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After helping out 2 of my friends today, new to the whole bike thing. One with an r6 the other with a pretty red ex500, I have come to a realization. You should not be able to purchase a bike if you don't understand one. Let me clarify, before you get your license you should have to take a motorcycle common sense course (MCS Course).

Where the airbox is, this is how carbs work, exhaust 101, battery 201 ....If you don't understand your bike, this means diagnosing and fixing common problems like (Fogs #1 and #2), replacing or adding after market parts without help from someone else, you should stick to 4 wheels. Some things may get a little tricky when you move up to a fuel injected 4 cylinder. I don't expect everyone to be an electrical engineer but the main concepts of suspension, brakes and internal combustion engines are still the same.

"Hmmm I think it might be running on one cylinder.....??? Think r u serious" "How do I know which cylinder is not firing?" The two questions that through me over the edge today....There are stupid questions in this world that could have been easily answered by the person if they umm sat down and thought a little bit instead of asking someone else or running to the internet. Guess I was just raised different. My first bike was a 1986 kx 80 with a broken drum and front caliper, severely gummed up carb, top end dead and other smaller details. Sure I had my father right there but until I figured out or guessed the problem and solution we were not allowed precede. If it could be fixed why buy something new?

There should be no, I repeat no bolt on assesories. A little thinking never hurt anyone. Amazing how many students I know in my mechanical engineering field who never did a little cutting or got a little dirty with a wrench.

Don't get me wrong, I by no means know everything...but if a problem arises I will figure it out sooner or later. Alright I feel a lot better now :) BTW if the bold offends you, your in the same boat as my 2 friends. Amazing I answered non of their questions and they still figured out the float was stuck...a few taps on the side of the carbs can do wonders ;D A few beers later and they were laughing at themselves.
 

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same thing comes from 4 wheels, mechanics wise.

boils down to time, why spend an hour troubleshooting something when you can call someone, email someone and have the solution in less time? sure they can troubleshoot it themselves, but it's easier this way, especially for people that don't have the extra time to take their bike apart in a day.

and I would expect my friends to punch me in the face if I was an elitist to them and tapped the carbs like they were retarded. You can get the same result by explaining it to them.
 
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Jason said:
same thing comes from 4 wheels, mechanics wise.

boils down to time, why spend an hour troubleshooting something when you can call someone, email someone and have the solution in less time? sure they can troubleshoot it themselves, but it's easier this way, especially for people that don't have the extra time to take their bike apart in a day.

and I would expect my friends to punch me in the face if I was an elitist to them and tapped the carbs like they were retarded. You can get the same result by explaining it to them.

Yes to an extent only a bike is 10 times more simple. If you cant take the time to figure it out you dont deserve to own one. Even if it takes you awhile and you are not able to ride, in the end you will benifit. Time this time that, proven fact you learn a lot more figuring it out on your own, then someone else telling you. No wonder we have so many stupid people in this world, they ran out of time learn things.

I did not tap on the carbs, they did...along the way the learned a hell of alot more then me saying hey grab a screw driver and smack it on the right side of the carb at the bottom where the float bowl is. Next time it didnt run right he would have tapped on the carbs and it would not have fixed it....hmm what do i do now??

punch me in the face..hahaha they were retarded, and now they have a great understanding of what is going on only took a little more time.
 

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I agree completely. It's really true with every forum I've ever been a part of, too.
It's late and I don't feel like soap-boxing, but if you don't know when you should do something simple such as bleed your brakes, then you shouldn't even own a car/bike. I think there's been quite a few posts lately that explicitly illustrate your point, too.
You know, there was a day when information that we consider to be common knowledge was, in fact, common knowledge. That sucks.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I would prefer people know the simple things, but elitist attitudes about it doesn't help anyway, sure you look like the big man who's smarter than the other guy but wow it's the internet noone knows you so get over yourself. Thats why there is a troubleshooting forum, for people to ask for troubleshooting advice, if you don't like the idea of helping people then don't read their topic, I know I skip some of them.

