ANCIENT CITY CYCLES TIPS TO KEEP YOU ENJOYING YOUR RIDE
Modern bikes require less maintenance than they did in the 60’s and 70’s but they still need a lot more maintenance than a car. This higher reliability also means that there are a whole bunch of motorcyclists who haven’t a clue how to work on their bikes or what really needs to be done to ensure reliability
It is a motorcyclist best interest to have some basic maintenance knowledge. The more care and maintenance you give a bike the longer it will last. Preforming general maintenance on your motorcycle will also help you spot problems before they become expensive.
Things you should Check regularly
Here is a list of some of the most important things to check on a motorcycle. Even doing a little can make a big difference. Battery, Oil, Tire, Brakes, Chain and Sprocket,(shaft drive, belt drive) and fuel.
Keep your tires correctly inflated and they will last much longer , especially in a warmer climate. A tire that is very under-inflated generates a lot of heat which can lead to a blowout. Tires that run too hot also wear out more quickly. The most common motorcycle breakdown is for tire damage.
Keep a pencil type tire gauge and use it regularly until you know what your tires feel like correctly inflated. Use of a gauge and visual inspection should be second nature.
Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time and becomes less effective. Fluid should be replaced every year and your brakes will perform at their very best.
Motorcycles have up to two brake fluid reservoirs, one for the front and one for the back. Both should be checked regularly. Only top off your brake fluid from a new, sealed bottle as brake fluid absorbs moisture over time. If the brake pads are thin and due for replacement, replace them. Never ride on damaged or too thin pads. If you allow your brake pads to go down to the metal your brake disc will be damaged resulting in an unnecessary and expensive replacement. Braided steel brake lines will increase the performance of your brakes by roughly 50%.
Chains and Sprocket, Shaft Drives, Belts
Chains should be lubricated often with a commercial chain spray every time you fill with gas. Spray liberally on the side of the chain that comes in contact with the sprockets. Spray both left and right hand side of the chain. Spinning the rear tire will ensure that the rest of the chain is lubricated when it comes into contact with the sprocket and pinion. This is best done when you return home from your ride while the chain is still warm.
Bike chains are never taut but must be able to sag between ¾” to 1” ¼ at the midpoint between the two sprockets. The sag is used when the bike suspension moves up and down over uneven surfaces.
Even though shaft drives on motorcycles require little maintenance it is suggested that you replace the shaft drive oil every time you change the oil.
Belt drives with shaft drives do not require a lot of maintenance. Every time you change the oil on your motorcycle check the belt tension and adjust if necessary. Make sure the belt is always clean.
Check your oil level when it is cold before you ride. If it is not at tis high or max level top it up before going out.
Regular oil and filter changes will keep your motorbike running well. Make sure you regularly check and keep your oil level at its high or max level. It’s best to check your oil level when it is in a level position. An under filled oil level can be disastrous and too much oil over the limit may flood your air cleaner with oil.
Check the fluid levels on each chamber. If any chamber is low, top it up. Use only distilled water or deionized water, Never use tap water.
Keep the battery charged to 100%, recharging when the lights dim, that starter sounds weak, or the battery hasn’t been used in more than two weeks.