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I'd like to know my bike really well and be able to maintain it properly and be able to fix a lot of things that might go wrong. I assume the first step is to throughly read and understand the owners manual. What can you recommend for the next steps I should follow?
 

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+1 for a service manual.

As a hands on learner myself I say spend an afternoon or what not out in the garage just familiarizing your self with parts on the bike. look it over, check nuts and bolts for proper torque, check the oil, tires over and the pressure, maybe pop the air filter off and see what it looks like, check your spark plugs and gap them just because you have them out. check your chain for proper tension or oil if a shaft driven bike. Check brake fluid and pads, coolant, lights, and just make sure everything is in working order and properly adjusted. You'd be surprised how easy it is, and how quick you get to know your bike.

The owners manual will be able to tell you proper adjustments and how- to on most maintenance items.
 

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Yup what that ^^^^ lot said..

It's always intimidating messing with things for the first time.. Just, take your time.. Get your head around the processes of getting the job done before you pick up a tool, and double check your steps..

YouTube is your friend.. You can get a real good idea of processes involved by watching clips of others fixing similar bikes.. I do think it's a good idea to work on your own bike tho' .. Not only do you save the $80.00 an hour in shop labor.. But you will feel more connected to your bike and have a certain amount of confidence on the ride for knowing a little about the wheels under you.
 

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^What all these guys said, especially re: the genuine Honda service manual. If you bought the bike used, check EVERYTHING and take the PO's word for nothing. In doing so, you'll become familiar with and come to understand the workings of your bike. BTW, Welcome to the forum!
 

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Welcome...
TCLOCS is in my monthly schedule...
This will assure my Bike is ready for a SAFE journey, regardless the length, to town or across the country...
Proper tools is another suggestion I offer...
Knowledge is very important also, KNOW Your Bike!

You`ve got a very good tool here also, the gurus that have done it before me will guide me with their combined knowledge and wisdom...
Again, I welcome you and always offer, LLLL Bring it over ;)
 

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Also it may be beneficial to check for a maintenance course. Here, the community college offered one and the riding schools offer them and consider a car maintenance course would be somewhat similar. Perhaps a friend with mechanical knowledge would be of assistance. Next, the correct tools are a necessity.

G.
 

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^^ Yup, a tutor can help ;)
If/When you do bring it over, you will not be the first that has learned & gained from my knowledge of motorcycles...
 

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Plus 1 to everything above.

Please remember that the bike has a lot of aluminum / steel connections and that is why a torque wrench is pretty important. Get a decent one and learn how to read it / set it / use it. Set / thread your screws or bolts on by hand first so you don't cross thread anything.

Second....get a decent set of the basics. Box wrenches in the sizes most common to your bike. Same for a sprocket set, and allen wrenches. Repair Manual + YouTube would cover 99% of the stuff you would want to mess with.

And welcome to the forum.
 

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Another useful suggestion, I believe, would be to add your Bike model in the signature portion... Thattaway we know what Bike we`re talkin` `bout ;)
Many of us have done this
 
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