With each passing year, motorcycles move a little closer from a niche market to a mainstream transportation option. As people continually have concern about the best fuel mileage and the best value for their money, motorcycles win in a number of different categories. However, you may not understand the nuances of motorcycle repair. There are some repairs that are easy for an individual to undertake and some that are not. Understanding the difference, and when to seek professional help, could relieve hours of frustration.
Like any repair, the function of a motorcycle repair is to keep the motorcycle running smoothly or within normal parameters. Common repairs to motorcycles include: changing the oil, basic tune-up procedures such as spark plug replacement and adjusting the drive chain. More serious repairs, such as fuel system work or engine repair require a great deal of expertise.
Oil changes and spark plug changes have to be done on nearly all engines. However, cars do not need their drive chain adjusted. This is an additional element of motorcycle repair that many may not be prepared to face. Most bikes have a cam that can be adjusted with a simple hex wrench. Most owner’s manuals will walk a motorcycle owner through this process. For more information, see Resources below.
The best way to prevent a problem with any type of automobile or bike is to do a little preventive maintenance. Taking care of the oil, spark plugs and drive chain on a motorcycle could save significant problems down the road. Unlike cars, there may be some additional things on bikes that can be done, such as an adjustment to the windscreen to help make the ride more comfortable.
Whether you are a professional motorcycle repair person or not, motorcycles offer some advantages when it comes to repairs, especially when compared to most automobiles. All spots on a bike are relatively easy to get to. Therefore, there is no need to strain and fret that getting to those hard-to-reach places will take hours. Generally, all parts on a motorcycle are at arm’s length.
Some may be tempted to do a number of motorcycle repairs on their own simply because motorcycles seem like a relatively simple mechanism, they truly are not. Just as cars can require special tools, knowledge and even computers to aid in the repair process, motorcycles may require the same. Those without experience in major mechanical repairs would do well to have someone with experience help them or take it to a certified motorcycle repair person.
Though some may feel that any garage will do, this is not always the case. Finding a garage that specializes in motorcycles, or at least have employees with certification in motorcycle repair, is essential. Local phone directories usually have listings for motorcycle repair shops.
For those who want a career in motorcycle repair, many schools across the country offer degrees in motorcycle maintenance. While there is no formalized, nationally-recognized certification, trade organizations offer recognize the leaders in the field. For more information on careers in motorcycle repair, see additional resources below.
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