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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is brought to you by Chip and Frag Productions, from an original idea by Chip......

This will grow into a rescource ranging from pre-ride checks to complex things that everyone should know.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Part One - The Pre-Ride Check

Unlike a car, you cannot simply get on your bike and go, it is in your interests to actually ensure that your ride is safe for the street (or track) before each and every ride.

I have a little regime that I have developed over the years, and its held me in good stead.

First off, I check my oil level, I stand the bike upright leaning slightly against me, and eye-ball the level.

I have a quick visual inspection to see if any bolts are backing out – mainly the rearsets, and clip-ons.

Then I try and remember if there is gas in it – I turn the ignition on, and listen for the fuel pump.

I then start the bike, on the grounds that I like to ride with a warm engine, making sure any wanring lights go out.

I walk to the front, and check that the headlights are working, I always check main beam too

I check the front tire, looking for nails, and wear.

Moving around the back, I check the chain – my method is way from scientific – I kick it J upwards gently to check the adjustment, I always, always lube it when I get home from a ride, so I never have a pre-ride lube issue.

I check the rear lights, and the blinkers work, and the brake lights, I press the rear brake, and squeeze the front to ensure that they both work

Next up I do a visual check on the exhaust to make sure its not leaking, and check under the bike for any fluid spots that might point to trouble.

Finally I get it off the stands, sit on it, and check the head bearings adjustment – hold the front brake, and push forwards, any clicking, I know that there is a problem. This also checks that the forks are smooth too.

My last check is as I leave the garage, I tap the rear brake, and ensure that it works, then squeeze the front for the same reason.

By the time I have done this, my bike is warm, and ready to hit the road.
 

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Part two...Tires

Tires are the most important part of your motorcycle to maintain. After the thousands of dollars of suspension and chassis technology, the tires are still the only component that comes in contact with the road, and therefore worth checking on a daily basis



When a tire fails on a car it is an inconvieance. When a tire fails on a motorcycle it is catastrophic at best, often this is deadly.



You should check tire pressure before EVERY ride. Modern radial tires bleed air. It is normal for a tire to lose between 1-5 pounds of air a week. Depending on heat cycles. A pound of air can mean the difference between traction and no traction.



Modern sport bike tires should be kept between 28-and 36 PSI. The higher the ambient temperature the lower the acceptable tire pressure. I would not run 28 degrees in a tire unless it was a race tire on a 100 degree summer day. If you are slightly unsure, use the numbers it the handbook.



The tires should also be checked for punctures, tears, or uneven wear. Sportbike tires are extremely susceptible to punctures. The tire companies try to make tires as light as possible so the carcass is much thinner than a car tire. You should inspect the entire surface before each and every ride.



If you get a puncture. Replace the tire. Sportbike tires are designed for extremely high performance. If they are compromised in ANY WAY they will not perform as they are supposed to. Tire plugs/ patches are for cars and fools only . If you ride around on a plugged tire you will die. Eventually.



Every street tire has what is called a wear bar. These are a strip of rubber that run between the treads. When this strip of rubber becomes exposed the tire is worn out. Period. No more rides. Go get a new tire. If you exceed the wear bar and keep riding you are a dumbass and you will die. Eventually.

If you wear out your tires, replace them with the same size tires that came on your bike. Putting bigger tires on your bike will make it handle worse than putting the tires that are supposed to go on it. If you change tires brands/compounds change both tires. Running tires of two different compounds or construction will make your bike handle badly.

Sportbike tires are expensive. They are finicky. They wear out way too quickly and it pisses me off. But they work really well. They provide more traction than any body can use on the street, and more than most of us can use on the track.



Sportbike tires are expensive, but they are a lot cheaper than a new bike or hospital bills.

[ 01-14-2003, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: [email protected] ]
 

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advanced riders use this acronym for pre ride checks

P -petrol/gas
O -oil level
W -water level
E -electrics (lights,blinkers,stop lights)
R -rubber (tires-condition and pressure)
 

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Originally posted by fRaGgLe:
Part One - The Pre-Ride Check

Moving around the back, I check the chain – my method is way from scientific – I kick it J upwards gently to check the adjustment, I always, always lube it when I get home from a ride, so I never have a pre-ride lube issue.

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">what kind of lube should you use (that sounds like a dirty question
) and how exactly do you lube it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by Vash the Stampede:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by fRaGgLe:
Part One - The Pre-Ride Check

Moving around the back, I check the chain – my method is way from scientific – I kick it J upwards gently to check the adjustment, I always, always lube it when I get home from a ride, so I never have a pre-ride lube issue.

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">what kind of lube should you use (that sounds like a dirty question
) and how exactly do you lube it?
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I use a random chain wax, in the last ten years I doubt I have knowingly bought the same stuff twice, again, I am not anal about it ({Butthead}he said anal{/Butthead}{Beavis} and lube{/Beavis}), when I get home, before I shut the engine down, I put it up on the rear stand, shake the can, and in a controlled first gear, I spray the chain along the bottom, I make sure that there is plenty on, out of gear, shut it down, and walk away.

