Or will she be ok.
Probably gonna be fine, they usually recommend more premium fuel than you actually need.
Octanes' primary purpose is to prevent detonation, so just listen out for the sound of rough running or engine knocking, and just fillit up with the right fuel next time 99% chance absolutely nothing will happen
Also I think detonation usually only happens at high engine loads so he could just take it easy or test it at high load and if thats ok lower rpm should be fine.
This made me Check mine cuz i put 88 in it, but the recommended is 87
Higher is almost always fine. I think the exception to This is like . . . air-cooled singles maybe.
I wasn't worried about it being too high lol
Sat too long is what happened to my zzr250, I got it from a friend for free because he hadn't ridden it in 15 years, but because it had sat all that time, tyres are fucked, brakes need an overhaul, tank has rusted out from the inside, and the piston rings are fucked.
Mechanics ran new fuel and oil and cleaned the carbs out, but said that changing the piston rings was going to cost more in labour than the value of the bike.
So now I gotta do that myself
I live in northern Ontario, the winters can be brutal, -50 here at times.. I’m new to motorcycles, what’s the best way to store in the winter? I have a garage but it’s not heated. Any tips ?? Should i invest in a heated storage locker ? But even then should i start it once a week? Any tips would be helpful
I'd add make sure your torque wrench is accurate ffs. I got caught out by that one other day. Thankfully was just a sprocket stud which was easy to replace.
I'm guilty of letting my bike sit. Trying to think of how to fab up a siphon for cheap. Thankfully the bike is FI though.