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Online marksmcparts

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Assessing the interest in Bike Maintenance courses.
« on: February 05, 2020, 09:57:42 AM »
I’ve been asked whether I’d run some bike maintenance training sessions. After considering it, I’m keen to see what interest there might be across the forum, and to learn from any suggestions you may have to make the sessions more useful.

My initial thoughts are to run a series of one day sessions for up to 4 people at a time
1: Basic Servicing – 1 day course covering:
Oil & filter change
Air filter change
Cleaning brake calipers
Checks for brake hoses / battery condition / chain & sprockets / fuel lines etc
2: Advanced Servicing – 1 day course covering:
Valve clearance check
Replacing spark plugs
3: Suspension Service – 1 day course covering:
Fork oil change
Remove yokes & grease steering bearings
Strip and lubricate rear suspension linkage

Each day would run as a self contained training session and anyone could sign up for one or more, without needing to have done any of the others first. The sort of format I have in mind would be very much a hands-on training day, with all of us getting involved in the servicing work. One at a time, everyone attending would do one of the servicing tasks on their own bike with everyone else watching on. I’d be supervising and getting as involved as necessary, but I think there would be a greater benefit in me offering guidance and everyone attending doing as much as possible of their own work.
I have all the tools necessary, and can buy in the consumables beforehand. All you’d need to do is turn up on the day.

Things that still need thinking through – please let me know your thoughts…
It’s been a long time since I’ve done the valves on an XR, having moved on to other bikes, and I’m not exactly sure how long it would take – I’m confident it would be less than a day start to finish, but it would be a long day, especially with the need to let the engine cool fully before measuring the clearances.
I haven’t fully worked out the costs yet but it will be significantly less than the cost of having BMW do the work. Initially I’m thinking of £100 per person, with oil, parts & consumables charged additionally. Personally I’m happy with known-brand (most likely Mahle) filters, but I’ll buy whatever you prefer and charge them on at cost. I wouldn’t charge for grease, degreaser, WD40, and other incidentals.
I’ll soon be moving to Anglesey and could run one day courses from my workshop there, starting around April. I should have space for three or four bikes to be worked on at a time. It’s not the most accessible location (but the roads to and from are wonderful) so I’d consider doing the course somewhere in the midlands, travelling with all the tools in my car, if we can find a suitable venue.
I can buy a shim kit so we’ll be able to set the valve clearances, but if there are three or four on the course I’d baulk at the price of buying three or four shim kits at the start. Being practical about it, it may end up with all of us working on one or two bikes the first time the valve servicing course runs.
Whilst we can have several bikes on the centrestand with the rear suspension stripped at a time, I’ll only have one hoist to pick up the front to remove the forks & yokes. We could work around this by doing a set of forks whilst also doing the swingarm linkage on another bike in the morning, then swapping round in the afternoon to do two sets of forks, headrace bearings & swingarm linkages in a day.
All of the skills we’d focus on would be transferrable to any bike – if you want to bring something else to work on that’s fine – we’d just need to find out the valve clearances & torque settings beforehand.
A mate has suggested a course on prep for overlanding. Example content could be changing tyres and adding electrical accessories. There’s room to add a few more items to this if you have any suggestions.
Finally, if anyone wants to come and use my tools & facilities to do their own work at another time I’m sure we can work something out.

Feedback please…
All the best, Mark
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 10:00:31 AM by marksmcparts »

Offline Markymark11

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Re: Assessing the interest in Bike Maintenance courses.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 05:19:54 PM »
I personally think it is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately mine has only 3700 miles on it and I am confident to do my oil and air filters, once the warranty expires, but would love to get involved in forks and valves ready for a later date or problem.  - (and sensors and wiring basics etc etc).

Would it be possible just to attend, without my bike. If so I for one would definitely be interested. (subject to actual dates location etc)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 05:21:05 PM by Markymark11 »

Offline jay4967

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Re: Assessing the interest in Bike Maintenance courses.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 07:57:32 AM »
Great idea Mark and i would be especially interested in day 2 & 3 and considering the eye watering service charges of BMW this would be perfect. I have experience on basic servicing for my bike i.e. day 1 but when looking at valve clearance/spark plugs/suspension servicing and even having your manual, BMW disk and Haynes with plenty of explanation, tips and pictures I just don't have the confidence to do the major servicing and a hands on teaching approach would be a lot better.
As said very interested just let us know the dates/location.
Cheers, Jay
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 07:58:09 AM by jay4967 »

Online marksmcparts

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Re: Assessing the interest in Bike Maintenance courses.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 09:07:28 AM »
Thanks for the positive feedback.
Its a day for you, so yes you can definitely attend without your bike if you'd rather. The other key thing to say is that whilst I have a notional idea of the syllabus, if there is a group consensus that covering some other things would be useful then that's what we'll do. Its far more important that you enjoy the day and feel a benefit from it, and less important for me to tick off all the tasks on my plan.
I'm sure that during the day the conversation will go off in all kinds of ways that we can't necessarily predict, but which will be beneficial to everyone there, and provide a confidence boost for anyone without a great deal of service experience.
Once I have moved house and got my garage set up as I'd like, I'll suggest a few dates.
You may have seen a very similar post to this on a couple Triumph forums - if anyone is wondering, the service sessions will be single-brand so we can focus on just one bike each time.
Cheers, Mark