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Going on a long ride? Tips to prepare your bike

November 09, 2013 09:16 IST

Going on a long ride? Tips to prepare your bike

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It will be a good idea to understand how to prepare your bike before any long ride. It is very much important to get your bike serviced and check all all parts before you encounter roads. Here is set of guidelines, rules and tips to ensure your bike is in good condition.

Bike preparation

1. Tubes and tyres

These are most important things to check before you start your ride. Make sure your tyres are in good condition. Keep an extra tube with you in case you encounter flat tyre.

2. Rims, spokes and wheel balancing

Check your wheel balancing. As our trip will involve off-roading, ensure your wheels are properly balanced. If you get your spokes fixed, see that no spoke is protruding inside tube.

3. In case your bike has modified / custom fit rims / tyres, we suggest that you also carry proper equipments to repair those items. One cannot guarantee availability of all custom spare parts. Get your shock absorbers inspected. They should be in top working order.

4. Check the bushes for the rear shock absorbers and replace if necessary. Check condition of front fork and shock absorbers. If oil seal is broken, get it repaired.

5. Check the rear swing arm bush and replace if needed.


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6. Check your chain and rear sprocket for wear. If you find that there are less than four notch adjustments to go on your chain adjuster cam, replace your chain and both your sprockets.

7. Clutch is most important part of your bike. Check your clutch setting and adjust it properly without the trace of any drag, slip etc.

8. Check your battery and the earthing connections. If you have any history of electrical trouble, be sure that the problem is completely solved. The water, vibrations, dust and maybe snow that riders are likely to encounter on the route could further accentuate existing problems.

9. Check for play in the steering column and replace the ball race bearing if necessary.

10. Check all the rubber components like carburettor hose, fuel lines, air filter rubber etc. for cracks and tears and replace if in doubt.

11. Check all cables and if found bent or frayed, replace immediately. Do not use oil in friction free cables.

Finally, tighten all nuts and bolts of your bike. Ensure that each part is properly tuned and works fine before you start your ride.


Image: Honda CBR 250R
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Engine

Engine is the heart of your bike. We suggest you keep your engine in proper tuning before you start your ride. If your bike has history of giving engine related troubles, fix all problems and tune your engine. It would be good idea to go for a small ride this weekend before taking her on long ride.

Things to avoid on the bike

1. Anything that is likely to take a beating from rough roads and vibrations, that includes

2. Extra lights

3. Extra mirrors

4. Heavy after-market horns -- more so for fuel injected bikes

5. Arc or gas welding on the chassis

6. Side boxes


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7. Any other unnecessary add-ons

8. Non-standard high rise or low handlebars

9. Alloy wheels

10. Smaller wheels if they drastically reduce your ground clearance

11. Imported street tyres, as these could puncture and suffer for grip on dirt surfaces

12. Extended front forks

13. Modified swing arms

14. Shortened or extended chassis, chain

You should either remove any non-standard item from your bike or be prepared to service it on your own.


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Tool kit

Ideally, we hope everyone has basic idea of performing basic repairing of their bike. You should be carrying proper tool-kit and few spare parts like spark plug, clutch/accelerator cable, extra tube etc. with you. Most common reason for break down on such rides is puncture. Spark plug may also give you trouble in rains. It is advised that each rider be able to remove the front/rear wheel of the motorcycle. The rider should also be able to open his spark plug(s).


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Learn to service your bike

We expect that you should have good understanding of how basic repairing is performed on bike. It would be good if you know how to change tube, tight chains, adjusting cables, changing spark plug & air filter, replace bulbs and fuses and checking clutch / engine oil.


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Ensure a smooth ride

Make sure your bike is in top shape before the trip, a good bike will greatly enhance your experience and a troublesome bike will definitely be villain on ride. We suggest you check your bike every time you take break and report any malfunctioning to mechanics on the spot. Follow traffic rules, respect fellow riders and most importantly, respect pedestrians.


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