Something’s gone wrong with your motorcycle. Maybe an accident has left it badly damaged, maybe some components are completely worn out, or maybe you need to replace the engine. Either way, you’re probably facing the difficult question: should I repair or replace my motorcycle?

Needless to say, there are lots of factors to take into account. A motorcycle accident can total your bike or leave it with only minor damages that, if you’re lucky, the other rider’s insurance will cover. After any accident, it’s important to check parts like your tyres, brakes and signals/lights for any damage, whether minor or major.

Whether you should repair or replace the motorcycle depends on the extent of the damage and other factors. Which route is cheaper? Is your motorcycle getting a bit long in the tooth, or is the lure of a brand-new bike just pulling you in?

Taverner Motorsports has been carrying out motorcycle repairs for decades, so we know more than a thing or two about when you can save a damaged bike and when it’s time for a newer, shinier model. 

Easy DIY Motorcycle Repairs

Some motorcycle problems have easy fixes, and you can carry them out yourself with time, tools, knowledge and a little patience. The simpler the fix, the likelier it is that you only need to repair, rather than replace, your motorcycle. Motorcycle repairs that you can do yourself include:

Replacing brake pads

Replacing your motorcycle’s brake pads is a fairly simple process to learn. All you have to do is take out your callipers, clean your callipers and pistons, reassemble, dress your rotor and install your new pads. 

Changing the spark plugs

Worn-out spark plugs are a common cause of problems like misfiring, backfiring, engine flooding, and gas spraying from the exhaust pipe. To change the spark plugs, remove the plug wires first and then use a socket wrench to take out the plugs themselves by turning them counter-clockwise. Check the colour and burn of your plugs to see what they can tell you about your riding style (for example, if it’s moist and dark, you could be riding your bike a bit hard). Check the plug’s gap with your gap tool, insert the plug at the spark plug’s thinnest section and slide until you reach the right gap.

Replacing the battery

A swollen battery, a battery that can’t hold a charge, or a battery that shuts itself off are all signs of a battery that’s on its last legs. Replacing the battery is fairly easy on most bikes, but make sure you read the manual so that you can get the process right for your bike. Start by disconnecting the negative cable followed by the positive cable, and then remove the battery. 

Adjusting the chain

A chain that’s too tight or too loose can cause problems. An overly tight chain can quickly wear out your motorcycle components, and an excessively loose one can scrape the bike’s swing arm or jump the sprockets, jamming the rear wheel. Lift the rear tyre and adjust the chain to a healthy slack level of about 25 mm to 35 mm, depending on the bike. Once your chain slack is ideal and you know your swing arm adjusters are properly set, you can tighten everything up again.

Fixing a broken mirror

Sadly, even a minor accident can lead to a cracked, smashed, or busted mirror. Luckily, all you usually need are a few simple tools to install a brand-new, fully functioning-mirror on your motorbike. 

Motorcycle Repairs Best Left For a Mechanic

There are some tough tasks out there. Motorcycle damage is often far from straightforward. Here are some motorcycle repairs best left to an expert:

Engine rebuilds

Engine rebuilds and other complicated engine jobs require mechanical expertise, specialised tools, and the knowledge gained from learning the trade.

Electrical work

Your motorcycle’s electrical system is a complex network, and working on it requires expertise. There are several good reasons not to tamper with your motorbike’s electrical system as unsafe wiring can result in a fire or a nasty shock down the line. For the sake of your own safety and the lifespan of your motorbike, take your bike to a professional for any electrical work beyond the basics like changing bulbs or checking connections.

Suspension overhauls

Adjusting or rebuilding an entire motorbike suspension system requires extensive knowledge to ensure the right alignment, damping, and handling qualities. Adjusting your suspension incorrectly can affect your bike’s stability, which can compromise its safety.

Frame repairs

Poorly repaired frames compromise a motorbike’s structural integrity, which leads to greater safety risks.

There are definitely grey areas in motorcycle repair when an experienced DIY enthusiast might be able to get the job done, but it’s still likely to be best left to a professional. Jobs like carburettor adjustments, clutch replacements, fuel system issues and engine compression tests can go either way.

Beyond Repair: When To Replace Your Motorcycle

Sometimes, the state of a motorcycle is beyond repair. When you’re wondering whether to repair or replace your motorcycle, here are some sure-fire signs that a new bike is your only option:

Extreme damage

If your bike has been severely damaged in an accident, fire or natural disaster, there’s a high chance it might cost more to repair than to replace. If the costs of repairs are higher than the overall market value of the bike, it’s time to replace it instead.

High mileage and wear and tear

As time passes, mileage on motorcycles adds up and maintenance and repairs become increasingly more common. If issues are constantly arising and motorcycle maintenance problems are draining your bank balance, it’s time for a new motorbike.

Hard-to-find parts

The older your bike, the more likely parts will be obsolete or very hard to find. If certain motorcycle parts are proving impossible to find, you can save yourself the hassle and, in the long run, expense by shopping for something new.

Safety concerns

If your motorbike has safety issues, such as deep structural problems, that repairs won’t address, it’s time to seek out a brand-new ride instead.

Repair or Replace Your Motorcycle with Taverner Motorsports

If you’re still unsure about whether you need to repair or replace your motorcycle, Taverner Motorsports will help make the choice easier for you. With more than 40 years in the industry, motorcycle repair work is one of our specialties. Our extremely experienced mechanics can cover all the bases, from brake and suspension repairs to complex engine and electrical system work.

If you need to replace your motorcycle rather than repair it, our workshop on the north side of Brisbane has a range of more than 11,000 parts from suppliers around the world, made for all kinds of makes and models.

While British, American, and Japanese motorcycles are our specialties, we’ve been in the industry so long that there are few motorcycle types we haven’t worked on and almost no problems we haven’t fixed. Over the decades, we’ve built up relationships not only with satisfied repeat customers but also with a strong network of suppliers.Are you wondering whether to repair or replace a motorcycle? Contact the Taverner team and request a quote.