Once a month I will use WD40 on a warm chain to clean it, the re-lube it.

I use wax because less off if flings off onto my leathers.....
 

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Do you recommend using PJ1? Or is this too messy? Also, if you are poor and don't have a rear stand, how do I lube my chain?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How to lube your chain without a center stand or rear stand......

{disclaimer}

First off I should say that a rear stand costs less that $100(US) and is almost essential for may maintenance jobs, but if you haven't got one, then you need to get creative.

This method is used at your own risk, and takes a bit of patience, trust, and initially a second person.

{/disclaimer}

All directions are from the stance of facing the bike from the kick-stand side.

put your left foot on the kick-stand where it contacts the floor.

Put your left hand on the left bar - and hold it

Put you right hand over the bike, and under the rear seat or, if you have a grab rail, grap it !

gently pull upwards with your right hand, push downwards slightly with your left.

You will find that the bike will lift the rear wheel, and that there is a balance point.

You will be able to balance the bike against your boddy, and with your right hand turn the rear wheel.

Practise this a few times,, and get comfortable with this.

Always lube a warm chain. Choice of lube is up to you, I've used chain wax for years, and my chains last 15-20K miles on average, so I have no complaints. Use seomething designed to lube the chain, if the can does not say chain lube on it, it unlikely to be as good as something that does.

Method #1

Ride your bike to warm the chain.

Kill the engine, put the stand down, and hop off.

Shake the can, and lube the upper side of the bottom run of chain.

Rais the rear wheel (as above), turn it 1/2 turn, drop it down (gently), and lube the top of the bottom run of chain, raise the rear - half a turn, etc.

This takes 10 minutes and at the end of it you will have a nicely lubed chain, and be an expert at picing the back of your bike up


Method #2 - two people

Again - warm chain, again pickup the back of the bike. Person #1 picks the bike up, and moves the wheel, Person #2 lubes the chain - again the top of the bottom run. Two minute Job.

Method #3 - for the insane.....

Warm chain (wel d'oh), pick up the back of the bike, and lean it in such a way as to make it possible for YOU to turn the wheen and lube the chain at the same time. This is hard to learn, and even harder to explain, but I've used it when in a hurry.

Method #4 - don't laugh.....

Sit on the bike, wheel it forward, and have someone follow you lubing the chain as you go.......
 

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Originally posted by GixieChick:
if you are poor and don't have a rear stand, how do I lube my chain?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I feel for ya! When I first started riding, I was on quite a budget and was 'standless'. I went the first 3 months without a rear stand.

My primary suggestion is get a rear stand. Handy Stands sells both front and rear for $99US and people seem to like them, or you could go to a dealer and pick up a Hindle. If there are any bike shows in your area, go with cash in hand. You'll more often than not find someone selling discounted stands (ie. $60US/$100Cdn).

I also don't know if your bike has spools. If your bike doesn't I suggest you get some. It's easier to pop your bike onto a spool stand and the bike can be raised with greater stability. Plus, in the event of a fall, your spools will provide some protection of the swingarm.

My second suggestion, if you're going to lube without a stand, is to remove your chain guard (held on by two little screws). If necessary, clean your chain with WD-40, or kerosene preferably. Clean and/or lube the visible top and bottom sections*, then roll your bike forward about six feet. Repeat a few times until you've gone all the way around. Or you can try 'the fraggle method' noted above, but that really depends on your personal choice and level of confidence (to each his own, but I personally wouldn't do it).

I usually curl an old newspaper under the section of chain I'm lubing so I don't make a mess. (Chain lube can be very messy, especially the runny stuff).

*when using a rearstand, don't bother removing the chain guard. Just spray THE BOTTOM of the chain and the centrifical force will push the lube through the chain. But when not using a stand, go ahead and lube the top since there is no centrif. force and gravity will get the job done.

[ 01-15-2003, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Brolo ]
 
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Originally posted by GixieChick:
Do you recommend using PJ1? Or is this too messy? Also, if you are poor and don't have a rear stand, how do I lube my chain?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">PJ1 will do the job it's intended to do (lube your chain) but it flings off something terrible.

About the best thing I've found is BelRay Chain Lube, in the blue/white can. It goes on, STAYS ON, and does a great job lubing/protecting the chain.
 

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Originally posted by fRaGgLe:
I get home, before I shut the engine down, I put it up on the rear stand, shake the can, and in a controlled first gear, I spray the chain along the bottom, I make sure that there is plenty on, out of gear, shut it down, and walk away.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Be VERY careful if you decide to lube your chain with the bike in gear. Once long ago, I thought this was a good idea as well. Then, one day, a freak accident involving a rag that got caught in the rear sprocket at the same time that my thumb got caught up in the rag resulted in a third of my thumb getting ripped off...

