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The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance: Tips & Techniques to Keep Your Motorcycle in Top Condition Paperback – January, 2004


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The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance: Tips & Techniques to Keep Your Motorcycle in Top Condition + How to Restore Your Motorcycle: Second Edition (Motorbooks Workshop) + How to Repair Your Motorcycle (Motorbooks Workshop)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Whitehorse Gear (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884313418
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884313417
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...lots of different motorcycle systems and the theories they're based on, explained by a pro..." -- American Iron magazine

"...we can all use the detailed tricks of the trade that Mark shares in this book..." -- RoadBike, June 2004

"I received [the book and]...changed my final drive oil. Quite a trick for a non-wrench like me." -- Bruce Hansen, author of Motorcycle Journeys Through the Northwest

"Required Reading...cover[s] everything you need to know...photos and illustrations to lead you through simple and complex tasks." -- Motorcyclist magazine, April 2004 issue

"This is a book to be treasured. A book for the ages." -- Keystone Motorcycle Press

About the Author

Mark Zimmerman is the Technical Editor of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, and a contributor to Classic Bike Guide magazine. He lives in Danbury, Connecticut.

 

Jeff Hackett has been photographing motorcycles for magazines, books, and calendars for 19 years. He lives outside New Haven, Connecticut.


More About the Author

Mark Zimmerman is the Technical Editor of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, and a contributor to Classic Bike Guide magazine. He lives in Danbury, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Illustrations and diagrams are very inforative and easily understood.
DJ Voldstad
This book almost makes you WANT to get dirty and dive into repairing your bike.
Bruce F. Wilken
I found this book to be a very good beginners book on motorcycle maintenance.
Michael Betz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By ebie hawl on June 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
wow where do i begin. first off im a student at mmi (motorcycle mechanics institute)which has campuses in both phoenix and orlando. i bought this book to supplement my education and honestly it was a great purchase. its very easy to read and understand the first time through whether or not you have previous motorcycle knowledge of which i had none or you are experienced in mechanics. the theory section is an absolute must and just as thorough as the notes i received at mmi. the photos are great much better than youd find in your average factory manual and if you have no mechanical experience forget about trying to read one of those. factory manuals are written for "seasoned" techs. mark zimmermans book is written for both the average joe biker or someone with plenty of experience. he even takes the time to put in tips such as "what to do when you strip a bolt", "how to torque a bolt" and much more. overall im very impressed i have yet to find a section that i felt was inadequate. other books i have found dance around the subjects and dont give you the information you need. this book hits the nail on the head everytime.....thanks mark
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By soren_k on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've had no real initiative to understand how motors work until recently purchasing a bike. Part of this is born out of wanting to avoid overpaying local service people for work that truly may not be done well or completely. This book does a wonderful job at laying out the theories and the practicalities of every subdivision of motorcycle mechanics, w/ extremely helpful multi-color pictures everywhere, including many step by step photos.

I was able to change out my brake lines after I read the chapter on braking- I actually understood hydraulic brakes, and successfully did a job in an afternoon w/ hand tools that would've cost me hundreds.

The author's enthusiasm is contagious, and I'm finding that this book is part of a growing impulse to spend as much time as possible with my toolbox and my Ducati. Highly recommended for the novice or the expert!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert Holmes on March 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
While the author clearly knows what he is talking about he isn't great at making things clear, especially to the total beginner like myself.
Diagrams and pictures are dotted haphazardly around the book, often 2-3 pages before or after the paragraphs they are meant to illustrate. Some terms are used but not explained and there are several mistakes that even the most cursory of proofreads would have uncovered. Especially the 'how to' section on replacing sprockets; when letting you know what tools would be required it said 'all the tools for replacing a chain' plus a few others. Of course the section on replacing the chain was omitted! This isn't as big a problem as it would seem as you can figure out how to do this most basic of maintenance tasks from the 'replacing sprockets' section, but it smacks of carelessness.
On the whole it provided me with lots of useful info and the 'how to' sections are well-illustrated and, for the most part, clear and easily understood. It will provide you with an understanding of how all the sections of your bike work and slot together. However I have read clearer descriptions on the internet of how some of the sections work (namely the engine and gear box) and I'm sure there are other books out there which will be of more benefit to the beginner in that respect. Also it provides you with plenty of general 'how to' sections but again I'm sure that these must be covered in other books, possibly without the use of so much jargon (or at least with explanations for it).
In conclusion I find it useful and I'm unlikely to buy another general maintenance book to replace it, however if I were given the choice again I would choose some other manual.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Bruce F. Wilken on June 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was well thought out and goes through a logical procession of maintenance/repair items. Some typo/grammatical errors dispersed throughout the book, but not enough to lead the reader astray. What I thought best were some of the items covered that I never would have thought of as needing maintenance, much less being VERY important (ie., steering head bearings) - and I have been riding for nearly 30 years! This book almost makes you WANT to get dirty and dive into repairing your bike. Even if you don't do your own maintenance, this book alerts you to issues that should be addressed by your mechanic, and allows you to be a much smarter motorcycle 'consumer'.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Wes Souza on June 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very informational and practical. The information contained in this book can be easily understood at first reading. There is no need to have a mechanical degree in order to understand how the parts work, or how to maintain them. (On a side note: The author was even kind enough to reply to my email question...thus, I very highly recommend this book). Thanks Mr. Mark Zimmerman.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary Wood on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well-organized, easy on the layperson's eyes but without talking down to us either. "The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance" is divided up into sections and subsections that make it both an interesting cover-to-cover read but also very easy to use as a fast reference when repairing on the fly, taking the "Teach a man to fish" over the "Give a man a fish" approach. If all you want to know is how to change a spark plug you can probably find a faster how-to online. If you want to know how to change the spark plug AND just what the spark plug is doing, why and how and what happens when it's not doing it right, this is the book you're looking for.

My '03 Kawasaki Vulcan isn't a toy, it's a tool; my only mode of transportation in this poor economy averaging 2,000 miles per month. And if I can't afford a car I certainly can't afford a conventional motorcycle mechanic looking to squeeze my wallet for what isn't there. So when my work-out-of-the-backyard mechanic isn't available or my work takes me away from him for a few months, I want to be able to do a fair amount of maintenance and repairs myself. Or at least know what I'm talking about when I do go to the conventional mechanic. Especially being female, it's still a challenge for some mechanics to see women as anything but walking, gullible, bags of money.

This book has been my first giant leap into that realm. For all the varied motorcycles and configurations out there, Zimmerman gives a solid, most-common overview. More importantly, he does a fantastic job explaining to the layperson just how the various components work. This way, when I have a weird power loss happening under specific weather conditions, I'm not just looking at a laundry list of possible suspects in my owner's manual (or the appendix of this book).
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