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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, brand new member here.

First off, I will have to admit to my severe lack of knowleadge regarding motorcycles. Frankly, I only know how to ride them.

I have some questions but I can't post in the appropiate sub-forums (due to being a new member) so this one will have to do.

I'm the proud owner of a Kawasaki Z750 from 2006.

I have been driving this bike for 3 years now and always took it for service maintenance at a proffesional workshop as suggested by Kawasaki.

It's time for the 24.000 km (15.000 miles) one now, which is going to be a big and expensive one.
Normally I would take it to the shop without any second thoughts but I recently made a new friend, one which knows a bit about bikes, knows some mechanics and has been driving for many many years.

He told me that taking it for service at a Kawasaki workshop would be a waste of money since most of the cash I would pay for it would be due to checking up on stuff that don't need to be meddled with 99,9 % of the time.
He adviced me that I should just swing by him one day soon and then he would help me change the oil (yeah, I don't even know how to do that yet!) and do a check up on the tire pressure, other than that would be overkill and waste of money he said.
He stressed that even though a more thorough service at a proff would be best, it just wasn't worth the money and adviced me to just wait untill an actually problem showed up.

What's your take on this? Especially considering the fact this service is one of the major ones, where the valves are to be inspected.

Should I just continue spending money on service after service at a prof, or forget about it and just do the yearly pre-season stuff like oil change and so on?


Any advice will be much appreciated!
 

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Gone
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You can save a lot of money doing the service yourself. That being said, you should always check those items on the service checklist. Most take only a few minutes and probably would check out as good, but if they were disregarded, could cause costly repairs in the future, or even a dangerous situation.

Buy a service manual and follow the procedures inside. They can be a bit pricey, but will pay for themselves on the money saved even for one service.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Welcome aboard, and I agree with what Dodsfall said.

Just remember that if and when one of those items you didn't check goes bad one of the options is you flying off the bike at speed and meeting the ground.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Don't ever ignore items that are supposed to be checked. He's probably referring to valve adjustment. It's true that most times all that's needed is to check them. But if they are too tight(as in many cases) or too loose, then they need adjusted. The ONLY way you'll know is to check. And........

 

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lost
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Yep, those service intervals are there for a reason (more than just a source of income). Do the maintenance schedule as it is written. Is your friend prepared to pay for and fix things when the motor goes bang/clunk because he neglected to check things?
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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There's maintenance (checking/changing oil, checking tires, brakes, fluid levels) and preventive maintenance which is what the designated mileage checkups are which can nip major problems in the bud.

Then there is the fix-it-when-it-breaks mindset. Sometimes you can luck out for a long time, but when things start going wrong it'll be costly and at worst, dangerous.
 

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Welcome to the forum from Southwestern PA. Glad to have you aboard!

it just wasn't worth the money and adviced me to just wait untill an actually problem showed up.
We all have to start somewhere when it comes to learning our bikes. Fortunately for me I was a cage mechanic for GM.

We have schedule maintenance for a reason. Motorcycles are no different than cages in that respect. Its called "Preventative Maintenance" for a reason and although it rarely leads to discovery of issues at lower mileages, when it does reveal issues (at any mileage) it prevents major issues while on the road.

Unfortunately the downfall to your friend's advise is that when an issue appears early it can usually be remedied for much less money before it's an obvious issue, because most "small" or "un-noticable" issues lead to bigger repairs. A machine is synchronized and complex, almost as complex as a living organism. Imagine not treating a cold until it becomes pneumonia. Not only is it more difficult to treat, but a lot more expensive. Treat your bike like as well as you would your child. Both are extensions of yourself.


My opinion, but from experience as a cage mechanic. By the way, my cage is 15 years old and, aside from an occasional failure that is impossible to predict, that attitude has served me well. That's how I've always been with my bikes also and I've never been stranded.

3G
 

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Welcome from Seattle :)

A big part of the cost of that service would likely be things that are simple and you can do yourself, like changing the oil, lubing the chain, checking the tires, air filter, etc. What l would suggest is that you get a repair manual and take the time to learn how to do everything you possibly can do yourself. Maybe your friend is good with a wrench and is willing to help you. Then, when you have done all that, you can take the bike to the shop and tell them what you have done, and just ask them to check the rest, whatever it is you didn't feel comfortable messing with. This way you can save a bunch of money but still feel good about knowing you haven't ignored or neglected things.
 

