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Hi all!

I just had my chain and sprockets replaced on my CBR250r 2011 at 16115 miles.

Alex, the owner or manager of the shop, recommended a complete tune up for ~$600 to replace all the gaskets and to have a valve tune up. He also said to clean the pistons(I think, or maybe forks?) because I'm already getting pitting.

I then saw this video and thought that I would remove rust and pitting from my forks myself.

But I took photos and don't see what the shop owner was talking about. Was he just trying to get money from me?

Thanks for your input!
 

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I just had my chain and sprockets replaced on my CBR250r 2011 at 16115 miles.
At 25,000 km it is customary to replace the tensioner, although I have tested and probably we do not need it, but this is how it is done, so I do it too.

Every 12,000 Km(8,000 miles) ther a valve clearance inspect, meaning an inspect at 16,000 miles too. But this is just an inspect, and if there are no signs of a valve problem I would not open to inspect. On inspect they are likely to find that there is no need to adjust them. Unless the motorcycle is constantly running at high rpm under heavy load.

So yes, it is possible to do the maintenance treatments earlier than recommended, especially if the motorcycle working hard and under high RPM most of the time, or riding a lot in the rain, or on roads with salt (in winter too), because both of these increase wear and tear.
REF: HONDA CBR250R/RA OWNER'S MANUAL P.35, 36.
 

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...Alex, the owner or manager of the shop, recommended...
I always recommend flowing with the mechanic's recommendations, it's a matter of trust. If you have confidence in your mechanic, then do what he recommends and you will never regret it.

Without trust it is neither good for the client nor good for the professional. In case of mistrust we must replace the mechanic, but whoever finds himself replacing mechanics frequently, probably the problem is with him and not with the mechanic. And sorry for the cheap psychology.
 

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I looked at the pictures you took:
Automotive tire Light Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design

and it did not seem to me that there was any problem of leakage or rust in the forks, but yes it should be cleaned, and not with sandpaper, only regular cleaning with a delicate cloth. If there are rust spots then yes, remove them with fine sandpaper 2000Grit is OK. It is not recommended to sand the entire cylinder-piston as shown in the video you attached.

But as stated in my previous comment, it is either trusting the mechanic, or replacing the mechanic.

Fixing it yourself is a hobby, and as is the way with hobbies it costs money and does not save money. Anyone who can not dedicate himself to the hobby, both in time and money, it is desirable for him to trust his mechanic. This is the easiest, cheapest, and safest way to maintain the motorcycle in the best way.
 

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Hi all!

I just had my chain and sprockets replaced on my CBR250r 2011 at 16115 miles.

Alex, the owner or manager of the shop, recommended a complete tune up for ~$600 to replace all the gaskets and to have a valve tune up. He also said to clean the pistons(I think, or maybe forks?) because I'm already getting pitting.

I then saw this video and thought that I would remove rust and pitting from my forks myself.

But I took photos and don't see what the shop owner was talking about. Was he just trying to get money from me?

Thanks for your input!
If your forks are not bouncing, I don't see any reason to replace fork seals. They look dry and shiny. The only rust I see are light and on the triple-tree's themselves.
As far as the valves go, you are supposed to get an inspection periodically. I generally don't do this unless the engine sounds or performs like it is struggling. I don't like to open up an engine unless absolutely necessary. I feel the risk of contaminating it with bits of debris or damaging threads outweighs the benefit of a precision tuned engine.
Unscrupulous mechanics are more common than honest ones in my experience. I have learned to do most of the work myself and only use a mechanic for jobs that require machinery that I do not have. The money you save will pay for the tools you need in most instances. Motorcycles are easy machines to maintain and repair manuals are plentiful. Use a torque wrench and you should have no trouble doing the work yourself.
 

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Thanks for the comments Tamir.

You're right, I will choose to trust my mechanic!
Not so fast...

Saying the engine needs "...a complete tune up for ~$600 to replace all the gaskets and to have a valve tune up. He also said to clean the pistons(I think, or maybe forks?) " - is a bit much.

You don't replace gaskets unless they are leaking, which make his estimate sound suspicious unless you can see wet areas. A "complete tune up" on a CBR isn't that intense - checking valve adjustment, maybe the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) adjustment, replacing the plug, cleaning the air filter, replacing fluids, and maybe a few other simple things - but I don't think it should be $600.

