You don’t need a fully equipped workshop with the latest in Snap-on tools to get started either: a decent set of open ended metric spanners,1/4 inch metric sockets and metric Allen keys/hex keys will get you a long way. Sure there are some special purpose items that you’ll likely end up with such as an oil filter puller and a front wheel removal tool. But you don’t need much to get started.
Sure, don’t attempt something if it’s past your skill level. Be honest here. Know your limits. Know what you can and can’t do, but also don’t be put off in that you can learn, sure mechanics with decades of experience can take minutes to perform operations that mere mortals can take hours to accomplish but they had to start learning somewhere too.
A keen eye and an enquiring mind are helpful too. Some find working on their precious to be soothing, almost surreal and incredibly rewarding from a personal accomplishment perspective. Let’s face it, doing an oil change plus air and oil filters isn’t hard. The hardest part is often carefully undressing your precious and removing all her fairings to give you ready access to her internals. The financial savings can be significant too. As too is the ability to service your steed when you want.
How about warranty? Yes, that can be interesting and some manufacturers make it almost impossible to do it yourself by locking key features through the bike’s on board computer. The general “rule” (but NB. I’m not a legal expert so your mileage may very well vary here) is that if you can show that you’ve undertaken servicing of replaceable components and that your efforts haven’t increased the likelihood of a failure and you’ve kept receipts as proof then you should be good. Should. Generally. I once heard a slightly misquoted saying that “if it floats, flies or fucks, it’s going to be expensive” (the original saying appears to be “If it flies, floats, or fucks you should rent it”). Sportbikes fall into two and possibly all three categories here. Yes, you can do it on a budget and yes you can go crazy covering your precious in exotic materials and with equally exotic aftermarket parts, but you don’t have to. Remember that.
You service your beast, like riding her, at your own risk. Enough said.
Get the service manual for your specific bike model and year!
…more links to come, Google will be your friend here 🙂
How to Tune and Modify Motorcycle Engine Management Systems by The fundamentals of tuning motorcycle engines, highly recommended.