Besides there's probably plenty of things you use daily that you might not be able to fix, say that refrigerator you bought, can't service it yourself? maybe you shouldn't own it, or the computer you're using, can't tell if your overheating the RAM, or can't replace the mobo? maybe you shouldn't be using it. Whatever happened to helping your fellow man? Sure some people will learn better by doing it themselves, I know I prefer to do things myself to try and get the hang of it, occasionally I will ask a question or 2 just to ensure I don't screw up, but on the other hand as a trainer at my job I know some people have to be told/shown how to do things before they can learn it.
 

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I completely disagree.

If you don't know something, ask or do the research.
If you don't know something, spend the money to get it fixed.
If you don't know something, ask a friend to teach you how.

How the heck is someone supposed to know what kinds of things can go wrong if they've never had a bike? Is there some sort of "answer to everything motorcycling" site?

How did you learn to tighten steering head bearings correctly? (And what's "correctly"?) Tapered or ball?

How do you reduce the slack in an EX500 primary chain?

Do you really think Hayden and Rossi understand every technical detail of their GP bikes?
 
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Actually I would be able to service my refrigerator well everything besides working with the R134 refridgerant, computer hmm I am a college student, I spend the majority of my time on this thing IE replaced ram and motherboard...graphics card too for shits and giggles. Ur on a loose loose road here. I am going for engineering i love to take stuff apart and see how it works. ;D LOL i will stop there at risk of sounding like the big man ::)

Jason said:
I know I prefer to do things myself to try and get the hang of it, occasionally I will ask a question or 2 just to ensure I don't screw up,
So you don't run to the computer right away, I wont enroll you in my course then. Hey we all gotta screw up sometime or many time, mistakes are how we learn.

Outrace said:
I completely disagree.

If you don't know something, ask or do the research.
If you don't know something, spend the money to get it fixed.
If you don't know something, ask a friend to teach you how.

How the heck is someone supposed to know what kinds of things can go wrong if they've never had a bike? Is there some sort of "answer to everything motorcycling" site?

How did you learn to tighten steering head bearings correctly? (And what's "correctly"?) Tapered or ball?

How do you reduce the slack in an EX500 primary chain?

Do you really think Hayden and Rossi understand every technical detail of their GP bikes?
Let tag a jog back to my original post.

spikezx5r said:
Where the airbox is, this is how carbs work, exhaust 101, battery 201 ....If you don't understand your bike, this means diagnosing and fixing common problems like (Fogs #1 and #2), replacing or adding after market parts without help from someone else, you should stick to 4 wheels.
There is indepth stuff involved in a motorcycle. Here I agree that you should do your research. But questions about where something is on a bike "Where is the head bearing" all I am saying is common knowledge, should be known. Did I list advanced mechanics of bikes any where no, just general workings of a bike. If you dont know these things, research before hand or if you already have a bike sit down and look the thing over before asking stupid questions.
 

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Outrace said:
Do you really think Hayden and Rossi understand every technical detail of their GP bikes?
I certainly wish they know 'some' at the level they are at ;)

Sure, if you're given out the fix to every problem without the proper explanation, you're not making any progress. Being a good teacher is to *not* give the answer but to help the student to progress faster by taking them on the right path, by analysing what they do and to explain them their errors and how to avoid them in their future.

Don't blame them for not knowing it, heck, I've extended my knowledge a lot from hanging here in only a couple of months and I am very grateful about it.

There are no stupid questions, only inappropriate answers ;)
 

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Alrighty. Angry post deleted. I'll just say I don't completely agree. You do have a point though. People should know some basics. I don't think anyone is qualified to make the decision on what basics those should be though.
 

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I Kinda agree with Spike 5.
I not sure you can legislate it though. You can thank Honda and the "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" campaign from the sixties. They made motorcycling sanitary for the masses. Honda's today still are, Unfortunately Kawasaki didn't read Honda's add copy. and still make grease bad designs that break down and require a mechanical mind to understand. The EX is a perfect example of that. It's full of bad design and mechanical pitfalls, almost like they designed it to be a test for mechanical prowess before you can proceed to a real motorcycle.

