My dad always says, “Take care of what takes care of you.” I think this applies to just about everything in life if you want to get ahead. Whether it be your work, home, tools or relationships – showing a little love goes a long way.

It doesn’t matter what type of motorcycling you happen to be into, just like it doesn’t matter if you’re into blondes, brunettes or redheads. The two aren’t all that different. Basically, there are two main ways in which a rider becomes a better motorcyclist. First off, is accumulating seat time by riding the damn thing (…obviously). But the second, perhaps not as exciting but just as important, is getting as hands on with it as possible. The better you get to know their curves and their rough spots, how they’re put together and how they work, the better you’ll get along – and I’m not just talking about our significant others here. The same can be said about our motorcycles.


All it takes is a little time and patience, and some basic tools. You too can replace a head gasket. Photo: Dreamnikon

From the simplest chores of checking your tire pressure and changing your oil, to the most seemingly complicated tasks of replacing a blown gasket or rebuilding your motor, knowing a little bit about how your motorcycle is put together will help you get to know how it works, inside and out. And as a result, it will end up performing better for you if you take the time to do it right. After all, motorcycles are mostly just a combination of nuts and bolts and simple physics.

We’ve all heard someone talk about re-jetting a carburetor, and although that may sound like some sort of astrophysics-speak reserved for brain scientists performing rocket surgery, it’s actually as simple as turning a screw. We can all do that, and there’s a long list of other things we can also do that we may not give ourselves credit for. The tasks are usually simpler than they sound. Need new brake pads? Nuts and bolts. Bleeding the brakes or hydraulic clutch? Another scary sounding procedure, but, really it’s as simple as pumping the lever and spinning the wrench a half-turn. The list goes on…


Roadside repairs, they happen… With a little bit of homework and the right tools, you’ll be back on the road in no time. Photo: Martin Melecis

As soon as you understand how the various systems work on your motorcycle, the easier it will become to diagnose a potential problem, repair and/or fine-tune it to better suit your preferences. Do your brakes feel spongy? Or is your clutch engaging even though the lever is pulled all the way in? You don’t have to call the dealer only to hear them say they can’t take you in for another two weeks – do it yourself! You’ll be back on the road in no time, and if it happens to you on the road (which at some point it will), you’ll know how to address it. Motorcycles can be fickle like that.

While saving you the hassle, the mess, and peace of mind knowing a certified mechanic (presumably) is working on your bike, it’s easy to pay a shop or dealer to do it for you. And I get it, we don’t always have the time to work on bikes ourselves. But the service they’re performing often times is routine and not all so difficult that you can’t do it on your own. Most of the time, all it takes is a pretty basic set of tools – which everyone, not just motorcyclists, ought to have.


It looks scary in there, but it’s mostly just nuts and bolts. Just remember to use your torque wrench. Photo: Old Box Studio

But the real winner, when you’re working on your own bike, is you! Just imagine the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars you get to keep in your pocket while simultaneously learning something about your bike, its mechanics and your newfound abilities. It’s a win-win-win situation – like compound interest, except this time you’re the bank collecting, not the sucker paying.

Working on your own bike is rewarding and less difficult than it sounds, and companies like Haynes that publish manuals about particular bikes make it a whole lot easier. Whether it be troubleshooting or fine-tuning, a service and repair manual will help you not only maintain your motorcycle better, but also tweak it to better suit your abilities / riding style / weight / handling / comfort etc.

Trying anything for the first time is hard, only because you haven’t before. For less than $50, you can acquire a wealth of new motorcycling knowledge and in turn become an all around, better motorcyclist. Haynes has just released their newest service and repair manual for 2010-2017 BMW S1000 R / RR / and XR models but they also have a manual with full color pictures for just about every other bike out there, including yours. In addition to a Haynes or Clymer manual you should most certainly own a factory manual, too, especially for the bigger jobs. YouTube videos can be great these days, but a good ol’ fashioned paper manual will be less mad at you than your computer if you get oil or grease on it. So, what are you waiting for?


If your Grandma can do it, so can you. We have faith in you! Photo: Olena Yakobchuk

Some MO How-To’s, Tips & Tricks:

MO Wrenching: How to Lube Cables
Basic Maintenance: How to Adjust a Clutch Cable
MO Wrenching: How to Properly Splice Wires
MO Wrenching: How do I Change my Coolant?
Turn On: How to Install Switched Accessory Power To Your Motorcycle

Begin Release:

Haynes Launches BMW S1000 Motorcycle Service and Repair Manual

NEWBURY PARK, CA – November 29, 2017 – Haynes Publishing has recently launched a new workshop manual covering all BMW 999cc S1000RR based bikes from 2010 to 2017. This manual includes details on the S1000RR sportbike (2010-17), the S1000R naked bike (2014-17) and the S1000XR adventure-tourer (2015 – ’17).


As with many recent motorcycle manuals from Haynes, you can now choose the traditional paper or an online version of the BMW S1000RR/R & XR (’10 – ’17) Service & Repair Manual. Haynes online manuals include all the content from the printed manuals with the additional benefits of color photographs throughout, searchable menus, and quick links. The online edition provides access to all the same service and repair information as the book version via your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – great for when you’re on the move.

Every Haynes manual is written from the hands-on experience gained from stripping down and rebuilding a bike in the Haynes Project Workshop. The practical step-by-step instructions and clear photos are easy to follow and provide information on maintenance, repairs, troubleshooting, fault finding and testing, and Haynes tips to make many tasks easier. More important than ever, color wiring diagrams are provided for all electrical circuits.

The S1000RR was initially launched as a World Superbike race bike at the 2008 Cologne show, and the first real production versions went on sale to the public at the very end of 2009. Further updates followed for 2012, 2015, and 2017 production year models. To complement the RR, BMW later introduced the naked R model and the adventure-touring XR.


Having made its mark on the race track in World Superbike and Superstock 1000, and also in real road racing at the Isle of Man TT, the BMW S1000RR has since taken a large market share from the established four-cylinder super sports models from Japan. Besides its outright power and handling prowess, the advanced German engineering and electronic rider aids simply outclassed the other players in the field.

The BMW S1000RR/R & XR (’10 – ’17) Service & Repair Manual is available in either print or online format from The printed manual is priced at $45.95 including free shipping via Priority Mail. The online version is available on a subscription basis at $29.99 a year and includes immediate access.

About Haynes Publishing Group, PLC

Haynes, with their subsidiaries Clymer, Chilton DIY, and I & T Tractor manuals, is the world-leader in automotive, motorcycle, marine, and tractor repair content. They are responsible for teaching millions how to carry out routine maintenance and repairs for over 50 years, by dismantling and putting countless vehicles back together again. Only in this unique hands-on way can Haynes provide authoritative and step-by-step information on both basic and complex tasks through their print, digital and OnDemand products.

Haynes OnDemand offers over 1,000 in-depth expert video tutorials for the most popular cars and trucks on the roads. For less than $5 each, OnDemand allows customers to follow along as Haynes’ experienced experts demonstrate a specific repair or service task on their specific model.

For more information on Haynes Manuals, Inc. and their products, please visit or follow Haynes manuals through the following social media links:

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