How much should I learn about my bike

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by ronc1231, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. ronc1231

    ronc1231 Member

    I came to riding at age 56. I've always been the DIY kind of guy. When I look at my V twin, dry sump, air cooled, soft tail I don't know where to start.
    Things like oil changes, plug changes, filters and such are things I've done all my life. When I look at that engine it might as well be made by pratt-whitney.

    My 1000 mile check-up (underline check) was near $500. I was shocked, I was new to HD Dealer service. No comps on service there

    Today, with the help of the forum I fixed a low speed wobble and clunk on braking and bumps. The socket cost $8.50 and I had a torque wrench. Compared with the labor rate, DIY as always, is better. So, the question is, how much should I learn about the mechanics and maintaining of Mr. Harley?
  2. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Learn everything that you can. It will be a chance to really enjoy owning the bike.

    BOBFLHTC Active Member

    Welcome to the forum. Its a question that only you can answer. If you decide to do all or most of your own work then there are tools and books you will need to invest in. This site offers alot of information and you can always ask questions. Do you have a secure place to work on it where you can leave things out when you knock off for the day. Do you have the temperment and desire ? If you pay someone to perform a repetitive task then the next time you will have to pay them again. Good luck either way - Bob
  4. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Do you have a service manual yet? Best money you will spend at the dealer!
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    The question really is not how much you "should" learn. It's how much you "Want" to learn.

    Some people will say "why do I need to know what is in the gearbox? I NEVER plan on going into it that deep". I don't agree. You can never understand too much about how something works. Even if you never plan on taking it apart.
  6. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    I come from a mechanical background for many years. I always worked on my metrics no problem. Like you when it came to my 2008 Harley I was concerned.
    I had the 1000 mile service done at dealer to "protect my warrty". After that I started to follow this web site and have serviced or repaired everything on my bike to date. I have found some pointers to correct concerns that the dealer said was normal. The reliability factor of the new Harley's is great so hopefully all that will be needed is maintenance. As you have found this site has the most technical and helpful info on the net. So to answer your question: stay up to date on maintenance and enjoy the ride.
  7. R.Bingham

    R.Bingham Active Member

    The answer is really a question. How much money do you want to save?
    As you have found out the services at the dealership can cost a boat load. As it has been mentioned before get a FACTORY service manual. Also you might want to get a Fix My Hog DVD for your bike. The will walk you through the steps of the basic services. Just watching someone doing it will give you the confidence to do it yourself if you are mechanically inclined.
  8. glyd-n

    glyd-n Junior Member

    Learn as much as possible. Get yourself a manual and refer to it as the "Good Book". What I do is relate the workings of the engine to the basics of automotive engines and repair. While there are many differences, there are many similarities only with smaller, more compact parts. With the manual and this site there is a lot of information to be learned. But it is an enjoyable experience and in my opinion, it helps you and the bike become as one.:)
  9. ronc1231

    ronc1231 Member

    Thank you for the insights. It is a confidence thing. I don't hestitat to complete heavy service items on my lawn tractor, pressure washers, and other equipment. I don't hesitate to purchase and rehab a house left behind by the economic crisis. So, with the forum and a service manual I'll be tackling atleast some of Mr. Harley's needs.
  10. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The more you know, the longer it will go!