Learning to work on my bike...

by Sandra
(Sandwich, IL)

It's almost riding season again here in northern Illinois...many bikes are already hitting the roads, but I don't have enough warm gear to be comfortable yet...but it brings me to my main FEAR of riding here in my second season as a "biker lady": SERVICING my beautiful baby.

Let's face it - $$$ is getting hard to come by anymore, and a bike can eat up as many dollars as we are willing to give up and then some. The easiest way to know I'm road ready after a long winter in storage is to take her to my friendly dealer (not THAT much money for my Suzuki, but my husband's Harley...about 3X's what I pay). But more important to me, what if something happens while I'm riding? This year I really hope to use my bike to get to work and driving Chicagoland toll roads is no place to realize I should know more about how my bike operates. What could "bad fuel" do to my spark plugs? How do I know I have proper levels of brake fluid? Where do we keep a spare tire in case of flats??? LOL

Seriously, I want to know more about how to take care of my ride, but science class was never my strong suit. I dropped out of science after my freshman year a lifetime ago...I do remember learning about a 2 stroke & 4 stroke engine, but don't remember any more than the fact that there are 2 stroke, 4 stroke and rotary...I'm a complete mechanical idiot and don't even know how to check the oil in my bike (beyond checking the little window found in a spot I cannot readily get to without someone else holding the bike up level).

Long, long story short...are there classes for basic bike maintenance similar to the MSF courses? Are they worth the time/money? Can this accountant who still wears nylons and heels learn to get her hands dirty and spend some quality time UNDER her ride??

Any suggestions are welcome! I bought my bike used, and do not have an owners manual (tried to order from dealer a couple of times but no luck) or a maintenance manual, and although I have this nifty tool kit, I don't have a clue what to do with it! I don't mind being a damsel in distress in some areas, but my bike deserves a more intimate and involved owner!!

Comments for Learning to work on my bike...

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Apr 06, 2011
There Was an Article/Event Listing...
by: Tara

Search this site on the events page for JUGRZ - it stands for just us girl riders. I wish they had one of these in Australia! They are EVERYTHING you could hope or wish for.

Apr 06, 2011
Work on Bike
by: Lynn - FL

The community college where I took the MSF course also offers a basic maintenance course. I haven't taken it yet because my husband does most all maintenance and I can check me own tire pressure. I added Roadside Assistance to my insurance after deciding my AAA was just too pricey. I have Progressive Ins. and it only added $6 to my policy. I ride a Yamaha.

Apr 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

I keep my spare tire around my waist.

Apr 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

I've often wondered if there are basic mechanics courses for motorcycles too!

You might be able to find a manual on eBay. If nothing pops up the first time, save your search - something will show up eventually!

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