Dealer or self bike maintenance... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Dealer or self bike maintenance...

Folks I'm trying to save as much money as possible & the Versys will be my first bike. How much of the maintenance do you do on your own & what would you only let a pro shop do. Thanks

Last edited by fortbethel; 01-04-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 07:51 AM
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I am not mechanically inclined at all, but even I can do the basic stuff with all the info posted online. What I did not bother trying to do was to change the tires. I had them done by a tuning/performance orientated shop, but not by the dealer. Maybe is different somewhere else, but here a dealer charges double or more, has less qualified staff working on maintenance items, and I have to schedule my bike weeks in advance. So, no thank you.

If I were you I would not worry about working on this bike. Oil changes are a joke, lubing what needs to be lubed is easy, getting to the air filter just seems intimidating but is not, changing the spark plugs is easy as well. I do not know how easy is to change the brake and cooling fluids, I guess I'll find out soon, come spring I can not remember something else that goes under maintenance. So get your bike soon, you'll enjoy it
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 08:26 AM
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According to the warranty:

"The owner must deliver, at his expense, the complete product to an authorized Kawasaki dealer...for all periodic maintenance services...during the warranty period".

This is stated in the green Owner's Warranty Guide under "Owner's Obligations". Mine's Canadian but I assume it's the same elsewhere.

So it looks like you're married to your dealer for the first year.

Last edited by charly; 01-04-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortbethel View Post
Folks I'm trying to save as much money as possible & the Versys will be my first bike. How much of the maintenance do you do on your own & what would you only let a pro shop do. Thanks
Oil cchange,air filter clean,chain maintance,wil let them do the valve adjust,might do the plugs myself,will let them do the coolant change as I have nowhere to get rid of the old crap

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 09:49 AM
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Mine's Canadian but I assume it's the same elsewhere.
It's not in the US.

Do the maintenance yourself. Between labor rates being excessively high, not being sure the work you're paying for is actually being done, and the screw-ups of your average motorcycle "mechanic", it's the best solution.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
According to the warranty:

"The owner must deliver, at his expense, the complete product to an authorized Kawasaki dealer...for all periodic maintenance services...during the warranty period".

This is stated in the green Owner's Warranty Guide under "Owner's Obligations". Mine's Canadian but I assume it's the same elsewhere.

So it looks like you're married to your dealer for the first year.
In the States, if a dealer requires you to use either them or their special parts/fluids, they must provide them for free. All the owner needs to do is provide proof the services were performed on time.

I keep oil receipts and staple them to filter bar codes and write the date/mileage when I changed them.

I posed an Oil Change DIY in the tech section and it was stickied, so you can use that as a reference.

2.5 quarts of oil and a filter should run about $20 - $25. Who knows how much the dealer will charge? Maybe $75 - $90? That's just a guess.

I'll do a DIY coolant change in the spring, it's really easy (I have to do it for my track bike yearly) and I use an old camping water jug for the coolant and dump it at my county landfill for nothing. I'll probably do a DIY brake fluid change too.

Don
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2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 10:04 AM
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2.5 quarts of oil and a filter should run about $20 - $25. Who knows how much the dealer will charge? Maybe $75 - $90? That's just a guess.
And probably on the low side. They'll overtorque the filter and the drain bolt, too, requiring a new drain bolt next time as you round the head getting it off, and it will be you that takes it off 'cause you're not going to spend $100+ and waste a whole day waiting around for an oil change again.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 10:58 AM
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So far all of the maintenance has been easy. Oil changes are so simple it is laughable. I even took the wheels off and had Cycle Gear mount new tires...just don't want to mess with the tires. The only hard part of that was getting the rear axle back in by myself. I replaced the brake lines and everything is so easy to get to. I will have the dealer do the things that I am not comfortable with, but that shouldn't be very often...give it a shot...it will make you feel great to do it yourself.

Steve

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 12:00 PM
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If you are going to do your own work-which I highly recommend, spend a few $$$ (assuming you are in the US) on getting a few tools. Start with a torque wrench and a good metric socket set and build from there.

The first oil change you do yourself will more than pay for the tools. If you are in the US, try a company called www.harborfreight.com they have great value tools, for under $100.00 you can get everything you need. I put this list together for a buddy on another forum.

