There are two types of motorcycle enthusiasts when it comes to maintaining their bikes — the ones who work on their own bikes, and the ones who don’t. If you fall in the first category, you probably already know what I’m going to talk about. But if you fall in the second group — and maybe you want to be in the first group — here’s your first task: Purchase a Service Manual that covers your bike.
I have been a professional motorcycle technician for more than a decade, and just about every time I work on a bike, I first grab the manual. There’s nothing more aggravating than trying to save yourself some money by doing the work yourself, and then breaking something because you didn’t know how to take it apart. Referring to the manual before you start can also save you a lot of time and aggravation. It’s kind of like reading the instructions before you attempt to assemble a toy in front of your child. There’s a lot of embarrassment with that failure.
There are really only two types of service manuals:
- Factory Service manuals. These are the top-of-the-line manuals for your motorcycle. No one knows more about how to work on your bike than the folks who built it. These manuals are usually very detailed, very in-depth, very thick and can cost twice as much as the others. But if you’re going to be doing a lot of work on your bike, this is probably your best bet. These factory manuals are available through J&P Cycles by calling 800-397-4844.
- Aftermarket Service and Repair manuals. Clymer and Haynes are the main suppliers for these. These have lots of detailed illustrations, good pictures, and the instructions take you step by step through a project. If you want to do maintenance and light repair, or maybe you just want to know a little bit more about your motorcycle, these would be the way to go.
Not only does a service manual show you how to tear something apart, it gives you the torque specs for every nut and bolt on the bike, trouble-shooting tips for nearly every problem you might encounter, maintenance schedules and lots of other handy information at your fingertips and available when you need it.
One thing J&P is proud to offer is our tech help. With more than 750 years of combined experience, there isn’t much that our technicians can’t help you figure out. That assistance is available by phone at 800-397-4844, on J&P Cycles forum, through our blog, in one of our showrooms or, most recently, via Live Chat.