Motorcycle Maintenance — Becoming a Better Mechanic

I’ve long wanted to be a better mechanic and do more of my own maintenance. I’m finally going to get to it and discuss some of what I learn here.

I’ve had problems with professional mechanics a few times, including a pulled cylinder stud that no one told me about. Making a mistake and overtorquing the cylinder head is find — everybody makes mistakes.

But whoever did it decided not to own up to his mistake and I found out in the middle of a 7,000 mile road trip when oil started leaking on my foot. I couldn’t help but think of the passage in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where Pirsig describes the mechanics trashing his BMW.

Don’t get me wrong — there are some great mechanics out there. I’ve been to some great shops that have done excellent work for me. But I think no one really cares about your bike the way you do.

I’ll have some posts on carbs and points for the KZ440LTD and I’ll be doing some starter work on the R100GS PD. I know I’ll make some mistakes but I’m determined to get educated about this. Up until now, I think every attempt at serious work on my motorcycles ended with me carting the whole thing off to the shop. No more.

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