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  1. 1. how to repair your motorcycle
  2. 2. М Ш Ш Ш Ш Ш W O R K S H O P How To Repair Your Motorcycle • Understand how your motorcycle works • Maintain your bike and save money • Diagnose and repair problems • Tips to keep your bike in top condition • Tune and improve your machine's performance Charles Everitt
  3. 3. First published in 2007 by M otorbooks, an im print o f Quayside Publishing G roup and M BI Publishing C om pany, 400 First Avenue North, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA C opyright © 2007 by Charles Everitt All rights reserved. W ith th e exception o f quoting brief pas­ sages fo r th e purposes o f review, no part o f this publication m ay be reproduced w itho ut prior w ritten perm ission from the Publisher. The inform ation in this book is true and com plete to th e best o f our know ledge. All recom m endations are m ade w itho ut any guarantee on th e part o f th e a u th or o r Publisher, w ho also disclaim any liability incurred in connection w ith th e use o f th is data o r specific details. W e recognize, further, th a t som e w ords, m odel nam es, and designations m entioned herein are the property o f th e trade­ m ark holder. W e use them fo r ide ntifica tion purposes only. This is no t an official publication. M otorbooks titles are also available at discounts in bulk quan­ tity fo r industrial or sales-prom otional use. For details w rite to Special Sales Manager at MBI Publishing Company, 400 First Avenue North, Suite 300, M inneapolis, MN 55401 USA. To fin d o u t m ore a b o u t o u r b o o ks, jo in us o n lin e a t w w w .m . ISBN: 978-0-7603-3137-8 Editor: Lee Klancher Designer: Sara Holle Printed in China Library o f Congress C ataloging-in-Publication Data Everitt, Charles. How to repair you r m otorcycle / by C harles Everitt. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN: 978-0-7603-3137-8 (softbound) 1. M otorcycles—M aintenance and repair. I. Title. TL444.E94 2007 62 9.28 77 5—dc22 2007030874 About the author: Charles Everitt has been riding and w orking on m otorcycles fo r nearly fo u r decades. His first bike, a 1969 Bultaco, provided an excellent apprenticeship in all the things th at could go wrong on a m otorcycle. W hile getting his journalism degree, Everitt w orked as a line m echanic in a variety o f m otorcycle shops. After graduating, he spe nt 25 years, on staff o r as a contributor, w riting tech articles, road tests, features, and other stories fo r virtually every m ajor street-bike m agazine in the United States, including C ycle G uide, C ycle W orld, Cycle, M otorcyclist, R ider, and others. Although Everitt currently shares a hovel in Beverly Hills, California, w ith his w ife, Kathryn, he hastens to point ou t he m ost definitely is no t rich. On the front cover M ain im age: Replacing your bike’s original rubber brake lines w ith stainless steel lines is a sim ple and highly effective im provem ent. Evans B rasfield Sm all im age: Any chain-drive m otorcycle w ill eventually need to have th e fron t and rear sprockets replaced. Evans B rasfield All illustrations copyright © H ector C adem artori, 2007 Photography contributed by Evans Brasfield, Jeff H ackett, Lee Klancher, and Kenna Love Project te xt contributed by Evans Brasfield, Kip W oodring, and M ark Zim m erm an
  4. 4. Contents Chapter 1 8 Basics & Troubleshooting_______ How to Use This Book The Icons 8 Know Your M otorcycle 9 W hat You Need in a H om e S hop 10 R ecom m ended M aintenance Schedule 13 M aintenance Schedule C hart 14 Projects Project 1: A d ju st C on trols to F it You 15 Project 2: Preride C heck 17 Project 3: General Lubrication 19 Project 4: Checking Vital Fluids 21 Project 5: Rolling Gear C heckup 23 P ro ject 6: Adjust Your Chain 25 Project 7: Checking and Tensioning Your Drive Belt 28 Project 8: A d just C lutch and Throttle Free Play 29 Project 9: Replacing T hrottle Cables 31 Project 10: W interize Your M otorcycle 33 Project 11: How to W ash Your H ands 36 C hapter 2 37 Fuel Syste m ___ ______ H ow It W orks Carburetors 38 Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) 39 Engine M anagem ent System 39 Taking Care o f th e Fuel System 40 Projects P ro ject 12: Clean/R eplace Your A ir Filter 43 Chapter 3 45 Engine___________________________ How It W orks M odern C om bustion Technology 46 Projects Project 13: Change Your Fuel Petcock 50 P ro ject 14: Synchronizing C arburetors and EFI Throttle Bodies 52 P ro ject 15: Install a Jet K it 55 • Setting Float Height 57 P ro ject 16: Install a Power Com m ander 58 P ro ject 17: Change Your Oil and Filter 60 • Shaft Drive Housing Oil C heck/C hange 62 Project 18: Change Transmission and Primary Fluids 63 P ro ject 19: A djust Intake and Exhaust Valves 66 C hapter 4 70 Electrical System How it W orks The Battery 70 Alternator and C harging System 71 Starting System 72 Projects P ro ject 20: Headlight/Turn-Signal R eplacem ent and Adjustm ent 75 Project 21: Service Your Battery 78 Pro ject 22: Spark Plug C heck and R eplacem ent 80 Chapter 5 82 Cooling System How It W orks Cooling System M aintenance 83 Projects Pro ject 23: C heck Your C oolant 87 Pro ject 24: Flush and Refill Your Cooling System 88 Chapter 6 89 Drivetrain How It W orks W hy a Transm ission? 89 Chain Final-Drive 90 Rear C ush-Drives 91 Belt Final-Drive 92 Shaft Final-Drive 92
  5. 5. Projects P ro ject 25: Chain and Sprocket R eplacem ent 94 P ro ject 26: Drive Belt Replacem ent 98 C hapter 7 99 Suspension H ow It W orks Springs & Dam pers 99 Shock A bsorbers & Rear Suspensions 102 Suspension Tuning 103 Projects Project 27: Measure Sag and Adjust Preload: Front 106 Project 28: Measure Sag and Adjust Preload: Rear 109 P ro ject 29: A djust Dam ping Settings 111 • Suspension Troubleshooting Sym ptom s 113 Pro ject 30: A djust Ride Height 114 • Lowering C autions 116 Pro ject 31: C hange Your Fork Oil 117 Pro ject 32: C hange Fork Springs 120 Pro ject 33: Install A fterm arket Shocks 122 C hapter 8 124 Frame H ow it W orks Steel vs. Alum inum 124 Steel Tube Frames 124 Pressed Steel Frames 126 Alum inum Frames 126 Projects P ro ject 34: C heck Steering Head Bearings 128 Project 35: Repack o r Replace Steering Head Bearings 130 P ro ject 36: Swingarm Pivot Bearing Replacem ent 133 Chapter 9 135 Tires and Wheels How it W orks Tire C onstruction 135 Bias-Ply C onstruction 135 Radial Construction 136 Tire Choices, and H ow to M ake Sm art Ones 136 Sidew all H ieroglyphics and How to D ecipher Them 137 Tires: Buy ’em Local o r From th e Web? 138 The G reat M ount & Balance Act: W hat to Expect 138 Tire Pressure 138 Afterm arket W heels: C arbon Fiber, M agnesium and Alum inum ! Oh, My! 139 Caring fo r Bearings 139 Projects Project 37: Check Tire Pressure 141 P ro ject 38: Flat Fix 142 P ro ject 39: Rem oving Wheels 145 P ro ject 40: Tire Change 148 P ro ject 41: Valve Stem Replacement 152 C hapter 10 153 Brakes H ow it W orks Hydraulic Brakes 153 W hy Hydraulics? 153 M echanical Drum Brakes 154 How to D etect W orn Pads 154 Brake Pads: H ow to Pick Mr. Right 155 W arning Signs o f the Need to Bleed 156 Choosing th e Right Brake Fluid 156 Braided Brake Lines 157 A fterm arket Brakes’ Advantages 157 ABS and LBS 157 Projects P ro ject 42: Caliper and Disc Service 159 P ro ject 43: Brake Pad Change 161 • Brake Pad Break-In 161 Project 44: Changing Hydraulic Fluid 163 Project 45: Drum Brake Maintenance 165 Pro ject 46: Installing Stainless-Steel Brake Lines 169 C hapter 11 172 Exhaust How it W orks O xygen Sensor 172 A fterm arket Exhausts 174 Projects Pro ject 47: Installing a S lip-O n Exhaust 175 Pro ject 48: Installing a Full Exhaust System 178 C hapter 12 182 Keeping It Clean How it W orks Bike Wash 101 182 Polish and W ax 182 Polishing Your Bike 183 Beginners’ D etailing Tips 183 Projects Project 49: How to Touch Up Paint Scratches and Chips 185 Pro ject 50: H ow to Clean Your Bike 189 Index 190
  6. 6. Introduction W hen it com es to learning how to repair o r maintain yo u r m o to rcycle , e ve rybo dy has to s ta rt som ew here. No on e is bo rn w ith a co m p le te w orking ■cnowledge o f a m o to rc yc le ’s see m in gly infin ite com plexities and peculiarities, no more than they’re born .■•rth a similar knowledge o f all algorithm s, the final digit of pi, o r how cats purr. For th e first quandary, H ow to R epair Your M otorcycle ■s a g o od place to sta rt. W hy? Largely because it was (bitte n as a ground-level entry into how a m otorcycle’s .a rio u s syste m s w o rk. S e lfishly, I also h o pe d th a t by .-.'iting this book it m ight also fo ster a deeper connection betw een you and y o u r m o to rcycle , w he the r it w as an rte lle ctu a l one because o f your greater understanding of how things work, or an em otional one because th e book provided you w ith a measure o f self-sufficiency. You’ll find fa r m ore technical, scholarly to m e s avail­ able, and if after reading H ow to R epair Your M otorcycle th e y piq u e y o u r in te rest, I h e artily reco m m en d them . They’ll further your understanding of w hat is, to many of js . a life’s w ork in progress. O f course, if there’s sim ply no connection, intellectual o r em otional, betw een you and .o u r m oto rcycle , th en by all m eans save you r money. How ever you connect w ith your m achine, this book will be o f value to you because it offers a m ultitude o f w ays to keep your scoo t in absolute A-1 running order and condi­ tion. Perhaps, in lieu o f em otional or intellectual rewards, sim ply saving m oney w ill do. W hatever your reasons fo r picking up th is book, it will fu n c tio n b e st as a com p an io n to y o u r b ik e ’s service manual. H ow to R epair Your M otorcycle covers the gen­ era litie s o f pro ced ure; th e s ervice m anual cove rs th e specifics. It’s no t th at all m otorcycles are so terribly dif­ ferent. It’s just th at each m anufacturer has its own w ay of d o in g th in g s (such as b u ild in g m o to rcycle s) and o f w anting them done (such as m aintenance and repair). As I m entioned earlier, m y fondest hope fo r this book is th at it helps m ake your m otorcycle riding and ow ner­ ship m ore com plete and m ore enjoyable through better u n d e rstan din g. I also hope it he lps you see th a t your m otorcycle is an incredible technological m arvel—com ­ pared to a fam ily sedan, your bike is pure Space Shuttle tech. And, lastly, I hope this book m akes ow ning, riding, and caring fo r your bike—essentially, th e journey of really becom ing a m otorcyclist—as rich and rewarding as it has been fo r me.
