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I was reading through my VRSCA shop manual this weekend, and I was struck by the number of specialty tools needed to work on the inside of the engine.

I'm sure that the inventory of SST (Special Service Tools) has been increasing for years, especially with the added complexity of modern engines. But I think that the days when an average guy could do much serious work on his motorcycle with a torque wrench and a set of Craftsman sockets are long gone. Even if you save money on shop labor by doing the work yourself, investing in the 106 motorcycle-specific tools listed in the back of the shop manual would probably eat up several thousand dollars.

I'm still glad I bought the manual. Things like changing brake pads, and removing the wheels for tire replacement and repair I'll probably do myself. I also feel a lot more comfortable talking with the service advisors at the dealership once I have a slight familiarity with the various symptoms of mechanical breakdowns. But the procedure for inspecting and adjusting valve lash (the major part of the 10,000 mile service) just seems more than I'd want to take on in my garage.
 

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I also bought the service manual. I got it to do the intake sensor relocation as the instructions in the kit refer to the service manual a few times, once for removal of the airbox base plate and velocity stacks, and read through those sections before I started. It was pretty straightforward and I just didn't want to miss something while installing the kit.
So I saved an hour labor at the dealer and that paid for the service manual ($56) .
I bought it to see how tough it is to adjust the valves and possibly do that myself as I have worked on all my own bikes over the years. Well I don't think I am going to try that after reading the service manual, lots of areas to make a mistake and not know it (cam chain timing for one) until the motor is back together and ready to fire up. If HD comes out with SE cams the 10,000 mile service is time to do it as the cams are just about out for checking valve clearance.
I just hope the dealers send out at least 2 guys to be trained on this motor as even the best HD mechanics will be charting new territory with this motor.
VrodDrew is right my shade tree days are over unless it's general maintainence stuff.
 

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Don't dispair guys. Werewulf just had his 10k check--done by the dealer. He said that it made one hell of a difference in performance.

I am a BIG proponent of the Shop manuals. The Electrical and Diagnostics one is another $50 expense that will add considerable insight into the trouble codes that can be stored in the ECM and the root causes. The trouble shooting diagrams are teriffic!! You just may know more than the HD technician if you keep reading!! Besides the theritical training at HD, they seem to know as much as they have learned from real experience in their own shops.

BEFORE YOU ASK--Would I do the valve shim at 10k?? MAYBE as a helper the first time. After that I THINK YES I would wade into the thing.

Like you I am looking forward to a V-ROD "Stage II" type kit with bigger injectors, larger cylinder sleeves and pistons and of course cams.

I am also wondering if we will see different gears offered too over time.

ELECTRICAL--As you may have noticed I also like the electrical connectors that HD has evolved to. The pliars are a expense BUT easily recouped on your first job with labor savings too. I had invested earlier when I used them to wire in the HD alarm system on my Fat Boy. If it wasn't there form the factory it is --a real treat to wire in. But that's some of the fun in our chosen hobby.

Please let me know if I MAY be able to hel in your assessment. If I don't know the answer I'll try to find out thru my contacts here.

Regards
 
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