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Your top 5 bits on a bike you should regularly maintain.

Discussion in 'Biker's Cafe' started by Freeman, May 21, 2015.

  1. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    There isn't a right answer, it's more of a thread for tips and advice or to inspire people to clean different areas of their bike they might not have remembered about.

    What are the top 5 areas you feel that other bikers neglect or forget about that should be looked after or just cleaned now and again?

    1) Lubed / greased clutch cables and lever - nothing worse than stiff clutch
    2) Downpipes and connectors - bit of ACF-50 now and again
    3) Brake callipers - I usually use a bit of Wurth brake cleaner to spray out any build up dirt / dust
    4) Radiator grill - the dirt built up in here is ridiculous but looks so much better with it cleaned out - works better as well amazingly...
    5) Front sprocket - After taking off the sprocket cover I was amazed at how much gunk from the roads and chain had built up in there
     
  2. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    #1 oil & filter change regular,once a year and level check/top up if needs be (also check coolant level while your at it,never changed the coolant in 17 years of ownership so id say that's not essential)
    #2 chain lubrication/adjustment (I do tend to lag/neglect on this though sometimes)
    #3 brake pad wear,keep an eye on it and clean calipers/pistons now and again
    #4 general wash fairing/bodywork/wheels,i tend to leave the oily parts oily tbh like under the front sprocket cover and the chain itself
    #5 would be tyres and pressures/condition

    but if anything feels out of the norm or odd any of the above would take #1 priority
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  3. chris4652009

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 24, 2013

    Posts: 2,645

    tyres
    brakes
    Oil
    Filters
     
  4. c@tbyte

    Hitman

    Joined: Jul 2, 2003

    Posts: 605

    Location: The Litter Tray

    Tyres
    Brakes
    Oil
    Lights
    Chain
     
  5. Yaayuh!

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 5, 2010

    Posts: 19,913

    This.
    I frequently check lights as well. You can easily forget them and you're really in for it if your brake or indicator bulbs/switches have gone.
     
  6. Sagalout

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 13, 2003

    Posts: 5,668

    Location: Harrogate

    The joys of a GS!

    Having said that, now the bike is 3 years old I think I need to pay attention to it a bit more, especially the shaft drive which, whilst low maintenance, can let go in a big (expensive) way
     
  7. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    I think your oil is the most important thing to check,engine goes bang without that
     
  8. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jul 13, 2004

    Posts: 42,109

    Location: /* */

    Your life goes bang it you don't check your tyres.
     
  9. One

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 24, 2011

    Posts: 6,162

    Location: ABQ, NM

    I check tyre pressures, wheel nuts, break lights, indicators and oil level most times before I go out.
     
  10. ~Dockie

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 885

    My top 5 would be

    Brakes
    Tyres
    Chain
    Engine Oil
    Lights
     
  11. Sagalout

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 13, 2003

    Posts: 5,668

    Location: Harrogate

    Oil is the biggest thing to check on the GS, as it does use a bit and the sight glass can vary massively depending on if you put it on the side stand first or straight onto the main stand.

    Tyre pressure come up on the dashboard
     
  12. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    You don't get blow outs on larger bike tyres though,they are still pretty rigid ,the carcass
     
  13. robin7

    Gangster

    Joined: Mar 19, 2013

    Posts: 410

    This thread has made me think!

    Are there things you should be doing weekly/often?

    I literally don't do anything to my bike... I check tire pressure and that's it. Took it to the garage recently when it was squeaking...

    I really should learn how to use a spanner :D

    What's easy to do/should be done often?
     
  14. ElliorR

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 20, 2009

    Posts: 8,781

    Location: Not where I'd like to be

    Clean and lube your chain. The amount of people who don't maintain them and then moan when they are faced with a £100+ bill for a new chain and sprockets makes me smile. I use paraffin and a good chain brush to clean mine. Find out what your chain slack should be and l;earn how to adjust your chain should you need to. All it requires is to loosen off the rear wheel axle nut and then use the 2 adjuster bolts on each side of the swing arm to set the slack correctly. I'd recommend a good high range torque wrench for retightening the axle nut to the correct torque when done. Also a good low range torque wrench is a good thing to have for other jobs.
     
  15. robin7

    Gangster

    Joined: Mar 19, 2013

    Posts: 410

    Going to youtube cleaning and relubing later and do it this weekend perhaps. Might do it while I'm away in Spain since I know I've got some of the right lube stuff (previous owner gave me his). Just run the risk of cocking it up and being stuck! :D

    Edit: Out of interest how often should you do this?
     
  16. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 26,846

    Location: West mids

    There really is no way to **** up lubing your chain unless you go splashing it all over your brakes and tires.
     
  17. robin7

    Gangster

    Joined: Mar 19, 2013

    Posts: 410

    Don't test me! :D

    Sounds like a good place to start then at least though.
     
  18. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jul 13, 2004

    Posts: 42,109

    Location: /* */

    The most important part is to clean it first!

    Lubing a gunked up chain does nothing.
     
  19. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    I never clean mine,just lube it occasionally
     
  20. Craig321

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 2, 2004

    Posts: 19,971

    Overcleaning can be even worse and cause problems such as kinks, especially if done with a hard brush which can damage the O/X rings.

    I've found barely cleaning is best for the chains I've had. Whenever I've cleaned my chains often they either end up looking terrible (as in rust etc.) or stretching really fast.

    Of course cleaning every so often is fine and probably good for it, but it's easy to overclean.