  7. 7. Chapter 1 How to Use This Book The Icons Know Your Motorcycle What You Need in a Home Shop Basics and Recommended Maintenance Schedule Maintenance Schedule Chart Projects Troubleshooting Project 1: Adjust Controls to Fit You Project 2: Preride Check Project 3: General Lubrication Project 4: Checking Vital Fluids Project 5: Rolling Gear Checkup Project 6: Adjust Your Chain Project 7: Checking and Tensioning Your WARNING! KEY CONCEPT Drive Belt Project 8: Adjust Clutch and Throttle OLD SCHOOL TECH ,'J ^ ) MAINTENANCE TIP TOMORROW’S TECH ^ 3 ^ M0NEY-SAVING Tlp Free Play Project 9: Replacing Throttle Cables Project 10: Winterize Your Motorcycle Project 11: How to Wash Your Hands M o d e rn m o to rc y c le s ’ she er s o p h is tic a tio n has given them near-telepathic handling, phenom enal spe ed , an d m in d -b e n d in g a cce le ra tio n th a t en th ra lls riders w ith the m erest w hiff o f throttle. Such sophistication and capabilities can intim idate new riders when it com es to the sim plest o f m aintenance procedures. The fundam ental purpose o f this book is to assist such riders, as well as those returning to m otorcycling, to learn how to m aintain their bikes w ith a measure o f confidence, rather than regard their tw o-w heeled rocket w ith the same uncom prehending gaze o f a seagull staring at a Saturn V. A s high-tech as today’s m otorcycles are, they still have tw o w heels and tires, an engine and transm ission, plus suspension, brake, and steering systems. If you can invest roughly half as m uch tim e as your nephew spends playing on his W ii, you’ll learn how each o f your bike’s system s w ork, as well as how to diagnose and troubleshoot prob­ lem s w ith each o f th ose system s. No, th is bo ok w o n 't m ake you a m aster m echanic, bu t you’ll be able to com ­ m unicate w ith tw o-w heel professionals and not sound like a rookie. P lus—should you choose to —you’ll be able to m aintain, service, and repair many of these systems. Each chapter deals w ith a m ajor system in depth, and the troubleshooting guides help you identify and confirm specific problem s. If your m otorcycle starts to behave d if­ ferently, recognize th a t could be the sta rt o f som ething big—as in expensive to repair. Use your eyes, ears, nose, and ha nd s to id e n tify w h a t's happening, w he the r it’s potentially serious, w hat m ight be the cause, how to con­ firm th e diagnosis, how to fix the problem —and w hether to fix it yourself o r take it to a pro. Hopefully this book w ill take the question marks out of m otorcycle ownership. By using this book as a dynam ic reference, y o u 'll kno w ho w to id e n tify w h a t m ig h t be w rong, w hat needs to be done to fix it, and how m uch it will cost. It m ight help to view this book as you would a savings acc o u n t: In vest yo u r tim e and energy to w a rd understanding you r m otorcycle, and th e return on that inve stm en t w ill n o t on ly be s ig n ific a n t savings, bu t potentially far m ore fun. And in to da y’s w orld, w e can certainly all use m ore o f that. THE ICONS This b o o k uses s ix d iffe re n t icon s to ca ll a tte n tio n to im portant parts o f th e te xt and to m ake it easier fo r you to fin d th e inform ation you need to ge t your m otorcycle back on th e road. The icons are as follow s: Warning! A . This is to alert you to dangerous chem icals or pra ctice s th a t you need to kno w ab ou t w hile doing a procedure.
  8. 8. A Old School Tech А р 1 л Technical inform ation th a t concerns older bikes is flagged w ith th is icon. If you are a bo tto m -line person, you can probably skip past this. If you are interested in history o r have an o ld er m otorcycle, th is inform ation is fo r you. .7^, Tomorrow’s Tech There is also inform ation on em erging technolo­ gies. This probably w on’t apply to your bike today, bu t it m ight dow n th e road. Key Concept ° B ottom -line explanations o f how things w ork or ho w to fix th in gs. If you w an t to q u ickly understand a system o r process, tu rn to these. Maintenance Tip ! / ; / T ip s on m a in ta in in g y o u r b ik e ’s syste m s are m arked w ith th is icon. B ut you probably already figured th at out. ' Money-Saving Tip These tip s deal w ith shiftin g you r m oney from m otorcycle m aintenance to m ore w orthy causes. The Projects This book contains 50 projects th a t m ost m echanically m inded people can d o a t hom e. Som e are very sim ple and can be done by m ost anyone, w hile others are a little m ore com plex. You’ll fin d ste p-by-ste p photographs of each, along w ith a chart th at tells you how hard th e task is to perform (Talent), w hat to o ls and parts you’ll need, th e benefit, and a relative cost rating, w ith one dollar sign roughly equaling $100. N ote th at a fe w o f th e projects are Harley-D avidson- spe cific, as th ey ap ply p a rticularly w ell to th ose motorcycles. The Troubleshooting Charts These sim ple charts w ill give you som e basic guidelines to follow if you have trouble w ith your m otorcycle. These w ere p u t to g e th e r to g ive you enou gh in fo rm a tio n to m aybe try som e sim ple fixes at hom e and, once you’ve done w ha t m ost people can do at hom e, you can take it to your m echanic and have an idea w hat’s going w rong. KNOW YOUR MOTORCYCLE Before you get to start tw irling wrenches around your bike, you m ight want to expend a little tim e and energy to get to know your bike—how it operates, what it needs in term s of maintenance, and how to deal with any problem s that arise. The easiest w ay to find all this inform ation is in the owner’s manual that com es w ith every new bike. i T ruth is, re a d in g th e o w n e r’s m an ua l is q one o f th e m ost im p orta nt th in gs you can bring to th e bike ow n ership experience. And it’s one o f th e best w ays to th ro w a rope around th e expenses associated w ith ow ning and m aintaining a m otorcycle. W hat’s m ore, th e g e ttin g-to -kn ow -you procedure is w orth w h ile , w he the r it’s yo u r firs t m o to rc yc le o r you r 101st. A lm o st every m an ufa ctu re r has its ow n design conventions—o r idiosyncratic qu irk s—such as H onda’s insistence on using a d ip stick to check engine oil level after other m akers had gone to th e arguably m ore con­ venient sight glass. Overall, though, fo r th e m ost basic inform ation—tire pressures; m axim um w eight capacity; location o f im por­ ta n t item s, such as flu id reservoirs, suspension ad just­ m ents, th e to o lk it, etc.; ho w to fix a fla t—th e ow n er’s manual provides you w ith alm ost every piece o f inform a­ tion you’ll need to be a happy owner. In addition to all th e useful operating tip s to help you ge t th e m ost from you r m otorcycle, th is little bible also covers all th e m aintenance requirem ents and intervals, id e n tifie s o th e r o w n e r-a c ce s sib le co m p o n e n ts , and explains th e m yriad w arning lights and w hat you should do if they com e on w hile you’re riding. W hat’s m ore, th e m anual can give you crucial detail inform ation into many o f th e procedures presented here, I BASICSANDTROUBLESHOOTING
  9. 9. su ch as th e c o rre c t a m o u n t o f s la c k you w a n t w hen adjusting th e chain. It can even provide you w ith insight in to ho w exp en sive y o u r bike w ill be to m aintain and ow n, based on th e required m aintenance schedule. Lastly, you r sim ple ow ner’s m anual used to be th e s o u rce o f s om e u n e x p e cte d lin g u is tic gem s. For instance, a Spanish m oto rcycle’s ow n er’s m anual from th e late 1960s contained a w arning th at w ent, roughly, “ If you are a person o f unusual strength, do no t engage in a te st o f w ill w ith the nuts and bolts on th is m otorcycle." In o th e r w ords, d o n ’t go strip p in g th e fa sten ers le ft and right, you dummy. A 1962 H on da m anual a lle g e d ly co n ta in e d th ese w ords o f w isdom : “G ive big space to the festive dog th at m akes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglem ent o f dog with w heel spo kes.” There w as also: “G o soo th in gly on the grease m ud, as there lurks the skid dem on.” Sadly, in these m odern, PC tim es, such gem s are all bu t im possible to find. B ut if you do n't read the ow ner’s m anual, you’ll never know. WHAT YOU NEED IN A HOME SHOP You’ve probably already figured out one o f the best w ays to save m oney servicing your m otorcycle is th e DIY—do it yourself— m ethod. Dealerships and independent shops charge up to $100 per ho ur o r m ore fo r service labor. Replace th at w ith your ow n labor and you’ll m ake a con­ siderable saving. This book has 50 projects m ost people can do at hom e, show ing you step-by-step w ays to save tim e and m oney on your bike. A good portion o f them are preventive m aintenance—no t a par­ tic u la rly W estern co n ce p t, b u t one th at's fa r cheaper than fixing things after th ey've failed. In fa ct, preven­ tiv e m ainten an ce w ill all b u t e lim i­ nate such unexpected breakdowns, and w ill give you a far better under­ standing o f how you r m o to rc y c le - all m otorcycles—w ork. To start w ith, you’ll need to com e up w ith a w orkspace o f som e sort. It needs to be indoors, clean, and dry. It ought to be at least big enough to sw ing a cat, and have good light and v e n tila tio n , a c o n c re te o r ta rm a c floor, electricity, and a w ork bench. It s h o u ld be su ffic ie n tly secu re so you can s to p in th e m iddle o f a task an d ta k e a bre ak, g e t som e m ore parts o r advice (both inevitabilities), o r— heaven fo rb id —retu rn to yo u r d a y jo b . If a t a ll p o s s ib le , m ake it in v itin g . P u t in a spa ce he ater fo r w inte r, ta c k up som e p o ste rs if you like, tile th e flo o r if you 're particularly bucks-up. You’re go ing to spe nd w ha t sho uld be en joya ble tim e there; it’s you r w orkspace, and it shouldn’t resem ble a Turkish prison cell. • jj: Then you’ll w an t to ge t an officia l service о m anual from you r bike’s manufacturer. Yes, tim es have changed for the better. Third-party service m anuals are no t th e tw o-w he el equivalent o f The N ecronom icon they once were. S till, you’re better o ff w ith th e m anufacturer’s version; th ey b u ilt the bike, after all. Every m otorcycle is slightly different, and th e service manual w ill provide invaluable specifics, such as how to a ctua lly g e t to parts on you r p a rticular bike th a t need service, as well as tolerances, gaps, thicknesses, runouts, and so on. Perhaps one o f th e m ost useful things it will have, apart from specialized service procedures, is torque values fo r alm ost every fastener on your m otorcycle. The im portance o f this inform ation will becom e clearer as you get further along w ith the projects herein. Once you’ve got your space and your service manual, you’re ready fo r a great rite o f passage fo r every m otorcy­ clist; the acquisition o f tools. W hile other prim ates have opposing thum bs and lower-order animals have learned to use to o ls , surely one o f th e h ig he st exp ression s of hum anity is the hand holding a Snap-on wrench.