FOG
 
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FOG said:
I Kinda agree with Spike 5.
I not sure you can legislate it though.
Kinda is good enough for me, legislate it, hell if I know a way.


and if you must know what started my whole "piss poor attitude" is the new generation of Harley owners with money and the i just want a Harley mentality.

bhd1223 said:
You realize that if ever person knew how to diagnose and solve the simp0le problems on their bike that 75% of mechanics would be out of a job. Why take it to someone when you can fix it yourself. Not to be a hater or anything but i think your attitude on the subject is piss poor. What your saying is that for anyone to operate anything they should have to go through a general mechanics course on the bike. Which would in turn make things more expensive. Also you give the whole time debate. To that I would like to throw some 4 letter words your way. Alright college boy, maybe you have the time to waste all your free time working on your bike. What about those deployed overseas for 18month ever 2 years? Do you think they should not ride those 4 months they have because they should fix everything themselves in that time? What about people like me. When I return from my deployment I will go back to alaska. Over 1/2 the riding season is over. Should I not spend some money to let other people check the bike out faster than I would be able to so I can still manage 2 months of riding? Just about anyone would be able to do these so called "simple" tasks with some instructions. I'm sure you didn't just one day wake up with a complete knowledge of your bike. With your "more complicated fuel injection theory" I don't think you should own anything fuel injected. You realize alot of the younger rider on this board may have never dealt with anything carb'd in their life. I know I've never owned a carb'd vehicle. Lucky I gained some experience with them working on outboard engines and such. I still have hardly any experience with them and would personally like someone to walk me through things with it as that way I learn better. You can sit there with your holier than thou attitude all you want but just know you are WRONG. Everyone isn't in the same situation. Just because people can't do or won't do the things you will doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to ride or drive a car. There's a damn reason there are people who get paid to diagnose and fix things. Just because your friends of less knowledge ask you for help shouldn't make you feel like this. You should aid them and improve their knowledge so them they can pass it on to other people. That's the only way people learn. Since I happen to be in a really bad mood right now and ran around all over the place to take care of "suspect ied's" that didn't seem to exist all day yesterday and last night I kindly ask you to dig yourself a hole and have your friends burry you in it. On that wonderful note I am out.
There is a lot of things I would say about this, but I dont have the time, pretty busy with college ;)....Dont be so defensive, just trying to weed out the many stupid questions that are asked on the internet, in person, or even to Your 75% of the mechanics who shortly after have a big grin on their face and dollar signs in their eyes.
 
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I agree that people should know what their bikes are doing, why they're doing it, and a bit about how to fix it. But not everybody is mechanically inclined.

I know I'm not. Most of my projects on my bike and car start with me, and end with my buddy finishing them. There's a reason he's a factory technician and I take pictures for a paper.

But that doesn't mean I don't deserve to ride. I ride almost everyday. I also ride in the rain, the snow, and all kinds of crappy conditions. I often show up to work with bug guts on my shirt and the same messy helmet hair you pro mechanics have.

So if I come online looking for help to fix/install X problem, I would hope an online forum of motorcycle enthusiasts would help me grow as a motorcyclist and increase my knowledge of mechanics - rather than ridicule me, or make me feel like crap for not being born with this knowledge.

By what I read in this thread, perhaps some of you shouldn't ever touch a camera, because you don't possess the technical knowledge that I do, of shutter and aperature relationships, or can't compose a publishable photograph?

Lets all play nice :)
 

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spikezx5r said:
My first bike was a 1986 kx 80 with a broken drum and front caliper, severely gummed up carb, top end dead and other smaller details.
Off topic, but this reminds me of my first bike :) I bought a '78 Suzuki TS100 for $50. The piston was blown. Took it home and over the next couple of weeks, we (me and my Dad) tore the engine apart until there was nothing but the crankcase left and the piston rod sticking out. The piston had shattered in hundreds of microscopic pieces of metal shavings, so we couldn't just remove the old piston.

To get all the metal chunks out, we poured oil into the crankcase, then tipped the engine upside-down and pulled the piston rod continuously while the oil poured out sucking all the metal along with it. Took quite a few times before my Dad was content we had most of the harmful stuff gone. It's a good thing the engine was light.

