Motorcycle Repair Basics

Like other vehicles, motorcycles need a lot of care and proper maintenance. Knowing when and how to change fluids is handy, but what would you do when the motorcycle breaks down or needs a replacement part?

Knowing the basics of motorcycle repair is not just about being self-sufficient -- it can save time and money as well. While some repairs are too advanced for the average motorcyclist, knowing motorcycle-repair basics precludes the need to visit the mechanic regularly for minor mechanical problems. In addition, the accessibility of motorcycle parts makes it easier to do more on your own.

The most fundamental aspect of motorcycle repair is proper information. There are many models of motorcycles, so it is important to get a maintenance guide or repair guide that is unique to your model. Such manuals are fairly easy to comprehend and are also well-illustrated with photos and diagrams. This helps you to understand the inner workings of the motorcycle -- a prerequisite for even basic repairs. A factory shop manual is ideal for this purpose; manuals can be bought or ordered from bookstores, manufacturers or online.

The second important point is access to proper tools. Using improper tools in a do-it-yourself can cost a lot more than a trip to the mechanic. The wrong tools can destroy parts and bolts, or strip threads. Good open-ended wrenches, sockets, a spark plug gap gauge, pliers and a small ball-peen hammer are just a few of several tools needed for minor repairs.

Armed with the right information and the right tools, motorcycle repair can be fun and productive. Even if you decide to leave the repairs to a mechanic, understanding motorcycle repair basics can help you to diagnose and describe the problem you are experiencing. In addition, you will eventually get to know your motorcycle well, which might give you more confidence when you are on the move.

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