  10. 10. W hile m any consider Snap-on Tools the gold standard, seve ral re p u ta b le b ra n d s o ffe r eq u a l s e rv ic e , if n o t equal status. One o f Snap-on’s greatest claim s to fam e has been th a t its to o ls are g u a ra n te e d fo r life , and rep la ced v irtu a lly w ith o u t qu estio n. H ow ever, several o th e r m an ufa ctu re rs, in clu d in g C ornw e ll, C raftsm an, K o b a lt, H usky, M ac, P itts b u rg h , an d N o rth e rn can m ake th e sam e claim . The sing le m o s t im p o rta n t pie ce o f to o l- b v ^ f' buying advice you’ll ge t is to buy th e best tools you can afford. Their fit, function, and feel will be superior, and th ey’ll m ake ta sks fa r easier and enjoyable than low -ball tools. This doesn’t mean you sh o u ld even co n s id e r selling yo u r o ffs p rin g into slave ry ju s t to bu y to o ls . B u t d e fin ite ly d o no t Scrooge ou t on tools either. Purchasing a 100-piece tool kit from the sam e place you buy your groceries w ill alm ost certainly provide you w ith a crystal-clear alternate definition o f the word cheesy. R eco m m e nd ed to o ls are b ro ken d o w n he re in to three groups: • First group should be considered th e absolute bare m inim um , a.k.a. tie r one, fo r being able to perform m ost o f th e projects in th is book. Also included will be additional alternate to o ls th at w ould be benefi­ cial bu t not crucial. • You can consider th e alternates to be sem i-pro, or Tier Two tools. If you’re flush o r dedicated, o r both, you’ll acquire th ese to o ls as you com e to realize how m uch th ey’ll aid your w ork. • Lastly are th e pro, o r tier three to ols, w hich you’ll see in shops o f m otorcycling friends o r dealership service departm ents. They’re expensive, perhaps o f lim ited o r overly specialized usefulness, bu t pure gold when it com es to saving tim e and stress. Tier One (The Absolute Minimum) Yes, you can ge t by w ith fe w e r to o ls th an th ose listed here. Many have. B ut doing so m eans alm ost every task w ill take longer, and possibly becom e exponentially more frustrating, m aybe even dangerous. Combination Wrenches These have an open and a closed end on each wrench, and com e in only one size. For m ost bikes y o u 'll w ant them in 8-m m , 10-m m , 12-m m , 14-m m , 17-m m and 19- mm sizes; fo r H arley-Davidsons, 1/4 -in ch through 13/16- inch . S m alle r o r large r sizes s h o u ld be a cq u ire d as needed o r as funds perm it. Do n o t—repeat, d o n o t—give in to th e tem ptation to buy th e cheaper double-open-end w re nch es w ith d iffe re n t sizes on ea ch en d; it’s fa lse econom y. Proper com b in atio n w renches’ closed ends are th e sam e shape as a 12-p oint socket, a boon when w orking in tig h t con fine s. T ie r Two w re nch es inclu de shorter versions o f the sam e item s, as w ell as ratcheting- end c o m b in a tio n w re nch es. T he le tte r’s c lo se d ends function sim ilarly to a ratchet wrench. R atch et H andle a n d Sockets A ratchet handle has a gear drive w ith a positive stop; you can tighten or loosen a fastener, reverse th e handle how­ ever m any degrees are available, then rotate it again to tighten/loosen further. A 3/8-inch-drive handle is the m ost useful, w ith sockets in the sam e range as the com bination w renches, m etric- or inch-size. Similarly, sm aller- o r larger- size sockets should be acquired as needed o r as funds perm it. Tier Two ratchets w ill com e in 1/4-inch- and 1/2- inch -d riv e s, fo r m ore d e lic a te - o r he avie r-d uty w ork respectively. Pros have a full selection o f both 12-point and 6-p o in t sockets (6-pointers are better fo r rem oving recalcitrant fasteners because they pu t more force on their flanks rather than th eir points, as w ith th e 12-pointers). B reaker bars are spe cifica lly design ed to break loose th ose sam e troublesom e nuts and bolts, thanks to their sim plicity (no ratchet mechanism) and length. Screwdrivers To begin w ith, just ge t three flat-blade and three Phillips- head screw drivers. The sm all, m edium , large flat-b lad e drivers and th e N o. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 P h illips w ill fit virtually everything on your bike. A s you ge t further into th e pro je cts, y o u ’ll d o ub tless fin d a need fo r T ier Two sp e cia lty drivers, such as extra -lo ng , extra -sh ort, and right-angle versions. Likewise, flat-blade and Phillips-head bits to fit on your ratchet handle will also becom e useful. Allen Wrenches Again, to start, a sim ple, relatively inexpensive collection o f Allen keys; alm ost every tool manufacturer sells them in the necessary range of m etric and inch sizes. A s you step up to Tier Two, you’ll find you’ll w ant Allen bits, just as with th e screwdriver bits, or T-handles with Allens on the ends. T-handles are longer tools, again useful in certain situa­ tions, and always faster than their key or b it counterparts. Pliers You can m ake do w ith th e crud e ba tte ry-style pliers in your bike’s toolkit; you’d be better off, though, getting a higher-quality item from a reputable manufacturer, plus a pa ir o f needle-nose pliers fo r finer, tig h te r w ork. Pliers BASICSANDTROUBLESHOOTING
  11. 11. com e in a dizzying variety o f shapes and types, spanning T iers Two and Three: C hannellocks, V ise-G rips, d u ck ­ bills, diagonal cutters, wire cutters/strippers, and so on. Im p act W rench/Ham m er Som etim es, especially w ith older bikes th a t use Phillips screw s in th e engine cases, th e only w ay to ge t th ose fasteners to budge is w ith an im p act w rench. A dead- blo w ham m er is a good partner to th e im pact wrench, as all o f its fo rce goes in to th e target; th e blo w forces th e Phillips b it in to th e screw head. Believe it o r not, there are a c tu a lly T ie r T w o ha m m e rs: s o ft-fa c e (ru b b e r or plastic), and hard-face (malleable brass, ball peen, etc.). Torque Wrench Invaluable for finer w ork, especially on the engine, suspen­ sion p a rts, an d so on, a to rq u e w rench ind icate s th e am ount o f force used to tighten a fastener. The cheapest and sim plest is a beam -type with a pointer to indicate the force (in inch-pounds, foot-pounds, Newton-m eters, etc.). It is possible to do decent w ork w ith a beam -type torque wrench. Better still, though, are the Tier Two click-stop (the wrench makes an audible “click” when th e selected torque setting is reached) and dial-gauge wrenches. If you’re rich as M idas, you’ll have at least the latter tw o, one in inch- pounds, th e other in foot-pounds. O il F ilter W rench This should be self-explanatory, and com es in either a uni­ versal strap-type to go around the filter body, o r a specific shallow sort o f socket that goes on the filter end. Paddock S tand Once upon a tim e, alm ost every m otorcycle had a center- stand, an integral device which held the bike upright so the chain could be lubed, wheels cleaned, and other sim ple ta sks com p le te d. The race fo r sp o rtb ik e suprem acy, though, led to the centerstand's dem ise in order to make th e bike lighter. So, th ose pre vio usly sim p le ta sks are exce ed ing ly d iffic u lt w ith o u t a pro pe r p a d d o ck stand, w hich lifts th e rear o f th e bike via the swingarm . For Tier Two you can add a similar stand for th e front end. Best of b o th situ a tio n s is th e A b b a S u pe rb ike Stand fro m th e U nited Kingdom , w hich hoists th e bike via a rod placed through the (usually) hollow swingarm pivo t shaft, w hich can then allow either wheel to be lifted off the ground. Tire Gauge A n o th e r to o l th a t s h o u ld be o b vio u s in its need and its usa ge . P ro p e r tire p re ssu re s are c ru c ia l to yo u r b ik e ’s perform ance. M easuring Tools A t th e very lea st y o u ’ll w a n t a m ete r-lon g ste el scale, use fu l fo r s e ttin g su sp e n sio n sag; a ta p e m easure, preferably m etric scaled, can also be used. Valve adjust­ m en ts require th in m etal fe eler gauges, w h ile curren t fine-w ire spark plug electrodes prefer w ire-type gauges. T ier Tw o de vices inclu de a dia l-g au ge vern ie r c a lip e r and/or a 0-2-centim eter m icrometer, either o f w hich can be used to measure valve adjustm ent shim s. Lastly, y o u 'll w an t a w id e variety o f ae rosol- spray lu b rica n ts, clea ne rs, n o strum s, po tio n s, and lotio ns: cha in lube fo r o b viou s reasons, grease fo r axle s and suspension linkage bo lts, brake an d/or electrical parts c le a n e rs , th re a d -lo c k in g co m p o u n d s, an d p o lis h e s . A nd y o u ’ll need d u c t ta pe , w h ic h can rep air v irtu a lly anything o r a t least disguise it. In ad ditio n, y o u ’ll need a fe w funnels; latex gloves, o r an alternative fo r those w ith an a lle rg y to late x; nylo n C o rd u ra w o rk glo ves; and safety glasses. You d o n ’t w an t to p u t you r eye out, now, d o you? Tier Two (Semi-Pro) Along w ith th e to ols m entioned in th e previous section, these include: M anom eters, a.k.a. Vacuum Gauges Used to synchronize carburetors o r throttle bodies, these take th e form o f dial gauges o r tubes o f m ercury, usually a pair o r a group o f four. They measure vacuum , o r suc­ tion , in th e intake m anifold o r throttle body, m aking each cylinder read th e sam e results in sm oother running and better throttle response. Electrical Item s—Drill, M ultim eter, B attery C harger D rills com e in handy fo r certain fabrication jobs, o r ju s t to d rill o u t a ruine d b o lt; a m u ltim e te r w ill a s sis t you in curing certain electrical m aladies; and a battery charger is fo r those inevitable occasions when your m otorcycle’s battery has gone dead. Tire Irons, R im Protectors, Flat Kit Another inevitability o f m otorcycling is th e fla t tire, and these to ols w ill m ake th e repair process fa r less painful. S im ilarly, yo u ’ll need to replace tires, w herein th e first tw o item s com e into play. C utting Tools, i.e. a Hacksaw, Knife, G asket Scraper These w on’t see a great deal o f use, bu t when you need them , nothing else w ill do.
  12. 12. Tier Three and Beyond 5 still haven’t h it th e to p end o f useful item s fo r your ;= ra g e —th e to o l p a rts ca ta lo g s are fu ll o f g o o d ie s ranging from air com pressors and air-pow ered to o ls to /.e ld e rs and lift sta n d s. T his s tu ff is exp e n sive , bu t extrem ely useful if you d o extensive service w o rk—o r if -■erhaps you’re starting to like w orking on m otorcycles as m uch o r m ore than m erely riding them . You w ill find Tigh-quality taps and dies or Easy-O ut invaluable kits for repairing stripp ed th readed holes, p a rts w ashers, and the like invaluable when you need them . There’s no real point in describing each one, because by the tim e you’re con te m p latin g buying som ething in th is tier, you know .vhat it’s fo r and exactly w hy you w ant o r need it. O f course, if you have this entire arm ada o f to o ls both sim ple and sophisticated at your disposal, you need not fear any procedure y o u ’ll fin d in th is b o o k —or precious few others, fo r th at matter. RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE The m an ufa ctu re r w ho designed, engineered, and b u ilt yo u r s o p h is tic a te d m o to rc y c le has already provided a detailed schedule o f required m aintenance to keep you r bike running strong fo r q u ite som e tim e . It’s all o u tlin e d in you r ow ner’s manual. B u t how m uch o f th a t is really essential to overall re liab ility and durab ility? H ow m uch o f the w ork can you do versus how m uch needs to be done by a pro­ fessional? Can th e professional s e rvic e be d o n e b y an in d e ­ pendent shop, or does it have to be done by th e dealer? Based on considerable expe­ rience, th e fo llo w in g is a ba sic m ainten an ce sche du le fo r th e e sse n tia ls—th o se m aintenance services th at really are necessary fo r y o u r b ike to pro vid e a fu ll service-life. W ill it break o r fail if you d o n o t fo llo w th is schedule a n d /o r perform th ese services? Not necessarily. There are tens of thousands o f very lucky ow ners w ho live in blissful ignorance and continue to ride their m otorcycles fa r be yon d th e recom m ended m aintenance intervals . . . at least until som ething finally fails and leaves them stranded on th e side o f the road, frustrated and very angry at the bike fo r failing them . Is th e reverse also tru e ? Yes, a t tim e s . Even w ith th e m ost m eticu lo us m aintenance program , m o to rcy­ cles fa il. Engines expire, gearboxes frag, and radiators lose th e ir c o o la n t—th a t’s p a rt o f th e risk o f o w n ing a m otorized vehicle. But th ere is a b so lu te ly no d o u b t th a t if you do , o r have done, th e basic m aintenance necessary fo r you r m otorcycle’s survival, the percentages are well and truly on your side. It w ill m ake th e difference betw een a bike th a t de livers s u b sta ntia l m iles w ith o u t a m ajor failure, and one th at leaves you standing by th e curb, stranded, w ith a m assive repair bill. Like th e old saying goes, pay your m oney and take your choice.