What an experience. Of course I was too uneducated to really know what was going on, but it's amazing the memory you retain from working on something with your own hands. My second bike was a Suzuki T500 (with the left-side kickstart) I came across that had been sitting for 15 years. Mice had made a home of the carbs... more fun! I'll never forget working on my early bikes :)
 

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So basically you think you're better than everyone else and you're using this opportunity to let your ego soak in all the glory?

I assume you play no instruments. You can't possibly play an instrument unless you know, firsthand, how to operate it well. Or did you learn how to play? It's a pity you have such a highfalutin attitude. I respected you for your knowledge of bikes, but if this is you showing your true colors, that respect is waning.
 

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In a way I agree.

I see that you are mechanical engineer (cool major, I was thinking to do the same but chose civil) Anyway, when you had thermo dynamics did you figure out what the 1st and 2nd laws are by yourself? If you did you should be a mechanical, and go to school. If you read it somewhere or the prof told you, well school is not for you. Also mechanical, civil, engineers mainly design not built. I never welded beam connections but know how to design them...

I know, not the best example. Please, do not take any offence.
 

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I've gotta say I disagree. You're dictating that what you think is right is the only way to go. That's just an egotrip. You chose to be a mechanical engineer. Awesome, I almost chose that, but went with meteorology instead. To want to be an ME though, you've gotta be mechanically inclined. Good for you. Not everyone else is.

In my defense, I'm trying to learn to be more mechanically inclined. I apologize that it doesn't come naturally to me like it does to you. I promise I'll never touch a machine with moving parts again. ::) Not. If I come here to ask a question about something mechanical with my 500, that's my choice. Your end of the deal is whether you answer or not (and based on this, I'd assume you'd go with not.) You can't tell me that I'm not allowed to ask questions because I lack your skills.

I don't go around telling people that if they don't understand how weather systems work, that they shouldn't go outside and enjoy the weather, do I? That'd be ridiculous.
 

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I can understand what you're saying, to a point. People should know the basics of how their motorcycle or car works. Things like changing the oil, checking and maintaining fluid levels, replacing light bulbs and fuses, etc. But telling people that they should walk everywhere because they can't diagnose and fix carb or efi problems is ridiculous. Yes, some people do abuse forums and ask questions that could easily be answered by a quick google search. Not everyone grew up around mechanically inclined people, or who had friends that were. I know I didn't. I've spent hundreds of hours on the internet over the past several years researching everything from how to change the oil in my car to custom programmable efi setups. I asked a dumb question or two in that time just to make sure I understood things correctly, but only after looking into it myself first.

Not everyone enjoys working on their bike. Not everyone knows how every little part of their motorcycle should fit together and function. And they shouldn't have to to enjoy riding. I am fourth year mechanical engineering student, and I am mechanically inclined. But I don't shove it down people's throats. If you enjoy riding horses, should you be expected to know anything other than "basic maintenance"? If a horse had a punctured lung, could you tell which one it was?

A lot of people ride because they enjoy riding, not working on their bike. Maybe next time someone asks for your advice, you should take the extra step and tell them they're not worthy.

Perhaps we could take advantage of the FAQ section to detail what people should be expected to know. Then we can politely point them in the right direction. If they still have questions after reading that, then they would at least be justified in asking them.
 
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Basics people, that is all we are talking about here...basics of an instrument, basics of first and second law of thermo, for those who brought it up or in my case basics of a motorcycle. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to learn the basics without someone repeatedly telling you. Yes more advanced things you will need to learn with help we are not all born geniuses.

Better than everyone else, shoving it down throats, true colors.....LOL just stating what most are thinking when they read some of these troubleshooting questions while ::)
 

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As the screen name implies, I am a teacher, and there is a saying in our field "tell me, and I might listen, show me and I might remember, involve me and I'll learn." I think there is something to be said about people who get involved in a million things half-assed and hope to get bailed out all the time, but learning to maintain a bike is a process we're not born knowing. I know I got a bike intending to do most if not all of the work myself (I leave the auto work to the guys at the garage). But you gotta start somewhere. I know that I learn a hell of a lot more (and more quickly) when I get my hands dirty, and a little help is always appreciated, but it's no fun when somebody with more knowledge than myself assumes I shouild know everything right away. Now it would be another story if I never caught on and kept crying for help. Maybe then it's time to find another "toy."
 
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