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Triumph Bonneville ownership. Why you should maintain your motorcycle yourself!

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Just my take on why it is perhaps better to carry out routine servicing on your bike yourself!

22 Replies to “Triumph Bonneville ownership. Why you should maintain your motorcycle yourself!”

  1. Mothership Videos

    It's very satisfying doing your own servicing. I worry about warranty issues over here in NZ, when doing it yourself, because I'm sure consumer rites aren't as stringent as they are in the UK. The first 800klm was a staggering $370 NZ. They poured Liquid Gold into the sump AND plugged it into a computer!

  2. Bernie BNE

    I worked in a dealership, not motorcycles, in the 70's. I saw all that and more. I spent a long time checking out dealerships before buying my brand new bike and so far I'm very happy. I know it goes on still in Brisbane, so I was very wary. That said; there is no stand-alone Triumph dealership in Brisbane, to my knowledge. The only stand-alone BMW dealership is part of a BMW car dealership. The other one is part of a Harley Davidson Dealership. I recently bought a Triumph Tiger 800, I was charged for 1 hour of labour at the first service, which took over 2 hours, I watched the mechanic he was working on the bike the whole time, The only perk he got was a test ride. Afterwards, I talked about changing the gearing we had a long chat about the bike I think he owned a similar model. They sold me a 15 tooth sprocket for $20. The mechanic gave instructions as to fitting and torque setting. I was talking to enthusiasts the workshop was clean and tidy. I could do the work myself, but I think I good mechanic who's always looking at those bikes should have a deeper & broader knowledge. The trick is finding one.

  3. JOGO

    Sir I totally agree with you. I have met some of the crankiest mechanics at the motorcycle repair shop !! I do my own maintenance on my Triumph Thruxton.. that's not the only place where the technicians screw things up , I just got home from the dentist a few hours ago from getting a tooth extracted. Went and laid on the sofa for about an hour and half , got up from the sofa to replace the bloody gauze , and then it hit me ! Oh shit , he removed the wrong Damn Tooth…everyone including my wife sees I'm upset and cursing the world , they just laugh there asses off. True story as I sit here writing this comment.. Unbelievable thanks for the video.

  4. Joe Hooyen

    Only take my bike to dealers for replacement of tyres these days. Got sick & tired of overfilled sumps & over tight oil filters so learned how to maintain the bike myself ,oh and bought myself a torque wrench & service manual.

  5. docgreen 49

    This takes me back to when my father and I rebuilt a Ford Pop in 1967! Get to know your vehicle and the satisfaction of knowing what the problems are becomes overwhelming. I used to maintain my own bikes too and so you and Delboy’s Garage have provided me with all the inspiration I need to give it a crack! As you say, lack of confidence is the issue BUT support is on-line and with the excellent manuals (also available on line) I have everything I would need. Again, great vid and thanks. Yours aye, Alan

  6. Neale Bradford

    stuart, my friend, has a kia picanto , main dealer recall, check today front brake pads need renew price, 120, plus vat, local part's shop £20 , no vat, say no more.

  7. michael johnson

    Dealership mechanics are not infallible from making mistakes. Many years ago I had my Kawasaki Z650 service by a well known Kwack dealership in Nottingham. A few days after the service I noticed a few drops of fresh oil on my garage floor, very unusual for a Japanese bike. On looking underneath the bike I could see fresh oil dripping from the drain bolt. The drain bolt itself was only just (and I mean only just) screwed into the drain hole – it was only about half a turn of the threads from parting company from the bike and letting the oil deposit itself all over the road. I obviously tightened up the bolt correctly and thought I would speak with the dealership about this. This was pretty much a waste it time as all the guy did was shrug his shoulders and say “well you caught it in time didn’t you”. My advice is kit yourself out with some half decent tools, no need to be Snap-on quality, stuff like Bergman tools are readily available from the Autojumble, and procure a decent workshop manual. Leave some of the more specialists jobs to the dealer – I always service my Goldwings myself but leave the balancing of the carburettors to the dealer. Luckily I found an ex Honda trained guy who set up on his own and I trust him to carry out this work in a professional manner. He is also a fair bit cheaper than the main dealerships.

  8. Andrew Hannam

    My first post secondary education and profession was Automotive technician (seen my share of horror stories when working at dealers) So I will always do my own maintenance ect. I have also learned alot about motorcycles from texbooks and your channel! Triumphs dealer model is truly dreadful we have lost our local dealer because it didn't follow Triumphs newer idiotic ideas! The dealer was a true "good days" bike shop since 1981! Cheers

  9. Stewart Maxwell

    Took my bonnie to dealer (100 mile round trip) to get recommended arrow remap after fitting tec exhausts. Ran well on way down after fitting.
    I swear it was in workshop 5 minutes.
    Ran like a bag of nails on way home .
    Took it back (another 100 mile trip) and no improvement.
    I ended up biting the bullet and having power commander and dyno done by brilliant guy in Malton.
    Wow what a difference,worth every penny.
    I will never darken the door of that dealership again!

  10. hollowaysteve

    I hate dealers. Bike ‘and’ car. They’re all appalling. I never take a bike in and every time I’ve had to take a car in I’m disappointed 9 out if 10 times.

  11. Simon Pennington

    I’ve had plenty of good and bad experience at dealers; on my last bike the oil was routinely under filled because you needed to check the level warm and upright, not cold and on the side stand. I agree with the comment below that working on your own bike is therapeutic and as much part of the experience as riding. Plenty of help on YouTube and owners forums. If you’re new and lacking confidence there’s probably someone in a local club willing to help. I’m always surprised how many riders don’t seem to know how to lube a chain or even check tyre pressures, let alone do an oil change. I would urge any rider to get a solid understanding of the basics at least

  12. Triumphrider

    For years, I have done my own service; re-built my old Yamaha 500 from the ground up, only work I didn't do myself has been cylinder boring, having the cams modified, paint and a couple of welds (a bracket for the rear master cylinder off a '78 model, mine's a '73 and had a drum rear brake; swapped out the whole swingarm/rear wheel along with the front wheel from a '78, cast wheels rather than spoked — cut the bracket out of bar stock myself and had a local shop weld it in the frame).  Rebuilding again at 124,000 miles (head gasket leak).  Haven't the necessary tools for valve jobs on the Bonnie or Daytona, nor the electronics to talk to the Daytona's CPU, but I do all I can myself; changed the Daytona's rotors for EBC V-rotors not too long ago, I've replaced chains as well, when I need new tires I pull the wheels off and have a local shop mount the new rubber.  Did all the installation work myself for the Race-Tech suspension upgrades on both Triumphs, which included building the shim stack for the Daytona's cartridge fork (I did have to send them the shock for re-build as it's gas-charged; they re-valved it and installed a stiffer spring, still cost about half what an Ohlins would have, this was before they offered their own line of shocks).  One of my first purchases with a new bike is always the factory service manual.  Oh, and I have NO formal mechanical training.

  13. David Bennett

    I can't imagine not working on my own machine…It's all part of the fun. That's one of the reasons I will never own an electric bike.

  14. Juan L

    Thank you Stuart! From the Great Lakes State in the USA (Michigan). Sent you a couple of pics based on the changes I made to my Bonnie while being inspired by your videos.

  15. Lordjanuz Lord

    Back in with a great video, ITS going to be a great year, looking forward your videos in 2019, I am also looking to USE the Stuart Fillingham treatment whan keep my MC in top shape… hope you will take some trips in your country and tell us how IT is mc vise.

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