  13. 13. MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE TASK INTERVAL SHOP COST DIY COST REASON TODO PROJECT NO. | Lubricate and adjust final drive chain 500 miles $25-45 $5-12 Prolong chainlife Project6:Adjust yourchain Change engine oil and filter 3,000 miles $35-50 $10-60 Enginelongevity Project 17: ChangeYour oil and filter Remove spark plug(s); inspect or replace with anti-seize 12,000 miles $15-150 $5-60 Monitor engine performance; improvefuel mileage and performance Project 22:Spark plug check and replacement Change air filter 8,000-10,000 miles $25-90 $10-40 Engine longevity; improvefuel mileageand performance Project 12: Clean/replace yourair filter Adjust valves Follow manufacturer's recommendation $150-500 $5-90 Enginelongevity Project 19: Adjust intake and exhaustvalves Change brake pads As needed $60-100 per caliper $25-40 percaliper Maintainsafe braking perform­ ance; avoid costly damage to rotorsand drums Project43: Brake pad change Change engine coolant 8,000-10,000 miles $50-75 $5-15 Maintain proper engine tempera­ ture; avoid overheating, corrosion Project 23: Check yourcoolant Change brake (or clutch) fluid 8,000-10,000 miles $45 (each system) $5-10 (each system) Maintainproper function; avoid corrosion, frozen/rusted parts Project44: Changing hydraulic fluid Change fork oil 8,000-10,000 miles $100-300 $10-50 Maintainproper function; improve handling Project31: Change yourfork oil
  14. 14. Project 1 Adjust Controls to Fit You TIM E: 1 hour TOOLS: Basic m echanical tools and rear stand TALEN T: 1 COST: None* PARTS: ‘ Possibly afterm arket replacem ents fo r the controls i TIP: W hen you alter the con­ trols, make sure the new position doesn't interfere w ith the operation of the motorcycle BENEFIT: A more comfortable rider and, therefore, better control of the m otorcycle B ikers com e in a variety o f body types, w eights, and sizes. B u ild ing m ass-prod uce d bikes to su it each - c e r is no t possible. Instead, m anufacturers design for an ^average” rider, w hose height, w eight, arm -, to rso - and leg-length m ay vary from yours. To fin d the m ost com fortable setup fo r your bike, put т on a rear sta nd and g e t in to y o u r rid in g p o s itio n . If s iftin g o r braking could be m ade easier o r m ore com - *: -table by adjusting any hand o r fo o t control, let’s do it *o w . (For d ra w in g s an d d e ta ils s p e c ific to y o u r bike, acquire a repair m anual fo r you r m ake and m odel and re fe r to it as ne cessa ry as w e im p ro v e y o u r bike throughout this book.) Put your right hand on th e brake lever. If your w rist is tilte d ba ck aw kw ardly, y o u ’ll need to low e r th e lever. Loosen th e tw o bolts on th e m aster cylinder clam p and rota te th e lever do w nw a rd slightly. Find th e s p o t th at feels best and snug up th e bolts. It w ill take a ride o r tw o to feel w hether you have it ju st right. S o m e o ld e r b ik e s and le s s -e x o tic s p o rty b ike s (G S 500 and N inja 250, fo r exa m ple) d o n ’t have adjustable brake levers. If you fin d your reach to th e lever •Z'jr ability to brake and control thethrottle simultaneouslycan bedramaticallyaffected bythe brake lever position. If it's too high (left), yourwrist is bent (*> an awkward position. If it’stoo low,the lever could make it difficult to fully closethethrottle while applyingthe brake. Notethe difference between tie wrist positionswhen the brake leveris toohighversusthe properheight (right). ADJUSTCONTROLSTOFITYOU
  15. 15. ADJUSTCONTROLSTOFITYOU is longer than you’d like, an adjustable lever from a later year o r a differen t m odel m ay fit—enthusiast w ebsites and sho ps spe cializing in you r bike m ay know a good sw ap. Another approach is to buy afterm arket item s from com panies such as Lockhart Phillips o r Flanders. C lutch levers are a little b it easier to ad just. If your bike do esn’t have an ad justa ble clu tc h lever, try loos­ ening th e th um bscrew lockn ut w here th e cab le enters th e lever housing. Then sim p ly screw th e ad ju ste r in, increasing th e clutch lever’s free play. Be forew arned that excessive free play can keep th e clutch plates from fully disengaging and contribute to prem ature clutch w ear— not to m ention clunky gear changes. Another w ay to alter ride position on m any bikes is to ro ta te th e ha nd leb ars. O n o ld e r bike s, you can ofte n sim ply loosen th e pinch b o lts and sh ift th e bars to th e new position. W hile m ost o f th e clip-on handlebars on current spo rtbike s are affixed to both th e fo rk legs and th e trip le c lam ps, som e clip -o n s can have th e ir angle adjusted by sim ply loosening the pinch bolts and rotating th e bar into its new position. If you fin d th at th e inward angle o f the clip-ons m akes you uncom fortable or strains your wrists, you m ay want to try altering th e clip-on orien­ ta tio n ou tw ard to allo w stra ig h te r access to th e grips. (This is not possible on som e bikes.) When changing the bar location o r angle, be sure to con side r ta nk, fairing, and instrum ent cluster clearance to ensure you do n't limit m an eu verab ility o r p u t y o u r fin g e rs in a p la ce w here th e y ’ll g e t p in c h e d . M ake sure you firm ly secu re th e bars—and any control you adjust—before riding. The brake pedal needs to be lo w enough th a t you can co v e r it c o m fo rta b ly w h ile you rid e. If y o u r ankle fe e ls kinked a fte r ju s t a fe w m in utes, try low ering th e pedal. H ydrau lic brakes usually a llo w th e pedal to be adjusted on th e m aster cylinder. Loosen th e locknut and tu rn th e b o lt to low er th e pe d a l—try sm all increm ents rather than a m ajor position change. If th e pedal is to o low , you m ay fin d co n tro llin g brake pressure is easier w ith the pedal raised slightly. On bikes w ith drum brakes pedal height can be adjusted w ith a bolt, bu t do n’t forget to reset th e pedal free play by turning th e nu t at th e end o f th e brake rod and drum . C heck brake light operation and adjust th e sw itch if necessary. The adjustm ents listed here are ju s t th e beginning. You can also find adjustable fo o t pegs, fairings to reduce wind fatigue, different seats o r padding changes to alter seating height, harder o r softer grips, different m irrors to alter rearward visibility, etc. You shouldbeableto shift up ordown withoutliftingyourfootoffthe peg. Becareful when preparingto adjustthe rod length ofthe shifter. Look closelyatthethreadsabovethelocknut One end ofthe rod is reverse threaded.Why?Well,you'll seeonceboth locknutsareloosened. Raisingor loweringtheshifteris aseasy as rotatingtherodwith awrench ora pair of pliers.Thereversethreadsarewhatmakethis possible. Onceyou’rehappy with theposition,checkto make surethat plentyofthreadsremain engaged inthe balljoints, and be suretotighten the locknuts. Littleadjust­ ments make big changes,sotry movingtheshifter a bit atatime,testingits position inthe garage. Onceyouthink it’sright,gofor a ride and takenotes on howthechanges improvedtheshifting. Or,betteryet,tossa couple of wrenchesinyourtankbag and playwith theposition on a longer ride. Notice howthe rider’s boot is in acomfortable position coveringthe brake pedal. Now, imagine commutingfor 40 minuteswith the brake covered.Would you rather haveyourfoot in this position or bent upward?
  16. 16. TIM E: 2 minutes Project 2 Preride Check TOOLS: Tire pressure gauge TALENT: 1 COST: None PARTS: None TIP: Make this part of your routine, and you'll m inim ize surprises BENEFIT: A fully functional m otor­ cycle ready fo r whatever m odifications you have in mind M otorcycles go fa s t am ong s olid , heavy, abrasive objects, and th ey offer little pro tectio n. They also js fa r from hom e. Taking ju s t a m om ent to look 2 er yo u r rid e b e fo re c lim b in g a b o a rd to fa ce cars, tu c ks , trees, rocks, and endless m iles o f pavem ent is ::~ m o n sense. It’s b e tte r to d is co v e r th a t dam aged tire on y o u r ow n, in y o u r drivew a y, th a n fo r a sha rp- eyed cop o r EMT to sp o t it from th e po int w here your bike left th e road. S ta rt w ith th e sim p le s tu ff as yo u a p p ro a c h y o u r m o to rc yc le . D o you see any flu id d rip s on th e pa ve­ m ent? Does th e fo rk look free o f any leakage? Are there - a * * visual checkofyourtires everytime you parkor get on your bike r ii help you spotthat piece of metal in the tread before it has a chance r roicture the carcass. You'd be surprised how manybikes are outon the road with improper tire pressure. Having the right amount of air in yourtires will improve yourbike's handling and helpyou getthe maximum life out of yourtires. Improper pressure can lead to excessive wearor,in the worst-case scenario,tire failure. PRERIDECHECK
  17. 17. PRERIDECHECK Without brakes, you're dead.All it takes is a couple oftest squeezes everytime you mountyour bike. any gouges o r cracks in th e tires, o r any foreign object lod ge d in th em ? D o th e y loo k p ro p e rly infla ted ? M otorcycles ridden regularly only need to have tire pres­ sure checked tw ice a week or s o —as long as they get a visual inspection o f the tread condition before every ride. Bikes that sit fo r several days should have their tire pres­ sure che cked be fo re h ittin g th e streets. Finally, check you r tires w ith a q u ick glance every tim e you park your bike. N ot only do you get to see how fa r you cranked it over on that canyon run, but you m ay also notice th e nail you picked up riding past a construction site. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your jacket pocket or w ith your bike. L o ok a t yo u r ch a in . A re y ou lu b in g it regularly, a cc o rd in g to th e m a n u fa c tu re r’s in stru ctio n s ? There should be no rust on it, and it should not sag. C heck the s pro cket te eth fo r w ear. W hen th e chain and spro cket s ta rt to w ea r o u t, th e y w ill o fte n c lic k b rie fly on s lo w acceleration from a s to p as they snug into place. If your bike has belt drive, when is the last tim e your replaced it? OK, now w hat is the replacem ent interval recomm ended by the m anufacturer? You sh o u ld c h e ck y o u r o il on ce a w eek. W hy? Because your engine is to ast if it gets to o low o r to o dirty. If your bike’s engine has a sight glass, stand your bike so th at it is level—bu t do n’t pu t it on th e rear stand because this added height can give an inaccurate reading. Before starting th e engine, test any controls operated b y c ab les. A c ab le w ill rarely fa il all a t on ce. Instead, Rollthe throttle on and off beforestarting the engine. After thesecond roll-on, release the grip to see if the throttle snaps closed. If not, don’t ride until the problem is remedied. c a b le s u su ally fra y p ro g re ssive ly u n til a c o m p le te I bre aka ge o c cu rs . B y o p e ra tin g th e c o n tro ls w ith th e I engine off, you w ill notice th e subtle bu t telltale grinding I feel o f to rn strands. A nother sign is a m ore d ifficu lt-to - I op era te th ro ttle o r on e th a t m ust be close d m anually I instead o f by th e return spring. By slow ly rolling on th e I throttle a couple o f tim es and squeezing the clutch lever, I you can, in a m atter o f seconds, ascertain th at the cables I are in good w orking condition. A s you th ro w yo u r leg ove r th e seat, give th e fro n t I brake lever a healthy squeeze. Is th e pressure th e same I as yesterday? D oes th e lever com e dow n to th e grip ? I Give th e rear brake pedal a press to see how it’s doing. Now you’re ready to start th e engine. W hile it warm s up, check all your lights. If you do this after dark, th e job is easy. Ju st look in fro n t and behind you as you cycle through the high beam , low beam , front running lights, left and rig ht tu rn signals, rear running light, and th e brake light. In daylight, hold a hand in fron t o f the various lights I to see if they w ork. (Make sure the bike is in neutral when I you ge t off and release the c lutch— people have done it I otherwise!) C heck th e brake lever and pedal individually I to see th at both trigger th e stop lamp. T his process ta kes alm ost no tim e to com plete and I th e latter portion can be done w hile th e bike is warm ing I up . D o it reg ularly and y o u ’ll save y o u rs e lf tim e an d I headaches—such as know ing you’re on reserve before I heading out fo r a ride.
