We ride them and ride them and ride them. Once in a while, when you get around to it, the oil gets changed, or a new set of tires or chain – the stuff that has to be done to keep you on the road. But what about all the rest, you know, the stuff we don’t think about or see. Like a car we jump and go. Unlike a car, however, bikes are a lot more exposed to inclement weather conditions.
Get hit in a downpour that lasts and lasts and all the oils and greases will have been washed away. Ever notice how after riding in the rain your chain is clean? Well the same thing happens to other lubed areas.
Then there are the fluids and juices you don’t see and rarely, if ever, think about. Motor oil is a no-brainer. But what about that brake fluid? Does it look like dark tea through that little window or is it clear. Radiator fluid always looks good, green, blue or purple, yet it does become less effective after a few years. When was the last time you lubed your throttle or clutch cables? No doubt for the above mentioned quite a while probably.
This list goes on. Every owner’s manual has a table to let you know the intervals of fluid changes and areas to be lubed. Example: in my last blog I mentioned the about shortening my kickstand. We wont go into that again, but while I had it off it seemed the perfect opportunity to clean and re-grease the pivot points, spring ends, and retainer bolt. Well one thing led to another. Lubed all the cables, shift linkage, and pretty much everything that moves.
The brake fluid hadn’t been changed in 6 years. The book recommends every two years. That spongy feeling sneaks up on you as the brake fluid breaks down, absorbing moisture and creating tiny air bubbles. Bleed your brakes, or have it done and you will be shocked at the difference.
This blog goes out to all riders and especially riders who, because of winter, have the bike collecting dust in the garage. Now is the perfect time for due diligence to your machine. If you have everything you need lined up all you need are a few hours.
For those of us who plan on keeping our bikes this is important stuff. If my 05’ Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom could smile, it would be now. Plan on riding it until I am old and grey. No, wait a minute, I am old and grey already. At any rate, a few more years.
Take care of your bike and it will take good care of you!
Ride safe, be considerate!
Aloha, john g