Maintaining your bike is all a matter of routine
SPRING is almost here and summer's just around the corner! It's the time of year when more and more people think about taking to the roads on two wheels.
Motorcycling is not only exhilarating, it's also a money-saver, an attractive attribute in today's economic climate.
One thing to remember is that motorcycles need servicing more regularly than cars, every 5,000km, in fact.
Torbay's motorcyclists are well served by RN Motorcycles, among others. They are based at Church Street Garage, in Paignton, which is also a motorcycle MOT testing station.
Holiday Home FOR SALE in Brixham, South Devon £2500 OFF any Regal...View details
Holiday Home FOR SALE IN BRIXHAM WITH SEA VIEWS over looking St. Mary's Bay beach. Come and take a look today. ONE WEEK ONLY. Facilities on site. Pools, Ents, Club, Shop. Quiet park with stunning area
Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or with a P/X on park. Come and take a look today and own your own part of South Devon. For allot less than you can imagine!! Letting permitted
Contact: 01803 220485
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Proprietors Terry and Jayne Hall have years of experience behind them in servicing and repairs.
They also have bikes for sale, and can provide a range of accessories for both bikes and riders.
A basic service comes with a written inspection checklist with more than 50 points scrutinised, covering tyres and wheels, controls, lights and electrical components, engine and transmission, frame and suspension and stands.
Jayne points out that RN Motorcycles is very much a 'customer-led' operation and the customer will always get whatever level of service they ask for.
She advises that motorcyclists need to develop a habit of checks and inspections every time they use their bikes and adhere to weekly, monthly and quarterly maintenance routines.
Simple checks made on a regular basis are essential. Check the service schedule in the handbook or workshop manual so you know mileage intervals for checking, adjusting, lubricating and renewing all service items on your bike.
Keeping tyres correctly inflated will give them a longer life. A pencil-type tyre gauge, used regularly, will help you instinctively 'know' what your tyres feel like when correctly inflated.
Some motorcycles have two brake fluid reservoirs, one for the front, usually found on the handlebars, and one for the back, usually tucked away somewhere under the saddle. Both should be checked regularly. Topping up should only be done from a new, sealed bottle as brake fluid tends to absorb moisture over time. If your brake pads are thin and due for replacement don't top up the reservoir straight away. Replace the pads first and the level in the reservoir will rise automatically.
Lubricate the chain and sprockets often - every five running hours - with a commercial chain spray, using newspaper to protect the wheel rim. Wait five minutes before wiping away excess oil.
Cleaning a dirty chain after a long ride on a dirt road, for instance, is best done after leaving it to dry overnight. Dry mud is easy to brush off with a small steel wire brush the next morning. If you do want to clean it with a solvent don't use petrol as this dries out the small rubber O-rings in the chain. Use a commercial chain cleaner or diesel fuel as these are oil based.
Check your coolant level if you own a water-cooled bike, using a mix of antifreeze and water - usually 50/50.
Don't overlook the wiring. Check for loose and frayed wires as these can cause short circuits. And make sure you know where your fuses are.
Regular oil and filter changes are important in keeping your bike in tip-top condition. Checking the oil level is not the simplest matter on a motorbike so make sure you read the manufacturers handbook very carefully. Beware, an under-filled crankcase can be disastrous while an overfilled one may flood your air cleaner with oil.
If you are in any doubt with any aspect of motorcycle maintenance, always seek advice from a local dealer or take your bike to a professional to carry out the appropriate safety checks. Better safe than sorry.
You can find more tips and advice by checking out RN Motorcyles on 'Facebook' or on their website: www.rn-motorcycles.co.uk