  18. 18. 30 minutes Project 3 General Lubrication Assorted w renches, cable lubrication tool, cable lube, chain cleaner, m olybdenum -based grease, WD-40, small paintbrush COST: $ PARTS: None TIP: Apply a thin coating of grease to cables w here they attach to the controls BENEFIT: Silky-sm ooth control operation L ub ing you r bike th re e tim e s a season (the b e gin­ ning, m id dle , and end) should su ffice . If you ride th e w heels o ff you r m otorcycle, give it a q u ick lube jo b every 7,500 m iles. B y pe rform in g th is sim p le m ainte­ nance on a reg ular basis, you can pro lo n g th e life o f th e b ik e ’s com p on en ts, ensure th a t everything w orks th e w ay it should, and m aybe even catch a problem as it starts. L u b in g y o u r m o to rc y c le ’s c a b le s sh o u ld ta k e no m ore than 15 m inutes, and it pays dividends every tim e you operate a control. For the throttle cables, unscrew the throttle housing on th e grip and adjust the cables fo r m ax­ imum slack. After you release one o f the cables, the other w ill s lip rig h t o ff. F or th e c lu tc h ca b le , sc re w th e ad juste r all th e w ay in fo r m axim um slack, b u t line up th e slo t in th e adjuster w ith th e slo t o f th e lever holder. You should be able to pull th e end o f th e cable free of th e adjuster and release th e cable. Som e bikes require th a t th e clutch lever be rem oved from th e m ount before you can free th e c lutch cable. Z О < о о ТЪеcable luberforcesthe lubricantthrough the cable, making sure the entire length of the cable is protected. Donotusechain lube on cables. Applya protective coat of grease to all exposed sections of cables. Don't forgetto lube the fittings so they will move freelywithin their mounts.
  19. 19. GENERALLUBRICATION Before lubing pivot points,wipethem clean of any dirt or grit. Keep the threads clean and dry. Retorquethe fastenersto the proper specto keep them from vibrating loose. For q u ick w ork on th e cables, nothing beats a pres­ sure ca b le lu b e r from a c ce ssory com p an ie s su ch as M otio n Pro o r Lo ckha rt P hillips. Basically, you clam p a rub be r sto pp er ove r one end o f th e cable, insert a tube from a can o f silico n-ba sed cab le lub rica nt in to a little hole, an d give th e nozzle a squeeze. The c a n ’s pre s­ sure fo rce s th e lub rica nt th ro ug h th e cable. A p p ly th e lu b ric a n t in s h o rt b u rsts u n til th e b o tto m en d o f th e cab le begins to bu bb le o r drip. A w ell-p lace d rag can catch th e d rip s before they m ake a m ess o f th e engine. B efore you reassem ble each cable, ap ply a da b o f grease to a ll th e pla ces th e ca b le m ig ht rub. T he fit­ tin g s at th e cab le ends need grease, and any exposed s e c tio n s o f th e c a b le s h o u ld re ce ive a p ro te c tiv e co a tin g , to o . A sm all pa intb rush w ill help you grease p a rts in tig h t places. D on’t fo rg e t th e ch o ke and s p e e d o m e te r cab les. L u b ric a te th e ch o k e ca b le like a ll th e o th e rs . M e c h a n ica l s p e e d o m e te r c a b le s (a d yin g breed b u t still around on m any bikes) should be unhooked from th e speedom eter. Pull o u t th e inner cable and pack the ca b le to p w ith m olybd en um grease. S lid e th e c ab le ba ck in to place. A ny tim e th e fro n t w heel is rem oved, pa ck som e m oly grease into th e drive m echanism . N ow go over you r bike and lubricate every pa rt th a t m oves. U nscrew th e handlebar lever pivo ts and brush on som e grease. A pply a couple drops o f o il to th e side sta nd pivot. G ive th e rid er and passenger pegs a qu ick sq u irt o f W D -40 o r oil. D on’t fo rg et to sp ritz floo rbo ard m ou n ts. R em ove th e s h ifte r p iv o t an d clea n an y g rit o u t o f th e w orks. A p ply grease to th e pivo t, bu t be sure to ke e p th e p iv o t’s th re a d s c le a n an d dry. S o m e m a n u fa ctu re rs reco m m en d a d ro p o f n o n p erm an en t th re a d -lo ckin g agent, such as L o ctite , on th e th re ad s to m ake su re th e p iv o t b o lt d o e s n ’t b a c k o u t a fte r All moving parts, such as peg pivots and side stands, will benefit from a shotofWD-40 or a few drops of oil to keep themworking freely. If you’re particularlyfastidious, you can disassemblethe parts and grease them. reassem bly. Be sure to to rq u e it to th e p ro p e r spe c. F ollow th e sam e precautions fo r th e brake pedal. B efore you lube th e chain, spray a clea n rag w ith W D -40 and w ipe it clean. If you r chain is really grungy, M otorex m akes a chain cleaner th a t w ill strip th e gunk w ith o u t ha rm in g th e О -rin g s . N ever to u c h th e cha in w ith th e b ike ’s engine running. Clean it w ith th e engine off, rotating th e w heel by hand. O n ce y o u ’ve c le a n e d th e c h a in , a p p ly a c o a t o f q u a lity ch a in lu b e to th e s p a ce b e tw e e n th e lin k s w here th e О -rin gs reside, spraying from th e inside run o f th e ch a in to a llo w c e n trifu g a l fo rc e to p u sh it th ro u g h to th e o th e r side . If you spra y on to o m uch, ta k e a n o th e r clea n rag d a m p e n e d w ith W D -4 0 an d w ip e o ff th e e x ce s s lu b e b e fo re y o u r n e x t rid e . Lubricate you r chain every 500 m iles o r so, o r pro m p tly after exposure to rain o r other water. Lubricatethe chain when it iswarm, butthen let it sit until it cools off andthe lube sets. To help keepyourwheels clean, wipe offthe excess lube before your next ride.
  20. 20. Project 4 Checking Vital Fluids TIM E: TOOLS: TALENT: 1 COST: PARTS: TIP: 5 minutes Eyes, a rag None, unless replacem ent fluids needed Vital fluids, if needed Make this part of your weekly routine and you’ll m inimize surprises BENEFIT: A well-hydrated, fully functional motorcycle W hen things usually w ork th e way they are supposed to , w e d o n ’t w orry so m uch about checking fo r signs o f impending failure. Still, if you consider the potential consequences o f a m ajor mechanical failure, you'll see the m portance o f spending a few minutes every w eek or so to m ake sure that all your bike's precious bodily fluids are in satisfactory condition and available in enough quantity to do their job. M o to r oil can give you im p orta nt inform ation about y o u r e n gin e’s inte rna l co n d itio n . If you c h e c k it each week, you are m ore likely to no tice sym pto m s o f little problem s before they get bigger. B efore ch e c kin g th e o il level, w arm th e en gin e to operating tem perature. Shut off th e engine and allow the oil to drain dow n from th e to p end fo r a few m inutes. If you r b ike has a sig h t glass, hold th e bike leve l—either fro m th e sa d d le o r b e sid e th e b ik e —and lo o k a t th e w indow on th e bottom of the engine to m ake sure th e oil evel is betw een th e tw o m arks on th e case. For engines w ith a dipstick, check your ow ner’s manual to m ake cer­ ta in h o w th e s tic k is to be in s e rte d fo r an a c cu ra te reading. Usually, you w ill w ipe the stick and insert it into th e ca se u n til it m akes c o n ta c t w ith th e fille r p lu g ’s threads. Be sure th e plug is straight o r you m ay ge t an inaccurate reading. Oil darkens w ith use, b u t it should n o t be coa l b la c k an d g ritty . K eep tra c k o f m ileage be tw ee n ch a n g e s an d sw a p o u t th e oil an d filte r acco rding to you r bik e m an ufa ctu re r’s sug ge stion s. If your bike has sat w itho ut running fo r m ore than a year, change it regardless o f m iles. You m ay notice other prob­ lem s—if th e oil is m ilky w hite, it’s polluted w ith coolant (in a w ater-cooled bike); if it sm ells like gas, fuel is getting pa st th e rings. Both o f th ese con ditio ns require im m e­ diate attention. C o o la n t is a lm o st as v ita l. Run y o u r w a te r-co o le d engine w itho ut som e kind o f coolant and you risk exten­ sive dam age. You w ant th e level in your coolant overflow ta n k to lie betw een th e high and low m arks w hen th e engine is cold. The color should be a lovely fluorescent green. If oil or a rust-colored hue appears in th e coolant, your engine o r radiator needs attention. Sim ilarly, you r hydraulic flu id reservoirs need to be checked periodically. W ith the bike sitting level, th e fluid should fall between the factory markings. Brake and clutch m aste r cy lind ers w ith inte gra ted reservoirs have sigh t glasses allowing you to view the contents. W hile checking th e fluid levels also note their colo r—usually clear w ith a slight yellow ish tint. If you see any other color, flush the system before contam inants dam age th e hydraulic inter­ nals. The w hite pla stic rem ote reservoirs should no t be opened to check the color o f the contents—hydraulic fluid absorbs m oisture from the air. You can get a good idea of th e brake fluid color through th e plastic. Don’t fo rg et to check the rear brake system, which usually has th e reser­ voir tucked away behind the bodywork. Regular fluid checks w ill keep your m otorcycle func­ tion ing properly and disclose any problem s before they get costly o r dangerous. CHECKINGVITALFLUIDS
  21. 21. CHECKINGVITALFLUIDS Although it is hard to read in this photo, the coolant level in the expansion tank is right where it should be. If you check your antifreeze frequently, you will notice when it starts to drop, signaling a leak somewhere in the system. 22 j The oil level on this bike is pretty obvious. Looka little closerto check the condition ofthe oil. Toread the sightglass correctly,the bike must be held level on flat ground. Readingthe fluid level onthe rearbrake of the R6is easy. It's hanging out inthe open on the subframe. Some bikestuck the reservoir away behind bodywork, requiring you to lookthrough a slot to view the reservoir. Thesecretto gettinganaccurateviewofthefluid level from a master cylinderwith an integrated reservoiristoturn the bar until thereservoiris as level aspossible. Don’t beconcerned if the readingdrops overtime.The brake padsarewearing, which requires more hydraulicfluid inthe calipers. However,if the reading getsbelowtherecommended height,checkthe brake padsbeforetopping offthe reservoirfrom afresh container.
  22. 22. TOO LS: Flashlight and optional front/rear stands Project 5 Rolling Gear Checkup PARTS: None TIP : Make this part of yo ur w eek ly routine and yo u’ll m inim ize surprises BENEFIT: Knowing the exact condition of yo ur brakes and tires can help keep you from getting in over your head Y our brakes, suspension, and tires keep you on the road and deserve extra attention. You should make a 'olling-gear inspection at least once a week. Begin your brake check by looking at all the pads. To .«ew the pads, try using a flashlight to sight along the disc. Seme people resort to rem oving th e calipers o r covers. •сj w ant to look at the pads on both sides of the caliper. W hile you’re dow n on your hands and knees, give the -_ober brake and clutch lines a quick flex to see if they’re Deginning to crack. You can use th is low -angle view of >our bike to m ake a couple o f other qu ick inspections. uJe m anufacturers do a good job o f protecting th e del­ a t e p a rts o f th e fo rk , th e s lid e rs o c c a s io n a lly ge t dinged. O ver tim e, th e rough part on th e slide r w ill eat aw ay at the fo rk’s seal, leading to fo rk oil seepage. In its m ost m inor fo rm , a w eeping fo rk seal is n o th in g m ore than a m essy nuisance, bu t it can quickly develop into a ha zard ou s m e s s—p a rtic u la rly in th e tra d itio n a l fo rk arrangem ent, w here th e o il can con ta m in ate th e brake d is c su rfa c e and bra ke pa ds. T he s h o ck can also develop its ow n leaks. A quick glance at th e shock shaft w ith a flashlight w ill reveal w hether it’s tim e fo r a rebuild. The final stop in th e to ur o f your bike's rolling gear is the tires. You can m ake a com plete inspection by rolling the bike forw ard a couple o f feet at a tim e. You’re looking for any foreign objects th at m ay be lodged in the tire. If you If you're going to get a glimpse of the brake pads, don't be afraid to get personal with your tires. You need a minimum pad material of 2to 3 mm. If you've let the pads get down to 1 mm, you’re skating on dangerously thin ice. Once they arrive at the bitter end, brake pads have difficulty shedding heat and may fade on you when you need them most. Have the pads worn evenly? If not, you may have a problem with the caliper. If you see anyfluid seepage around the calipers, one of the pistons may need its seals replaced. Don’t forget to check the rear brake pads,too. ROLLINGGEARCHECKUP
  23. 23. ROLLINGGEARCHECKUP creativewith yourviewing angle. Givethe rubber portions of the hydraulic lines a bend to see if they're still flexible. If you notice any cracks, considerreplacing them with shiny new braided stainless-steel ones. fin d som ething, carefully pull it out. C heck to see if the hole is leaking by rubbing a little saliva or soapy w ater over th e opening. If it bubbles, repair o r replace th e tire. If it doesn't bubble, check th e tire before each ride to see if it ’s lo sin g air. You m ay a ls o fin d c u ts in th e trea d caused by running over road debris. Closely inspect the d e p th o f th e s lic e to m ake sure it d o e s n ’t go deep enough to expose th e cords. Slices on th e sidew all are particularly dangerous. If you have any, have a profes­ sional look at th e tire. Finally, look inside th e tread grooves, o r sipes, at the “ w ear bars” crossing through them . The tread depth is acceptable only when th e w ear bars lie below th e tread surface. As soon as th e bars sta rt to wear, th e tread is to o sha llow to pro vid e ad eq ua te tra c tio n and channel w ater ou t from under th e bike to avoid hydroplaning. A new,just-scuffed-in tire will look like this. Note howdeep intothe sipe thewear barlives. While you try to findthe wear bar, consider whythis tire was on an F3in a salvageyard. The centerof thetread is worn down to the bottom ofthe sipes, giving thetire a square profilethat could unsettlethe bike when leaned over. Evena tire with adequate tread may have diminished grip if thetire is many years old,suchthat the rubber has hardened. Dry rot— small cracks—can alsoweaken a tire, particularly when combined with underinflation. If you ridetwo-up, be even more critical of wear and damage and err onthe side of caution. Extraweight means extra stress—andthat's two lives thetires are supporting.
