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Motorcycle and ATV Repair Tips from Cyclepedia


Compression Test

A compression test will give you a general idea about the condition of the top end of the engine. It’s a good idea to do a compression test before doing any engine maintenance or servicing. If the compression is low, synchronizing carburetors or setting ignition timing will be of no value until the cause of the low compression is identified and corrected. Keeping a written record of the compression will provide a history of the engine’s condition and may point out a developing problem.
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Starter Motor Rebuild

It is possible to rebuild nearly every starter motor in use on a motorcycle or ATV, but before you start it’s best to do a little research. Checking at your local shop, you may find that a starter motor for your machine is fairly inexpensive. If that’s the case, it is hardly worth the effort of taking apart an ailing starter motor even to diagnose what may have gone wrong. If your replacement starter motor is...
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A Simple Guide on Bearings

The numerical four digit code stamped into a ball bearing indicates its inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD). There may also be a letter or letters that indicate whether it is sealed, and if so, the number and type of seal(s) used. The bearing codes are particularly useful if you are replacing a shaft (such as an axle) with a different diameter one...
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Tire Removal and Installation

Release the air from the tube by removing the valve stem core. Loosen the lock nut that holds the inner tube in place....
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Spark Plug Installation & Maintenance

Inspect the spark plug porcelain for cracks or damage. Check the electrode for wear, fouling or deposits. The center and ground electrodes should have nice square edges. If they appear rounded, replace the spark plug. The spark plug porcelain insulator nose should be a light tan color,....
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Spark Plug Specifications Guide

There are currently three spark plug thread diameter and pitch sizes used on motorcycles and ATVs: 10 mm x 1.0, 12 mm x 1.25 and 14 mm x 1.25. There are currently two thread reaches (lengths) used: 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch....
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Coolant Replacement & Bleeding

Other than a few cast iron cylinders here and there, the metal that contacts the coolant in powersports engines and cooling systems is mostly aluminum: cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, water pumps, and radiators. Aluminum is vulnerable to corrosion, and the corrosion inhibitors in antifreeze deteriorate over time...
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Drive Chain Inspection and Maintenance from Cyclepedia

Chain final drive is the most common form of final drive on motorcycles and ATVs and has been used for over 100 years. The advantages are that it is relatively simple and inexpensive, does not consume much power and is easily re-geared to suit different riding conditions. The disadvantages are...
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Inspecting & Servicing Drum Brakes

It is important to work in a comprehensive manner when inspecting and servicing drum brakes. Do not assume the problem lies with a specific component. Poor drum brake performance can be caused by a problem with almost any component, and the only way to make sure the system works correctly it to examine it as a whole....
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Online Service Manuals

Repair Your ATV, Motorcycle or Scooter Yourself

Concerned about up-time? is your online source for motorcycle repair information. We publish full color, online manuals to help you save time and money servicing ATVs, motorcycles, scooters and side by sides. Every Cyclepedia subscription includes free tech support. Need help with your ATV, Motorcycle, Scooter or Side by Side? Give us a call at 828-645-0017 between 9am – 5pm Eastern Standard Time to talk with a member of our support staff.

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