Maintaining your bike
Tips on maintining your motorcycle
Replacing Wheel Bearings
The condition of wheel bearings are often overlooked, when you replace the tyres why not check them for free running and make sure they are not worn out. If you need to replace them aerosols of nitrogen are available from plumbers’ merchants. You can ‘freeze’ the bearing so that it contracts and will ‘knock’ into the wheel easier.
Replacing fork seals
It is always advisable to replace the bushes at the same time as it maybe these that are leading to the failure of the fork seal/s in the first place. Use the old fork seal, as a drift to knock the new one home. If you remove the rubber from the outer of the old seal it will not stick in the fork leg.
Make a job easier…
Sometimes you cannot always start and finish a ‘job’ in one day. You may need to order parts so it maybe sometime until it is back together. Why not take a photograph of the project before you start rather than relying on your memory. This may help you on re-assembly.
Masking tape to the rescue…
When pulling off switches, light units, wiring looms or any part of the wiring system, sometimes it is not obvious which wire goes to which on re-assembly. Dabble over masking tape on each ‘connector’, ‘wire’ or ‘block’ and write on the tape where it goes.
Prevent pitting of disc brakes
When your motorcycle is off the road for a while, push the brake pads back so they are no longer in contact with the discs. This will help to prevent pitting that often forms where the pad and disc are in contact. Do not forget to check your brakes before you ride off again.
Nail Varnish and chips
Unfortunately sometimes stones can chip the paint work on our motorcycles, this is bad enough but if water creeps under the paint it will look a whole lot worse. Nail varnish painted over the chip can help stop the elements affecting the area.
A toothbrush can help keep your chain clean too!
Use a toothbrush with a good chain cleaner to remove old chain lube. With the bike on a centre or paddock stand turn the wheel away from you and clean each link individually before applying new lube.
Zip-ties assist bleeding the front brake
Sometimes you just cannot get that last bit of air out of your front brakes. They still feel spongy and it’s frustrating. Using a zip-tie (cable tie) to hold the front brake lever on and leave it in place for about 6 hours. Release the front brake lever and there should be a great improvement.
Stick your grips
It can be annoying, or possible MOT failure and unsafe when your grips ‘spin’ on the handlebars. There are many grip glues out there which help to slide the grips in place and then set. If you have not got any to hand hairspray is a cheap alternative.
Petrol tank removal
If you’re removing your petrol tank for servicing, repairs etc. Use an old tyre as a stand for your tank. The bottom of the tank is less likely to be chipped or marked and is less likely to be damaged.
WD-40 or GT85 are very good at removing old chain lube and general road dirt from your wheels. (Obviously do not apply it to your brake discs).
Where applicable always replace the slider bushes as well as the fork seals. The bushes ‘limit’ the amount of force exerted onto the seals so they last longer.