Fixing Your Own Harley

Times are tough. Everybody’s looking to save a buck and one of the best ways I know of to do that is to get your hands dirty and turn a wrench on your bike instead of paying somebody else. Hourly shop rates can add up quickly on even the most mundane of maintenance procedures like having your Harley’s oil changed. For the price of one oil change you can make one of the best bang for the buck investments you’ll ever make not only your bike, but for yourself too. Becoming involved mechanically with your Harley Softail, Dyna, Sportster, or Touring model is as easy as getting one of the absolutely terrific Fix My Hog DVDs and grabbing a wrench. From basic maintenance to performance upgrades, the Fix My Hog series takes the mystique out of successfully working on your bike for the average guy.

Dennis Santopietro, Fix My Hog Inc. company founder, knows exactly the feelings many people have who want to get involved mechanically, but are hesitant to take the first step. “I am not a wrench. Growing up in Connecticut, I was surrounded by people who were mechanics and they did the wrenching for me,” said Dennis. “When I moved west with my 1984 FXRS that takes a little bit of love to keep going, that’s when I saw the cost of it. I had to find an independent or a dealer or I had to do it myself. I thought there had to be something better than a service manual to learn from. That’s where the Fix My Hog videos came from, somebody to be there, over your shoulder to show you how it’s done.”

Not only does Dennis show you how it’s done mechanically, but also inadvertently how to make a high-quality instructional video totally unlike the useless VHS repair videos I’ve spent a small fortune on littering the shelf in front of me. The production values of these DVDs leave absolutely nothing to be desired. “We film in Connecticut so we can hire professional crews that do a lot of work for the television studios in New York City instead of buying a camera and attempting to film it ourselves,” said Dennis. Hosting the video is Dennis’s old friend and master mechanic (often overused term, but not in this case), Bob LaRosa, who painstakingly takes you through each and every step involved from fluid changes to bolting on performance parts to maintaining your chassis. Bob doesn’t assume a thing like service manuals do and answers every question you might have before you ask. Not sure how much Loctite or Never-Seez to put on a bolt or where you need it? Bob shows you. His approach gives you the confidence to realize, ”I can do that” whether it’s adjusting your primary, servicing your forks, or just checking over your Evo, Twin Cam 88, or even the latest Twin Cam 96 Harley. Also, to make a point at how extensive they are, I should mention that these are not some little 40-minute videos either. For instance, My Fix My Hog Touring Bolt-On Performance Edition is a three-DVD set with over six hours of televised information. That’s just one of seven sets Fix My Hog Inc. offers and there’s something for everybody’s capability and interest.

You might still be wondering if this is right for a person like you who’s not the most mechanically experienced. “About 85% of our business is the beginner and that’s really where we focus our efforts. It’s the guy 55-years-old, kids are off to school, sold his Harley when he was 20 and finally got another one,” said Dennis. ”The other 15% is the guy who’s been working on his bike for 20 years and thinks, ‘Hey, I know what I’m doing, I should be okay, but maybe I can pick up a couple of things.’ “ That may be true, but even if you’re experienced on your old Low Rider, working on a new FLH model or a Twin Cam instead of a familiar Evo might be pretty intimidating without a good video reference.

Dennis has also created an extremely useful resource for new model updates on his website in his Hogger Area. “It’s a free membership area where people can log on and we put up videos, clips of new things going on that we have, and there’s a huge technical Q&A section. Bob answers your questions and also our sponsors like Wimmer, Barnett Clutches, Spectro, and Dynojet answer them too,” said Dennis. “The videos are very detailed and the Hogger Area is just an added benefit to use as a resource. It’s updated all the time.”
As an example of how Dennis releases new updated videos, here’s his description of what’s in the latest releases, “The Softail/Dyna Maintenance Edition Part II covers more than 15 procedures, including steering-head bearing adjustment, cam-chain tensioner shoe inspection, Dyna oil, transmission, primary and fork fluid changes, and more; the Touring Edition Part II showcases some of the most recent Harley-Davidson technology updates and covers Brembo caliper brake pad replacement, a review of ABS and electronic throttle control, cam- chain tensioner shoe inspection, stock air cleaner upgrade, custom rotor installation, and more.”
Check out the sample video clips (Note: these are hosted on YouTube and not the high-quality video you get on their DVD) and see for yourself that you can wrench on your bike. The best part is that it’s like Bob is your mechanical-wizard friend who’s there to help you and he never gets annoyed when you ask him the same question over and over until you understand it. Having your new best friend helping you on a DVD means just hitting reverse, then play until you understand.

Be sure to visit Fix My Hog’s website at for a detailed explanation of all of their videos and if you’re still got some questions or reservations give Dennis a call. “I’m available at 619-269-9321, call and you’ll hear, ‘Hi this is Dennis at Fix My Hog’ and I’ll answer any questions about the videos. People often call and ask, ‘Aw man, can I really do it?’ and my answer to that is if I can do it, anybody can do it. Remember, I am not a wrench.

For more information or to order, visit, or call 619/269-9321.
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