Want to work on your bike but don’t know how? Author Charles Everitt is here to be your guide with How To Repair Your Motorcycle.
I am not a wrencher. I wish I could say that I was and that I possessed some innate mechanical aptitude, but putting together an Ikea bookshelf transforms me into a suicidal rageaholic wielding an Allen wrench. You see, I get the technical side of things, but anytime there is an issue in the MotorcycleUSA garage that actually involves turning some nuts and bolts, my editorial colleagues shoulder me aside and get to work.
Lucky for me, and fellow riders in my shoes (I know you’re out there), there is a new guidebook to turn your pathetic wrenching skills around – Motorbooks How To Repair Your Motorcycle.
Penned by motorjournalist Charles Everitt, the 191-page trade paperback is a well-written introduction to the mechanical side of the two-wheeled world.
The book is set up in a straightforward manner: Twelve chapters each cover a specific system of the bike, like the Fueling, Suspension or Brakes. Within each chapter there are at least two or more projects, with detailed instructions, that relate to the chapter subject. In total, there are 50 projects in the book.
Each project begins with a heading that specifies: the amount of time and tools required, costs and parts involved, as well as the level of talent needed to complete the project. The level of difficulty ranges from checking tire pressure all the way up to adjusting engine valves.
Everitt’s prose is well constructed and easy to follow, with some splashes of humor to keep the technical info from getting too dry. The photography, much of which is contributed by MCUSA pal Evans Brasfield, serves as excellent visual aids and complements the text well.
So can a fumbling fool like myself perform the projects? Well, the Level 1 jobs are straightforward and pretty much idiot simple (for example there is a project devoted to the proper way to wash grease off your hands.) Much of the Level 1 projects are basic knowledge and maintenance that every rider should know, but probably doesn’t – like winterizing a bike or adjusting the chain.
The more difficult projects, like adjusting valves or installing aftermarket exhaust and suspension, will most likely have novices riding into the local dealership to seek the expertise of a real mechanic. But the steps are there, and no doubt many weekend warriors will read through the instructions and think, “yeah, I can do that.”
Even if you never plan on tackling those higher-level projects, How To Repair Your Motorcycle is still a beneficial read. Everitt does an excellent job of introducing the various systems on a motorcycle in plain English. In fact, even without the 50 projects, the book still would make an excellent primer as to how a motorcycle works.
Always wondered about how your bike delivers the optimal stoichiometric mixture of air/fuel to your motor? Read the book. Ever been perplexed what the hell all those numbers on the sidewall of your tire actually mean? Read the book. Always been too afraid to ask what compression, rebound, preload and damping are and how you can change the settings on your suspension? You guessed it, read the book. It’s all in there in tasty, informative and entertaining bite-sized sections.
For beginner riders, or just the plain curious, HT Repair Your Motorcycle is a must read.