Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

5Suits you

Spend a minute or two ad­just­ing lever span/height and the lev­els of the foot con­trols. The last owner might have been a foot taller or shorter – just hop­ping on and ex­pect­ing some­one else’s set-up to be OK can re­sult in dis­com­fort, or not be­ing able to safely con­trol the bike. It’s also pos­si­ble that the last owner tweaked the po­si­tion of the hand con­trols, so check they suit you and ad­just if nec­es­sary. While you are at it, en­sure that noth­ing is foul­ing the con­trols – swing the bars from lock-to-lock – and the cables aren’t stick­ing. Does the throt­tle snap back when you let go of the twist grip? Get it right to start with.

6Screwed to­gether?

Con­sci­en­tious sellers some­times take the pan­els off for a deep clean, or the bike might have had a fresh ser­vice ready for sale. All good news, but a quick­nut and bolt check on crit­i­cal fas­ten­ers (sump plugs, oil fillers, brake bolts and any bodywork fit­tings re­moved for ser­vic­ing) is 10 min­utes well spent and will also help you fa­mil­iarise your­self with your new ac­qui­si­tion. If you want to go one bet­ter, use a torque wrench and the own­ers’ man­ual to check that the wheel nuts etc are tight­ened cor­rectly (too tight can be as bad as too loose). Mis­takes hap­pen, but you don’t want to find out on the road.

7Gassed up to go

Well, duh, right? It’s worth hav­ing a splash in a fuel can to put in it, or fill up within the first mile – some deal­ers drain tanks for show­room health and safety, and if you’ve driven a hard bar­gain they’re un­likely to throw much gas in to the deal. Sim­i­larly, some pri­vate sellers be­grudge new own­ers a fiver’s worth of un­leaded, and leave their old ride run­ning on fumes.

8Good and le­gal

Blue lights in the mir­ror aren’t the ideal way to end your first ride. Make sure the num­ber­plate is le­gal, and all the lights are func­tion­ing as they should be. If it has af­ter­mar­ket ex­haust/s, check they’re ap­proved for road use. If they’re not, you’ll need to swap, or be pre­pared to run the traf­fic po­lice gaunt­let. It’s up to you – but you should at least know the score.

9Slow ride, take it easy…

Spend the first 10 miles warm­ing ev­ery­thing up and tak­ing it steady. It’s a chance to feel your way in to the han­dling, per­for­mance and brakes, but also to de­ter­mine if there are any is­sues to re­solve be­fore ex­ploit­ing the abil­i­ties of your bike. It doesn’t hurt to stop af­ter th­ese fa­mil­iari­sa­tion miles, and give ev­ery­thing a check-over at the road­side.

Keep your bike safe from thiev­ing


Philippe has 21 SWMS on the go

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