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  #1  
Old 5th October 2018, 10:36 PM
Meepmeep Meepmeep is offline
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Motorbike: RC8, GSXR1000
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Default What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

As the title says. . . I'm hoping to engineer some time and space in the near future to be able to tinker with a bike and learn the basics.

I mean basics too, as I've mentioned on here before.

So, what bike would be a good one to work on and enjoy learning on? What makes / models are easy source parts and spares for?

I generally like driving sports bikes but I don't think this one necessarily needs to be one.

Any advice gratefully accepted.
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  #2  
Old 5th October 2018, 10:44 PM
VJMC VJMC is online now
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Motorbike: Katana
Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Be careful, a man could kill himself easy enough if he dosent know what he is doing, fair play you should be able to work on your own bike, but when you are doing big speed (obviously no more than than 70mph as this is the the speed limit ha ha ha ) everything needs to be right. But whatever bike you have is the one to work on, do the basics chain sprockets, brake pads bleed the brake system, take off the back wheel front wheel, replace plugs, oil filters etc... learn about the fuses, coils, earth connection, replace wheel bearings etc.. and get into it this way. Also consider the Larkin college night classes etc... for more detailed stuff, But remember if its not broke dont fix it
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  #3  
Old 5th October 2018, 11:07 PM
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Gixxer Gixxer is offline
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

A Harley... They're basic as fuck and you'll get plenty of practice!
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  #4  
Old 5th October 2018, 11:29 PM
Meepmeep Meepmeep is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 37750 from Dublin
114 posts since Oct 2017
Motorbike: RC8, GSXR1000
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Originally Posted by VJMC
Be careful, a man could kill himself easy enough if he dosent know what he is doing, fair play you should be able to work on your own bike, but when you are doing big speed (obviously no more than than 70mph as this is the the speed limit ha ha ha ) everything needs to be right. But whatever bike you have is the one to work on, do the basics chain sprockets, brake pads bleed the brake system, take off the back wheel front wheel, replace plugs, oil filters etc... learn about the fuses, coils, earth connection, replace wheel bearings etc.. and get into it this way. Also consider the Larkin college night classes etc... for more detailed stuff, But remember if its not broke dont fix it
Cheers. Appreciate that. I'd definitely be wary about driving something I'd worked on! haha Especially at the start. I've other bikes to drive so I'd be fine with something to learn working on without it needing to be driven regularly or anything.

I think I need a list (like what you've given there) of the basic stuff to get comfortable with before getting too ambitious!
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  #5  
Old 5th October 2018, 11:35 PM
Meepmeep Meepmeep is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 37750 from Dublin
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Motorbike: RC8, GSXR1000
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Originally Posted by Gixxer
A Harley... They're basic as fuck and you'll get plenty of practice!
I'm sure the Harley fans won't like that!
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  #6  
Old 6th October 2018, 12:24 AM
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manbearpig manbearpig is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 21867 from Dublin
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Motorbike: giant mtb
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Originally Posted by Meepmeep
Cheers. Appreciate that. I'd definitely be wary about driving something I'd worked on! haha Especially at the start. I've other bikes to drive so I'd be fine with something to learn working on without it needing to be driven regularly or anything.

I think I need a list (like what you've given there) of the basic stuff to get comfortable with before getting too ambitious!
When I was 16 I bought and absolute junker - Kawasaki KH100, two stroker. I stripped it down and built is back. New piston and rebore - full rebuild. . . took me ages but I learned loads.

Would you think of getting something that needs a good bit of work?

Is there any courses near you could use as a starting point?
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  #7  
Old 6th October 2018, 12:30 AM
Meepmeep Meepmeep is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 37750 from Dublin
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Motorbike: RC8, GSXR1000
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Originally Posted by manbearpig
When I was 16 I bought and absolute junker - Kawasaki KH100, two stroker. I stripped it down and built is back. New piston and rebore - full rebuild. . . took me ages but I learned loads.

Would you think of getting something that needs a good bit of work?

Is there any courses near you could use as a starting point?
Larkin college course may be an option next year potentially.

Something needing lots of work would be waiting a long time to be on the road again I'd say as I won't have regular time I don't think but if it would allow plenty of learning then I don't see why not.

I'm not sure how far beyond basics I'm interested in going though yet either so I'd like to have something I'd still get a little satisfaction about making some progress on even if I can't get into it too deeply.
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  #8  
Old 6th October 2018, 12:37 AM
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pedrosixfour pedrosixfour is online now
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Mechanics is a progression. Learn the real basics and develop an understanding of the systems that you will encounter on somethings that your life won't be depending on.

To be mechanically-minded takes time but you can then apply it to almost anything once you have laid the groundwork.
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  #9  
Old 6th October 2018, 08:17 AM
johnny b johnny b is online now
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Biker.ie Member No. 5067 from Kildare-ish.
4,695 posts since Apr 2007
Motorbike: RR4 Blade
Modifications: Arrow can, pc3.
Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Buy a model that has had a long lifespan so there is plenty of parts about.
Some thing that has sold well.
The likes of a blackbird had a 10 14 year lifespan.
Busa zzr1100 also.

Drz400 hasnt really changed since it's inception if you want more offroad stuff.
It's a single with lots of spares and easy to work on.

April is rs125 is a good option for a two stroke.
Lots of spares available from pjme.co.uk

Bandits, hornets sv650s for middle weights had long lifespan too.
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  #10  
Old 6th October 2018, 11:23 AM
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-alan- -alan- is online now
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Great idea. If you decide to go down the 'advanced maintenance route' I've got something here that would suit you to a T.

Straightforward but solid design - a wee bit of something or other required on all of the major components and systems I'd hazard a guess. Invaluable learning, plenty of physical and intellectual challenges to overcome ... and...you'd finish up with a rare and quite possibly valuable Eyetalian thoroughbred at the end of the project...





Click the image to open in full size.


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  #11  
Old 6th October 2018, 01:50 PM
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scorpy scorpy is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 5615 from North West
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Minter!
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  #12  
Old 6th October 2018, 04:01 PM
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Blanka Blanka is offline
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

I'd get a GN or CG, something along those lines. They're about as basic as it get but you can still learn the major stuff like engine, gearbox, carbs, electrics, brakes, suspension, bearings. Parts would be cheap and easy to get. Good factory workshop manual available. Easy to sell when you're done
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  #13  
Old 6th October 2018, 07:20 PM
Valiant Thor
Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

let it come naturally, dont be looking for broken stuff and learn to fix as they arise and they will, instead of paying a kings randsome to a mechanic every time something happens within reason buy some good quality tools as you need them and work away from the factory manual which can be googled and downloaded away for free.
I remember taking the seat off my first bike a 125 Viagra with a number 10 spanner* nearly 20 years ago and thinking I was like magiver:bag

*the number 10 spanner has a nasty habit of going missing from every lads toolbox over ands over again

Last edited by Valiant Thor; 6th October 2018 at 07:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #14  
Old 9th October 2018, 08:21 AM
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RTV RTV is offline
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Biker.ie Member No. 34969 from Cork
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Default Re: What bike should I buy to learn the basics of working on?

Originally Posted by Blanka
I'd get a GN or CG, something along those lines. They're about as basic as it get but you can still learn the major stuff like engine, gearbox, carbs, electrics, brakes, suspension, bearings. Parts would be cheap and easy to get. Good factory workshop manual available. Easy to sell when you're done
this!

One of those will do you just fine, simple reliable readily available and cheap parts.

Small and light enough to move around yourself in the garage, etc.

You can get one cheap enough too, just look out for not too much rust.
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