Woes of Maintaining Your Own Equipment November 12 2016, 0 Comments

Yesterday Safak and I had to repair a motorcycle tire, and fix a starter relay on an ATV.  It proved to be a day which tested our patience. Safak usually leads the group of ATV riders on his 2004 Yamaha XT225 motorcycle. The rear tire inner tube had a puncture which needed to be fixed before our next ATV tour. Anyone who has changed a rear bicycle tire knows that if you're gonna puncture a tire, you should hope for the luck that it's a front tire. Two days before, he tried to fix the hole with this product called Slime. It's green and looks like the stuff which turned turtles into the Ninja Turtles. The videos on YouTube make it seem like a wonder product, but unfortunately, it did not fix the leak.

Removing the wheel and old inner tube didn't seem to cause too much trouble. When he came to putting in a new tube, he needed my help. We spent about 20 minutes wrestling the inner tube into the tire, and putting the tire back on the rim. We used a tire level and our bare hands to get the tire back on. I thought we had conquered, but we had punctured the tire. This ordeal left him frustrated and with a feeling of defeat. In these moments, when you think you can't do something as simple as change a tire inner tube, you wonder how can we possibly run a business?

The previous inner tube cost around $15 from a store about 20 minutes away. He called up our closer shop, they had one in stock for about $20, and ask $10 to install. He came home over an hour later, feeling foolish for trying to do it himself when for only $10 more, someone else can do it flalessly.  

We thought we were over the hump, but when it came to the break adjustment, the break rear break lever (part 5R0-25355-00-00) was not going back on its camshaft (part 3Y6-25351-00-00). I thought he was crazy when he called me over to take a look at it and he had done something like stripped the teeth, but it baffled me why it wouldn't go back on. I searched online at the manuals, but everywhere the manuals were saying that "if you do not feel comfortable doing this service", or that "it's recommended that a Yamaha dealer do this service" blah blah. I finally found somewhere online that you must spread the level with some force in order for it to slip back on the camshaft.  The image below is of the parts I've referenced. 

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I think the lesson in all is, if you're gonna try to save money, expect to get frustrated and angry at times. When you run a big and successful company, you won't have to get angry and frustrated with these small things, you'll have much bigger things to worry about.... I enjoy fixing our own equipment, and I take a pride in it. I think every experience makes us better at the next repair. It's not like people are born mechanics, a good mechanic comes with experience. Also, if we don't know what we like or dislike about certain models of ATV's or motorcycles, how can we make a good decision on what we want our fleet to be? This experience is valuable and something we shouldn't overlook as simply annoying or frustrating... but it could be I had a day to think about it and cool off from my annoyance.