Do yourself a favor! If you ride a Harley-Davidson touring motorcycle; obtain, view and listen to the Fix My Hog DVD that is produced to help you understand the basic functions necessary to keep your motorcycle running in top condition. Here are a few of the reasons:
- Knowledge is power…knowing how your motorcycle should operate, helps you understand how it is operating.
- You can communicate better with your mechanic.
- You can learn to do some of your own maintenance. Yigal Agam, a neuroscience expert at Brandeis University, found that it took only a single viewing of a movement for people to retain and replicate it effectively.
- Doing some of your own maintenance may save you money.
- Walking into a motorcycle dealership with an “in God we trust” mindset could be dangerous.
But, in the opinion of this author, the most important reason to purchase, view and listen to the Fix My Hog video is that if you understand your motorcycle’s operation, you will ride safer and you will be safer!
Most motorcyclists want to walk into their garage, start their motorcycle and go! Most motorcycle operators are very aware that once they get on that bike and head down the highway, there is a certain amount of risk that goes along with the adventure.
If you are like me, you’ve learned to listen to your motorcycle’s starter, the engine idle, the clutch as it engages, the drive train, and the engine under load or while accelerating or decelerating. You feel the brakes – front and rear – and you feel tire pressure and suspension before you get off your block. As a responsible motorcycle operator, you are monitoring all systems on your motorcycle at all times. The big question is: is it operating the way it should? But, how should it be operating?
Wouldn’t it nice to know how your motorcycle should sound and feel when it is running correctly, while being able to sense when there are mechanical or system issues that need attention, before you crank it up to 70 or 75 miles per hour?
The Fix My Hog – Touring Edition DVD is much more than an instructional video on how to work on your motorcycle. It is a seminar! The presentation is precise and clear! Bob LaRosa, the mechanic on the Fix My Hog videos, does a superb job of presenting the steps and process of knowing the mechanics and working on your Harley-Davidson touring motorcycle.
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical, because I am not inclined to perform a lot of maintenance on my motorcycle.
On the other hand, service writers and mechanics tend to give you a lot of words, and you are left to sort out the real meaning. But, have you ever tried to explain a perceived mechanical problem to a trained mechanic? They look at you like you as if to say: “you are very unintelligent” or something to that effect?
Also, relying totally on your motorcycle mechanic could be a fatal mistake. I know first hand of a shop crew that sent their dealership’s owner onto the highway on a brand new touring motorcycle, without any oil in the crankcase.
So I decided to give the Fix My Hog video a try.
During the video, Bob presents each procedure in a way that provides you with a heads up to prepare for the task. There are not a lot of words…only those necessary to complete the task properly. He takes the right amount of time to explain and demonstrate, but he never hesitates when presenting specifications for torque, fluids, etc.
At the outset, there is no claim that this DVD is the answer to everything. Bob clearly says during the introduction; “use the DVD instruction as complimentary to the factory manual.” He demonstrates things in a way that makes sense and generates a lot of confidence.
Fix My Hog provides motorcycle operators with three sources of information. One is Bob LaRosa. Bob attended Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, worked for Harley-Davidson for years, completed all the PHD course work, and is now the proud owner of his own shop.
I don’t know if Bob is a perfectionist, but he acts like one. In the video, he constantly suggests; “use a clean shop rag,” “clean thoroughly,” “use a little brake cleaner,” and “turn them in by hand so you don’t cross thread them.” Clean parts and parts put together correctly impact your motorcycle’s operation.
Bob is also precise. Here is an example where he is talking about and demonstrating how to assemble a clutch; “To start we install one fiber, one steel, one fiber, and another steel. Halfway through the pack, we will install the intermediate plate, it always lands halfway in the clutch pack, never towards the basket or towards the spring plate…intermediate plate, another fiber, another steel drive plate, another fiber. You will do this until the entire assembly has been reinstalled into the clutch basket assembly. Once this is installed, you will find your last fiber should run just even if not a little bit above the clutch hub. You will install your pressure plate. I want to note that it is notched and also the inner clutch hub is notched. If you put this on incorrectly, it won’t go down in the seat correctly. If you are fighting with it, you have something wrong. Take a minute, regroup, find out what you are doing wrong. Do it correctly. It’s cheaper. It’s a lot easier. It’s a lot more fun. It’s much easier in the long run.”
Anyone who purchases and watches the DVD will experience Bob presenting things with this level of detail throughout the video.
The second source of information is the content presented by Bob. Topics include:
- Tools and Products
- Seat Removal & Battery Check
- Oil and Transmission Fluid Service
- Throttle Cable Lubrication & Adjustment w/ Air Filter Replacement
- Primary Fluid Service w/ Clutch & Primary Chain Adjustment
- Spark Plugs
- Front Fairing Removal
- Front Fork Removal
- Steering Head Bearings
- Fork Fluid Service
- Front Fork Reinstall
- Front Brake Calipers & Pads
- Rear Brake Caliper & Pads
- Rear Tire Removal & Replacement
- Safety Check
- Rear Brake Caliper & Pads
- Front Brake Calipers & Pads
- Front Fork Fluid Service Conventional Front Forks
- Outer Fairing Removal
- Battery & Charging System
- Turn Signal Brake Light Module Conversion Kit
- Draining Fuel & Fuel Tank Filter
- Rear Shock Absorbers / Air Suspension / Fuse Box
The script adds up to 73 single spaced pages of single instructions, descriptions and recommendations. So, there is a lot of material presented in a relatively short time (3 – 1/2 hrs.).
The third source of information is the visual demonstration. Maintenance procedures fall into place when you can hear about a procedure while watching it being done by an individual you can trust. Bob and his video partners take time, throughout the seminar, to demonstrate how the parts fit together. Care is always taken to protect or maintain the integrity of chrome, paint, alloys, electrical current and fiber materials.
Quality and Value:
If you have done any mechanical work, whether it was to assemble a bicycle, change the spark plugs on a lawn mower, adjust the chain on a scooter or change the oil in your automobile, you have a frame of reference so that when Bob demonstrates and describes a procedure while saying; “don’t fight it, do it correctly,” or “install it by hand and finger tighten so you know the threads aren’t crossed,” you can fit the words into a context that you can understand.
A motorcycle is made up of an estimated 1200+ parts. Your motorcycle is a precision instrument that is much greater than the sum of those parts. Each part and system is integrated into the whole. They must be assembled correctly so they work together.
Bob will often instruct to torque or tighten a bolt or a nut to specified foot pounds or inch pounds, and he will provide the specifications. He doesn’t go look for them…the information is readily available.
Another quote from Bob, while working on something that is new or something that you have not done time and time again; “I want to note that practice doesn’t make perfect. You can do the same thing incorrectly over and over and basically just get frustrated. Perfect practice makes perfect!”
At $49.95 for the DVD two disc set, each individual will need to assess cost vs. benefit which is difficult to do without a “test drive.” Consider this in addition to the reasons listed earlier, the Fix My Hog – Touring Edition is an investment in your motorcycle and yourself that will last for years. It is a small price to pay.
The Fix My Hog – Touring Edition video is Super! After watching the DVD, you have the feeling that you can complete these maintenance procedures yourself. You also know the essential maintenance areas and what to look for when assessing or giving your motorcycle a check over.
Check it out! You will be glad you did.