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DIY servicing at a garage

There is a third alternative for people who don’t want to get their bike serviced by a dealer or do it themselves at home.

We’ve covered DIY here and looked at going to a non-dealer here.

But you can also find some home mechanics who have all the tools and know-how and will charge you a small fee to let you use their facilities to do your own servicing.

In Brisbane, Phil of HiSide Leathers offers this service. Check out his Facebook page.

As the name suggests, he also sells and repair leathers, gloves, boots and other garage gear and accessories.

Phil has also been servicing and restoring bikes for decades and for the past 10 years has offered the facilities of his well-equipped garage to customers who want to do their own servicing.

It’s all done “by arrangement” and you have to be a loyal and trusted customer before Phil will let you loose in his garage.servicing

Just look at the fun, but serious, list of “Phil’s Golden Rules” on his garage wall that reads:

  1. This is a private workshop or a dictatorship.
  2. Phil is the dictator.
  3. It is not covered by work care, health care, care bears, I don’t care.
  4. If you injure yourself in my shed, an ambulance will pick you up from the Acacia Ridge Hotel.
  5. If these rules offend, get your own shed.
  6. There will be more rules depending on my mood.”

Phil also conducts free classes for clubs and is on hand to help prevent you getting it all wrong.

“I’m happy to teach people to do minor servicing, but I don’t encourage people to open up their motors,” he says. “You won’t ever have to if you service your bike regularly and properly.”

There are guys like Phil in every city and town.

They have the smarts and the right tools and can help get you sorted so you can eventually do the work in your own man cave.

But please read my other stories on servicing first before you decide what to do with your own bike.

Probably the smartest plan of action is to go to a dealer until the warranty runs out, then find a good mechanic you can trust, maybe invest in some time at a garage like Phil’s, then start doing it yourself.

There is nothing more rewarding than servicing your own bike.

Screwing off the sump cap and feeling that dirty, warm oil run out over your hands is one of those great visceral moments in a bike owner’s life.

  1. Great post and its true that this works really well when you have a mate of a mate whose old man is retired and just takes on small cash jobs. Beware however that i have had the opposite experience and it was not pretty. I took my Supermotard into a small shed like this one that i found on a forum. I wanted a new piston put in the bike and this guy seemed legit. We agreed on the cost of the parts and the hourly rate for labour and he proceeded to order the parts and crack the head off. On further inspection he discovered that the rod and bearings were also rooted and needed to be replaced, again he checked with me with the part cost and ordered them. At this stage we agreed that parts and labour would be just north of $1200 which is good value for a rebuild. Months later when he finally got around to finishing the bike off he gave me a bill for $2400, twice what I was expecting. His reasoning for this was “i rang around other bike shops to see how much i should charge you”. He completely back flipped on our deal and there was nothing I could do about it. At the end of the day i got my bike back, and paid the same as it would have cost me to take it to any motorcycle workshop but it just took 4 months longer and he stored my bike outside everyday so it had signs of fading on the plastics and surface rust under the bashplate. My only advice would be to be very wary of these blokes and only go to one who you know personally, however this is just my experience, terrible as it was, and thought id share.

    1. You should always have a specialist open your motors. I’ve heard this story a hundred times. It’s real easy to get in over your head so the best thing is referrals.

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