As you read above, my current motorbike has done quite a lot of miles. The trick to keep it running without faults or breakdowns is resumed to a regular maintenance and to the fact that I don’t molest it with wheelies and other stunts; however, all along it’s 90.000 miles, this bike has been ridden hard many times. So how come there are no rattles, knocks or oil consumption you ask.. the answer is simple. Frequent oil changes, I recommend every 3000/3500 miles (5000/6000 km), air filter changed or cleaned if you have an aftermarket one and oil filter every second oil change. Of course, everything else that wears out is replaced without delays (break pads, chain kit, cam chain, etc, etc).
If you are planning a long journey on your bike it’s imperative to do a service and run a full bike check in order to minimize the risk of breakdown or parts getting worn out before you get back from your trip.
BRAKES:Check the front and rear brake pads, if they show to be close to the end, you might want to replace them, as riding with worn out brake pads causes disc brake damage and you don’t want to lose time during your holidays searching a garage for urgent repairs. Also check that brake calipers, disc brakes and brake lines are all in good working order and brake fluid is at the level.
TYRES:Make sure that they have plenty of thread and are in optimal condition , preferably without any puncture repairs. You can also check your wheel bearings if you know how to (or ask your mechanic to do so). Before leaving I recommend to adjust and check the tyre pressure.
OIL/ COOLANT/ WATER: An oil change is recommended, especially if you are going on a longer road trip or if you just changed it simply check he oil level. Check the coolant level and radiator water, if needed add it up to the level.
ELECTRICS:Check if all lights are working properly including horn, relays and brake sensors. If the battery is low maybe it is better to replace it or if it is discharging quickly maybe you should look at the rectifier.
OTHER:Bolts and nuts, check mainly the joint points of the bike, fairing bolts and wheel nuts as you don’t want your wheel to come off or to lose fairing panels on the way. Chain, make sure it’s adjusted to a normal tension and lubricated, if before your trip you are adjusting your chain too often, perhaps it is better to replace the chain kit as it might be close to the end of it’s life span. . Check cables such as the clutch cable as sometimes they tend to snap. Check if the throttle is working freely and optimally, you can look into the fork seals and suspension but if you maintain your bike you shouldn’t see any anomalies there. Lubricate all that should be lubricated and give it a good wash before leaving and voila, your bike is ready!!
In conclusion I didn’t say anything new to an experienced biker, but if it happens that you are new to bigger bikes and road trips this will remind you about what should be done before taking off.
GENTLE REMINDER:You are going on holidays on a long bike trip, you don’t want them ruined and your bike on a tow truck because you couldn’t bother to do a bike check up!!!
So, you ran a service on your bike and checked it all round. Your bike is all shinny and ready to go… we can then advance to a new topic… Planning Your Trip