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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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Old 18 May 2001
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Location: sydney australia
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mechanical knowledge

ok, i'm travelling the world at the moment, but sadly not on a bike. i'm planning on europe next year and i want to do a bit of riding there. my question is, how much mechanical know how did you guys have before taking off on an adventure? did you take a course in bike mech or something similar?

noiles
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Old 19 May 2001
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Canada and the Alps
Posts: 123
Well if Europe is all you are planning to tour, you don't really have to worry about a breakdown because help is always nearby in the form of other motorcyclists or service stations.

As for your other questions. Some people have the skills, some don't. To someone like myself, mechanical devices are plain and simple and to others, a nightmare. I gained most of my experience from reading technical books at a very early age. I also perform all maintenance and repairs, mostly because I want the job done right.

You can either gain mechanical skills on your own by getting a shop manual and then rebuilding a bike (chances are you'll learn from the mistakes) or by taking a course at a community college. Also, understand basic electronics. There are two reasons why a motorcycle won't run (other than the rare mechanical failure); fuel and ignition.
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Old 27 May 2001
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How long is a piece of string? *S*

Even very experienced riders have vastly differing degrees of mechanical knowledge. For some the idea of doing their own 'wrenching' rates right next to having a tooth pulled...for others the thought of letting anyone else near their beloved bike is devastating.

A basic working knowledge of your bike would suffice anywhere in Europe. Self-recovery knowledge such as puncture repair can come in handy anywhere. But basically it comes down to how much you have to spend.

Like anywhere else, being able to undertake basic servicings on your bike will save you much 'mulla' and is often more convenient as you can fit it in anywhere on your travel schedule. Anything more then tune ups etc would probably require more tools then you would have with you anyway...I'm yet to see anyone doing a top-end re-build on the side of the road *S*

Get a Workshop Manual for your intended bike, familiarise yourself with location and desired performance level of the basic components and you shoud be right.

If all else fails...you will find that a bike rider doesn't sit on the side of the road too long (at least in Europe, USA, Australia etc) before other riders will come along and give you a helping hand.

Finally, invest in a membership in a relevant Motorists Association that provides Roadside Assistance...just in case you ever find yourself stuck somewhere out of the way,

Good luck and all the Best,


Andy.
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