Video Review – Fix My Hog

Due to the surging popularity of motorcycling, shop costs continue to soar and maintenance bays are always crowed. Wouldn’t it pay to learn routine service on your bike your bike yourself and avoid high costs and lengthy shop waits? Dennis Santopietro of Fix My Hog has a nifty solution for the Harley-Davidson riders eager to learn the fundamentals of basic service. His digital-quality, 70-minute, 12 – chapter DVD covers charging systems checks, front and rear brake pad replacement, maintaining fluids, adjusting the drive belt, clutch and primary, cables, filter replacement and more. Also included are shop tips and tricks, a full tool listing and some easy factory upgrades as well as the history of design changes from the earliest Evolution models to the ’04 Twin Cams.

The chapter on electrical system theory and troubleshooting is worth the purchase price alone. It’s clear and precise: it should isolate the usual charging gremlins that can easily confound the average driveway owner/mechanic like me.

Each procedure is explained in lucid style and is demonstrated by trained mechanics in a well-lit shop. The DVD format is easy to follow and can be freeze-framed for perusal in detail, something that is not always clear with video tape.

If I’m forced to criticize any aspect of the DVD, I’d have to note two small things. First, I’m a bit more careful with greasy rags around brake pads and discs. Second, despite their repeated admonitions to torque various fasteners to factory specs, the mechanics are shown routinely nipping them up by feel. Admittedly, a seasoned hand can achieve this without risk or danger but less-qualified wrench-handler-particularly someone “who doesn’t know a drain plug from a spark plug” – may damage things unintentionally.

In spite of these minor complaints, Fix My Hog will competently equip the average rider with enough basic skills to keep a Twin Cam or Evo Softail off the dealers’ bench and on the road.

It’s a bargain at $39.95 – that’s less than one dealer oil change. Dennis Santopietro is expanding the Fix My Hog series to include both Harley-Davidson Twin Cam and Evolution touring models; release date tentatively January 2005.

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