It is an advantage if you have the skills to repair the bike yourself. In case you need the service of a workshop ask a friend for a reliable workshop and check it out yourself. It is a good idea to walk into the workshop and have a look at the guys working there. What tools are they using? Vice grips are not the right thing to treat your bolts and nuts with. Some precautions are needed when dealing with workshops. Unfortunately it is quite a common practice to use vehicles of customers for private trips if it is known that the customer will not show up for some time. Happened to me twice. It also happens occasionally in dogy shops that parts, even engines, are changed for older versions.
- Agree on the job to be done, the pick-up time and the price in advance. Tell the mechanic to call you if additional work is needed.
- Indicate that you might pass by during the day to check on progress, even if you don’t intend to do so.
- If new parts are needed the workshop usually require a downpayment. This is fair enough since the locals often turn out to be short of money and can not pay for expensive parts. But make clear that you pay the remaining money only if the workshop gives you the receipts for the new parts and gives you the old parts that were replaced.
- Be specific if you want to have genuine spare parts, which is always advisable since third party parts are often of unbelievably bad quality. Given the fact that most local bike owners are on a low budget the mechanic often assumes that the customer prefers a cheap repair over a long lasting repair.
- Remove all easily removable items and mark other components that might be swapped without your knowledge, for example the battery. Make sure that the mechanic realises that you know your bike and that you are checking.
- Note down the odometer reading. When picking up the bike check whether the work was done and whether components were changed for older versions.