Learning to Repair My Motorcycle

by Robin
(Fox Lake, Illinois)

I recently learned to ride about five years ago at the age of 45 - it's never too late!) from my (now ex-) boyfriend. I got my 1993 Sportster and rode with him as much as I could. He always kept the bike well-maintained, but did not teach me how to do it. Now that I am on my own, I have to depend on help for maintenance and simple repairs. This is frustrating since I cannot ride at the moment because the weather is nice and the repair is not going very quickly due to the nice weather (and they are out riding). I have tried to look up where I can take a class on basic repair and maintenance for women (who know nothing about this but want to learn without some guy looking at her like she is an idiot), but only find mechanic career sites.

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Aug 01, 2010
Books and Classes
by: Robin C

Our local community college offers a class in motorcycle repair. I personally purchased the Clymer Repair manual for my bike, and it is great. Full pictures and step by step instructions for anything you want to do from modifications to basic care. I highly recommend that book.

Jul 24, 2010
Sportster Forum
by: Toolie

Check out the HD Sportster Forum

I used to have a sporty and the folks there are VERY nice and friendly. You might even find someone who lives close to you.

Otherwise check out the book The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance. Good luck!

Jul 11, 2010
by: Aili

I don't think bike clubs work this way, but my Jeep Club would hold "wrench days" for people doing modifications to their Jeeps, where everybody'd come over and help or hang out. It gets some jobs done in hours that would take one person days. Typically, the vehicle owner would buy pizza for lunch for everybody, and the guys would bring their wifes/g-fs (or in my case, I brought my husband...its a long, but rather funny, story).

Its a shame that bikers ride together, but usually deal with their problems or upgrades in privacy. Huge social/learning opportunity lost.

Jul 11, 2010
by: Aili

If you ask for your dealer or local Adult Education Dept. to sponsor a basic MC repair class, they probably will. It would be even better if you go by your HD dealership and chat up some of the women working there. A lot of the time it doesn't occur to them that there is interest. If at your HD dealer, ask it be women-only. Adult Ed can't discriminate though. If you ask, they'll realize that there's some interest out there.

I've done car-maintenance sessions with Girl Scouts (there's a badge). We've covered changing oil, lube chassis, check radiator fluid, tire pressure, plugged a tire leak, changed spark plugs & wires, gone over hose changes, of course, how power gets from engine to tire, step by step.

Even though I know a lot about cars (well, Jeeps really), I'd love to take a class on bike mechanics!!

Jul 11, 2010
Harley Dealers...
by: Sandra

I've seen more and more Harley dealers holding Garage Night, for ladies, and I would assume they would be a great source of info for you.

Or join a local riding group and get to know other riders as friends; perhaps you could observe when they are servicing and upgrading their own rides?

I feel the same way - I rely on my husband for all those annoying details that are so crucial to our rides! Have an owners manual? Wouldn't hurt to read it and at least be able to familiarize yourself with the physical bike?

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