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What's the problem with taking bikes to the mechanics?


ChristianSRA
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I'm off on a bit of a rant here so bear with me :P

Whilst I know many people have experience on their bikes and can work on them I find it amazing when people seem to just sit there and just say "it won't go" and alot of my friends who have problems who have no experience are totally reluctant to go and get their bikes fixed and I can accept were 16 and have little money but still is it not true that we can't afford to cut corners and bodge everything so that our bikes are being held together by duct tape (which one of my friends bikes is) this issue just seems to keep coming to light and I would like to know why so many people are just so reluctant to ask for help? Is it pride? Is it financial? Or is it they don't want to be told their baby is totally dead?

Cheers Christian

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For me, i have used dealers now on 3 occations, once for my suzuki and for the nissan (brand new) and our range rover. The range rover came from a dealer as we thought that would protect us from some of the popular problems.

All vehicles had issues and every time the dealers were shit based on my own experiences. Once they have the cash they didn't want to know.

I personally don't rate the work of dealers either, admitted i have a good idea which end of a spanner to use but that has come from watching my dad fix stuff on the drive and a 'what if' attitude to mechanics rather than a 'I don't know so i'll leave well alone'. Don't get me wrong if it ain't broke i wont try to fix it. But if my TDR blew up i'd be breaking the spanners out without a thought even though i've never been into one of those lumps.

Dealers have to make a profit and their fitters (mechanic is an overused term these days, and my father will forcefully explain the difference) are at work. I fix my bike for pleasure, if i don't feel like it or have had a late night i'll do it the day after, they have no choice. I'm not having to fill time sheets and targets so i can do a better job IMO.

Gaffer tape and such. We have all done it to some degree, any bike reaching that stage in life will be refused by a garage anyway.

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There are also garages for motorcycles that do not have fancy showrooms to sell new bikes, you know the 'under the railway arches' type of place. i expect that these would be far cheaper than franchised dealers. In the end ask around, get quotes from both types of place. talk to the guys and see what you think of them.

Another thing to consider is...are there any nightschool type training courses in your area for motorcycle mechanics?

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some tips Christian gaffer tape is ok for temporary repairs to fairings etc for a permanent repair drill holes and lace it up with cable ties, if it moves and it should not then Gaffer tape or cable ties are your friend, if it does not move and should the n WD40 is your friend, whan all else fails get a bigger hammer :D :D :D:blink::lol:

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Hi,

It's all about choice isn't it?

For my bike, I've really enjoyed stripping it down and getting it going myself. It was the process more than having a bike that works. Nothing against bike shops, but I can honestly say that it's never occured to me to go there first. My kids like it too and I'm stoked that both my daughter and son just loooove to get hold of the spanners and help. They're learning about stuff as well. Can't buy that..

Riding is only one part of the fun that I've had in getting back into biking. If I wasn't spending time doing that, I would be doing something else in the shed.

Haven't used much tape on my bikes but I have been known to use cable ties, fencing wire and steel coke cans on occassions. As long as it's not a safety issue I think that's funny too.

Gordo

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Was away to type a 'War and Peace' rant on the difference between Chequebook Riders and OilyFingers, but I can't be ar$ed - I'm away out to the shed to hammer the front brake on the wee SR125 until it frees up, then I'll bodge it with gaffa tape sort out the seals and pistons, replacing with new parts where necessary.

Some people don't want to know or don't have the aptitude to learn, others do. People are different, get used to it.

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Well when I say mechanics I do mean going to independents such as the two or three garages we have here in frome. Me and my dad know very little about bikes yet both my dad and mum are qualified car mechanics (well my dad isn't qualified but self qualified :P) and neither of them would touch the bikes with a barge pole due to the fact they don't know if it's the same idea with a bike

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i took my yzf 750 to have the carbs cleaned, out of laziness, cost £115. when i got it back it had no power under 3000 revs and the shop would not except it was something they had done.

i bought a morgan carbtune for £55 and spent the next 2 hours trying to find out what they had done to cause this problem, it turned out they had set the pilot screws to factory, but my bike is 17 years old and things need to be set diffidently, taking a little care and a lot more time than the dealers can take. they are not mechanics but fitters they fit new parts and adjust them to the book. i found my bike needed the pilot screw turned in on all carbs 1 quarter and i balanced them using my new carbtune tool. the bike now runs perfectly. the bottom line is i wasted £115 and will never take my bike in again. chris

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It's been said by a few of you here, but i have to say it again. There are not many real mechanics left, most of the people you find these days are simply parts fitters, and this is the very reason i changed my occupation from mechanic (fitter) when i was younger. I wanted to repair vehicles and not replace everything thats broke with new parts. 

I don't know if its the health and safety mob, or just the fact that alot of people sue at the slightest problem these days that prevents that kind of fix it up attitude.

The last time i went to a dealer with my bike it was for a service. They put 2-stroke oil in the radiator expansion bottle, and coolant in the 2-stroke bottle  :blink:, so never again will i go near a main dealers for work/repairs.

Good thread btw.

Vez.

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I find the prices to be extortionate so avoid garages coz I'm tight. lol.

