As motorcyclists, we are both responsible for the safe running of our bike and the safety of others around us on the road. To do this, we must stay focused while on the road and assure that our bikes are in good running condition. Here are some tips to follow:
1. Tires - It is a good idea to monitor your bike tires periodically during the riding season. No one wants to go out and find a flat or bald tire. Today, there is a rubber offered for various compounds to suit nearly every riding style. Be honest with yourself as to whether you go in a straight line or drag the occasional knee. Be prepared to replace the rubber when you need to. Check those wear bars.
2. Mirrors - They say what's behind you doesn't matter but when you are on the street, you need to be aware of your situation in front, on the sides and behind you at all times. You can help yourself avoid an accident by being aware of escape routes on either side of you should the immediate need to leave the road arise. A speeding vehicle behind you that you need to avoid is visible to you only if you check your mirrors.
3. Helmet - Oils and sweat tends to take their toll on the material helmets are made of over time. If you have had your helmet more than five years, it is time to replace it. There are polymers, resins, and glues that will make the inside of the helmet begin to degrade over time.
4. Brake fluid - Neglecting to change your break fluid will mean increasingly less stopping power and a spongy feel when you press the break lever. Instead of changing the brake pads and lines, you might try bleeding the lines first. This can positively change things dramatically, can and you know how important being able to stop your motorcycle is. You might get in the habit of changing the oil at the same time.
5. Tire pressure - A motorcycle's handling can be compromised by both under and over deflated tire pressure. It's an easy task to check the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure in the owner's manual and adjust it when needed. You can even use a regular bike pump to check it.
6. Chain slack - Again, neither a loose or tight chain is good. Check your owner's for the correct interval but it is usually between 500-700 miles. If it does need adjusting use the SnapJack product to get the rear tire in the air. Clean and lube the chain and be sure to use the recommendations from the factory to be sure of proper chain tension. Be aware that dull sprocket teeth can cause a chain to jump under acceleration and can be dangerous. It is always a good idea to change at the same time both the sprockets and chains.
7. Brake Lever - You can never be sure when you may need to react quickly when in traffic or on the road. When in an emergency situation, it is important to have at least one finger over the brake and clutch and have the right foot ready to brake. You need both the brake and clutch exactly where you need them. Be sure you are able to squeeze both levels.
8. Face shield - Be sure your face shield is clean. Mild soap and a soft cloth are all you need. If the shield gets scratched, replace it. Storing it around gasoline, exhaust fumes or excessive heat is not a good idea and may cause degradation of the material it is made from. When you take the shield off, be sure to set in down on a flat and secure surface.
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