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Repair and Maintenance


Looked after properly, the modern motorcycle can run for many thousands of miles without trouble. All too often though, motor vehicle owners suffer a mental block when it comes to doing even the most simple maintenance. It's really not that complicated.

ST1100 repair

With the aid of a decent workshop or repair manual, most servicing tasks are well within the ability of the average rider. So let's start with that. If you don't already have a manual, you can get one here:

     

I personally have the Haynes, but the Clymer is a bit more accurate, and has more pictures:

     

Now, I will mention one important point. Never buy cheap tools. They will bend and distort and can damage the item you are trying to take apart. On a personal note, I don't like wasting money. I'd rather spend a bit more on a quality item which lasts longer.

The essential part of maintenance is knowing exactly when it must be carried out; in this way you can anticipate when parts need replacing rather than waiting for them to fail.



Take care and pride in the work you do on your motorcycle; service it regularly and meticulously, and it will provide excellent reliability and economy. Neglect to service it, and you will have expensive trouble sooner or later.

In this section I'm not going to discuss in detail all the routine maintenance which needs to be carried out on a regular basis. Schedules of when to do this can be found in the Owners' Manual and details of how to perform the maintenance can be found in one of the Repair and Maintenance manuals mentioned above.

Instead I'll point out some items which I think are worth the cost, and also give you some tips which I've found useful.

Although I'm fairly competent at doing my own maintenance, there are some jobs which I don't do myself; things like setting the valve clearances for example (simply because I don't keep a vast stock of shims.) On these occasions I'll take the bike to a reputable workshop.

AIR FILTER

Breathe!

BATTERY

Battery details
Keep it charged!

BRAKES

How a ten-minute job took three days
Reduce swelling...

CARBURETTOR BALANCING

Improved fuel economy

CLEANING

It's a lousy job but somebody has to do it...

ELECTRICAL

The melted relay
Relay Wiring

EXHAUST

Shiny metal is better!

FUEL CAP MAINTENANCE

Tremendous strength no longer needed

GEAR LEVER

If it ain't broke...

OIL CHANGE

Special tools required!

PUNCTURES

Fix that flat!

Pump it up!

SEAT

How to remove the seat when the latch cable's broken

SPARK PLUGS

Periodic table element Ir

STEERING HEAD BEARINGS

A Honda design flaw?

SWING ARM MAINTENANCE

It CAN be done!

WHEEL BEARINGS

Call me cynical, but...





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