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So, which is it?

  • Dealer does it all...at least I pay him to

    Votes: 10 18.2%
  • Dealer does major services, I change oil in between

    Votes: 14 25.5%
  • I do it all and I do it by the book (service manual checklist)

    Votes: 27 49.1%
  • I do it but basically change fluids, all that torquing and inspecting is probably un-necessary

    Votes: 4 7.3%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I do my own maintenance and I do it by the book....every retorque, adjustment and inspection actually gets done, the dealer only sees the bike for any significant warranty problems and I used to think a lot of others would be like me. The more I read about people complaining about dealer service charges and/or problems that are clearly due to poor maintenance....I am starting to wonder if maybe am in the minority. Some guy on another forum has a loose steering head for example but at 16,000 miles never checked the fallaway......duh. So, be honest...what do you do?
 

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Well, I do all of my own stuff, including warranty work.
The little stuff I rather pay for the parts then deal with them and if a expensive component is needed I try and get them to give me the part and return the old one to them, but they know me and it is the exception rather then the rule.

When I first get a new bike I go thru it with a fine tooth comb, in effect doing the set up and the 1K service at 0 miles.

As far as following the book I just use it as a loose reference, some things I may do more often and others I let slide, but it is based on observing the trends each individual bike seems to develop. Once I'm satisfied the bike is right I don't mess much with them unless something causes me to become suspicious.
 

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Keep it clean, lube it and check anything thats you can get to with out dissassembly. If I find a motor mount bolt lose I would then check them all, same for exhaust ect.
 

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If the dealer sees mine it is because I am riding down the highway in front of hiis building. If you do it yourself you know what got done. OH and you can still have enough change in your pocket to buy gas (and a few add-ons)
 

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I'm still learning how to work on my bike...I will consult the manual first and if I feel comfortable I will attempt the repair myself.

Too bad it doesn't mention how to replace a frame! :eek:
 
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There's another category ... I do everything I feel competent to do, and have the dealer do only the stuff that requires special training, experience and/or tools.

For me that means I'll do the fluids, carb rejets, clutch adjustment, torques, brake pads, etc. I'll let an expert do steering head adjustments, drive belt and primary chain tension (I can't seem to get the hang of doing the primary chain adjustment throught that tiny inspection hole...), wheel alignment and balancing, internal engine work, etc.

I keep records of the work I do, and receipts for what I pay to have done.
 

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I attempt to do everything myself, I would only take it to the dealer if absoultly neccesary. So far I've had them put a tire on the wheel for me, and balance it. But I think the biggest thing I've done on my own so far is replace the clutch.
 

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I do everything myself, except the front end.

I ride a springer, and I know Harley QUIT making springers years ago for a reason. Any work that needs to be done to the front end of my scoot gets done by the dealer.


High speed wobbles are NO fun, and although I don't fret about bushing wear and such on that puppy, I make it a point that it is gone over by the dealer at the beginning of every season. I check the torq settings on the fasteners of the front end on a bi-weekly basis and cinch them up if they have fallen below manual specs (that would be spelled "worked loose").:)
 

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I try to do all my own if I've got the knowledge, tools and somewhere to do it.
(last time I had a the back wheel out, it was up on the lift in the middle of the street! :eek:
If anything needs done to the FI or 'inside' the Engine, its a dealer jobbie.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
LeeJ said:
I do everything myself, except the front end.

I ride a springer, and I know Harley QUIT making springers years ago for a reason.
errrrr....they quit?
 

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I do everything myself. Over the winter I am planning on converting my 883 to a 1200. The only time it sees the stealer is if I mess something up really really bad.
 

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Boismier said:
I'll let an expert do steering head adjustments, drive belt and primary chain tension(I can't seem to get the hang of doing the primary chain adjustment throught that tiny inspection hole...)
Yeah, what's up with that damn thing? You have to be a Keebler elf to be able to look in there and see how much you are adjusting. I may just go with a hydraulic chain tensioner to eliminate the hassle.
 

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Keep your scoot long enough and you won't have to worry about the stealer working on your bike, because they don't know how and HD no longer makes the parts.
 

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I was referring to the old style springers of the late 40s, when HD made the transition to the glide front end.

Yeah, I know, today's technology is much better, tighter tolerances and so on...but again, bushing wear and loose fasteners on the springs, rockers and such are a concern to springers.

I don't fancy doing dismantles on the front end myself. Call it paranoia...

I did read elsewhere on this board that the springer is going to be discontinued after the 2004 model line comes out. I have no idea of that is true or not, and my local dealer is incommunicado about the topic...:rolleyes:
 

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Unome said:
Yeah, what's up with that damn thing? You have to be a Keebler elf to be able to look in there and see how much you are adjusting. I may just go with a hydraulic chain tensioner to eliminate the hassle.

You can't judge the tension with your eyes - you've gotta stick your finger in there and flop the chain around. To adjust: loosen the adjuster nut, raise the rear wheel off the ground and throw it into 5th gear. Jog the wheel by hand until most of the slack is on the bottom at the adjuster. Move the adjuster up and hold in place with a screwdriver while you tighten the adjuster nut. Check again as it may take a few attempts to get the desired tension which is about 3/4 of an inch, maybe a little more but no less. A chain that's too tight is worse than one that's too loose.

Dean
 

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Since this Fatboy is my first HD, I don't know much about what to do without scoping the manual out. I have worked on bikes, cars and crap since I was stealing law mower eng to put on mini bikes. I took mine to the dealer for the first yr since I felt ripped off that you get a 1 dam yr warr. But now I won't let them touch it unless major engine or trany work that is covered in my extend warr. All I need is some joker wit a hang over to mess somethin up on my ride at the dealer and .... Well I won't get into that. Lets just say it would not be a good thang. + I have many buds who are custom bike builders who I will call up for advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hmmmmm....49% do it themselves and do it right......44% rely on the dealer one way or another and 4% scare me. somehow I think the 44% is higher but some were reluctant to admit it.
 

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My first Harley was a 74 Sporty hardtail custom that I built from the ground up (Yea, I'm proud of this). Every nut and bolt felt my carress. I already purchased the 03 maint. manual and read it from cover to cover. Nothing in there really that tough as far as routine maint. is concerned. I'm with you YellowFatboy200, Leave the warranty work to the dealer but thank you anyway, I'll do the rest. In about a week I'll take possession of my new RKC. Hippo, I believe I'll take your advice about going over it with a fine tooth wrench before I put any real miles on it.
 
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