You need to have them tell you exactly what they will be doing, but the CBR is a simple machine and doesn't require excessive maintenance procedures.

The area of the forks that are showing rust never contacts the seals, and the rust is coming from the lower triple clamp. You can clean it up with some WD40 and 0000 steel wool. Feel the fork tubes for any pitting or sharp spots of corrosion, but it doesn't appear there is anything serious going on.

Some of what you were told doesn't add up for me.
 

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Finding mechanic you can actually trust is 1st step. THEN you can believe them.

In this case, I think you should get 2nd and 3rd opinions from different mechanics. How they answer about your bike compared to 1st one will tell you more about which one is trustworthy.
 

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I don't like to open up an engine unless absolutely necessary.
YES(y)
Motorcycles are easy machines to maintain and repair
NO. Sorry, I think otherwise. Do-it-yourself hobby, like any hobby, costs money and does not save money.
And of course the hobby make you enjoy and there is satisfaction... but saving money? It does not save.
learning is expensive, both in time, in tools, and in the mistakes you make and learn from them.
Only a "professional"/veteran amateur who has years of experience, a respectable toolbox, can complete jobs in a way that can be said to be "saving money".
 

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Some of what you were told doesn't add up for me.
A mechanic is not a "God", it is a human being, and between human beings it is either there is a trust or there is no trust.
If a professional is catch by his words, it is not called having confidence in him, a professional should be judged by the result in relation to the price.
A good mechanic often fixes things and does not charge for them, provided there is trust and he is paid a fair price for his work. That is why the question of trust is so important.
 

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Finding mechanic you can actually trust is 1st step. THEN you can believe them.

In this case, I think you should get 2nd and 3rd opinions from different mechanics. How they answer about your bike compared to 1st one will tell you more about which one is trustworthy.
This is definitely a good option (y), but a serious examination requires leaving the motorcycle in the other garage for at least a few hours, and also... If you have reached a point where you have a doubt, then you have no doubt, because it means there is no trust.

It is possible and necessary to examine the mechanic BEFORE becoming his customers:
  • Arrive at the customer reception and see how he treats his customers?
  • Interview customers.
  • Take recommendations from your friends.
Once you have become a customer and still do not have trust, it is not good for you as a customer and not good for the mechanic, that is how you do not build a trust (when you have a doubt...etc)
 

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(SNIP)
NO. Sorry, I think otherwise. Do-it-yourself hobby, like any hobby, costs money and does not save money.
And of course the hobby make you enjoy and there is satisfaction... but saving money? It does not save.
learning is expensive, both in time, in tools, and in the mistakes you make and learn from them.
Only a "professional"/veteran amateur who has years of experience, a respectable toolbox, can complete jobs in a way that can be said to be "saving money".
Again - really?

Doing basic maintenance yourself - changing the oil, adjusting the chain - instead of taking it to a shop doesn't save money?

Really?

I've heard plenty of stories, here and elsewhere, where "professional" mechanics screw-up.

Plenty of instances of CBR oil filters being installed backwards by both a novice and professional mechanics.

My advice to any cycle rider is to learn to do your own basic maintenance. You can't always count on getting your cycle to a shop to get important maintenance done. You need to at least know how to identify a potential problem (low oil, low tire pressure, loose chain) before it causes a safety issue, and ideally be able to correct it properly yourself.

There are so many more options available today, like YouTube, that can show you how to do basic maintenance properly, unlike back in the day (70s) when I started.

We learned the hard way at times - but we learned.
 

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What you will find after learning to do lots of maintenance yourself (saves time & money), is that your abilities will match, then exceed your mechanics' skills. Might take 10-15yrs, but along way, you will find fewer and fewer mechanics that can rival your own abilities. Especially when it comes to timeliness of job.

When I got my Ninja250 for racing 5-years ago, I didn't have time to thoroughly overhaul it before my 1st race. So I took it to mechanic to have tune-up while I deal with getting racing-license and spares. After not hearing anything after 3-days, I get call from them, "where do we plug in scanner?" ... uh It's carburetted bike!!! :( I took my bike back and overhauled carbs in 5-yrs with ultrasonic-cleaning and micro soda-blasting. NO mechanics within 1000-miles of me had this kind of equipment or knew how to work on carbs properly. I end up sending my carbs to specialist 3000-miles away every winter.