  24. 24. TIM E: 20 minutes roject 6 Adjust Your Chain ■ о fu nctio n properly w itho ut w earing ou t q u ickly or falling o ff o r breaking, you r chain needs to have a aS am ount o f slack. As it wears, you w ill need to make red ffe link roughlycentered between the front and rear sprocket on r e ewer run ofthe chain. Press down atthis point until the chain is at e oirsst point. Holding a tape measurein front of and perpendicularto r e cftain (“perpendicular” isn’t quite the rightterm here sincethe chain s straight line asyou push on it), align yourtape with the tops of re лпег and outer sides ofthis middle link. Now, pressthe chain up *~ l it istight and sight this measurementthe sameway.Thedifference asween the two points on yourtape is the amountof slack in your авэп. if this figure is largerthan whatyourmanufacturerprescribes, you re=d to movethe rearwheel backwith the adjusters until you hit the «commended slack. Assorted wrenches, socket fo r rear axle, torque w rench, tape measure, rubber mallet, rags fo r cleanup, rear stand (optional), string, COST: Minimal PARTS: N ew cotter pin TIP: Make sure the chain is properly aligned or you can prem aturely w ea r out both the chain and the sprockets BENEFIT: Less driveline lash w hen modulating the throttle periodic adjustm ents (m oving th e w heel back) to m ain­ tain th is setting. A ss u m in g y o u r c h a in an d s p ro c k e ts c h e c k o u t, p la ce th e b ike on th e ce n te rs ta n d o r a rear s ta n d to m ake it level. W ith th e cha in co ld , m easure th e slack ha lfw ay be tw ee n th e spro ckets. If th e s la ck is w ithin spec, lube th e chain and you’re done. O therw ise, y o u ’ll need to m ove th e re a r w h e e l b a ck s lig h tly w ith th e adjusters to take up any excess slack. F o r b ike s w ith lo c k n u ts on th e ir ch a in a d ju s te rs , hold th e adjuster in place w ith a wrench w hile loosening th e locknut. Loosen the axle nut just enough to enable the chain adjusters to m ove it—otherwise the rear wheel can get ou t o f alignm ent. For now, assum e th at your wheel is properly aligned, and make th e same adjustm ents to both chain adjusters. W hen th e cha in has th e p ro p e r a m o u n t o f sla c k, to rq ue th e axle nut. N ext, tigh te n each ad juste r about o n e-e ig hth tu rn against th e axle. H old th e a d ju ste r in position and set th e locknuts. The last step in any chain adjustm ent is m aking sure th e rear w heel is properly aligned. The least expensive w ay to do this is the “ string m ethod.” A simpler, b u t less precise, m ethod fo r checking rear wheel alignm ent is to sp in th e rear w he el a fe w tim e s an d w a tch th a t th e sprocket stays aligned in th e center o f the chain. If it rubs against one side o r th e other, th e wheel is o u t o f align­ m ent—tim e fo r th e string m ethod. ADJUSTYOURCHAIN
  25. 25. ADJUSTYOURCHAIN Onceyou’ve adjusted yourchain a few times,you’ll getthe feel for when it is loose, butthe onlyway to be certain is to use a tape measure. Chainadjusters come in manyshapes and sizes (above/below). Small adjustments of a quarter-turn (or less if yourchain is only slightly loose) arethe safest bet. Measurethe slack after everychange.When the chain is within factory specifications (usually around 1.2-1.5 inches),tighten the axle nutto keep it from slipping. Ifyou gotoofar andthe chain becomestootight, loosenthe chain adjusters two full turns and use a rubbermallet ordead- blow hammerto knockthe rearwheel forward againstthe adjustersand begin again. Theeccentric adjusterisfound on many bikes, particularlythosewith a single-sided swingarm.
  26. 26. Beforeyou adjust the slack, look closelyat the sprockets. Arethe sidesofthe teeth worn? If so, expectto find a matching wear pattern onthe inside of the chain. Dothe teeth look like cresting waves?When the sprockets show obviouswear, it's time to replacethem andthe chain. Don't replacejust one or the other because loosenesson either sidewill create misalignmentand eat upthe new part. Ifyou can pull the chain awayto expose half of the sprocket’s tooth, it’s readyfor replacement. With an assistant's help, take a piece of string a little morethan twice the length of the bike, find the center, and wrap it once around the forward edge ofthe front tire just belowthe front discs.Take each end ofthe string down opposite sides ofthe bike. Lie down on your stomach, pulling the strings taut sothat they both lightly touch the leading edgeofthe reartire. Sincethe rear wheel is wider than the front, there will be a slight gap on either side ofthe rear edge ofthe fronttire where the string on each side goes past.Yourassistantshould make surethat the front wheel is straight by making that gap equal on both sides. Now, keeping yourhandssteady with the string only lightly touching the reartire, compare the gaps betweenthe strings and the rear edge of the reartire. Ifthey are notequal,tighten the adjusterslightly on the sidethat has the smaller gap. Finally, measurethe slackone last time. Put a new cotter pinthrough the axle nut if it requires one. ADJUSTYOURCHAIN
  27. 27. CHECKINGANDTENSIONINGYOURDRIVEBELT Project 7 Checking and Tensioning Your Drive Belt TALENT: COST: PARTS: TIP: 30 minutes Belt tension tool (or fish scale), possibly a pair of needle-nose pliers or an aw l— depending on w hether or not there’s debris in the belt $ None A shot of Arm or-All will quiet a squeaky belt BENEFIT: Longer belt life I f your bike suffers leakage in th e prim ary drive area, the first thing to che ck is belt tension. W hat is proper ten­ sion? Assum ing you have a Harley, use factory tool No. H-D 35381, hook th e belt like a fish in betw een th e pul­ leys an d c h e c k th a t 10 p o u n d s o f fo rc e re su lts in 5 /1 6 -3 /8 inch o f deflection in th e belt, as seen through the little w indow in th e bo tto m belt guard. A belt th a t’s to o tig h t can cause problem s far worse than oil leaks, including pulley splines stripping out. Also, be lts do n’t like being be nt in to a radius o f less th an 3 inches o r having th eir direction o f rotation reversed once they’ve gotten used to it. If you can keep from cutting them o r poking gaping holes in them w ith road debris, they will last fo r years. But belts aren’t immortal. Checking the belt regularly for damage and wear is a necessary part of get­ ting th e best out o f them. If you were to look at a cross-section o f th e belt’s tooth pattern, relative to its counterpart in the pulley, you’d see that, when new, th e belt tooth doesn’t bottom out. When broken in, it m ight, slightly. When w orn out, it w ill—exces­ sively! O nce this stage is reached, th e teeth on th e belt begin to get pulled ou t by their roots, where they attach to the cords. Sometim es you can spot this early on by looking fo r a series of hairline cracks o r wrinkles on the tips of the teeth running parallel to th e run o f th e belt. Belts with just a few wrinkles can be considered sort of, well, middle-aged. But if th e w rinkles extend from th e to p to th e bottom o f the teeth clear to the outside edge of th e belt, it’s all over. Keep riding on that one, and you’re gonna w ind up toothless. Lookclosely now. Asidefrom the familiar belt damage, like punctures, splits, cuts, and so on, there's this one, caused bya plastic lower belt guard getting cockeyed and going unnoticed.This belt died in lessthan 4,000 miles. It looks 0K from the edges, but it has no teeth inthe load- bearing middle. There’s more than one wayto wear outa belt! If you don’t have the factory tool orjust can’t figure out howto use a fish scaleto adjust your belt's tension, try this instead. Grasp the belt with yourthumb and two forefingers at about 1 1/2 inches backfrom where it exits the bottom ofthe primary case. Nowtwist the belt back and forth on its axis. You should feel serious resistance to this twisting at abouta 45-degree angle from flat. If you cantwist your belt more like 90 degrees with just a thumb and two fingers, it’s too loose. If it feelstighterthan a bowstring at only 25to 30 degrees oftwist, it’stoo tight. This may notbethe rocketscience method, but it’s pretty accurate,just the same.
