Covering The Smallest Things Can Lend To A Better Ride For Your Motorcycle
By Michael C. Podlesny
With a new tire gauge, a cloth, and the owner's manual in hand, I step up to my motorcycle with a mild sense of apprehension. What am I doing here? I'm a girl who takes her car in for oil changes, and then only when I remember to.
This is different. I ride hands on, so I might as well get to know my machine in an effort to improve her performance. With a motorcycle I can access the oil myself, in a check to keep her running smoothly. Oil, gas, tires, chains.
Stuff they covered in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation* training class, stuff that needs to be checked before every ride to keep us on the road. Start with a glance, decide the tires look good, they seem to be pretty sturdy and in good shape.
Breaking in the gauge while double checking the manufacturerís recommendations on the sidewall show that pressure is well within range. Iíve heard of the tire gauge/valve stem caps that will turn colors if your pressure gets too low, which sounds like an excellent idea.
In practice though, these are discouraged for a motorcycle because the weight will wear on the valve stem faster. The stems look fine, no noticeable tears or wears on the street rubber that I need to watch, so I check tires off the mental list. Move on to the chain, since Iím sitting right here.
No kinks in the links, it was just tightened a few weeks ago for the mileage checkup and seems to be moving as it should. The recommendation is to add lube every 500 miles or so, right after a ride so the lube can work in as the chain cools down, keeping the constant motion from basically drying it out.
What gets messy is the dirt that so much grease attracts! Kerosene cleans quickly, removing the grime, and there are other products that will work just as well without the harsher effects of gasoline. The teeth on the sprockets look good, a nice fit into the grooves giving a firm grip while I add grease to the bottom and end loop of the chain.
While the chain keeps the wheels turning, and the tires keep the wheels turning, the gas and oil keep the engine going. The manual will suggest the best octane of fuel to keep the engine performing at capacity. And like most, Iíve found out my tank and reserve capacity on my own, so now I know just how many miles I can go before refueling.
Oil will keep the engine from seizing by coating and protecting the moving parts inside, much like the lube on the chain. The oil filter looks easy enough to access for an oil change and after a few seconds I find the dipstick and check those levels. Iím pleased to see that my bike is operating with good levels at this time, so I note to myself that I can change the oil in another few miles.
No more than an hour out of my evening of basic checkup and maintenance will help prevent grinding or blowout type disasters down the road. The changes like air-intake and mufflers, or adjustments on the carburetor will add more power to a machine that is taken care of. It leaves me with a great feeling on my next ride knowing that the basics covered so I can relax and enjoy the ride.
About the Author
Heather Francell is a freelance writer for Indocquent.com
Indocquent.com is an online resource that allows businesses and individuals to promote their products and services in 20,000 cities in over 200 countries around the world.
By: Heather Francell
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