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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like working on motorcycles almost as much as riding them. Always have going back to when I was 12 years old. I hate putting my bikes in the shop and don't have a lot of trust of the people working on them. I do everything on my bikes. As you might guess, I love reading about problems and solutions on bike forums. I've learned a shitload of stuff and gotten great advice and solutions. I've also have been able to help answer a few. After spending time on a forum you start to know who knows their shit based on their hands on experience and you can rely on their experience. I've also noticed that there are more than a few people that comment on almost every technical / mechanical issue that have very little idea what they are talking about and probably think a set of screwdrivers and a adjustable wrench is a set of tools. They never talk about any work they've actually done and they never have an actual solution unless they've seen it in another thread and they mostly just type stuff. It's pretty annoying. Am I the only one that's noticed this?
 

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It's not an adjustable wrench, but a Mexican socket set... at least that's what I learned while living in Arizona. I have always found it interesting how some people I know who are extremely mechanical can not rely needed information through words. We had to create procedure manuals at a shop I worked at and some how ended up becoming the editor...

Just remember it's righty loosy, lefty tighty and ALWAYS use a high powered impact when installing or removing any bolt...
 

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I actually see less 'bad advice' on this forum then others. Bad advice is one of the toughest things to teach new people to avoid, they don't have the experience to recognize it, and they assume that anyone who takes the time to reply knows what they're talking about. And reposting solutions isn't always 'bad' - I personally try to search before I post a question, but not everyone has good 'search' skills.

This might be me? Am I being called out?
I'll just go to the corner and shut up now...
@ChesterBurnet just made every single one of the people who reply to technical threads doubt themselves and wonder which group they are in. The funny part is that the people in the 'adjustable wrench' group are probably sure that he isn't talking about them - those folks seem to have unlimited confidence.
 

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I am by no means an engineer, electrical or mechanical, but I do indeed RTFSM! And a very healthy dose of lurking on the tubes and the forum here. Of course, I try to pass on the bread crumbs I've learned along the way.

I'm also not an idiot. I do technical support and installation of industrial machines... signage industry.
 

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To add another perspective on things to watch out for. Often times those "experts" are unable to have an open mind/truly listen to an "amateur".

In my line of work there is seldom a straightforward answer to questions/issues. So I frequently start a conversation with a peer simply to be a sounding board and try to ensure we keep things within reason and don't get too far off the beaten path while still talking the problem out verbally. Those "experts" that hone in on a singular answer, but aren't able to take in to account other clues/symptoms to sway their judgement until their initial thought is checked off the list are just as dangerous in my experience! Seems that some like to showcase their expertise by suggesting something over board instead of encouraging a methodical process of elimination approach.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
@ChesterBurnet just made every single one of the people who reply to technical threads doubt themselves and wonder which group they are in. The funny part is that the people in the 'adjustable wrench' group are probably sure that he isn't talking about them - those folks seem to have unlimited confidence.
[/QUOTE]
You're probably right. I installed aftermarket clutch lever last month and then parked the bike for a month because of my knee replacement surgery. Didn't even have enough time to do the brake. Only got an hour to ride the bike before I parked it. When I got back on it I noticed that the quick shifter wasn't working right and cruise control light just blinked and wouldn't work. I put it out on the MT 10 forum (totally boring forum) and got a semi ridiculous answer and then a bunch of people telling me I was wrong when I said I didn't think that was the issue.

Finally last week, I got around to trying to install the new brake lever. Turned out, my local shop misordered and the clutch still fit lever fit. He fessed right up and took back the brake lever. In the meantime I had the clutch lever on for over a month and couldn't return it. I went to my shop manual and see that there's a switch that the clutch lever depresses. I put on my reading glasses and look at it and then compare to stock lever and this one was wrong too but still fit. It just didn't depress the button by a pretty long shot. I sat down with a file and spent 2 hours reshaping it. Fortunately all of the material I took off was hidden so it looks brand new still. I tried it with the stock lever and the quick shifter was working but no cruise control, just a blinking light which signifies that there's a problem. I go out a day later and the blinking stopped. I set the cruise control and it's working. I had pulled out the cruise control fuse the night before and it was good but maybe somehow that reset it. I installed the reshaped aftermarket lever and it's working perfectly. I'm still not sure what happened for it to heal itself but I think it was related to the button that was not getting depressed. Usually there's some educated guesses that are well worth considering. I've solved a lot of issues from those experienced guess or eliminated stuff in order to find the issue. But then there are also the babblers that throw out everything from what kind of gas are you using to tire pressures. Most of the babblers don't even realize that an adjustable wrench won't work on an allen head bolt.... because they've never turned a wrench on a motorcycle in their lives.

I was in a tool store one day and 2 guys came in with an angle grinder with the guard taken off and they were looking for a circular saw blade that would fit on it. The tool store people were almost begging them to stop considering doing this and wouldn't help them. I still get the willies just thinking about if they were able to get that blade on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To add another perspective on things to watch out for. Often times those "experts" are unable to have an open mind/truly listen to an "amateur".

In my line of work there is seldom a straightforward answer to questions/issues. So I frequently start a conversation with a peer simply to be a sounding board and try to ensure we keep things within reason and don't get too far off the beaten path while still talking the problem out verbally. Those "experts" that hone in on a singular answer, but aren't able to take in to account other clues/symptoms to sway their judgement until their initial thought is checked off the list are just as dangerous in my experience! Seems that some like to showcase their expertise by suggesting something over board instead of encouraging a methodical process of elimination approach.
I think the key word is experienced rather then expert. I'm experienced, not an expert.
 