Recommended Tools For Basic Versys Maintenance;

Following list of tools will allow you do all routine maintenance & more on the Versys. For those living in the US www.harborfreight.com is great place to get good value tools. I get 95% of my stuff there. List below could be purchased at HF for under US$100.00. I bought all of mine in sets from HF, cheaper than buying individually.

Metric 6 sided impact sockets set; 10-11-12-13-14-16-17-19-22-27mm $25.00

Metric regular multi sided sockets set; 4mm to 10mm $8.00

Metric Hex Bit Socket set; 4mm to 17mm $15.00

Metric Hex Wrench set; 1.5mm to 10mm $6.00

½ Torque Wrench; 10lbs to 150lbs (13nm to 200nm) $20.00

Socket wrench & extensions; ¼ & 3/8

Socket Wrench Impact Adapter set; ¼ to 3/8, 3/8 to ¼, 3/8 to ½, ½ to 3/8. $13.00

Oil Filter Wrench; 70mm $4.00

Open ended wrench set; 8mm to 24mm.(2 x 12mm makes chain adjustment easier) $15.00

Flat & cross head screw drivers.

The above will let you; adjust the chain, remove front & rear wheel, remove front or rear sprocket, remove brake calipers, brake pads, remove windshield & false tank sides, remove gas tank, remove spark plugs, remove air filter, oil filter, oil drain plug, take steering head apart, remove headers and exhaust, remove swing arm, add crash bars.

You could pull the Versys apart, with perhaps the exception of the clutch and gear box, which have special requirements. Removing front sprocket is tough, if you don’t have an impact wrench.

In addition nice to have stuff;

Paddock stand and bobbins/sliders- wheel removal is impossible on the side stand.
Voltmeter, Loctite, 12volt electric pump, plug kit, vice grips, Knipex grips, mini jumper cables, wire striper, pliers, feeler gauges.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 12:43 PM
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Thanks! That is a great list of tools...I have acquired most of them as I have found out that I needed them...to bad the shop manual doesn't have a list of tools.

Steve

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 01:21 PM
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I wouldn't take my V to the dealer... What a bunch of bone heads... Here is an example: Friday I went to pick up some oil filters and the service guys were working the parts counter. Tell um what I want and they come back with paper cartridges. I am looking at the with the wtf look. I ask how do these work on the V. They explain, with straight faces, that all I have to do is "pry" the metal top off the one I took out and put one of these in and pound the top back on the old filter case then reinstall.
I think I left about a 50 foot burnout trying to get out of there....

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 08:54 PM
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Folks I'm trying to save as much money as possible & the Versys will be my first bike. How much of the maintenance do you do on your own & what would you only let a pro shop do. Thanks
How mechanically inclined are you? With a shop manual and some mechanical aptitude/ability to follow instructions in a tech manual you can do all the servicing your bike needs right at home. It's nice to have a garage, working outside is a pain when it's cold/dark/etc. plus having a closed place allows you to leave things disassembled/not finished while you wait for a particular part or sage advice from forum members.

Mac's tool list is a very good place to start. You don't need to have top quality tools to do occasional work. Obviously, if you see a particular tool wearing, you may want to consider a higher quality replacement, especially since worn/ill-fitting tools cause damage to other parts and may result in other expenses. having the right tool for the job makes your life much simpler.

FWIW, in the last 11 years, only one of my bikes went back to the dealer after the day I bought it. It was a V-Strom and it had the clutch basket replaced under warranty (aka clutch "chudder" on 02-03 bikes), it was replaced about 8 months into my ownership, the bike had over 10K miles and had never been serviced by the dealer. Nobody even asked about it. If it's something that could have been caused by sub-par maintenance, you will have to show that all teh work was done according to the procedure outlined in the manual. But if you keep good records and can show that the work was done, there is no reason to refuse the claim. I doubt you'll need to test it though, these bike are bullet proof, so the warranty is not worth the paper it's written on. If your bike doesn't have "infant mortality symptoms" it's very unlikely to develop a problem that will be covered under warranty in the first year. If it does and they hassle you about the maintenance, you can always have them look up the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to remind them of their obligations...

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 09:37 PM
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+1 on the above replys...The more you know about your bike mechanically the better off you will be. If you do decide to take it to the dealer you will want to able to check their work. Keep in mind the mechanics work on a ton of different makes and models so the chances of them getting anything right on your V is pretty slim.
So use this forum and have at it...You'll save some moola and get to know how these awesome machines work.
Good luck and good riding

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