Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bad Cowboy! Do Your Own Maintenance!

The way I ride my Raider, I'm always in places where even if there is a Yamaha Dealer Of Sorts... When I ride up they want to know Who Makes It? !!! uhhhh.... You do?  ;)

... and finding 210 or 240 tires in the Yukon... or even, western Arizona has been something of a treasure hunt.

And of course, when you DO find a tire and a shop, they get full boat for the tires and then maybe another $80 bucks to work on that back wheel alone.

A couple guys kinda Poked me a lil' bit. Paul, The Wanderer, and Ara...

Now, don't get me wrong here, they were Polite 'bout it :) But they were still basically prodding me a bit... why wasn't I doin' my own work? My only response... if I'm Honest 'bout it... can be ... LAZY! ;) ah... poor excuse right?

And look... I already went back to changing my oil and filter... it just takes old pussguts a bit of time to be willing to admit they've been doing things a lil' bit wrong!

I mean... I get that if you're gonna be in love with a machine... and expect it to carry you for thousands of miles through all sorts of weather and difficulty... the least you can do is take care of her... Yourself!... Right? ;)

So... I got to looking around a bit and when this guy reminded me how easy it is to do your own motorcycle maintenance... if you have a few of the proper tools... which for the load we'd put on 'em with one guy working on his own motorcycle, the tools available at Harbor Freight will do the job and just aren't that expensive...

Fact is... A motorcycle lift/jack so I can get the wheels off for little hassle... costs less than the labor charge for changing out a single set of tires! The next set would pay for the tire changer at Harbor Freight! and that doesn't even count in the fact that Ara also sent me a link to a place where an Avon tire of the size in Question is $215 bucks... while the same tire at a shop is $260 or so... and MSRP a lot higher than that...

So... if dollars is an issue... and how many bikers is it not?... Doing your own maintenance is gonna keep more dinero in your pocket for gas and beer! :)

When I commented to Ara that I would change my own tires... except I'd still need to haul it in to town to get balanced (more excuses!) he came back with; "There is a solution to every problem... You!" :) ...  The guy has a way of tipping over that tall stack of carefully piled BS. ;)

Then he told me he had an easy method for balancing tires that he uses  all the time...

Well... I got a lil' more curious and did a quick search. I found another option that I believe I'm going to try... Dyna Beads. Little ceramic beads that "Float" in the tire and balance it Dynamically for the life of the tire? Seems too easy to be true... Almost seems like Magic...

but... what the hell... I'm game right now for a lil' experimentation... So...

My next set of Motorcycle tires is going to be Mail ordered, Mounted and Balanced by me... and I can go down the road with the sure and certain knowledge that if my Scooter is screwed up... I know JUST where to find the Bozo that done the deed! :)

As well as... the sure and certain knowledge... that if I break down, anywhere on the road... no matter the conditions... if I've got a screw driver, some duct tape, a pliers and some windex... I will have the ability to discover that I'm in WAY over my head! :)

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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Paul said...

All us broke-dick ol' Iron Cowboys needs ta stick together, eh? What's the point of bein' one if ya cain't hep out a brutha, from time to time?

You sure are goin' "high-brow" with the fancy tools, tho. I don't blame ya but, having been raised by an ol' man who made more tools than he bought, I was kinda brought up to "think, make and make-do." He always tol' me, "Ya just have to be a LITTLE bit smarter than what you're workin' on!"

Once you have all those fancy motor-sickle maintenance dealies, you can set up shop and do chores for the "cain't-doers," too. Never overlook the opportunity to put a few extry beer coins in yer pocket!

Anonymous said...

Ya know Paul, I was thinking just that... IF ... I was able to stash the tools somewhere in/on my rig... I could do a lil "payback" once in a while for other needful bikers ;)

Paul said...

Well Brian, ya know... you can get by with a lot less than what's showed in that video.

Play it again and watch the bead breaker part. You can easily scheme out something similar that pivots off the back hitch or bumper of your truck, with just a couple pieces of angle iron and a pipe. A couple short 2x4's under the wheel make room for the sprocket and keep the rim clean.

You don't need that fancy "spin-around" dealie to dismount or remount the tire, either. Just a couple of $8 tire spoons from If you get the 30 inch ones, you can do car and truck tires, too.

I think it was Archimedes who said "Leverage is my friend," or something like that.

I know it's tough to imagine but we've devolved from folks who did a lot with just sticks and rocks.
Someday, I ort to make some videos or even write me one'a them there ebooks on how do do stuff with hardly nothing at all.

Paul said...


Oh yeah, I forgot. You can make your own balancer, too. Just look at the video and scheme out the parts ya need. A couple cone shaped objects, A little angle iron, a shaft and some bearings.

Use coins and duct tape for the weights. Pennies, nickles and dimes. Cheaper than store bought lead weights, when it comes down to it.