  28. 28. TIME: 30 minutes Project 8 Adjust Clutch and Throttle Free Play TOOLS: Phillips screwdriver, open- end wrenches, and (maybe) needle-nose pliers TALENT: 1 COST: None PARTS: None TIP: If you run out of adjust­ ment range up at the lever, try adjusting the cables down by the engine BENEFIT. Precise throttle control gives you maximum flexibility in the on/off/on throttle scenarios you encounter when entering a corner, or riding a series of them. O ne hallmark of a skilled rider is the ability to deliver the right amount of throttle at the right time. Smooth transitions on and off the throttle play a vital role in •eeping the chassis stable in a corner. Whether you’re r> ng for a smooth launch from a stoplight or flawless эо .vnshifts with a passenger on the back, you want your nputs to be seamless. If the free play needs adjustment, loosen the locking ^iit(s) near the throttle grip. Some bikes will only have :oe adjuster. For two-adjuster models, loosen the nuts there is plenty of slack in the system. Next, tighten tne deceleration adjuster (the cable that pulls the grip nto the throttle-closed position) so that there is no slack *пел the throttle is held closed. Tighten the deceleration locking nut. Now, adjust the acceleration cable’s adjuster -гг the desired amount of free play is present in the grip, and tighten its locking nut. Ensure that there are plenty of —reads (at least three) engaged in the adjuster body. if you can’t get the proper amount of free play with ■~e adjuster(s), set the adjuster(s) to the middle of ts n e ir range and adjust the cables down by the carbure- tars/lhrottle bodies. Begin by removing the tank and any oodywork that will interfere with your access to cables. On syne bikes you may need to remove or disassemble the ~ r эох to reach the bell crank. A word of warning about using less free play than the fectory specifies: If the throttle cables are too tight, they Z2T cause the throttle to stick, close very slowly, or not ro se completely, so check thoroughly by rolling the throttle open and releasing it from a variety of settings. Finally, run the engine at idle speed and turn the handlebar to both the right and left to make sure that the engine speed does not change. If it does, check the cable routing and free play again. Clutch Free Play For bikes with hydraulic clutches, you can skip this section, because hydraulic systems are self-adjusting. Cable-actuated clutches should be checked regularly, though. Also, the clutch-lever free play adjustment can To ch e ck thro ttle free play, hold the grip b e tw e e n yo u r fin g e rs and roll it back and forth until you begin to feel the pull o f the cable. Pick a sp o t on the grip and w a tch it to m ea su re free play. If yo u ha ve trouble visu alizing the m easu rem ent, hold a tape m easu re up to the grip. M ost fa cto ry se rvice m anuals su g ge s t th a t 2 to 3 m m is the co rrect am o unt of throttle free play. ADJUSTCLUTCHANDTHROTTLEFREEPLAY
  29. 29. ADJUSTCLUTCHANDTHROTTLEFREEPLAY accom m odate various rider preferences and hand sizes. (If you have hand size problem s w ith a hydraulic clutch, try buying an adjustable lever.) To measure th e free play, pull in the clutch lever to take up th e slack in th e cable. Now measure the gap between th e clutch lever holder and the lever itself. Again, m ost manufacturers recomm end 2 to 3 m m o f free play. Som etim es cable stretch m akes it im possible fo r you to get th e proper clutch free play. If this happens, turn the ad ju ste r on th e lever h o lde r so th a t 5 to 6 m m o f th e thread is visible. Next, adjust the slack at the lower end of th e cable. S lide th e cab le d u st cove r o u t o f th e way, if there is one. Loosen th e nuts as far as they will go. Now, pull the cable tight by sliding it inside the bracket. Tighten the nuts firm ly enough so they will not vibrate loose, and return the dust cover to its proper position. The free play can now be adjusted by the screw at the lever. You’ve just officially outsm arted your motorcycle. Setthefree playwith the cable adjusters on the throttle cables. Ifthe bike hastwo adjusters,set the deceleration cable first. Locate the adjusternutsfor thethrottle cableswhere theyattachto the throttle body. Loosen the locknut on the deceleration cable and adjustthe cable until there is no slack with the grip in the closed position. Now, adjust the free play ofthe acceleration cableto spec in the same manner.Anyfinal fine-tuning to getthe free playto your personal preferences can be done at the throttle grip end.Adjustingthe throttle free play usingthis method is time consuming, but it pays off when you need to correct the free play in the future. When you aresatisfied with the cable settings, tighten the locknuts firmly to preventthem from vibrating loose. Space is usually pretty tight, sotake yourtime asyou adjust the cables on the bell crank. Food forthought:While 2 to 3 mm of free play may be the factory spec, many riders prefer even less free play, giving them the feeling of aseamless connectionto the carburetors or injector housings. Experiment with different free-play amountsto findthe setting that suits yourriding style. Take upthe slack in the clutch cableand measure the gap between the lever holderandthe lever. Left: Toadjust the free play, loosen the knurled lock screw on the clutch-lever holder. If your bike doesn’t have one, lookfor an inline adjuster like this somewhere in the middle of the cable. Now, unscrew the adjuster for less slack or screw it in for more slack. Riders with smaller hands will probably want to have a bit more slack than those with larger hands.Also, depending on where the clutch engages in the lever travel, you maywant to adjust it to engage at adifferent point. If you give the lever extra free play, make sure that the clutch releases fully when the lever is pulled all the way in. If it doesn’t, your ability to shift smoothly will be compromised, and the transmission will undergo unnecessary stress when you downshift. If the free play is less than the recommended amount,the clutch may notfully engage, causing clutch slip and premature clutch wear.
  30. 30. Project 9 Replacing Throttle Cables Phillips screw drivers, open-end w renches, pick, grease, rear stand COST: $ PARTS: Throttle cables TIP: Replace the cables one at a tim e, so you don’t have to rem em ber the exact path they take through the fram e and other hardware BENEFIT: Smooth throttle operation A sm ooth hand and sm ooth operation o f th e th ro ttle cables them selves are vital. If you r th ro ttle show s an y sig n s o f n o tc h in e s s o r if it be com e s d iffic u lt to tw is t, you p ro b a b ly need new cab les. A lso, if y o u ’ve c .vered yo u r c lip -o n s sig n ifica n tly, you m ay w an t to n s ta ll s h o rte r c a b le s to kee p th e m fro m ru b b in g against other com ponents. Begin by placing your bike securely on a rear stand to p re ven t a c c id e n ta lly k n o ck in g it o ff th e s id e sta nd . R em ove th e ta nk and any b o dyw o rk th a t w ill interfere ■ :h y o u r ac ce ss to cab les. O n som e bike s you m ay ree d to rem ove o r disassem ble th e air bo x to reach the cell crank. O ther com ponents, such as th e rad ia to r on th is R6, m ay need to be loosened to allo w th e cab les’ adjusters to fit through the tig h t space. B efore disassem bling th e th ro ttle , loosen all o f th e cab les’ adjusters to gain m axim um free play. U nscrew th e th ro ttle’s plastic cover and fold it back ou t o f th e way, being careful no t to pinch the w ires o r stress any o f the con ne cto rs fo r th e kill sw itch and sta rter button. If you don’t have enough free play, use a pick o r sm all screw ­ driver to lift th e cable into position to allow the fittin g to slide o u t o f th e throttle grip body. Once one cable is free, the second one w ill be sim ple. Resist th e urge to rem ove both cables at once. W hile you m ay have a photographic m em ory, som ething m ay Space is tight, so exercisea little patience to getthe cablesfree of the carburetors. with the cable adjusters loosened all the way, you may need to use г zr&,to help getthe fitting free of the grip. REPLACINGTHROTTLECABLES
  31. 31. REPLACINGTHROTTLECABLES Sometimes you can use the idle speed adjuster (right) to move the bell crank into a position that makes removing the fitting a little easier. pull you aw ay from this job , leaving you to decipher the line draw ings in the service m anual. If you do not run the cables in the proper path, they m ay bind when you turn th e ba rs or, w orse, th e y m ay cau se th e b ik e to rev. Rem oving the cables one at a tim e w ill leave a path for you to follow w hile inserting th e new ones. W hen slid in g th e fittin g s in to th e ir po sitio n s, lube them as described in Project 3. Giving th e cables a quick squ irt o f lubricant w ouldn’t be a bad idea. Rem ove the th ro ttle grip and give th e clip-on a w ipe and a spritz of W D -40 fo r lubricant. Once you have th e cables run in the proper path, both ends secured, and th e th ro ttle body reassem bled, set th e a d ju ste r near th e th ro ttle to th e m id d le o f its range. N ow, ad ju s t th e free play to you r liking w ith the locknuts dow n by th e carburetor. Any final fine-tuning to get th e free play to you r personal prefer­ ences can be done a t th e th ro ttle g rip end. U sing this m ethod is tim e consum ing, bu t it pays dividends when you need to correct th e free play in th e future. When you are satisfied w ith the cable settings, tighten the locknuts firm ly to prevent them from vibrating loose. C heck th e cable routing one last tim e, and tu rn the b a rs fro m lo c k to lo c k to m ake sure n o th in g b in d s. O nce you have th e b ike ba ck to g e th e r, w arm up the engine and set th e idle speed to th e fa cto ry spe cifica­ tion. O ne last tim e, tu rn th e bars from lock to lo c k w ith th e en gin e run ning to m ake sure th a t th e id le speed do esn’t change. Evenif you didn’t changethe idle speed while swapping cables, you’ll need to set the idle to the operatingtemperaturespec.
  32. 32. TIM E: 2 hours Project 10 Winterize Your Motorcycle discharged sta te th a t can dra m a tically shorten its life. A dd a co n sta nt dra in from an alarm system , and your bike’s battery can be stone dead in only tw o weeks. The only w ay to m aintain a m otorcycle battery is to charge it periodically. Fortunately, “ sm art” charger te ch­ nology has advanced to th e po in t th a t buying one can pay fo r itse lf in a year o r tw o o f ow n ership . You d o n ’t even need to rem ove th e ba tte ry from you r bike. Just plug it in and forget about it. A fused cable tucked safely ou t o f sigh t w ill w ork fine . However, if your bike w ill be stored in a subfreezing environm ent, you should let the battery spend th e w inte r in a less stressful locale. Gas Tank If you’re going to park you r bike fo r m ore than a week, com pletely fill th e ta nk. O therw ise, as th e tem perature rises and falls, any m oisture in th e air w ill condense on th e bare m etal inside the tank and can cause rust. Engine Once the engine stops running, com bustion by-products settle ou t o f th e oil and can sink th eir te eth into unpro­ te c te d m eta l. H ow ever, a q u ic k o il c ha ng e p rio r to p a rkin g y o u r b ike fo r th e w in te r w ill rem ove m o st o f them . A fte r th e change, rid e y o u r bike fo r a cou ple of m iles to displace th e old oil w ith the fresh. R idin g a w e ll-m a in ta in e d m oto rcycle is a pleasure enjoyed w orldw ide. But in those regions th at know tnter a few m onths each year are less than am enable to - >o-wheeled pleasures. Putting your bike away right will ge l you back on the road sooner, save you money, and extend th e life o f your favorite possession. This project is :-ganized so th at th e longer you r bike w ill be stored, the -_rther you should delve into th e preparation fo r it. Carburetors Is ix ire to rs have many sm all parts w ith tiny orifices that ro g easily and resist cleaning. When gasoline sits a while r .our carbs, its volatile com ponents evaporate, leaving Dehind am o ng th e se sm all p a rts and passagew ays a нэску substance called varnish. That blockage accounts fa r th e m a jo rity o f cou gh ing and s p u tte rin g y o u r bike e c a rn s when you start it in th e spring. If this stuff accu- -u ia re s m uch, you’re looking at a thorough disassem bly arsd cleaning to get your engine running properly. To pre- .= r l varnish buildup, drain the float bow ls any tim e you let OLг bike sit for m ore than a week or so w ithout running it. Battery _=fr unused, batteries w ill discharge. Both high and low ■ ^ c e ra tu re s acce lerate th is loss o f charge, and if it’s l cA'ed to c o n tin u e , th e b a tte ry w ill reach a de ep ly Front and rear stands, intel­ ligent battery charger, plug wrench, oil filter wrench, sockets, torque wrench COST: $-$$ PARTS: Fuel stabilizer, fogging oil for cylinders, covers for intakes and exhaust openings, oil and filter, corrosion protectant, bike cover, coolant, fresh spark plugs (for next season) TIP:Winter is a great time to undertake a bunch of the other projects in this book, as well BENEFIT: You’ll be riding w hile folks w ho don’t w interize will be waiting fo r their bikes to get out of the shop WINTERIZEYOURMOTORCYCLE
  33. 33. WINTERIZEYOURMOTORCYCLE The best way to drain the float bowls is to attach a hose to the nipple at the bottom of each float bowl. Then loosen the drain screw and let the fuel pour into a clean container. Examinethe contents for water, rust, or any other contaminants. The second-best way to drain the car­ buretors is to close the petcock with the engine running. Once the engine has run dry, the carbs are safe against fouling from evapora­ tion. Remember, though, you haven’t cleared the float bowls of other forms of contamination, and you should drain the carbs properly at least once a year. Although m any bikes’ cylinder w alls are now coated w ith alloys rather than lined w ith iron, you 'll still w ant to protect them from m oisture contained in the air trapped in th e cham bers. Som e people prefer to rem ove th e spark plugs and squirt som e 50W oil into th e spark plug holes. C rank the engine over a fe w tim es to coa t things before reinstalling the plugs. Another m ethod is to spray fogging oil into th e throttle bodies w ith th e engine running, which m ay give the cylinders a more thorough protective coating. Fogging oil can be found at many auto parts stores. If y o u r w a te r-c o o le d b ik e w ill be s to re d in an u n he ated g a rag e th a t m ay see te m p e ra tu re s be low Intelligent chargersconstantly monitorthe state of a battery, andwhen thevoltage drops,the charging feature kicks in. Oncethe voltage rises up to the properlevel,the chargerenters“ float” mode, where a neutral charge keeps thevoltage from dropping. The difference betweenthese chargers andthe trickle chargersthat can be boughtfor less than S10 is the float mode.Trickle chargersjust keeptrickling away regardlessof the battery’s condition, which can do as much damage as not charging the battery atall. Although a smart charger, such as a Battery Minderor Battery Tender, orYuasacharger, costs considerablylessthan a new battery, some folks still wantto use atrickle charger. If you’rethat typeof person, plug it into a light timer that is setto run for about 15-20 min­ utes a day.Also, any nonsealed batteryshould be topped off with distilled water every month or so,if necessary. freezing, yo u ’ll w an t to che ck to see th a t th e antifreeze is up to snuff. C oo lan t is che ap er than a replacem ent engine block. R iders w ho ta ke th eir bikes to tra ck days sh o u ld keep in m in d th a t; if th e y sw ap pe d th e glycol c o o la n t fo r W ate r W etter, th e ir c o o lin g sy ste m s w ill freeze a t 32 degrees. C om pletely dra in ing th e system w ill prevent th is . Ju st be sure to stic k a b ig note on the trip le clam p o r speedom eter, w arning th at th e radiator is em pty. Tires B ike and tire m a n u fa c tu re rs g e n e ra lly agree th a t it ’s preferable to store a bike on stands, to prevent the tires from sitting on th e sam e spot fo r several m onths. When sto rin g on stands, reduce th e tire pressure by 20 per­ cent. If you leave your bike sitting on its tires, fill them up to their m axim um recom m ended pressure and check the pressure every m onth.
