Maintenance for Newbs - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Maintenance for Newbs

Can anyone please recommend a good primer (book/website/whatever) that teaches someone the basics of motorcycle maintenance? As a proud new 07 Shadow Aero owner, I (and my wallet and my wife) would love to do as much of the maintenance as possible on my own. However, I really know very little about vehicle maintenance of any kind, much less motorcycle maintenance.

I did change the oil and oil filter on my own which may sound trivial to most, but it was a big deal for me...I've always done the Jiffy Lube thing on my cars. But I'd really like to learn more about how the pieces all fit together. I'd like to get a solid understanding of how the engine works, how the parts all function and work together, etc. Honestly, I'm lost on most technical discussions on this forum and I want to fix that.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Get a Clymer's manual

The manual will cost you about $25. Then, before actually using it, come on the forum to see if the manual has it right, or if anyone has experienced a different way to do it, or a simpler way to do it.

For instance, I have found that I can't open my oil plug except from the right side, can only take off the oil filter using a "stabbed through" screwdriver (can't seem to get those oil filter wrench things to work without breaking a nail or two - yeah, I am a GIRL after all), how to put a block under the footstand to check the level of the coolant (can't see that bugger). The little stuff.

I have the Haynes manual also, but don't like it as well as the Clymer's.

Keep the oil changed with good oil, of the right weight. Oil those cables!

You'll do fine.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Post added late after NOOB probation.

Last edited by GilaMinumBeer; 12-10-2012 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I highly recommend CYCLEPEDIA Online Manuals ATV Motorcycle Scooter UTV Repair Service Maintenance for the first year of ownership. It has great pictures and time lines for doing stuff. It isn't free but it has been invaluable to me. I am fairly mechanical but have never worked on or even owned a bike before. I figure i will just keep it one year.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Poke around deep enough and you'll find a Manuals thread with .pdf download links.

I have a 2004 bike and the manual is for 2005 but the 04 and 05 are nearly identical. I like to keep the .pdf on my work desktop. However, nothing beats having a hard copy for the days when it's time to get dirty. If I recall correctly, the Honda Service Manual runs $60 to $80. And is well worth the expense.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espiritus View Post
...can only take off the oil filter using a "stabbed through" screwdriver (can't seem to get those oil filter wrench things to work without breaking a nail or two - yeah, I am a GIRL after all...
K&N has a chrome aftermarket oil filter canister with a lugnut welded on the end. The cartridges are replaceable. The lugnut makes getting the filter housing off a cinch with a box wrench or socket.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What's this about oiling cables? Please explain which ones, how, and when.
Thanks
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjdaines View Post
What's this about oiling cables? Please explain which ones, how, and when.
Thanks
Cables get old and can sieze or not slide through the jackets as effortlessly.

As to which ones...all of them (brake, clutch, throttle, and choke/SE).

How can be tricky. Most, if not all, have to be removed first. There are cable "lubers" that use pressurized canned oil and force it through to the other end. And there are DIY lubers that let gravity weep the oil through. And there is WD-40 sprayed into the ends.

When, is when they look dry or anytime you have taken the cable loose for some other reason.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcelt View Post
Can anyone please recommend a good primer (book/website/whatever) that teaches someone the basics of motorcycle maintenance? As a proud new 07 Shadow Aero owner, I (and my wallet and my wife) would love to do as much of the maintenance as possible on my own. However, I really know very little about vehicle maintenance of any kind, much less motorcycle maintenance.

I did change the oil and oil filter on my own which may sound trivial to most, but it was a big deal for me...I've always done the Jiffy Lube thing on my cars. But I'd really like to learn more about how the pieces all fit together. I'd like to get a solid understanding of how the engine works, how the parts all function and work together, etc. Honestly, I'm lost on most technical discussions on this forum and I want to fix that.
I learn a lot by watching videos on youtube. That is how I learned to maintain my scooter before I purchased my honda. It also showed me how to replace the window motors in my truck. If you don't have the owner's manual for the service schedule, you and register your bike on the honda site and it will give you the owners manual in pdf format.

http://www.pbase.com/bugler/image/147758796/medium.jpg
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, Great suggestions everyone!
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