Ban­ish bike break­downs

End your re­la­tion­ship with me­chan­i­cal failures by mak­ing a reg­u­lar date in your garage

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week in MCN -

1 Snapped ca­bles

A sim­ple fail­ure, but enough to strand or en­dan­ger you if it hap­pens at the wrong time. It’s easy to ward off, too: en­sur­ing ca­bles are prop­erly lubed is the im­por­tant first step. A sim­ple clam­pon ca­ble oiler will al­low you to spray an aerosol can with a straw in to the ca­ble. Use a light oil spray, or a graphite lu­bri­cant. Don’t use wa­ter-dis­pers­ing sprays – they’re not thick enough to pro­vide last­ing lu­bri­ci­a­tion.

2 Knack­ered chains

At up to £150 for a fi­nal drive kit, there’s a fi­nan­cial in­cen­tive in look­ing af­ter your chain – not to men­tion the big bills as­so­ci­ated with a flail­ing chain dam­ag­ing your bike, or even caus­ing a crash. In dry con­di­tions, thor­oughly clean and lu­bri­cate chains ev­ery 400500 miles. Halve that dis­tance in the wet. Pre­cise align­ment aids life too – visit the MCN web­site for de­tails on how to do it.

3 Seized bear­ings

All the time and money that goes in to bike de­vel­op­ment has to be made up some­where – like us­ing a thin ve­neer of grease in bear­ings. Un­less you have rea­son to be­lieve your bike has ever had its chas­sis bear­ings looked at, take a week­end to at­tend to them. A tub of lithium grease ap­plied as lib­er­ally as you can to th­ese ar­eas will help keep wa­ter out and en­sure a longer life.

4 Wir­ing loom failures

Most elec­tri­cal grief can be traced to poor con­nec­tions or earth­ing. If cur­rent can’t flow cleanly, it causes is­sues. Be­fore your loom runs in to prob­lems, take the time to un­plug, clean and treat con­nec­tors with di­elec­tric grease – both where the ter­mi­nals meet, and also in the back of con­nec­tor blocks to help re­duce ox­i­di­s­a­tion on bare ca­ble ends.

5 Known is­sues

No man­u­fac­turer is per­fect when it comes to re­li­a­bil­ity. Many mod­els suf­fer with a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem – of­ten the cause is sim­ple, but re­sul­tant dam­age can cost hun­dreds or thou­sands in re­pairs – not to men­tion the dan­ger and in­con­ve­nience. So get to know your bike – find out what the grem­lins are, what causes them, and how you can pre­vent them.

6 Worn tyres/tyre prob­lems

No tyre lasts for­ever, but you can help get the most life from them. From the start, buy the right tyre. If you do a lot of dual-car­riage­way miles, get a sports-tour­ing tyre. If you mix road and track work you need a tyre to suit. Tyre pres­sures are crit­i­cal – too high or low will af­fect the way the tyre grips and wears. Set pres­sures ac­cord­ing the tyre man­u­fac­turer.

7 Poor brak­ing

Brakes are sim­ple items but can of­ten cause big prob­lems. Stick­ing calipers, warped discs and lack­lus­tre per­for­mance are eas­ily pre­vented. A caliper clean ev­ery 2000 miles or so is enough to pre­vent dirt and cor­ro­sion tak­ing root in your brakes. Pis­tons strug­gling to move can cause un­even pad wear, or over­heat­ing discs/pads/fluid.

8 Scruffy body­work

A tatty bike isn’t dan­ger­ous, but it de­tracts from re­sale value (as well as your pride in the bike) and can be hard to re­verse. Stor­ing un­der a de­cent cover, even in­side, pro­tects it from for­eign ob­jects and UV light. Reg­u­lar clean­ing re­moves dust, bugs and other nas­ties slowly tak­ing the shine off, and a de­cent pol­ish adds a pro­tec­tive layer that looks great too.

9 Bro­ken fit­tings

Bro­ken panel lugs are com­mon – yet easy to fix. Don’t force pan­els if you don’t know how they come out. Sec­ondly, keep the rub­ber grom­mets lubed – sil­i­cone or red rub­ber grease won’t de­grade them. Keep on top of prob­lem fas­ten­ers, es­pe­cially on bikes used through win­ter – mak­ing sure ar­eas that take a ham­mered are ap­pro­pri­ately pro­tected with cop­per grease.

‘Hello, is that the AA? I think I’ve twan­gled my pow­er­valve grom­met in my woodruff key’

NEXT WEEK bike Stop your by boil­ing over chang­ing the coolant

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.