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Ok here's my take on this.You are not "driving" a car you are "riding" a two wheeled motorcycle!Let me ask you this,how much is your life worth?Anybody that rides for any length of time understands that it it an expensive addiction.If you are mechanically inclined this expense becomes less,if you are not (like me) you pay what it takes to be safe.You learn what you can along the way to reduce expenses but if you don't know what needs to be checked or ignore it you are destined for disaster.Sure you really don't need to replace things until they go out(like bulbs or well that's all I can think of) but if something goes out in your drivetrain or steering or braking when you are doing 70 on the highway it will most likely be be very bad for you my friend.If you can't preform the check yourself,pay the money or suffer the consequences.Coming off the soapbox now,main thing is be safe,it's not only your life but your families too_Oh and by the way,welcome from Carlos,Tx.
 

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Welcome from Seattle :)

A big part of the cost of that service would likely be things that are simple and you can do yourself, like changing the oil, lubing the chain, checking the tires, air filter, etc. What l would suggest is that you get a repair manual and take the time to learn how to do everything you possibly can do yourself. Maybe your friend is good with a wrench and is willing to help you. Then, when you have done all that, you can take the bike to the shop and tell them what you have done, and just ask them to check the rest, whatever it is you didn't feel comfortable messing with. This way you can save a bunch of money but still feel good about knowing you haven't ignored or neglected things.
+1 on this one

You have to start somewhere and confidence comes from experience - some things that seem complicated become so much easier with practice.

You may be able to download a version of the workshop manual for free, and you will then be able to see what is scheduled to be done at each service interval.

As many here have said, ignoring things could cost you more in the long run, e.g. valve clearance - when wrong could be wearing out the valves, cam chain (usually self adjusting and not needed to way later) if it comes off could cost 3 or 4 times what it costs to replace it when the manual says.

Bikes with a full dealer service history are also worth a lot more than those without, so it's never wasted money
 

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Gone.
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I recently made a new friend, one which knows a bit about bikes, knows some mechanics and has been driving for many many years.

He told me that taking it for service at a Kawasaki workshop would be a waste of money since most of the cash I would pay for it would be due to checking up on stuff that don't need to be meddled with 99,9 % of the time.
He adviced me that I should just swing by him one day soon and then he would help me change the oil (yeah, I don't even know how to do that yet!) and do a check up on the tire pressure, other than that would be overkill and waste of money he said.
He stressed that even though a more thorough service at a proff would be best, it just wasn't worth the money and adviced me to just wait untill an actually problem showed up.

What's your take on this?
My take is that your new friend doesn't know dick about bikes.:biggrin:
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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My vote is "Have the maintenance done. By a Kawasaki dealership tech."

For starters they may find OTHER things that could kill you, lying undiscovered.

Valves out of adjustment can quickly ruin an engine.

Your bike is an investment. You want to safeguard that investment. You pay out the WAZOO for the factory service, soemtimes it's overkill, but then if it BREAKS, THEY'RE the ones on the line for the repairs.

The SA (service advisor) and I went down the list togther. We agreed replacing all the rubber seals in the clutch master cylinder, etc. was overkill, and if it wasn't leaking, don't fix it if it ain't broke! But fluid changes. Heck yes! Say you find metal shavings!

A lot of guys buy new bikes, ride 'em PAST the first major service, which is often valve adjustment, and then sell 'em. They SEEM like a bargain until you price the deferred service.

DO the service, and then midway through the season when you decide to upgrade to a new whatever, a SMART buyer will pay extra for a bike that has had all it's service.

That's my .03 worth. ( I always give more than is asked, especially advice, lol)
 

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I find that what works for me is to do some things I feel qualified for and leave the more technical stuff for the shop. For example: Changing the oil and filter is a regular maintenance item that is easy to do even for a novice once you've learned how. You can learn this from a manual and/or from having a friend that's familiar with it watch you the first time. Web sites specializing in your brand and model of bike usually are willing to give you tips also.

Just like checking your tires and brake wear are things you can keep up with even without many mechanical skills. As you feel more and more comfortable with more items, you can expand your share of the work and only have the shop do the items you don't know since they usually work by the hour.

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