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-   -   How Well Do You Know Your Motorcycle? (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/motorcycle-general-discussion/12415-how-well-do-you-know-your-motorcycle.html)

Barbara 07-02-2009 08:51 AM

Seriously, for just a second: is it really a good idea to turn people loose on a bike without any knowledge of how it works? When did this happen?

I have my sidecar bike's engine on the bench right now. A rod seized up and I replaced the crankshaft. It's almost done, just waiting for the over-bore on the barrels to be complete. The thing is, I couldn't afford to just take it to a shop and give them a blank check and say, "Fix it." So I know how to fix it.

And the article is talking about frayed cables?? Isn't that why people start out on small, old bikes and work up to big, new ones? (If they want big new ones....I like my old ones, personally)

A friend of mine rides a Sportster. It is weeping a little oil around the rocker boxes--it's a Harley, after all. The shop quoted her $300.00 to put new rockerbox gaskets on it! This is a three year-old bike, weeping a bit of oil after 27,000 miles, and they want her to pay $300.00 for two gaskets!

I know not everyone is mechanical, nor do they have a nice big shed available. But Jeez....I always thought part of riding was keeping the bike in good shape; a partnership, if you will. I guess that's why I like older, simple bikes---I understand them, and working on them doesn't frighten me. I wouldn't want a bike I couldn't repair. Ever.

Just my .5 cents (inflation, y'know...)

pushrod 07-02-2009 11:01 AM

Barb,

Like was said, the bikes nowadays are so reliable, most folks don't need to do anything other than gas 'em and go.

Example. Next time you see a gathering of bikes, see how many have obviously underinflated tires. It's scary.

12er 07-02-2009 11:58 AM

"Example. Next time you see a gathering of bikes, see how many have obviously underinflated tires. It's scary."

Its just the Republican riders standing up to Obama's air pressure comment, nothing more.

Kenneth_Moore 07-02-2009 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbara (Post 217854)
Seriously, for just a second: is it really a good idea to turn people loose on a bike without any knowledge of how it works? When did this happen?
..)

How it works versus how to work it... I used to feel the same way about computers; how the hell can anybody use a computer if they didn't understand the basics of how they work? Although I agree with you that a more informed rider is a better rider, BTST I know lots of people who ride well and don't know doo doo about how their bike works.

longride 07-02-2009 12:11 PM

"I know lots of people who ride well and don't know doo doo about how their bike works."

Conversely, you will never find someone that knows their bike inside out that is a poor rider.

robret 07-04-2009 05:50 PM

i think it was ben bostrom one time, descibing his dunlop tire as not providing much feedback to him, and that he preferred this as he didn't want to know how much slipping and sliding he was doing. then there are those like me, who need that sensory over load as to have the confidence to see how far one can push it .
thus the biblical debate continues on over blind faith versus faith by the witnessing of miracles.

Kenneth_Moore 07-04-2009 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longride (Post 217904)
"I know lots of people who ride well and don't know doo doo about how their bike works."

Conversely, you will never find someone that knows their bike inside out that is a poor rider.

Yeah, probably anyone interested enough in their bikes to learn them well is going to pay attention to their riding. I ride with a guy who actually has gotten worse over time. When he first started out he was paying attention to what he was doing, he was listening to tips and advice. Now he puts his feet on his highway pegs and goes into oblivion when he rides. Usually without a helmet. I hope I'm wrong, but I think he's heading for a bad wreck one of these days.

longride 07-05-2009 05:18 AM

"Now he puts his feet on his highway pegs and goes into oblivion when he rides."

To me, not paying attention is the cause for 95% of all bike accidents. People can blame cagers all they want, but if you are paying attention, you will avoid whever they can throw at you.

mscuddy 07-05-2009 10:01 AM

I knew my bikes like family. Every one got attention payed to it, and I was rewarded with anvil-like reliability. The only two wheeled vehicle I ever blew up was the Go Devil that ate a piston. I seemed to have empathy with my machines, and counted my friends in burnt out spakplugs, and prayed that I always would (to quote Ian Anderson).

That's a damn good record for over 38 years riding, and dozens of motorcycles. A short list, in order by date:

1968: Taco 99 3 hp Briggs, Go Devil minibike, Villiers 250 Trail.
1971: JT1MX Yamaha Mni-Enduro, '56 150 Lambretta
1973: Jawa Trail 90, Honda SL90, AT1MX/CT1 top end
1974: '73 RT3 Yamaha 360 Enduro, 1956-58 T110 Triumph
1975: '72 F7 Kawasaki 175, Another Jawa 90.
1976: '71 RT1 360, '72 RT2 360, '71 CB100 Honda
1978: XL250S Honda, '76 XLCH
1979: '76 JPR 360 Pursang (Street Legal)
1980: '74 XL350, '75 CZ250, Lots of Cushmans
1981: 1967 BSA 441, more Cushmans
1982: CZ175 Trail, 1956 CZ175 street
1983: XL600S. '82 Virago 750
1984: '81 XS1100 Vision, '74 CZ400 (blue tanker)
1985: ------see above-------
1986: YZ490E (street legal)
1987: CR500R Honda
1988: -------see above, garage packed full of bikes------
1989: Phew, this is a lot of work...
1990-2000: Kawasaki KZ750 with 880cc kit, Honda CB/CL 350's DT1MX, DT2 Enduro, XL250, Another BSA 441. More Cushmans, etc.etc...
2000-2006: ---see above, but now with a new XB9SX in '05. Motorized bicycles, more basket cases, parts, hoses, pipes, wheels, tires, HELP!

Dec 2006: SPLAT.

All these bikes I got on my own, by WORKING for them, paper routes, mowing lawns, pumping gas. etc. And I fixed 'em all myself. No shop time (well except for the KZ750 valve adjustmnent and the Buell fiasco).

Yes, I knew my bikes well.

Barbara 07-05-2009 10:25 AM

Hey Matt,

You had an LD150 Lambretta? My first bike was a '59 LD125, with a 150 piston and barrel I got for it. Here's a good one you might appreciate, having had one: I rode that scooter from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and back, before there was a freeway!

Seriously, it took a week each way and I averaged about 20 miles an hour, but had a great time. I had to replace the piston at my Gramma's house in L.A.

I spent a total of $55.00, my total tax return for the year. (Nope. I'm not telling which year.....) :D

The first time I had to work on a bike was replacing the drive-shaft on that thing after some friends and I tried burnouts on the road in front of my parent's house.....that was my introduction to, "I'll show you how, but you have to do it." from my Father.

Gee, I wish I had that little thing now...


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