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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading through the mods section for the past few minutes and a thought came to me.


How many of you calculate the time it takes you when deciding how much you spent on modifications/maintenance
? I read on several occasions where people say "it's cheap", "not expensive", etc. and then continue on to say it takes a weekend or two to do the work.

I know my outside consulting time is worth $75 an hour which equates to a very pricey mod or maintenance; so at what point do you take that into consideration when you are working on your machines?

(Does not apply for those of you who do not work a full week and/or are in school. You have more available time to work with, making it less expensive to work on those available hours)

Just curious if anyone else uses calculations like this when deciding when to do maintenance or let it go. (It's why I tend to send my bike to the dealer to get things done beyond oil change and chain maintenance)

Edited to add Maintenance to thread. Complete mistake on terminology *crawls back into the corner*
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

i dont really think about the time its going to take (i like to tool around with my bike)....i just look at how much it costs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

blacktape said:
i dont really think about the time its going to take (i like to tool around with my bike)....i just look at how much it costs...
I'm guessing that's the way it is with most people. I want to get a feel for the way people on the board decide when a mod is too costly and what criteria they use to determine the overall cost.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

i see....i view the cost of the part it self and then decide if its to $$$
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

another thing to wonder about is the cost effectiveness of your chosen mod path. sure, you can spend $600 on a full exhaust, $200 on a pair of cams, $150 on a jet kit and a good air filter, $texas for a big-bore kit and some hayabusa pistons or something, more money still on suspension and brakes and...

by the time you're done you've got a $9000 sv-650 when you could have just bought an FZ1.

*sob, i should have bought that FZ1*

it all comes down to a labor of love i suppose. i love my little SV, even if she's turning out to be an expensive partner in two-wheeled crime. ;)
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

I have to admit that is exactly my feeling everytime I think about doing something over $100. I bought the bike to save on gas, and relieve my jeep of some unnecessary miles (as it is getting old 140000). Then I came up with a list of mods I wanted to do. I've since shot them down because this is a budget bike and if I want a better bike I will sell it and buy a better bike. Right now I find myself wanting to change some stuff aesthetically to show what I like about the SV, ie maybe buell lightning dual headlight setup and flyscreen, and a chinspoiler, and maybe custom paint if I can get it done under $200. I'm thinking sour apple green, with lots of clear. But I scrapped the other ideas I had because it's just an SV and if I want a gsxr I'll buy one later.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

So if you make 75 an hour and have to pay 68 an hour to get stuff done you save 7 dollars and don't know shit about your bike.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

dbcooper said:
So if you make 75 an hour and have to pay 68 an hour to get stuff done you save 7 dollars and don't know s**t about your bike.
I guess I don't know shit about my bike since all I've done is add a slip-on, FE, sliders, SM Type 2's, grip guards and heaters. :-\ ::)
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

Let me tell you a little story about mechanics-

I had a 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 - the 'baby RC30'. It was a grey market import, and nobody knew how to work on it. Most places refused to look at it, and the rest just f*cked it beyond rideability. For a month, it was running on three cylinders and nobody could fix it; I spent hundreds of dollars on labour at two different shops to have the carbs rebuilt and cleaned, the valves adjusted, the fuel lines replaced, etc etc. Finally I looked at it myself...

I replaced the fouled spark plugs for 16$ and it ran like new.

A mechanic has not touched my bike since. Moral of the story: get a shop manual and learn the black art of motorcycle maintenance yourself, you'll save a lot of money and trouble. I've rebuilt my SV from the ground up and I've loved every minute of it.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

Abe Frohman said:
I guess I don't know s**t about my bike since all I've done is add a slip-on, FE, sliders, SM Type 2's, grip guards and heaters. :-\ ::)
My initial response was going to be"Great, your good with a hacksaw and a ratchet"
I wasn't trying to come across as a dick.The more you do to your bike the more you understand it.Installing a power commander,working around the emissions,tps adjustment,tre mod,getting a good airflow all the way thru to make the thing run the way it should, having it handle the way its capable of , and having an understanding of how it all ties together is to me just a lot of fun.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

I enjoy working on my bike and learning how everything works, so really I don't ever take into consideration potential labor costs unless my time is restricted at an inopportune time and I NEED someone to do it right then. I have a full time job, but I can still find time to work on it if need be. It is important to me and I still manage to get lots of time in between work, girlfriend, forums, video editing, and electronics work I do. It's a full load but I enjoy all of it. Well, not the work so much.

But like someone said, just because they are a mechanic doesn't mean they are worth the time and money. The first and only time I took my bike in was to get tires put on with the rims still on the bike. They messed up that simple task (forgot the right side spacer, bearing disintegrated and wheel wobbled at a very VERY bad moment, AND not only that but they also turned the speedo sensor into mashed potatoes when reinstalling the front wheel). I was being lazy and decided to pay to get it done. Never again. It may take me twice as long as a regular mechanic but if something happens and shit hits the fan I'll know I'm the only person to blame. If I ever need someone else to work on it, I'll find someone that will show me how to do it if problems come back again.