I also have not found any mechanics that can repair cracked aluminium frames, which I've had to do myself. Nor can any of them cast engine-blocks from scratch. Nor can any of them download maps from ECUs, reprogram them to my specific settings and properly upload maps back to ECU. There are specialised tuning-outfits with dyno that can do that, but why pay U$700+ when I can do it myself with wideband-O2 in just couple hours???

Over course of owning bike, there will be difficult learning steps. I learned hard way about carbs and clogging by letting them sit around. I blew up my 1st bike, VF500F that way. Result was repair-bill of U$2000-2500 from several different mechanics to swap in new engine. Instead, I tore apart engine myself and repaired single damaged piston & con-rod for U$300.




I still have that bike 36-years later!


I certainly would not have been able to afford repairs on it to keep it if I didn't do majority of maintenance & repairs myself. U$200 to change oil and clean/adjust chain, really? I can do it myself for $40 in less than 1-hr. U$300 to replace fork-oil and seals? WHAT$%[email protected] I can do that for $20 in 1.4-hrs max! Just did that for friend this last weekend.

 

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Again - really?

Doing basic maintenance yourself - changing the oil, adjusting the chain - instead of taking it to a shop doesn't save money?

Really?
Of course really. Maybe it seems simple to you. OK(y) I know people who broke the aluminum thread of the drain bolt, more than one, and people who messed with the chain and stretched it too much, or too little, or tightened the axle when it was not parallel, and there are the unlucky ones that 💀caught fingers💀 ....
Mechanics this is a serious matter.
I guess yours has previous experience(y) or professional background(y), but to come and claim:
Do It Yourself is easy, or Do It Yourself saving money .... it may sound good, factually it is far from reality.
 

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Of course really. Maybe it seems simple to you. OK(y) I know people who broke the aluminum thread of the drain bolt, more than one, and people who messed with the chain and stretched it too much, or too little, or tightened the axle when it was not parallel, and there are the unlucky ones that 💀caught fingers💀 ....
Mechanics this is a serious matter.
I guess yours has previous experience(y) or professional background(y), but to come and claim:
Do It Yourself is easy, or Do It Yourself saving money .... it may sound good, factually it is far from reality.
Perhaps you and your friends needs to have more practice. I bet those people were careful next time with drain-bolt. I'm sure mechanics you take your bikes to had to learn at some point also and they also made similar mistakes. It's about learning from your mistakes and improving.
 

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Of course really. Maybe it seems simple to you. OK(y) I know people who broke the aluminum thread of the drain bolt, more than one, and people who messed with the chain and stretched it too much, or too little, or tightened the axle when it was not parallel, and there are the unlucky ones that 💀caught fingers💀 ....
Mechanics this is a serious matter.
I guess yours has previous experience(y) or professional background(y), but to come and claim:
Do It Yourself is easy, or Do It Yourself saving money .... it may sound good, factually it is far from reality.
Surviving long term as a cycle rider on the street isn't easy - you need to be sharp and smart. You need to have skills.

It's not a car. Proper maintenance is required for safety on a cycle. You can't get away with riding on tires that are not at the proper pressure or a chain that is way out of adjustment.

You need to know how to do the basic maintenance yourself. You need to build your skills, as both a rider and primary mechanic, and learn to count on yourself to solve problems before they become safety issues.

It will save you money - and a lot more.
 

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It's about learning from your mistakes and improving.
You need to build your skills, as both a rider and primary mechanic, and learn...
YES & YES
And learning motorcycle mechanics costs money, a lot of money, and that includes learning from your mistakes that also cost money, and buying a decent toolbox also costs money ... and you need a place to work in it (reserve a place in the home garage?)... Buy books, read them well before any work, and that, too, takes time, even a great deal of time time ... time that is worth money too.

Dear friends, all of this is not called "saving money", these are called "investing money in your hobby" you love, me too. and it is not a cheap hobby at all. Of course everything is relative.
 
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