Since then, I've decided that turning the wheel by hand really isn't all that much work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally posted by Abeyance:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by fRaGgLe:
I get home, before I shut the engine down, I put it up on the rear stand, shake the can, and in a controlled first gear, I spray the chain along the bottom, I make sure that there is plenty on, out of gear, shut it down, and walk away.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Be VERY careful if you decide to lube your chain with the bike in gear. Once long ago, I thought this was a good idea as well. Then, one day, a freak accident involving a rag that got caught in the rear sprocket at the same time that my thumb got caught up in the rag resulted in a third of my thumb getting ripped off...

Since then, I've decided that turning the wheel by hand really isn't all that much work.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I would NEVER, EVER clean it with it in gear. I only clean it once a month, but probably lube it 8 or so times in between cleans.

When I clean it I use a combination of WD40, a toothebrush, and couple of cloths, and a lot of patience.

I'm not anal about cleaning my bike, so generally when I wash it, I clean the chain too.
 

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We are getting to the more complicated (all relative) mainteance.

Please buy a factory service manual in case you need specific advise.

If FOR ANY REASON what so ever you feel that you should not be performing any of this stuff on your bike.

TAKE IT TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING!


[ 01-15-2003, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: [email protected] ]
 
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Originally posted by [email protected]:
We are getting to the more complicated (all relative) maniteance.

If FOR ANY REASON what so ever you feel that you should not be performing any of this stuff on your bike.

TAKE IT TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING!
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Very true. YOu only have to wheels, and little protection. You don't want to be taking chances with things you're not pretty sure about.

But, with that being said... I think it's worth it to invest as much time & effort as possible into doing your own work, if you're inclined to that sort of thing. A motorcycle is much more maintenance-intesive than a car. And - if you're going to be staying safe & keeping your bike up properly, you're either going to be visiting the mechanic often (and shelling out alot of cash), or you're going to be doing the work yourself. And while there are plenty of honest, knowledgeable mechanics out there...

I haven't found any


[ 01-15-2003, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: leanangle_750 ]
 

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These crazy ideas about how to lube your chain...lifting the back wheel up and turning it by yourself !!! ( does anyone actually do this ??). I clean and lube my chain every 300 miles or so, the best lube that I have found is good ol' DID chain lube. It lasts and stays on the chain and doesn't mess up your bike or leathers.
 

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Oil change.......

Changing your oil is really, really easy. Anybody can change the oil in there bike and save themselves a ton of money.
You can also screw up an oil change so bad that you need a new motor......So be careful.

This is not GSXR specific. This applies to all makes of motorcycle.

The first thing you want to do is buy a swingarm stand. This will make all maintenance much easier.
You will also need:

1 Gallon of motorcycle oil(four quarts)
1 new OEM Oil filter
drain plug washer
catch can
funnel

About your materials:

Motorcycle oil is different form car oil. Motorcycle oil has to operate in a transmission and is subject to more "shear" than a car oil. Please only use motorcycle oil. Some people use motorcycle specific synthetics but it is not necessary. The oil in a motorcycle should be changed more often because the transmission and clutch share the oil supply that expensive synthetics are not nessery. I use Honda GN4.

Please use OEM oil filters. They are expensive but are vastly superior to aftermarket filters.

You do not have to change the oil drain plug washer every time. But every other time is not a bad idea. When oil leaks on a motorcycle it gets on the back tire and you will crash. Be careful.

How to change your oil:

Put the bike on a swingarm stand and remove all the necessary body work.

Open the oil fill cap (where you put the oil in) and open the oil drain plug (the bolt located on the oil pan at the bottom of the engine). By opening the oil filler cap you allow air into the engine behind the oil that is trying to escape. This allows for all the oil to get out. (think shotguning beer.)

There is no transmission fluid (motorcycle motors share engine and transmission oil). So there is only one drain plug. You will know you have the right bolt if oil comes out.

When the oil is completely drained,replace the oil drain plug (Make sure there is a little oil on the threads). You only want to tighten the drain plug until it is snug (just enough to crush the drain plug washer). Because the oil pan and the drain plug are dissimilar metals they expand at different rates causing the bolt to "self tighten." If you tighten it down to much it will crack the oil pan.

After the oil is drained remove the oil filter and replace it with a new OEM oil filter. You might have to use an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter, but you only have to tighten the new oil filter HAND TIGHT. The oil filter and the oil filter neck are dissimilar metals as well.

P.S. - Put a drop of oil on the oil filter threads to prevent thread damage.

After the oil is drained and the filter replaced, refill the engine with the CORRECT amount of oil. Please reference the service or owners manual for the correct capacity.
If you over fill the engine it will blow the gaskets due to excessive oil pressure.

After you have refilled the engine fire it up and inspect it for any leaks.

That's it, put the fairings on and go ride.....

[ 01-15-2003, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: [email protected] ]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Chip

I always ensure that my bike is warm, bu not HOT when changing the oil - helps the oil flow faster - I've never had any patience.....
 

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Damn good point.....


Always run the bike, then let it cool SOME before changing the oil.

P.S.- Although we appreciate everybodys comments. Please reserve this post for mainteance tutorials. (everybody is welcome to join in.)

We do not want it cluttered with random finger loss stories...
J/K....
 
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