Something we don’t think about very often until we’re standing on the side of the road with a broken motorcycle. What??? You never thought about checking _______(fill in the blank) on a regular basis??? Well, here’s an idea that may prevent you from wasting time waiting for a ride and an expensive repair bill.
It’s simple…it’s called “Preventive Maintenance.” We all know by now that every time the time changes here in California, we should change the batteries in our smoke detectors. I do because invariably, the battery goes out at 3am and starts chirping. To make matters worse, it’s always the smoke detector in the living room on the 14’ ceiling!!!
I’ve decided to take this concept over to the preventive maintenance I do on my Harley. I have a second job and payday for that job is on the 15th of each month. Since this is my “fun money” job, I’m usually looking forward to the 15th because there’s always something I want to buy!
Since the 15th is easily remembered for me, I’m going to make it a point to take an hour or two and go over all those little details on the bike that make life much easier when they work. Here’s some of the things I will be looking for…
Tire Pressure: With all the temperature changes, it’s a good idea to watch that tire pressure. This is one of those items that need constant checking to ensure your safety while on the bike.
Oil Level: You really should get in the habit of checking this every other time you fill your gas tank. If you’re like me, I know I don’t burn oil but I check it anyways cuz it’s pretty important.
Radiator Fluid: Oops…wrong vehicle!!! Just making sure you’re paying attention!
Brake Fluid: Probably don’t need to check it too often but keep an eye on it. Remember, you have two cylinders with fluid. Make sure you use the proper fluid as noted in your maintenance manual.
Miscellaneous nuts and bolts: You don’t need me to tell you but these things vibrate a lot. Carry some common sizes of wrenches (7/16, 1/2, 9/16, ect.) as you crawl around your ride and give a check to all those little nuts and bolts that keep it together. You’d be surprised how some of them loosen up!!!
Cables: Some new bikes don’t have as many but it’s always a good idea to lube the clutch and throttle cables if you have them. I loosen the clutch (opposite of tightening it) and spray some good quality lubricant and let it run down the cable. Do the same with the throttle cables and they will last a lot longer.
While you’re doing this, keep your eyes open for anything that “just doesn’t look right.” If you have a question, take your ride to our Sponsors, Bakersfield Harley Davidson and check with the Service Manager, Rob. Rob has been around a few bikes and knows what “looks right” and what “looks wrong.” At least you will become more familiar with your motorcycle or you’ll avert a potential problem before it leaves you stranded on the road.
One last thing before I close…it’s going to get hot pretty soon. Don’t rely on someone else to bring you some water on your ventures out into the country. Make sure you bring plenty of water and even a snack or two on those treks to the coast or up into the mountains. I learned a long time ago to pack for the worst case scenario so it won’t happen!
See you at the next HOG event…Don’t forget, Casa De Fruta is coming up soon. Check out the flyer in this newsletter and rest up for the first weekend in June. Flyers are also available at Bakersfield Harley Davidson. Hope to see you there.
AS ALWAYS…RIDE SAFE…