Oh no, not again, an article on “maintaining your motorcycle” when will these guys understand that we do service on time and we get all faults checked at service stations and we do not need 1000 word lecture like my school teacher on this. Some of you must be thinking like this and you are right. However, we are here to keep things short and simple unlike complicated articles you will find over the internet and magazines and tell you where you are going wrong with your machine. If you do any of these to your motorcycle, it’s time you change it.
Not Reading the Owner’s Manual
First and foremost and in fact the last thing to keep your motorcycle in top condition is following your owner’s manual. Yup, the most ignored book after your history textbook. Owner’s manual is one book that will help you keep your bike running for ages. Ask us, our reader has a Pulsar 200 – DTSI for 5 years and is bone stock and it still runs so damn smooth and everything works beautifully and precisely that people think he just took it out of the garage after years. The km/hr and km/l numbers are still the same after the first service was commenced, which was long done. The owner’s manual is the Bhagavad-Gita, Quran or Bible of your bike. If you are atheist and by chance are on Face-book, keep these two books close to you. If you have lost your owner’s manual, you can find it on motorcycling forums and a simple Google search will suffice your needs. For example the Pulsar owner’s manual is available on their website for download and viewing,
Not Replacing the Parts
Periodic maintenance is EVERYTHING. Changing your spark plugs, front fork oil, changing rubber parts at regular intervals keeps your bike “feeling new”. Replacing parts according to manual is something people in India do not follow. For example, if your cone-set is show play and when you brake loud “TAAK” noise comes, its time to replace it or get the handle tighten temporarily and get the job done as soon as possible. The motorcycle will still be a joy to ride and pleasurable on daily commutes if the service is done on time and the consumables are changed periodically.
Delaying Oil Changes
Then there is delaying. Most owners delay their oil change and service intervals by a week or few hundred kilometres and its fine. Delaying oil change solely depends on what oil you use. Mineral oil should be drained at 2000 kms and synthetic and semi synthetic oil should be changed around 4000-5000 kms tops. However if you keep delaying it till the very last moment, noises will creep in and getting it serviced then will end with a huge bill, because wear and tear has reached its peak and the parts need replacement.
Not Washing Your Motorcycle
The most common and very serious crime done to motorcycle by Indian motorcyclist is not washing their bikes and then complaining that the “Bike is rusty, quality sucks.” Rusting only occurs to main chassis parts, because it lacks of pressure wash regularly. Two year old motorcycles become rust buckets, which is beyond stupidity from the owners and utter shame to the brotherhood of riders. Regularly means once a month or when it becomes extremely dirty due to slush and dust. Some parts in motorcycles are cheap and they do not last long, agreed, but most of it? It’s because of your casual attitude towards the motorcycle.
Clutch is Not a Play Tool
Second thing is our personal experience and that is people getting their “clutch softer”. What in the name of riding are you doing? “Clutch is too hard and i am making it softer so it’s easy in traffic” You are totally insane to do this. There’s a reason why the manufacturer has chosen to keep the clutch harder. With a soft clutch, gearshifts are harder and not slick which hampers your performance, and burns your friction plates in the long run, your pressure plates too. All this hampers fuel efficiency by a huge margin. The biggest blunder we have seen is people doing this to Honda and Yamaha bikes which have the lightest and most progressive clutches and yet still. *sigh*
Don’t Venture into the Unknown, Ask Your Technician
It’s ok to not know things, but it’s stupid to bring your bike apart without knowing how to put it back again. If you don’t know something about, it’s best to understand it from someone who does like a technician or take it to the service centre. If you don’t understand what a “clutch switch” is for example, ask your service adviser or technician politely to help you understand what it is. Every bike is different, so do not confuse the tips to be used on a cruiser with that on a sports bike and vice versa. Reading your manual should give you that basic start to knowing your bike.
Let us end this here or else there is no limit to the crimes done to motorcycles in India. Motorcycle police may end up arresting these people next time they are caught doing all this “red-handed”. We are always questioned that how your personal motorcycle is so new and smooth even after years of use and abuse and now we have released our biggest scoop. Or you could look at it this way; you won’t have to take that walk of shame the next time your motorcycle breaks down leaving you stranded. As they say, owning a vehicle is an experience more than simply riding it.