DIY Servicing

Don’t fancy having a go yourself? That £100 labour is better in your pocket than theirs.

I have done on my old Speedy but thought I would get the bike checked over for piece of mind. I bought it from Jordans in Leeds three months ago but really didn’t like dealing with them.

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Fair enough, it’s your call, i have a natural aversion to dealers. I bought a used 03 speed triple from a dealers i worked part-time at, they were supposed to give it the once over and new front tyre, i rode from Bristol to South of Bath, 20+ miles with the front wheel nut missing where they had changed the tyre and left the nut off, i only noticed it when i got home, and only water in the radiator that they flushed but not refilled with coolant. Im sure Youles are better than that but a burnt child fears the fire :fire:

Wow that’s not good :scream: no wonder you steer clear of dealers!

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After a few post retirement years at dealerships, I’ve seen some truly hair raising balls-ups and rip-offs

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I’ve split this from the Youles thread as it’s not relate to them specifically. It’s an interesting topic - what are the pros and cons of servicing your own bikes? Personally, while I could probably do it, I want to keep the service history to help when it comes to selling. Om the other hand, my '08 Street Triple is likely to see its days out under my ownership so maybe I’ll do the next service, depending on what it needs.


Deffo on your team with this one Pat. I’m "lucky"enough not to be able to afford a new bike, so that keeping up the service schedule dichotomy is not a problem. At least l know my mind is on the job when l’m doing it :slightly_smiling_face:

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Cheers man,
I keep all my receipts for oil, filters and any parts, and keep a diary of services I’ve done in the notes section of my haynes manual, It helps me keep track and should i sell a bike on, the new owner has a record.


I do my own work
When I change a tyre, do an oil change etc I keep the receipt and keep a log of all the work I do
As I record all the work done, it’s much more detailed than any dealer records and I know it was done properly

When I sold a bike a few years ago and I had all the history, what was done etc and the buyer was more than happy
He saw it was maintained with no expense spared and how long a tyre lasted, when oil was changed and coolant done

I am a big fan of working on my own bike
If I need a specific tool, I will buy it, then I have got it for next time or maybe on a different bike
A Triumph dealer has previously given me back my bike with over a pint too much oil in the engine, spark plugs loose and an empty fuel tank

I also save a fortune

All the above is true for cars too
Ford wanted £500+ for brake discs, pads and fluid change…plus spark plugs at £30 each because they were special!

I bought everything I needed for £104.00 Inc tax (spark plugs at £8 each) and two hours later had it all done myself with proper attention to the caliper with rubber grease and copper grease where needed


100% agree, it broke my heart a few months ago to pay a garage to change my tyres on my T100 but my back was just too buggered, it’s one of those jobs that requires a bit of muscle. I did do the valve clearances and tank filter though which kind of gave me my money back. Now i have the bionic spine installed I’m getting well enough to get back doing it all.

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Pros-job is done properly at less cost

Cons-you’re not going to sell your bike to a stamp nazi, but it may well be the lower price you get is offset by what you’ve saved.
Other con-you have to do the work. We joke about it on our street, as most people only really know me by my feet sticking out from under a car. They don’t appreciate what a handsome dog l am :smile:


Same here, do all my own maintenance on mine and SWMBO’s. Keep good records, I know what the valve clearances are when I last checked them so will know if any valve seat is starting to move next time. Saved more money than I’ll ever get back at trade in had it been dealer serviced. Personally I’d rather buy a bike that’s been owner serviced properly anyway.
I’ve experienced a few horror stories from dealer servicing during new bike warranty periods, such that I didn’t bother with the last one knowing there’d likely be no “good will” from Triumph should anything happen further down the line.


Most of my bikes in last 20 years have been Italian 70’s and 80’s bikes so people expect owner serviced bikes, i never give a 2nd thought to future values, it’s my passion not a business. I do what I can on cars, oil, brakes etc. I don’t want to guess what dealers charge these days for a simple service but if they’re charging subscription to enable features, no wonder everyone hates them.

I used to be able to service my own cars years ago (older ones) and was fairly handy with diesel generators so I have some ability, albeit very rusty indeed. What stops me servicing my own bike is lack of knowledge and the fear of getting something dangerously wrong, so I don’t have the confidence to try. I do know there’s only one way to cure my lack of knowledge… :laughing:.


If you get yourself a manual and just do all the fluids and pads you’ll save yourself more than half of your servicing costs and get to know your machine that bit better, I’m sure you’re more than capable


Oh aye, no problems there Pat. As I said it’s a bit of peace of mind for software and any major issues to be checked over.


Yeah i had a triumph tune put on at bevans in Cardiff, but i changed the airfilter plugs and oil beforehand :+1:

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What an interesting thread…

It is interesting that on the one hand dealer serving “keeps the book stamped”, and on the other “that dealer ballsed up my bike”.

I wonder why people are so keen to keep a log of dealers making mistakes? :rofl:

I jest, slightly of course…

Since I have owned motorbikes (only about 8 years); I have never had a new enough bike to make it worthwhile to even go to a dealers…let alone get anything stamped! Also, I tend to agree that part of “the hobby” seems to be the user maintenance side of things? It is arguably one of the bits I am enjoying the most (maybe I am riding all wrong)!

A good compromise I found, and what spring boarded my own maintenance, was the use of a “mobile bike mechanic”. Simon. He is excellent…and part of his USP is that you pay him to do everything while you watch TV…or you pay him to get you to do everything under his guidance (so you never have to pay anyone else to “that thing” ever again).

First time I used him (1992 Honda NTV650) I serviced the bike, front to back, entirely “on my own” which the confidence that he was teaching me every move, and every thought process, and every little trick…I just “paid for the day”, which was £380 (I think), which I think was astonishing value, and not far off what you could pay a dealer to do it “not as well”.

Since then I now do my own servicing, have done full brake caliper refurbs, fork seals, drop linkages, rear hub refurbs, head bearings and numerous other bearings, new clutch pack, new fuel connectors, vacuum hoses and even adjusted the timing…

The only one I think I would want his guidance on again was the timing…all else I either learned through him, or he simply gave me the confidence to have a go.

I have only read about 3 chapters of “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”, but I entirely get the sentiment. I simply do not believe you can beat getting down and dirty with you bike…if nothing else, it may stop you getting ripped off when you finally DO have to use a dealership?

As I now have an ultra modern and up to date bike (2010 Tiger 1050), I would now like some tuition on using Tune ecu etc…as thsi is a whole new ball-game, and I concede, perhaps not one I want to get involved with…but then it irritates me that even a simple brake fluid flush requires some “gadgetry” do flush the ABS (so I hear)…

each to their own I guess…but in my experience, once I realised that it is “just nuts and bolts”, it all became a lot less scary.

Although not engines…they still scare me! :face_with_peeking_eye:


Good reply Dan! As my bike is fairly new to me I wanted someone to check it over really. I have booked it into KC in Carlisle later this month as my mate has dealt with the guys up there for years, he is in the trade.
I totally get the doing your own maintenance and I do enjoy working on the bike but here is a strange thing. I served my time as a maintenance fitter, spent about ten years doing that,then became a gun fitter building and setting to work many complex parts of naval guns and launchers, so I know my way around nuts and bolts :grinning:
Years ago I built a Harris Magnum in my shed.
Yet I am now wary of digging into my bike too far. I think this comes from years of not having the tools/space to do jobs or the gear to repair things if it goes wrong!


My son just messaged me, had mot done on his car. He’s had a bit of a judder on the steering. Anyway, passed with advisory-one of the directional tyres is fitted the wrong way round :hushed: Trust a professional? I should coco…:unamused: