Maintaining and paying to maintain a bike.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Taelan28, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Hey. I've been happy with my starter bike until now. I'm happy for every dollar and mile I've put into it. Aside from being safe, a good reason to buy a cheap starter bike was to understand the maintenance costs and hazards. Due to my living conditions I haven't been able to store it in a good place in the winter and I wont be able to store a new bike anywhere in the winter. I just fire up my bike in the spring and hope for the best. So far new chains, tires, sprocket and carburator have been all to repair after 20,000km and the costs have been minimal (200+/yr) due to the nature of the bike.

    What are some maintenance measures I can take when taking care of a 600cc-1100cc naked bike? Things to watch for etc. Should I just drive it and trust the mechanic to know whats up every oil change?

    What are the costs involved for a bigger bike?
    Chain, tires, sprocket, transmission, brakes, how much do these things cost and how often do they need to be changed?
    #1
  2. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    I gotta say thanks in advance. This forum is the best out there--ball of spray, a waterskiing forum is full of self righteous dicks that lack debating skills. Thanks to you guys answering my safety concerns in previous threads I'm still in one piece. I hope that motorcycling is something I continue for a long time and one day I can contribute.
    #2
  3. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    What larger bikes are you looking at, exactly? With the amount of users here, there's bound to be people with the exact same bike that can give you exact answers to those questions. For example, my little SV puts a different type of demand on it's tires, sprockets, etc. than something like the big ZRX.

    Don't be so quick to honor us with your praise. Trying starting a thread about putting a car tire on the back of your bike or about oil, and see what happens :deal
    #3
  4. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Ducati 796 is what my heart is set on right now. I refrained from saying because I want to hear input from all kinds of bikes.
    #4
  5. davyjones

    davyjones Been here awhile

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    How much are you willing to dish out for your bike? Those Italian birds are a bit expensive to maintain. Most bikes are not unlike cars. Tires and fluids will be your real expense. If you have a shaft you might save some there over chain drive. Might, because it depends on the brand. Most bikes can be wrenched on at home. Get a good DIY bike mechanics book for your bike and read the forums that apply to your bike as well. :deal

    I think you will be very happy with your ride. Just pay attention to it and stay on top of the maintenance intervals and you should be GTG. :D
    #5
  6. seevtsaab

    seevtsaab Been here awhile

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    Maintenance on a Ducati 2V is similar to other brands save for valves, at 6K to 12K mile intervals, and timing belts, about every 2 years. (any bike will have valve service but most have longer intervals).
    DIY is a the way to go with any brand IMO. I've found my Monsters valves a bit fiddely to do but there's some great how
    to's out there. My 620 is pretty happy at 12K+ intervals as it nears 40K miles. Chain should go 20K+ miles with care.

    i will say this - if I wasn't well to do and was paying someone else to maintain my bike - Ducati wouldn't be my first choice,
    but I'm a cheap bastard. That said, I love my Monster, it's given me 30K trouble free miles.
    #6
  7. Harry Backer

    Harry Backer Ran when parked!

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    When I lived in Kentucky I had a CB750, I kept it under a tarp when not in use. Kept up with mant. and preped it for winter. Did that for 7 years till I moved with no problems. As far as the 796 they are very nice bikes. If you any mechanical abilities you will be fine. Most maint that you may need help with you can look up on u-tube also get a book.
    #7
  8. panhead_dan

    panhead_dan motorcycle addict

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    (any bike will have valve service but most have longer intervals).

    This is not an accurate statement.

    There are a bunch of different bikes out there and there are some that do not have valve adjustments as part of regular maintenance.
    I have three bikes currently and two of them do not need any valve train adjustments. If I change lifters, I can eliminate it in the third one.
    #8
  9. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Most bikes are easy to work on. They are smaller and lighter than cars, and things ideally are more accessible.

    A 2V Ducati is finicky with regard to valves, but easy enough. Just different.

    You save a lot of cash doing your own work. My BMW is a non-issue. Valve check every 15k. (Only needed adjusted when I got it). Shaft spline lube yearly (I think of it like all the time I saved lubing the chain). Oil every year or 5k miles.
    #9
  10. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I'd set yourself up with an affordable winter storage place before getting anything expensive.

    Some bikes are pretty darn easy to work on. One could probably strip and rebuild an entire DR650 in well under a week, while some bikes can (evidently) stump a dealership for MONTHS when they come in with a problem.

    Some bikes eat $200 tires, expensive chains, valves, etc. Some bikes need no valve/chain adjustments and go 10K+ miles on a $60 rear tire.

    Choose wisely.
    #10
  11. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    When I was a kid I would undertake... anything. But when I went shopping for my last bike ease of maintenance was not a factor because I just wasn't going to do that anymore, and I can afford to have my bike delivered to my dealer and returned. So, then it became a question of "which dealer can I trust?" So with that attitude I just got what I wanted. If I were planning on wrestling with it myself... I would have compromised somewhere. I have a late model BMW K-Bike (which has been flawless). That being said there are guys on my BMW forum who pull their K1200 engines apart just to try different crank balancers. For the hell of it.

    Get on a forum for the bike you like and look around.
    #11
  12. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    If you have to leave your bike outside, you need to cover it with something that will protect it from the elements. If you can't afford a decent motorcycle cover, at least get a tarp and cover it with that. Tie it down good so that it doesn't move around much in the wind. I don't know what to tell you about cost, as I take it you are in South Korea. I understand the winters there can be pretty harsh. I would think a good motorcycle cover would pay for itself in one season. Be sure to treat the gas with some fuel stabilizer. It's also probably a good idea to change the oil before winter, and change it again in the spring before you start riding again.

    Be sure it is VERY CLEAN when you put it away, and you may also want to rub something like vaseline on any chrome or paint to protect that. DO NOT PUT VASELINE ON BRAKES, TIRES, SEAT, GRIPS, ETC.

    Also if you can, get it up so the tires are not directly on concrete or pavement. Put a sheet of plywood or something under it. Your tires will be much happier.

    I had a couple of winters where I did not have a garage to keep my bike in. One of those winters I found an elderly lady who lived alone and no longer had a car, and talked her into letting me store my bike in her garage over the winter. The second time I rented a storage unit to keep it in.
    #12
  13. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Any Ducati will have higher service costs than almost any other bike make/model, unless you do your own work, even a 2 valve Ducati. I've owned Ducatis, the reputation they have is well founded in performance, and service expense.
    #13
  14. Guano11

    Guano11 Behind Bars....

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    +1, but I recommend springing for the best cover you can afford. I had to keep my bikes un-garaged for a few years (though under a carport and in a very temperate climate). I bought top-of-the-line Dowco's which were very durable, and they fared well. Nothing beats a garage, though....
    For comparison, I recently covered a riding mower with a plastic tarp (on dirt, not carported), and it didn't take long for mildew to form and for the bugs to burrow in some of the crevices -- so beware of using a non-breathable tarp.

    I also double-dosed the fuel stabilizer. Carbureted or injected, they've always started even after months of storage (learned this the hard way).
    And although nearly all owner's manuals recommend it, I've never changed the oil prior to storage only to change it again in the spring. Instead, I go for a longer ride to help ensure any moisture in the oil is evaporated before tucking it in for the winter and I don't touch it again until spring -- no mid-winter startups -- then fresh oil & filter in the spring. Can't say my "moisture evaporation theory" has any credibility, but it makes me feel better.....

    And a Battery Tender.....
    #14
  15. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Davyjones is right. Bikes are not unlike cars. I was at the dealership getting maintenance numbers. The guy was informative but a little shifty at times. One moment a chain needs to be replaced every 12,000km and the next it can go for 30-50,000km.

    $500 for a new chain, $2-300 for tires, $150 for oil, the quality synthetic kind. All of these things, probably except the tires, last longer than they do on my current bike. Working on my own bike is not a valid option until someone who has earned my trust correctly oversees me fix things to confidence. Yes, even for simple shit like tightening the chain or changing the oil.

    When asking the sales guy what his maintenance costs were on his bike he said $1000/yr on 30,000km, I put on 10,000km+ a year and I'd be splitting duties with my current bike, so I guess it would be a lot cheaper. Still, I'm not sure. Insurance is $600... fine. I oughtta pay for it. Possession tax was only $18 a year, but with cars here its something like 1-3% every 6 months (think about that, if you own a $30,000 car you need to pay $300 every six months just to effin have it.)

    The sales guy used to be a motorcycle magazine writer here in Korea. He's had surgery 3 times due to accidents YIKES!

    The good:Riding the bike again felt better than the first time Wet clutch is better than try, a lot more area to release the handle. Less trouble getting my foot to the gears and operating the bike. My nuts weren't crunched up on the tank like they were last time, but the seating position was noticeably more forward than the BMW R1200 R. 14,000km on a bike is a lot of milage? I think not, cars go 300,000km why cant a quality european machine go 150,000km? Of the two 796s I rode the one with the carbon pipes sounded a lot louder--a potential life saver as my bike now has no bark-- it also handled a lot better and was physically easier to move the wheel.

    The bad: The other one with stock pipes was nasty. Something was wrong. It was a lot harder to move the bars. It didnt balance right and felt awful. I suspected it was the tires as when I changed my front, asymmetrically bald tire on my bike this summer it felt completely different. It would have been nice to get out of low second gear, but it was damn cold and I came to get some questions answered and get a feel for the bike. Although operating the bike was easy I don't feel much more comfortable than I was last time operating it over the course of many hours and thousands of km. I cant help but imagine the front wheel slip or get jammed on something and having my head and shoulders slamming into the street. I also kept imagining my hands slipping on the handlebars, my whole body falling forward and then eating it. Is this a possible scenario or am I over-thinking this? Wouldn't I get launched if I high sided it?

