Just a Thought on Maintenance

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JackoftheGreen
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Just a Thought on Maintenance

#1 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:31 pm

I had something of an epiphany while riding to work yesterday, and maybe it's not worth sharing, but it sure felt like it at the time.

When my wife and I started getting into street bikes (instead of dirt bikes, that is) last spring, I spent a fair bit of time looking for motorcycle maintenance guides and such. I'm a relatively experienced car mechanic myself -- never been to any schools for it or worked in a shop, but I used to ditch high-school daily to run around with a group of friends a few years older than me and we did a lot of wrenching in one or the others driveways. Clutches, drive shafts, brakes, that sorta thing, and now I'm accomplished enough to handle most basic repairs on my own vehicles given a properly detailed manual. However, I knew then and still know now very little about motorcycle mechanics, and it's a goal of mine to get as proficient with them as I am with four-wheeled locomotion.

Anyway, in searching for different print resources, I ended up just buying a Clymer manual for our bikes and those have served me fairly well. During the search though, I stumbled across a book called something like "The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance". I don't recall the exact title, but I'll wager most of you do. Now, I haven't read this book and I don't own a copy yet, but I remember thinking when I first saw it that it was sorta tongue-in-cheek. It conjured an image of bald monks with hound dog eyes sitting in a circle around a dismantled bike, chanting in archaic verse while tendrils of incense wafted about the room. This is, of course, as far from the 'biker' image as you can get, and it's also quite a bit off from your typical image of a bike mechanic. So, I took it as kinda a joke at the time. After all, what could motorcycle maintenance have to do with Zen?

I don't know how the author of that book relates motorcycle maintenance to a spiritual quest for inner peace, but yesterday, I discovered how I do. I was sitting at a red light, pole position, and as my motor wound down a Jeep Cherokee coasted to a stop behind me. Once the exhaust died down to it's customary low rumble, I heard a horrific rod knock and was immediately terrified that is was coming from the 800cc powerplant under my butt. With my helmet on, I couldn't pinpoint the exact source of the sound, but it sure seemed like it could be coming from my bike. I told myself it had to be coming from the Jeep behind me, and continued on to the next red light, where, of course, I confirmed that it wasn't the bike.

We've all been in this situation I'm sure, especially on bikes where every road noise and road smell is readily noticeable. Five miles down a city street and you can smell burning clutch, overheated brakes, slowly roasting plastics, gasoline, melting electrical components and that oh-so-uniquely summer of smells, boiling antifreeze. And in all that calamity, your only peace of mind HAS to be your own devotion to your bikes maintenance demands. In our inner spirit, we find peace in the knowledge that no pending mechanical failure could have gone unnoticed or unchecked in our own motors, because we were just in there.

So, that's my epiphany. Sound off if you've had similar experiences and tell us what your own approach to motorcycle maintenance is like.

EatenbyAsphalt
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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#2 Unread post by EatenbyAsphalt » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:55 pm

I have read the book. I own it too. It is "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" And it is not about wrenching on your bike.
The faster the bike I get, the less of a coffin I'm gonna need, more like a ziplock bag.

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#3 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:12 pm

LoL, really? It showed up on Amazon every time I searched for anything related to repair guides, I just assumed it was some sort of repair manual. What's it about?

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#4 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:06 am

So I just read the Wiki page on ZAMM. LoL, boy did I have that wrong.

Oh well, statement still stands. Motorcycle maintenance is a type of meditation that can bring peace of mind on the road.

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#5 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:21 am

JackoftheGreen wrote:After all, what could motorcycle maintenance have to do with Zen?
Everything and nothing.
People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.
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Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#6 Unread post by EatenbyAsphalt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:56 am

And that would be the answer of a buddhist.
The faster the bike I get, the less of a coffin I'm gonna need, more like a ziplock bag.

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#7 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:44 pm

I am not a Buddhist, I'm a rational anarchist.
People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.
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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#8 Unread post by ceemes » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:10 pm

EatenbyAsphalt wrote:And that would be the answer of a buddhist.
Actually, that answer can be attributed to Saladin, after he took the city of Jerusalem after a long and bloody siege. He was asked what was the value of capturing Jerusalem, he answered, nothing............and everything. Deep thinkers those Moors.
Always ask why.

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#9 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:50 pm

I'm not a Moor either.
People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.
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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#10 Unread post by BobK » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:02 pm

I had my epiphany when a hot dog vendor asked me what I wanted on my hot dog and I told him "make me one with everything".

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Re: Just a Thought on Maintenance

#11 Unread post by EatenbyAsphalt » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:30 am

ceemes wrote:
EatenbyAsphalt wrote:And that would be the answer of a buddhist.
Actually, that answer can be attributed to Saladin, after he took the city of Jerusalem after a long and bloody siege. He was asked what was the value of capturing Jerusalem, he answered, nothing............and everything. Deep thinkers those Moors.

Except that the Buddha had been dead over 1500(give or take a century or two) years when Saladin sacked Jerusalem.

Saladin Died March 4, 1193 CE (aged 55–56)

Buddha Died c. 483 BCE (aged 80) or 411 and 400 BCE

So, if you don't mind I keep with Buddha on this one. If anything, there is a good chance that Saladin had encountered Buddhist monks.
The faster the bike I get, the less of a coffin I'm gonna need, more like a ziplock bag.

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