RG Motor

Maintaining the modern motorcycle

Keep your tyres in tip-top condition
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Motorcycle maintenance has become an integral part of modern Bermuda culture. Back in my day, there were Peugeot Mobylettes, Yamaha V50s and Suzuki RC100s, which were all more modular than the technically complicated scooters and electric bikes that run the streets now. We could do quite a bit of our own maintenance back then; but today … well, just don’t ask me to change a tyre on one of them scooters like I used to change my RC tyres.

Professional mechanic and motorcycle maintenance expert, Al-Shea Lowe, of 5 Star Performance and Scooter Mart, provided some excellent tips to help us maintain our modern motorcycles.

“Follow the recommended maintenance schedule,” Mr Lowe said.

“Today, motorcycle owners can find a wealth of information, especially in forums and blogs online. Regularly check tyre pressure and fluids.

“Go easy on a cold engine. Watch out for noises. Drive with care.”

Educating yourself is always recommended. In the past, we taught ourselves how to modify our Bikes, how to repair, and spruce up our cycles for optimal performance. These days, maintenance is more common sense than practical.

Mr Lowe continued: “Maintaining your motorcycle’s engine is very important for your safety, and to keep it in its best running condition.

“Performing regular and proper maintenance on the engine will also ensure that you will enjoy your ride for a long time.

“It would help you a lot in the future if you keep a record of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance instructions. Change your motorcycle’s engine oil at the recommended number of miles, or monthly intervals. Use the fuel grade that is recommended.

“Inspect your motorcycle’s chain and continuously variable transmission twice a month, or every 500 to 700 miles. Replace your motorcycle’s spark plugs immediately if you see they are badly corroded or dirty in appearance.”

Once you’re confident that your engine is good, you very definitely should consider your motorcycle’s tyres.

Mr Lowe expounded on the simple things you can do to maintain optimal tyre performance, because the last thing you want to do is deck out because your tyres are … tired.

“Taking care of your bike’s tires is not a huge task,” he said.

“Dedicating some time every week and being aware should be enough to avoid tyre-related issues.”

Mr Lowe’s four top tips will help you avoid tyre-related accidents while riding your bike:

  1. Optimal tyre pressure. Refer to the bike’s user manual and maintain optimal tyre pressure all the time. Do not postpone filling the air in the tyres. Riding with low tyre pressure is risky.
  2. Wash regularly. Do not leave this task for when you plan to service the bike. If not washed properly, the tyres can skid on the road due to the accumulated dirt.
  3. Prompt repairing. Bikers often encounter that there’s a nail in the tyre. If you find yourself in such a situation, avoid further riding and address the issue immediately. If the garage is far away, consider towing the bike to avoid damage. Do not ride with a pillion.
  1. Don’t persist – replace. No matter how much you want the bike’s tyres to keep serving you for eternity, they are bound to undergo wear and tear. If you sense that they are not gripping the road properly, maybe it is time to get the tyre replaced. A tyre without a strong grip can lead to accidents, especially if the road is wet.

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