Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Side of a mountain in New Hampshire
Here's the tip.
One of the best things that the interwebs does is give a voice to concerned owners who report mechanical problems and are at a loss. Some owners are mechanically inclined, others less so. Sometimes these threads have a happy ending. Other times the result is a trip to the pro and an open checkbook. Either way.
Point is, it's a machine. I get all gooey and anthropomophize my motorcycles too but it's just a conglomeration of not very exceptional pieces. They just have to work together in a specific way. That way ain't magic. Understanding what is wrong with a motorcycle is not rocket scientry. Hell, understanding what is wrong with a rocket is not rocket scientry.
Pop doesn't mean just Suck Up and Deal. I am suggesting reason, clear thinking and a measured approach. Time and again peeps let themselves go off on tangents when obvious solutions do not result in correction. That's poison to a machine and can kill a riding season.
Here's what I mean but first buy into this. The first place to look for a problem is the last place a human put their hands. That covers what, 98% of mechanical issues on 21st century bikes. The machines are assembled by machines or at least aided in assembly by machines and human error is minimized. Then they are sold to humans who are compelled to fiddle with them without the adult supervision of those assembly machines. Who is the more reliable partner in that dance, the motorcycle or the human?
So, the human that has likely done the human thing and snafus some part of a mechanical process during some activity that the human elected to do to a machine that works fine without that interference now has a nonfunctioning machine. The logical response to that condition is to locate where the human failed to perform to the machines need. Somehow, in a predictably human fashion, the human often misses what they did in error and jumps to the conclusion that some other marginally connected component of the machine is at fault.
Here's the news. All the parts of the machine are connected. That road leads to madness and a shop floor that is a minefield of what were once perfectly good, machine installed components, now so much deadweight laying in piles waiting for the human that screwed the pooch on the original work to use that same level of skill to reassemble all of them. Can you say basket case?
Stay calm. Go straight to where the work was done, and focus, focus, focus. Do not succumb to that little voice that tells you I had trouble with A but fiddling with A again did not cure it. Therefore tear apart B or Q or Z.
Next, remember the interwebs. Think about the price you pay for the input you get. Free is a good price. The tradeoff is the value of free advice. The only thing scarier to a motorcycle than one guy under a shade tree with a wrench and a twelve pack is the same guy and his buddy under that tree with a case. Folks that share a common passion want to help and often do, but in the barrage of free advice is some stuff that, well, meh. That stuff isn't free when it costs time and energy and the problem still exists. It's a tricky line. You post the problem looking for input but you need to be a sharp enough operator to accept the good stuff and leave the goofy stuff. That skill is harder to master than knowing 13mm from 1/2".
A valuable bit of info is present on these forums and that is the community agreement of who are the stellar wrenches on these machines. A few are mentioned over and over, some come here and offer their expertise. Why they do that escapes me. I charge stupid money for what I do and never give it away but I'm a dick so there is that. These are guys who do this stuff for a living. It's second nature and the tendency to go on snipe hunts has been wrung out of them by their balance sheets. Anyway, Pop heartily endorses calling these guys with your issues. Let me be clear, I heartily endorse picking some trinket or geegaw that you want to put on the bike, calling them and ordering it through them so that they profit and you are a paying customer, and then milking that relationship for answers to pressing questions. He deserves to profit from his dealings with you and your motorcycle deserves the gravitas of a paid for answer to its ills from a pro.
Cross Country Tour.
We can't help it
We just keep moving
It's been that way since long ago
Since the stone age chasing the great herds
We mostly go where we have to go
That was written by James McMurtry