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Discussion Starter #1
I originally put this on Tiger-Explorer.com where I am small-business-forum-sponsor. I have written service manuals for the T800 and T1200, and have been asked if I'd run maintenance courses on those bikes (in North Wales, UK), so in the interests of casting my net a little wider...

I’m keen to see what interest there might be across the forum, and to learn from any suggestions you may have to make the sessions more useful.

My initial thoughts are to run a series of one day sessions for up to 4 people at a time
1: Basic Servicing – 1 day course covering:
Oil & filter change
Air filter change
Final drive oil change
Cleaning brake calipers
2: Advanced Servicing – 1 day course covering:
Valve clearance check
Replacing spark plugs
3: Suspension Service – 1 day course covering:
Fork oil change
Remove yokes & grease steering bearings
Strip and lubricate rear suspension linkage

Each day would run as a self contained training session and anyone could sign up for one or more, without needing to have done any of the others first. The sort of format I have in mind would be very much a hands-on training day, with all of us getting involved in the servicing work. One at a time, everyone attending would do one of the servicing tasks on their own bike with everyone else watching on. I’d be supervising and getting as involved as necessary, but I think there would be a greater benefit in me offering guidance and everyone attending doing as much as possible of their own work.
I have all the tools necessary, and can buy in the consumables beforehand. All you’d need to do is turn up on the day.

Things that still need thinking through – please let me know your thoughts…
It’s been a long time since I’ve done the valves on an Explorer, having moved on to other bikes, and I’m not exactly sure how long it would take – I’m confident it would be less than a day start to finish, but it would be a long day, especially with the need to let the engine cool fully before measuring the clearances.
I haven’t fully worked out the costs yet but it will be significantly less than the cost of having Triumph do the work. Initially I’m thinking of £100 per person, with oil, parts & consumables charged additionally. Personally I’m happy with known-brand (non-Triumph) filters, but I’ll buy whatever you prefer and charge them on at cost. I wouldn’t charge for grease, degreaser, WD40, and other incidentals.
At the end of this year I’m moving to Anglesey and could run one day courses from my workshop there, starting around April. I should have space for three or four bikes to be worked on at a time. It’s not the most accessible location (but the roads to and from are wonderful) so I’d consider doing the course somewhere in the midlands, travelling with all the tools in my car, if we can find a suitable venue.
I’ll have a decent size garden and am happy for anyone to travel over the previous day and camp there overnight. If there are any takers I’ll do a barbeque in the evening. Hanging space to dry out wet riding kit shouldn’t be a problem. If this idea is popular we could consider meeting in Snowdonia on the previous afternoon and have a ride out first to make a weekend of it. This would also give the benefit of being able to remove the bodywork on the evening before doing the valve clearances.
I can buy a shim kit so we’ll be able to set the valve clearances, but if there are three or four on the course I’d baulk at the price of buying three or four shim kits at the start. Being practical about it, it may end up with all of us working on one or two bikes the first time the valve servicing course runs.
Whilst we can have several bikes on the centrestand with the rear suspension stripped at a time, I’ll only have one hoist to pick up the front to remove the forks & yokes. We could work around this by doing a set of forks whilst also doing the swingarm linkage on another bike in the morning, then swapping round in the afternoon to do two sets of forks, headrace bearings & swingarm linkages in a day.
All of the skills we’d focus on would be transferrable to any bike – if you want to bring something else to work on that’s fine – we’d just need to find out the valve clearances & torque settings beforehand.
A mate has suggested a course on prep for overlanding. Example content could be changing tyres and adding electrical accessories. There’s room to add a few more items to this if you have any suggestions.
Finally, if anyone wants to come and use my tools & facilities to do their own work at another time I’m sure we can work something out.

Feedback please…
All the best, Mark
 

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Wonderful opportunity for riders. I would suggest you limit students to 4 or 5 max.
Also, I would suggest you get “General Liability” insurance.
A lot of riders are used to single cylinder offroad bikes. Moving to multicylinder engines can have riders reluctant to dive in, due to complexity. This is a great program you’re offering.
Lastly, I’d say offering a class to “women riders only” classes would certainly help them, as they don’t want to deal with testosterone when trying to learn.
Good luck with this.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the positive feedback.
I've decided to set the limit at 4 to start with and see how it goes.
Yes I need small business insurance.
I'd not thought of women only courses but that's a really good point - I'll definitely look into that one,
Cheers,Mark
 
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