    Overall I dont fear the bike. I have too much pride in my 2 and a half accident free years, and this believe that since I can control a bike well in first gear that I will be on the fast track to mastering it within a month. Riding that daystar of mine has translated into some bad habits as I have so much control over it. No real close calls, but certainly risky "I think I can do this" type of decision making that translate into reckless driving. Speaking of which. I told myself from the first time I rode a motorcycle. I'm riding it, not driving it, let it take me where I need to go and not demand that it get me there, clearly my behavior on the road does not reflect my habits. My head is not in the right spot and my conscience is telling me: I am not mentally ready to handle a machine of such position and power.

    Who the hell in marketing says a Monster, 696, 796 or otherwise was a beginner bike? It should be a goddamn law that everyone gets 250cc or less regardless of weight.

    A deal breaker was the sales man telling me that the brake or clutch handle on his monster costs $250. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS! I've broken two on my bike in two years. The odds of me dropping my bike are astronomically high and to pay $250 or more each time it goes down is intense. Shit. I drop my daystar and the handle is practically free, as the guy has 7 or 8 hanging on the wall. Bend a handle and bust a signal light and its only $15 and a 8 minute wait. $250 for a handle? Come on guy, are we selling the bikes at a loss and making up for it on the small shit? You'd have to convince me that those handles are more than $5 to produce. I don't believe there is a material or metal on earth that isn't gold or silver that cant be molded into that lever for less than $5.
    #15
  16. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Small displacement bikes nearly always cost less to run and maintain than larger displacement bikes. They use less oil, the tires are (way) cheaper, many parts cost less including chains (skinnier and lighter duty) brakes (smaller pads, fewer pads sometimes), get better fuel efficiency, etc.

    I have a 250 and a 750. The 750 costs about twice per year to run/maintain than the 250 and they see fairly equal miles.
    #16
  17. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    I'm glad there's no idiotic cc limit in the US. We already have a million laws that don't keep people safe.
    At least motorcycles demand that the people riding them show some modicum of introspection and self control in order to continue with the ability to breed.

    If you're 16 and think your first bike should be a 'busa, and you go wfo everywhere, we probably don't need your genes in the gene pool anyway.


    Regarding maintenance, it varies from rider to rider as well. If you puttputt around and take er' easy, you can get more miles out of tires. If you're the kind of guy who actually maintains things like your chain and fork seals and whatnot, or you like to fit doodads like a Scott oiler, then you can make it farther on the same gear another guy would ruin in short order on the same machine.
    #17
  18. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Fork seals chain wax valves timing belts and other things. I learn there somethong new i need to care about and pay for every time im here. Its clear that i dont have the knowledge or finances to pay for my lack of knowledge. I have a lot to research. Knowing how to fix half of these things is a good idea. Ill find some monster forums and listen closely.

    For cc limits thats just my opinion. A lot of people manage fine on a 600cc bike and i met a bmw sales guy who rode an r1200r as his first bike.

    Over apl i want a bike i can tear around on and use without worrying too much about treating it right. For example. I dont know how bad it is that i leave my current bike in the rain or improperly store it in the winter but it works fine. When something goes wrong ill pay for it and learn how to properly care for it better. Since a ducatiand other bikes are of much higher quality than a low cc daelim i would assume that i could be as equally abusive ajd not have the bike being a mess.
    #18
  19. Wobbleside

    Wobbleside Been here awhile

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    Belts and valves are the two major things that need to be taken car of on a Monster (outside of normal wear items like chain/sprocket, fork seals, oil and such). They are both easy to do and there are lots of guides.
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I have owned 41 bikes in my life, and still own 6 of them. I have always done all my own maintenance (It helps that I am a professional auto mechanic, and into mechanical things as my main hobby) I like working on bikes almost as much as riding them. I like to get to know my bikes, and know that things are done right. Most of the cost of motorcycle maintenance and repair is labor, if you have it done. Labor rates here are $100 an hour, with a half hour minimum. If it takes 35 minutes, you pay for 1 hour. I have never done valves on a Ducati, but I have on everything else. If I could not work on my own bikes, I would not have them. Same goes for a place to keep them. All of my bikes are stored indoors, locked up. I lived in a mobile home back in 1980, when I bought my first brand new bike, and kept in on the patio, under an awning, and under a cover. I have seen fairly new bikes that looked 100 years old, because they were left to sit out in the weather. The only 2 bikes I ever had that I treated that way were a well worn Suzuki GS450, and a Honda Rebel 250, which I used as work transportation. They were in bad cosmetic condition when I got them, but I still kept them properly maintained. Even my dual sport bike is kept inside out of the weather. It may be dirty and scratched up, but it is not rusted or sun rotted.

    I would not buy a new or nice bike until you get really good at riding, especially a street bike and even more especially a sport bike. I started riding at age 8 on dirt bikes, and got all my crashing/dropping bikes done with before I got my first street bike at age 16. I have never dropped a street bike. Nowhere is it written that it is inevitable that you will drop your bike. But if you think you might, you need more practice. I too have had a lot of close calls, but got out of every one of them without a scratch on me or the bike. If you are resolved to the fact that you will drop your bike, you will.
    #20