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Motorcycle maintenance

Motorcycle Storage

Motorcycle GaragingDepending on where you live, storing your motorcycle for the winter is critical to keep it looking great and avoid harsh winter elements that can wear down the condition of your bike.

There are a couple of winter factors that can harm your motorcycle. Water, temperature and sun.

The ideal storage, of course, is a closed in facility like a garage or shed. Keeping it out of the wind, rain/snow and sun will give your bike a longer life and keeping it lasting longer.

I have a 2004 Honda VTX 1300S, with over 80,000 miles on it. By keeping it stored in a garage, it looks the same as when I drove it off the dealer’s showroom.When on long cross-country trips, I’ll cover the bike during the night stay-overs. By covering it, it not only keeps the weather off of it, it is also a deterrent to theft.

When storing the motorcycle, it is important to keep the battery plugged into a battery tender or trickle charger. It is also a good practice to go out and start it up once a month to keep the oil lubricating all the internal moving parts. It also keeps me motivate and looking forward to the spring, when I climb on the bike and start it up.

Another factor to consider is that by garaging your motorcycle in a locked garage, you are improving your risk of it getting stolen. Motorcycles sitting out at the side of the house, or even in your backyard, make it enticing for thieves to  haul it away. I have a relative who had his motorcycle stolen from a parking lot. A couple of months later he was contacted by the police from a neighboring state saying that they had found his motorcycle. Problem was it wasn’t in one piece. the thief had wrecked it and also broke it down to sell off the parts.

So, keep your motorcycle safe. Keep it garaged.

Posted by Brad Stone - October 31, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Categories: Motorcycle maintenance   Tags:

Getting Your Motorcycle Ready for Summer

My motorcycle rideHere it is almost March and I’m itching to get my motorcycle ready for summer. If you are like me, living in a winter climate, I never completely put my bike away for the winter. Since I got my bike in 2004, and 80,000 miles later, I can honestly say I have ridin my motorcycle every single month. So, at least monthly through the winter months, I am climbing on my bike, getting the oil flowing through and over all the bearings and moving parts, keeping a coat of oil over everything. I do keep a trickle charger hooked up all winter, to keep the battery charged through those cold winter nights. This winter in Salt Lake City, Utah, we did get down to some single digit nights.

So, getting my motorcycle ready for summer may be different than others. In the early spring, I usually do the following:

  • Replace the oil. (I use synthetic. Have done so since my first oil change 79,500 miles ago)
  • Replace the oil filter.
  • Replace the air filter.
  • Replace the spark plugs.
  • Replace the rear gear fluid.
  • Lubricate all levers and exterior moving parts.
  • Check all nuts and bolts for tightness.
  • Check air pressure in tires.
  • Check radiator fluid level.
  • Check brake fluid levels.
  • Give it a good cleaning and a fresh layer of wax.

And I’m good for the year. Depending on the miles I travel during the year, I may change the oil and filter once more. When I change my tires, I always check the wheel bearings. If I feel any roughness when turning them by hand, I replace them. Bearings for a VTX are really inexpensive. I also keep an extra set on hand. And, as a side note. When it comes to changing my tires. I will usually do them myself, or at least take the wheel off and take it to the local shop to change the tire.

I will NEVER allow a dealership to ever change my tires on my bike. I had an experience (my last one with a dealer) where they changed a rear tire and HAND TIGHTENED my rear axle bolt, and HAND TIGHTENED my rear caliper bolt. I didn’t discover the problem until I was heading down the road and put on my rear brake stopping for a stop light and heard a “clank.” Pulled over and discovered my caliper bolt had come out and the caliper had slipped. At that time I also noticed the rear axle bolt had been hand tightened. I’ll never put my life in the hands of a stupid mechanic again. So I do all my own maintenance. Plus, I enjoy working on the bike.

Enjoy spring riding, and ride safe!

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Posted by Brad Stone - February 25, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Categories: Motorcycle maintenance   Tags: