the two factory shop manuals I own, 88 vmax and 04 speed triple, have been great. the triumph has a color wiring diagram! The real deal shop manual will always be beter than the haynes or chilton, (I have one for my civic, it covers about 15 diferent cars and while it is serviceable you really need to pay attention and read the directions several times.) illustrations are clearer directions are more concise and it is even printed on high quality paper.
Don't you have a dedicated workshop laptop? If not, pick up a cheap one on eBay. Or, if you have a phobia about fingerprints, etc. put it in a drycleaning bag and voila - no mess.
I bought the BMW 1100RS manual on CD and have found it to be very adequate. Even if I don't end up doing the work myself, I get an idea of how complicated it is and therefore how much it should cost. I use the online fiche for parts costs to figure out that end of the equation. Seems to help my decision about the work. (That being said, I have had the bike for 3 years and have only had 2 items done by the dealer - throttle cable and altenator replacement, both of which I chose to have them do becasue I was just too lazy or too busy.)
I bought a factory manual for every car or bike I've ever owned, and always thought it was the best investment I could make. True, the Chilton's, etc. manuals are fine for finding out where the spark plugs are located, but when it comes down to really getting into your vehicle, then the factory manuals can't be beat.
Another problem with the Chiltons/Haynes manuals is that they try to save money by combining several years and models in the same book. Great to a point, but when you need real data, they're just frustratingly useless. For example, my new R1 came delivered to me with a loose steering nut. Looked in the Yamaha manual and found the correct torque to be 80 lbs. ft. Try finding that in your Chilton's!
I have been working on bikes since the late 60's and always found the factory manual to be superior to the Chilton or Haynes equivalent. You spent what for the bike? You are trying to save a few bucks for less accurate info? Buy the real thing... Just an opinion...
I found a VStrom factory manual posted to a Strom forum for nothing. It appears to be complete, but I'd recommend printing out a copy to stuff into a binder for your workshop and keep the electronic version to reprint badly soiled pages (like the ones for throttle body balancing). Also bought a Ducati factory manual on a CD for $10 and got loads of extras. Scan for viruses. Happy wrenching.
I was able to find an online factory manual for my SV1000 online for free. A freind of mine bought one of those ebay cd manuals for his R1. Both as far as I can tell are complete factory manuals. I printed mine out and stuck it in a 3 ring binder.
Moto Guzzi does not have printed manuals any longer. I have an earlier printed manual for my Breva and a CD (official Guzzi) manual and parts list. Both are good. Actually the parts listing includes exploded diagrams and is better as a work guide than the repair manual. Nothing on the bike has needed repair. I have added things and lost a bolt which was hard to reach to replace. The parts guide showed the bolt, the repair manual did not. I print out what page I need. After I am finished (if it is not too messy) I put it in a ring binder. Never tried Chiltons or what ever because when they make a Guzzi guide it is old. "Guzziology" is better as an aftermarket for Guzzi's.
Had a Clymer repair manual for an old CZ175 I once had. This particular model had the combo shifter-kickstarter-slick-shift gizmo built into the shifting/kickstart/clutch unit, and was held together with a strong pre-wound coil spring. Picture if you will a garage door spring under maximum tension.
So anyway I had to take the clutch side case off and consulted the manual. Everything went well 'till I got to the last paragraph on the last page that said "now carefully remove side case."
So I carefully jiggled the sidecase out a little...peek...look..jiggle. I then heard a loud "un-winding" noise, followed by a 5 pound gear that shot out of the case like a rocket and nailed me right between the eyes.
After recovering my senses and getting a cold beer for the giant knot on my head I turned the page of the Clymer manual...
There, at the very top of the next page was a WARNING with giant red exclamation mark and a message next to it: "DANGER, KICKSTARTER GEAR UNDER HIGH SPRING TENSON, USE CARE WHEN REMOVING SIDE CASE!!!!
I figured the Clymer people had some deal going with the Czecho commies to kill CZ 175 mechanics all across the globe. Eliminate the problem.
And you don't need to print out the entire manual (what a waste of paper) or bring a laptop into the garage with you (asking for trouble).
Here's what you do:
1. Read the manual online and then only print out the relevant pages for whatever maintainence chore you're doing that day.
2. Take those pages into the garage with you for reference.
3. When you're done throw out the now grease-stained pages. Next time you can just print out some more clean, perfect copies. Done!
I had manuals on CD for my Vstar and my Bandit that I bought online. They looked like pirated scans, but hey, I would have bought legit copies if they were available from the manufacturer. Why aren't they?
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