Motorcycle Repair DVD
Yamaha R6 Repair
Sportbike How-To (As of June 2008, apparently no longer
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
See the wBW
Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair page and the
directory of all
webBikeWorld motorcycle repair articles
Sportbike How-To has recently released a motorcycle
repair DVD set for the Yamaha R6. But don't get
put off by the specificity of the title, because the
information on these DVDs can be used by owners of just
about any motorcycle model or brand.
The two-DVD set is packed with what I'll call
vignettes (for lack of a better term) that cover a broad
range of motorcycle repair projects. The topics
are broken down into sections for Maintenance, Chassis,
Brakes and Controls on Disc 1 and Engine, Exterior and
Electrical on Disc 2. I counted exactly 100
different maintenance and repair items that are covered
on the DVD set.
Each section then has multiple selections (or
vignettes) which show the basic steps for the repair.
Some sections are combined; for example, the vignette
that describes how to change the oil also includes a
vignette on removing the lower fairing, which is
necessary on the R6 to access the oil filter and drain
I very much enjoy working on my motorcycles, at least
when I have the time. I don't like to be rushed
when I work, and I'm a very deliberate, careful and safe
mechanic. I also have a complete set of shop
tools, including a professional motorcycle lift.
I'm also retired, so I have all the time in the world.
Now I realize that many motorcycle owners either
don't have the skill or the time to do their own
maintenance and repair, but I really think they're
missing out on a large part of the fun of motorcycle
ownership. I'm sorry, but I'm always shocked to
hear that some owners will bring their bike to the
motorcycle dealer just to change the oil. Not only
do I not trust anyone to work on my bike (probably
unjustified, I'll admit), but c'mon -- changing the oil?
It should be required for motorcycle ownership.
I have always felt that working on a motorcycle -- or
a car -- gets me "down 'n' dirty" with all the little
parts so that I can become immediately aware of any
problems that are cropping up. And since
motorcycle maintenance is absolutely crucial for safety
-- more so than for automobiles -- it's important to
know what's going on with the bike at all times.
Things can happen so fast that even a loose bolt can
cause a major accident if not caught in time.
This has been brought home to me many times, but one
that stands out in my mind is the time I took a new
(used) bike in for an inspection. The mechanic
apparently took one of the front calipers off and left
the bolts hand-tight. I drove the bike home and
only discovered this when I happened to look down at the
front caliper and noticed that one of the bolts was
missing! The other was finger-loose. This
could have been a disaster...
I'm not saying that doing your own maintenance will
prevent problems like this; in fact, just the opposite
may be true, especially if you don't know what you're
doing. But like anything that has to do with
motorcycles, the learning process is continuous.
So I think that the bottom line is that every owner
should at least know how to perform the basic
maintenance and servicing routine on their ride.
And even though they may not want to do a brake fluid
flush and change, for example, they should at least know
enough about it to talk intelligently to their mechanic.
I think the Sportbike How-to DVD can do this.
Some maintenance and repair tasks that are described in
the brief but very clear videos will be easy to learn.
But there are a few that I don't think even the video
can prepare the owner for, such as changing the chain
and sprockets. The basics of that project are
covered in the video, but I probably not in enough depth
or detail to turn a maintenance rookie into an overnight
But that's really not a problem. For many
motorcycle owners who have never attempted anything more
complex than checking the oil level or tire pressures, I
think the video will at least familiarize them with the
basic steps. And it doesn't matter that they're
performed on a Yamaha R6, because the basic steps for
changing the oil, the sprockets or the chain are pretty
much the same for any chain-driven bike.
Putting together a video like this is a complex task
and there's bound to be a few things that would have or
should have been done differently. For example, it
would have been nice to have a section that covers the
basics of shop practice, like tools and how to use them;
how to use a torque wrench or how to protect the bike
and the owner during maintenance. A section that
covers this should also recommend referring to the
owner's manual and purchasing a good shop manual before
any repairs are undertaken.
Some tips I've picked up over the years include
always covering the fuel tank with a thick towel or rag,
especially when working on or around the handlebars or
headstock. In the video, there is nothing
protecting the fuel tank when the owner is
working on removing the clip-ons. In real life, Murphy's Law would kick
in and the wrench or screwdriver would most certainly be
dragged across the paint. And the more beautiful
the paint, the worse the scratch!
Another faux pas is in the vignette on lubricating
the chain. The owner simply takes a can of chain
lube and sprays it on the back of the rear sprocket as
the rear wheel is rotated. You can see the chain
lube spraying all over the back wheel. Now you may
disagree that chain lube should not be sprayed on the
outside of the rear of the sprocket, and instead be
sprayed slowly and carefully on the inside of the chain
just before it feeds into the rear sprocket as the tire
is slowly rotated forward.
But surely you would agree that it's important to
place some paper or cardboard in back of the chain and
some paper on the floor to protect both from getting
soaked with messy chain lube. Chain lube and
sportbike tire rubber
do not make a very safe mixture.
There are one or two others, like the brake fluid
dripping down on to the rotor during the vignette on
flushing the brakes, or using a flathead screwdriver as
a pry bar and chisel. I just hope that greenhorn
mechanics in training don't pick up the bad habits.
But overall this is a good video for those who would
like to know the basics of all the different maintenance
and repair tasks that are part of motorcycle ownership.
You may never try some of the projects yourself, but it
will surely pay to know how it's done, if only to have
an intelligent conversation with a mechanic or to help
prevent rip-offs at the dealership. I think the
price of the DVD is very reasonable considering the huge
amount of content and the time and effort it took to
think through the work and to film it and describe it so
that it's clear and to the point.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
Review Rating System |
Motorcycle Book Review Ratings |
Reviews Home |