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suggesting something over board instead of encouraging a methodical process of elimination approach.
IMHO this is the key and something that is very hard to teach. A lot of people do not understand the concept of starting with the simple/easy and working through a series of steps to figure out the cause of the problem. The example ChesterBurnet just posted - if you just changed your levers and something stopped working at the same time - that is your starting point! 99% of the time the issue is something you just caused yourself. It gets much harder when its a new to you bike and you've no idea what the shop or the last guy touched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
IMHO this is the key and something that is very hard to teach. A lot of people do not understand the concept of starting with the simple/easy and working through a series of steps to figure out the cause of the problem. The example ChesterBurnet just posted - if you just changed your levers and something stopped working at the same time - that is your starting point! 99% of the time the issue is something you just caused yourself. It gets much harder when its a new to you bike and you've no idea what the shop or the last guy touched.
That was my starting point and that led to the solution. That was why the rigoddamndiculous comments were so annoying and I see it a lot. Not 1 person mentioned the switch or anything about experience with aftermarket levers. I've seen people post about issues with them so I knew to start there. I also know that when you throw it out there that there are a lot of people with way advanced skills and experience and they can get you to the solution a lot quicker. I've also had multiple experiences of reading other peoples experience that kept me from braking parts by not having worked on a particular motorcycle before. I can be pretty ham fisted some times. I've been in construction for most of my life and am in the habit of whipping out the sledge hammer really quickly.
 

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I really enjoy the forum as it is a valuable resources and a bastion of like minded comrades. I have plenty of experience working on dirt bikes and older model sports bikes that still had carbs. Had an almost twenty year gap where I forgot more than I ever learned and my skills degraded from neglect. I really try not to speak on a subject I don't have first hand experience with, but if I do I usually preface with "I've heard someone with a similar problems did ...." Or " I've heard this can be a problem..." I readily admit I'm a lazy searcher but I try to keep the dumb question to a minimum. Learned a lot of tips and tricks and picked up some cool ideas here. I hope to contribute as much as I have received, one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really enjoy the forum as it is a valuable resources and a bastion of like minded comrades. I have plenty of experience working on dirt bikes and older model sports bikes that still had carbs. Had an almost twenty year gap where I forgot more than I ever learned and my skills degraded from neglect. I really try not to speak on a subject I don't have first hand experience with, but if I do I usually preface with "I've heard someone with a similar problems did ...." Or " I've heard this can be a problem..." I readily admit I'm a lazy searcher but I try to keep the dumb question to a minimum. Learned a lot of tips and tricks and picked up some cool ideas here. I hope to contribute as much as I have received, one day.
I started putting motors on bicycles when I was 12. I've owned woods and motocross bikes until I was 40. I never put a bike in the shop except for 1 time when I had to split the cases because I didn't have the specialized tool needed. When I got back into bikes 5 years ago, I had never owned a street bike. There's a steep learning curve with modern street bikes compared to back then. I dove right into it because I love doing it. I thought replacing the dished washer clutch springs was the epitome of difficulty but it turns out that just figuring out how to get to the air filter is harder on these new bikes. I think you build on your knowledge and get better. With the internet and YouTube you can really tackle a lot of stuff that frankly was way beyond my capabilities without that.
 

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I am by no means an engineer, electrical or mechanical, but I do indeed RTFSM! And a very healthy dose of lurking on the tubes and the forum here. Of course, I try to pass on the bread crumbs I've learned along the way.

I'm also not an idiot. I do technical support and installation of industrial machines... signage industry.
YouTube certified mechanic!
 

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The difference between a pro and a home mechanic is lack of formal training. Carrying out diagnosis requires a knowledge of systems and the theory of IC engines. Plus an ordered method of fault finding. Years of experience helps too.
Some self taught guys are really good, especially with the particular vehicle they have.
But more often you can see that many people are internet taught.
 
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The difference between a pro and a home mechanic is lack of formal training. Carrying out diagnosis requires a knowledge of systems and the theory of IC engines. Plus an ordered method of fault finding. Years of experience helps too.
Some self taught guys are really good, especially with the particular vehicle they have.
But more often you can see that many people are internet taught.
My grandfather got his engineering degree from a pretty prestigious school back in the 40's, he actually left school to join the coast guard during WW2 and went back to finish. That knowledge made it all the way down through my father and into me. I've never called a contractor or a handyman, and the only time I've ever been to a mechanic was when I didn't want to buy a specialized tool for GM brake pads, and even then the guy asked if I wanted to do it.

If you understand the concept and how to troubleshoot problems the rest falls into places usually. A little bit of common sense and some brains goes a long way.
 

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My grandfather got his engineering degree from a pretty prestigious school back in the 40's, he actually left school to join the coast guard during WW2 and went back to finish. That knowledge made it all the way down through my father and into me. I've never called a contractor or a handyman, and the only time I've ever been to a mechanic was when I didn't want to buy a specialized tool for GM brake pads, and even then the guy asked if I wanted to do it.

If you understand the concept and how to troubleshoot problems the rest falls into places usually. A little bit of common sense and some brains goes a long way.
You chiseled your own hand... sit down.
 
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