You are not only paying a mechanic for his time, you are paying him money for what he knows. So on the other hand, doing it yourself might cost you time, but you are learning things that will save you time and troubles later on down the road, AND possibly help others out with their bikes. How good of a forum do you think this would be if we all payed mechanics to do our work. Not great I bet.
 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

That being said, heres a pic I took earlier tonight of the bike. Gonna jump back out there and throw the new chain on. New sprockets, 15:48, along with a new chain w/ 520 conversion. I shortened my wheelbase by about 1cm, looking forward to seeing how the bike feels now. 8)

 

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Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications

But now we're discussing maintenance vs modifications. Yes the two will overlap but they are inherently distinct from each other. I perform maintenance on my bike, up to a point. I'm comfortable performing most of my own maintenance but there's quite a bit that I won't because I don't have a garage nor the desire to run out and purchase additional tools for the bike. I'd rather drop the bike at the shop and have it worked on while I'm at work, leaving my weekends free for riding instead of wrenching.

As far as mods go, I'm like some of the others in this thread -- it just isn't worth it. The last thing I want to be is the owner of a ten thousand dollar, $6000 bike. (Yes that's a 6k bike with 4k worth of mods). If I want a Gixxer front end, I'm going to get the rest of the bike to go with it. Maybe I'll find myself modding it in a year or two when I get a new bike and my beginner bike (yes the SV) into a beginner track bike. But to me it's not worth doing for street riding. I don't have a performance modded Civic (well S-10 in my case) so why would I do it to the SV?

I'm just saying that in order for me to enjoy the bike I don't need to concern myself with whether or not my slip-on is creating too little or too much back pressure and if I'm losing 2hp. Some of you do, and that's great. That's your thing. I've seen some great bikes on this forum from those that like to get out there and wrench on a regular basis. Personally it's just not my thing. Maybe some day it will but for now I'm more concerned about the mechanics of riding, instead of the mechanical features of my ride.

dbcooper said:
My initial response was going to be"Great, your good with a hacksaw and a ratchet"
I used a Sawzall, not a hacksaw, thank you very much. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Calculating $$ Needed for Modifications/Maintenance

dbcooper said:
So if you make 75 an hour and have to pay 68 an hour to get stuff done you save 7 dollars and don't know s**t about your bike.
Actually, the local shop charges 38 an hour and are "professionals". What they can do in an hour will take me three times the amount of time. Essentially I'm saving the better part of 200+ for the job.

I agree that it makes me less knowledgable about the bike than the person that wrenches on a regular basis, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to live with. I'm not saying it happens on an everyday basis (if it did, I'd be riding ducati or similar), but when the choice arises, I send the bike to the pros and earn an extra salary.

Edit: changing the title of the thread to include Maintenance.... complete oversight on my part.
 

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I only do mods when the original part is worn out. with one exception, I put an aftermarket exaust on my SV

I have not done much modification, mostly adding accessories, and when I chose parts aftermarket vs stock, I try to determine cost/mile, my brake rotors & pads are aftermarket, chain & sprockets are oem
 

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The only time that using a pay figure for a leasure activity can be considered legitmate is if you are GIVING UP work for which you would have been paid. Any time else it is a justification for laziness.
 

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jefmad said:
The only time that using a pay figure for a leasure activity can be considered legitmate is if you are GIVING UP work for which you would have been paid. Any time else it is a justification for laziness.

I would consider any wrenching I do as unpaid overtime, time is money, money it time whether it's your leisure time or work time. why do you consider wrenching on a bike a leisure activity?
 

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RandyO said:
I would consider any wrenching I do as unpaid overtime, time is money, money it time whether it's your leisure time or work time. why do you consider wrenching on a bike a leisure activity?
Some of us LIKE to tinker and work on the bike in the garage. For me, it's therapeutic. It helps me get my mind off everything else except the task at hand. In the summer, sure, I only do as much maintenance as I have to, in order to maximize riding time. But in the winter, I'll spend as much time in the garage as I can justify.

I'm also kinda anal about the stuff being done right. If I do it, then there are no questions about if the work was done properly.
 

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orangegilly said:
Some of us LIKE to tinker and work on the bike in the garage.  For me, it's therapeutic.  It helps me get my mind off everything else except the task at hand.  In the summer, sure, I only do as much maintenance as I have to, in order to maximize riding time.  But in the winter, I'll spend as much time in the garage as I can justify.

I'm also kinda anal about the stuff being done right.  If I do it, then there are no questions about if the work was done properly.
I like my work too, but it's still work, if you don't consider your time when your calculating what you invest in manitenance, you are only fooling yourself

so you buy a gixxer shock for $20 on e-bay, you should consider it will take longer to install than a stock SV shock
 
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