When I was at school I was 'geek' who was a little bit of a petrolhead. So, at 16 I bought a brand new moped which was promptly stolen, smashed up and dumped in a river. £300 excess compared to £310 to replace the parts meant I decided to keep my no claims bonus, buy a Haynes and learn fast. Since then the only jobs garages have done on my cars or bikes have been where it's too big and needs equipment I don't have (car suspension) or where I've tried before and knackered something (bike suspension oil seals). Even then, it's never main dealers, it's my local (overworked) bike shop, who I really can't fault and though he takes the p!$$ outta my bike in a good-natured way, I really do trust - to me the most important bit.

In short, get the manual, learn. Get friends involved in little bits and some of them will start getting the bug too. Before long you'll have some great stories to tell your grandkids :-) (yes, the day the back wheel fell off the Mini..... ah, now that was funny......true story).

:-D

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The closest mechanic to me won't work on bikes older than 1990, or at least nothing to do with the running of the bike. I've enjoyed learning how to repair, and most are relatively easy to do. You also save a lot of money doing it yourself. The shop I've gone too a few times only charges $50 an hour, which is rather low, however I've probably saved well over $400 in labor alone working on the bike myself. So the savings is worth it to me to try and do as much as possible.

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fitters (mechanic is an overused term these days, and my father will forcefully explain the difference)

It's true. However I think this is driven by acountants rather than the 'wants' of the guy holding the spanner.

I use both the dealer (and I have a good reason for saying dealer, not dealers) and the independant botch-it'n-scarper non-specialist guy next door (AKA - Me). I'll do anything I can, and also have a 'what if' attitude to fixing things.

I aslo use my dealer, mainly because the 'muckanic' as he is reffered to is a bloody good bloke, a propper old school mechanic, who actually rides an old GSX all year round. I certainly wouldn't use the term 'fitter' for him.

Why do I use the dealer? Simple. At speed I can make my own descisions as to how to ride, but I like to know the bike doesn't have anything that is going to fall apart, cease up or jam. Sure, you can't guarentee things, but a well trained and experienced mechanic will pick out stuff that I would miss. So, once a year each bike will go in for a major service or pre-MOT check. For my own piece of mind realy.

I see, time and time again people saying 'I service my own bike', when the reality is they do an oil change and think that's all there is to it! If you take your bike to a dealer/under-the-arches place and they don't do a service (as defined in the owners manual) then you have to complain, and/or report them to the Trading Standards, especialy if you know they have missed something, as the next time it could be someone who knows nothing and takes a bike out that maybe has a dangerous problem... Get the cowboys stopped.

My bikes get the full on service treatment, as such I've got a 2yr old bike here with 20,000 hard miles on the clock that look like a 6 month old bike. Still on the original chain and runs all winter. One such 'I service my own bike' example (same bike) has a little over 6000 miles and is already on it's second chain.... and this person is slagging off both yamaha and the dealers as crap...

My point, not all dealers are rubbish, up here there are three dealers, and two independants. I wouldn't use either of the independants (I've had bikes MOT's by them both and they missed important issues - and were reported to VOSA), one of the dealers is rubbish, one is part of a group and is overpriced, the other, (luckily for me it's a Yamaha one) is owned by two decent chaps and they have a real mechanic and an interest in bikes. The same place is used by the Police for their servicing too, and that tells me something.

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Round here (suffolk) we/i seem to suffer from complacent dealers who know there is no-one else to take your bike to in the near vicinity :angry:

Luckily i`ve not needed to take my bikes there for any major surgery/work.

But they are fools being shitty to customers, because in the long run thier reputation will go down-hill and slowly business will dry up.

The sad part of that is that there is one less dealer for us to buy spares from and use as a link to keep our bike on the road.

I found a small local breakers near me, who will listen to me personally and use his contacts to get me what i need, ie he values his customers and gives them the best service he can.

This has encouraged me to go back to him and give him more of my money, even if we are only talking about a few quid.

The dealers in question will only ever get business out of me when i have no other avenues left.

Why? because my bike is old and they dont care and even look down thier noses at it/me because it`s old (W*NKERS)

I even heard an independent dealer say (not to me) "if they bring thier bike to me, they dont know much, so i can charge what i like almost"

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When I wanted to learn how to fix a car, I bought one without an engine, bought a manual and went to town on it. The only thing I knew how to do prior to this was change the oil. It took 2 months but the end result was a perfect running car and I gained valuable knowledge. I shouldn't have to take it to a garage now that I have learned so much info.

My bike hasn't had anything tear up yet, but if it does let it be known I will pick up the manual and start to figure it out myself. I guess what I'm trying to say is some people want to learn, others don't. The reason I wanted to know is because I like to do things myself, but not to mention garages charge way too much for the task at hand. A little bit of time and patience goes a long way.

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I get a kick out of doing what I can.

It's about ME being the one who fixed it.

I use an independant mechanic for the big stuff. He knows more than me, has worked for several of the local big dealers, been officially trained, worked in specialist and independent custom places and now runs his own business.

His rates are still very favourable and if I buy him some beers he will let me watch/help and learn.

I have spoken with dealers before.

I have usually walked out before too long.

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