We are all concerned when it comes to our motorbikes. Sometimes, even more than our girlfriends. Sorry Girls, Just Kidding. Since the past few days, I have seen a lot of type of bike owners being frustrated with their bikes. Some have problems that mechanics aren’t able to resolve while some are frustrated because they have no option but to scrape their bike as it doesn’t make economic sense to fix it. Trust me it’s a very bad feeling when the bike doesn’t perform right.
When it comes to life-cycle of a two-wheeler there are lots of factors that affect its performance over the life-cycle. Average life-cycle of the two-wheeler is 6-7 years based on the driving conditions in India. I am going to help you increase the life of your two-wheeler. By following these practices, you should be able to add up to 2 more years to your motorcycle life.
This is one of the most important factors as this affects the reliability of the bikes. If you ride your bike at idling speeds, nothing like it as it is perfect for engine life and reliability. Well, if you like revving your bike when your engine actually starts making noises. There are few safety tips for your bike,
- Trail Braking: This is the practice followed by most MotoGP riders to get better cornering speeds. It involves braking before the turn during the straight patch and using engine speed to turn the bike (the clutch should be engaged during the entire corner). Release the brake gradually as you enter the corner. You should be able to use the brake effectively as when you brake during the straight patch, the weight of the bike is transferred to the front wheel, this, in turn, causes the downforce/traction on the front wheel to increase which helps your bike decelerate faster and effectively. Also, it causes the brake pads to wear out slowly.
- Panic Braking: You will need to use panic braking more frequently than Trail Braking, given the population we have. This is generally when we need to hit brake during an emergency. If you are going to use these brakes, you should look at 3 things. Distance, Road Condition & Pillion. As the conditions for braking would be different in each of the cases. Judgement with respect to Distance & Pillion can be achieved. For Roads with gravel, use your brake gradually with slow downshifting, This will help you achieve shorter braking distance. Note: This practice should be used only in an emergency.
- Body Position: Using body weight to turn is a better way of turning as this will help you corner effectively. Also, the use of good seat material which avoids body slippage during braking or accelerating. My recommendation would be to use firm seats.
2. Tire Pressure
Tire Pressure affects the performance of your motorcycle. I have seen a lot of people with tubeless tires riding their bike on the road. This stresses your, engine piston, connecting rod, crankshaft, clutch plate, pressure plate, and your drive train. That alone cost close to ₹10K on an average. If your tire is punctured, instantly get the punctured sealed or get your tire replaced if there are more than 20 punctures. As it affects your safety of riding that motorcycle.
3. Motorcycle Maintenance
This may be something that is last on your to-do list. I would suggest that you move it to the top of that list. Motorcycle maintenance causes the bike to perform better with mileage, acceleration, and braking. We generally tend to service our bike only when it gives us feedback about some problem with the bike. If you are serious about your bike, you should service your bike regularly. Now, some of us are afraid of the job card that is created on top of the service. I would suggest you read my blog on avoiding part replacements.
Also, we go to the roadside service station for bike service since it’s cheaper compared to a branded service station. This is a very serious problem if you are concerned about the longevity of your Bike. Bike service should be performed in a contained environment as most of the part are produced using ultra-precision machining. It needs regular lubrication and professional care to maintain tolerances.
On top of service, you should note that your motorcycle requires branded parts and high-quality lubricants. As these may not be your immediate problem for you, it will ruin your bike in the long run. Plus, it may be a safety issue for you and others. Professional service should not be undermined. My suggestion would be to try it for a year. You will notice the performance of your motorcycle.
4. Daily Care
As every doctor says to their patients, meds are temporary. It’s the patient who is permanent. Using the analogy, you are the one who is the primary decision maker for your bike. On top of professional care, personal care is required for your Bike. My personal suggestion would be that you shouldn’t be afraid to make your hands greasy. And, Learn basic maintenance tasks that will improve your bike’s performance. Basic Tasks for which you do not need to be an expert are.
- Lubricating and Cleaning Chain
- Lubricating Control Cables
- Check and Maintain Tire Pressure
- Check and Clean Spark Plugs
- Adjust your Clutch play.
I hope, I have made it clear that motorcycle ownership is a painful task. Until you do not look at it as an investment, you will face problems with your bike. There is a lot you need to do unless you have a professional helping you every day through your ownership journey. Follow all the tips, I have mentioned in this blog to get most out of your bike. And, for the love of motorcycling, do not forget Personal Care. My closing lines would be, treat her well, for that Adrenaline.