  34. 34. _-s soft Roadgearcover will protect your bike from dust and will keep те light from fadingyour paint. Elevating the tires off the ground keeps tern from developing flat spots onthe tread. Chassis and Finish E-ake and clutch hydraulic fluid replacem ent and chassis imbrication is highly recom m ended. Pay particular atten- Son to the cables and th e chain. They will benefit from a r'o te c tiv e layer o f grease o r o th e r lub rica nt. Sim ilarly, cashing and w axing your bike prior to storage w ill help z 'o te c t the finish. A pply a heavy coat o f w ax and do n’t r -iff it o ff until spring . Som e people even go as fa r as я axing th e inside o f the bodyw ork and th e fram e. Finally, c o v e r th e b ik e (w ith an in d o o r o r o u td o o r cover, as appropriate) to p ro te c t it from d u s t and g rit—and salt from cars th at m ay share the space. Fuel stored for long periods can stratify into its components unless a fuel stabilizer is used. Besure the tank is completely full, or the moisture in the air trapped in the tank can cause it to rust. If you’re storing your bike for the winter, you have two choicesfor how to prepare the tank. Both methods of tank winterization require that you begin by draining the tank. This is a good maintenance procedure, anyway, since any crud or moisture that has collected during the riding season will be carried out with the fuel. The easiestoption is to then pour a fuel stabilizer, like Sta-Bil, into the tank andthen fill it completely with fresh gas.The alternative for people who can’t or don’t want to store their bike with a full tank is to pour a few ounces of heavy oil—50W at a minimum—into the empty tank. Close the tank and spend a few minutes rotating it until the oil has coated the tank internals and washed away any fuel remnants. Pour the remainder into your oil-recycling container. Nextspring, empty out the oil that collected in the bottom of the tank before filling it with fresh gas. Always store your bike with the petcock turned off to prevent any accidental leakage. Cylinder walls, like the inside of gas tanks, need to be protected from moisture or they may rust. Spraying fogging oil into the cylinders can preventthis. WINTERIZEYOURMOTORCYCLE
  35. 35. HOWTOWASHYOURHANDS Project 11 How to Wash Your Hands Some people steer clearof auto repairsjust because of the dirt and grease. Fortunately, new auto-specific hand cleaners remove all the grease, grime, and oil. Applya good dollopof an auto-grade hand cleaner in the palm of yourhand. Work it in well, notjustto thefront and back butin the knuckles and fingertips, too. A stiff fingernail brush will getthat grease outso none of youroffice- mates know you've been productive in the garage over the weekend. Thesearethe same handsafterthe hand cleaner. Look near the wrists where the cleanerwasn’t applied. Hands perfectlyclean and readyfor paperwork or a nice restaurant.
  36. 36. Chapter 2 Fuel System OLD SCHOOL TECH TOMORROW'S TECH KEY CONCEPT MAINTENANCE TIP MONEY-SAVING TIP How It W orks Carburetors Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) Engine M anagem ent System Taking Care of th e Fuel System Projects P ro je c t 12: C lean/Replace Your A ir Filter D epending on w hose conversion form ula you prefer to believe, a single gallon o f gasoline is roughly equal to 51 pounds o f TNT, alm ost five dozen Big M acs, o r tw o irr/n osa urs, tw o triceratops, and tw o tyrannosaurs. Admittedly, trying to get any o f those into your m otor- ry d e ’s gas tank, let alone get them to burn evenly (if at all), would be p ro blem a tic a t best. U nlike th o se fo ss il fuel ralents, gasoline can be atomized, and then vaporized and m ixed with air, so it can burned to produce power. S o how is th e fu el processed so th a t it’s ready to c u m in th e engine? T ha t’s th e definition o f you r b ike ’s b e system . P erhaps th e s im p lest w ay to understand fuel system in you r m otorcycle is to identify its three in functions: storage, transportation, and delivery, .’/hen you stop by th e self-service gas station, stick ‘ a u to m a tic d isp e n s in g nozzle in to th e fu e l fille r opening o f your bike’s gas tank, and squeeze th e handle, |Oli are starting th e fuel on the last leg of its long journey, oil fie ld s som ewhere in th e w o rld —Saudi Arabia, M exico, Venezuela—it takes a trip across one of e tw o big ponds in a huge tanker, piped underground = -efining plant, trucked to th e gas station, stored in an iro un d ta n k , an d fin a lly pu m pe d in to y o u r fu el —whew! And all this fo r a product th at still costs less m ost designer bottled waters! ’/hen you fill your tank, you’re safely storing enough to rid e you r m oto rcycle som e 100-2 50 m iles. The ta n k itse lf is a ste el o r p la stic co n ta in er affixed to th e chassis, and is som etim es fitte d w ith internal baffles to p re v e n t slo s h in g and sp illa g e . It d e live rs fu e l to th e e n g in e e ith e r via g ra v ity, o r (m ore co m m o n ly, th e s e days) is plum bed to deliver th e fuel to th e engine via a fuel pum p and fuel lines. The ta nk is effectively sealed once th e fille r cap is properly tightened, no t ju st to pre­ ven t spillage b u t to prevent fuel vapors from escaping into th e atm osphere. On C a lifo rn ia -on ly m oto rcycle s, th e v ap ors gener­ ated by th e gasoline in th e ta nk are colle cted in a char­ coal ca n iste r secured som ew here on th e m oto rcycle , w hich sto re s them until th e engine is started. A purge va lv e o p e n s a n o th e r va lv e to a p p ly en g in e m a n ifo ld vacuum to th e ca n is te r to draw th ese vap ors in to th e induction system and burn them as th e engine gets up to o p e ra tin g te m p e ra tu re . The idea is to co m p le te ly c o n s u m e th e fu e l va p o rs to p re v e n t th e m fro m escaping into th e atm osphere. A ll right, th e ta n k ’s fu ll, th e fille r cap is secure, and you’re ready to start th e engine. In th e decades before fuel injection, m otorcycle fuel system s alm ost universally used sim p le, reliable, and alw a ys a va ilab le g ra vity to m ove fuel from th e tank to the engine. M any m odern m otorcycles use ele ctric fuel pum ps b u ilt in to th e gas ta n k (m ore on th o se pu m ps can be found under th e heading Fuel Injection).
  37. 37. CARBURETORS From th e ir prim itive , ea rlie st days (when they w ere little m ore than glorified w icks) c a rb u re to rs b e cam e re la tiv e ly s o p h is tic a te d instrum ents th a t altered fu el’s physical sta te from a liquid to a vapor, w hich m ixed w ith th e incom ing air draw n into th e engine by th e dow nw ard m otion o f th e pistons. It is th is vaporized air/fuel m ixture th at th e engine then burns to m ake power. C arburetors feature a num ber o f different circu its to help them com plete th e job . As the fuel enters the carbu­ retor from th e fuel line, it fills a floa t cham ber o r bo w l—a sm all reservoir o f fuel in the carburetor body. The flow of fuel into th is cham ber is m etered by a sim ple needle and seat valve operated by a m echanical flo a t arm . A s th e fu el level in th e cham ber rises o r fa lls, it progressively closes o r opens th e valve, regulating th e level o f fuel in th e cham ber and available to th e engine. E arly in c a rb u re to r’s de ve lo p m e n t, th e y u tilize d a m anually operated m echanical choke to aid cold starts. T he cho ke is n o th in g m ore th an a rou nd p la te th a t rota te s to re strict airflo w th ro ug h th e carb body, thus increasing the percentage o f fuel th at m ixes w ith the air and providing a richer air/fuel m ixture to help the engine s ta rt an d w arm up. T he n e xt s te p w as a d e d ica te d enrichener circu it. Less crude than th e hand-over-the- m ou th a p p ro a c h o f th e ch o ke pla te , th e e n rich en er c irc u it a c co m p lish e s th e sam e ta s k fo r m ore e a sily starting a cold engine, and it rem ains m anually operated. -=-/V* The m ost remarkable feature o f a carburetor j is its ven tu ri, based on th e ae rod yna m ic p rin c ip le o f th e ven tu ri effe ct. W hen atm ospheric air is draw n through an opening into a c h a m b e r o f in c re a s in g vo lu m e , its p re ssure decreases. The th ro ttle valve—a cylindrical o r flat s lid e , o r b u tte rfly -ty p e —w h ic h is c o n n e c te d to and opened/closed by th e th ro ttle grip on th e right end o f th e b ike ’s handlebar(s)—varies th e venturi op en ing , w h ich co n tro ls th e volu m e o f air being draw n into th e engine. A t idle th e throttle is alm ost close d, re strictin g a irflow in to th e engine. A t full th ro ttle , such as w hen you’re trying to safely enter a freew ay before som e sem i cuts you o ff, airflow into th e engine is m axim ized. Remember th e fuel waiting in the float bowl/cham ber? It is under norm al atm ospheric pressure. M ain je ts are sm all tubes, o r orifices, th a t connect th e bo tto m o f the float cham ber to the venturi. As the throttle is opened and c lose d, th e pressure d iffe re n tia l betw een th e flo a t cham ber and venturi m eters th e am ount o f fuel pushed from th e cha m be r th ro ug h th e je ts in to th e a ir stream draw n through th e venturi. By varying th e volum e o f air and am ount o f fuel drawn into th e engine from th e carbu­ retor, you regulate the pow er your m otorcycle produces. M an y c a rb u re to rs a ls o fe a tu re an a c c e le ra to r pum p, w hich m echanically squ irts a little extra fuel into th e venturi as you open th e th ro ttle . T hrottle m ovem ent activates th is little pum p, w hich helps th e engine begin accelerating cleanly. For th e first six decades o f th e m otorcycle, carbure­ to rs w ere th e device o f choice to regulate and m ix fuel w ith th e incom ing air. And carburetors d id a fine jo b in m ost cases. They were relatively easy to tune by varying th e size o f th e m ain jets, fo r exam ple, and w hen tuned well, they provided good perform ance and fuel economy. C arburetor Drawbacks A s g o od and hig h ly d e ve lo p e d as ca rb u re to rs have go tte n , even th e ir m ost a rd en t de votee s have had to adm it, to paraphrase C lint Eastw ood, “ Every m an’s go t to rea lize h is ca rb u re to r’s lim ita tio n s .” O ne o f th o se lim ita tio n s is th e c a rb ’s in a b ility to reco gn ize and accom m odate changes in atm ospheric air pressure. For exam ple, a carb ureto r tuned properly fo r op era tion at sea level along th e coast w o n 't perform very well in the m ountains. The higher th e altitude, the low er th e am bient air pressure, th e few er m olecules o f air per c u b ic foot. But the carburetor only know s how m any cub ic feet o f air flow s through it. Consequently, the sea-level-tuned carb d e liv e rs to o m uch fu e l fo r th e a m o u n t o f a ir pu lled through it in th e m ountains, m eaning the engine w ill run to o rich.