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Tips n' stuff

Here are a few tips you may not have known about.

After buying a new bike:
Buy the time you have to change the first tire on your bike, take the time to pull out the swingarm pivot and grease it. Another thing on the list is the chain adjuster bolts. Take them out and grease them real good, especially on the newer bikes with the aluminum frames. When they get stuck, if they do come out without drilling, the swingarm is always stripped and need helicoils or some type of repair. Take all of the electrical connectors apart and fill both sides of them with dielectric grease. When they are full, force them together and wipe the excess off.

Cleaning Your Bike:
If your bike is only slightly dirty, it's best to "dry" clean it with the aid of a stiff-bristled nylon brush and some damp rags rather than subjecting it to an unnecessary flood of water.
Don't start a thorough washing unless you have enough time to completely dry your vehicle and lightly lubricate its bare metal areas. This reduces the possibility of corrosion or rust. Stuff a rag in the silencer outlet, to keep water from getting in.(Be sure to remove it before starting). Avoid pointing the stream of water into the airbox, at the ignition components up under the fuel tank, or at the steering head and suspension pivot bearings.
As soon as the chain is dry, lubricate it thoroughly and wipe off any excess lubricant. This is important because the chain can begin to rust within hours after washing. Remove the ignition cover and wipe away any moisture. Leave the cover off for a couple of hours to let the ignition cavity air dry, or use compressed air to lightly blow-dry the area.
What about coin-operated spray washer? They're tempting but, in the long run, your investment will hold up better if you avoid them. High-pressure spray can penetrate the dust seals of the suspension pivot points and steering head bearings - driving dirt inside and needed lubrication out.

Inspection and Maintenance; Before Each Outing:

  • Inspect tires for damage or improper inflation pressure. Proper air pressure will provide maximum stability, riding comfort and tire life.
  • Inspect wheel rims and spokes for damage.
  • Regular cleaning, lubrication, and proper adjustment will help to extend the service life of the drive chain. Never replace a new drive chain on badly worn sprockets, or the other way around.
  • Check air cleaner element for condition and contamination. Clean air cleaner element with solvent and then wash with hot soapy water; rinse it thoroughly. Once the element is dry, soak it in proper filter oil, not motor oil, then lightly squeeze out the excess, then put it back into the bike.
  • Check operation of front and rear brakes and any leaks or pad wear. Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, it should be filled to the upper level mark.
  • Check clutch operation and free play.
  • Check your transmissions oil level. Check your owner's manual on how often it should be changed and the oil type.
  • Check all parts for looseness. Tighten all loose nuts and bolts, but don't over tighten.
  • For dirt bikes - Make sure that the fork boots are clean and not packed with mud and dirt. Check for signs of oil leaks.
  • Inspect coolant system conditions for proper coolant level, condition of hoses and any leaks.

Winter Storage:
Whenever you plan to store your vehicles for more than a month, put a fuel stabilizer in fuel tank and let it run for ten minutes. Then drain the carburetor float bowls. If the fuel is left in the bowls for over a month, the carburetor jets may clog, resulting in starting and driveability problems.
Clean battery cables and remove battery for storage. Battery should be slow (trickle) charged at least every 30 days if it's not being used, or the best thing is to buy a battery maintainer, hook it up and check levels once a month.

Break-in and Initial Maintenance:
For New or Newly rebuilt vehicles, for proper break-ins helps insure that some of the most important and expensive components on your vehicle provide maximum performance and service life. Whenever any of these items are replaced; piston, rings, cylinder, crank or crank bearings. Always allow the engine to warm up for at least two minutes before riding off, preferably until the side of the cylinder is very warm to the touch through your riding glove. Slowly increase rpms, and don't blip the throttle.
Warming the engine before riding is important to prevent cold seizures and plug fouling. Do not hold the throttle in one position for more than a few seconds. Avoid rolling the throttle off during break-in. It is better to shut the throttle completely.

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