Repairing Your Bike
Nothing takes the place of professional help from your local bike shop, regular servicing and daily checks are essential for the reliability and safety of your bike (please click here for a list of local shops) The checks below are items you should be doing regularly any way but if you are going for a ride out pay just a little bit more attention to them. If you are not sure about an item on your bike have a look in your owners book or pop into your local dealer and ask them; most are happy to give advice and some will even make you a coffee/tea!
Brakes - When you push your bike out the garage or along your drive gently pull the front brake on, it should go on smoothly, stop the bike and release fully. Does it feel the same as when you rode the bike last? Sit on the bike, gently push it forward or backward and do the same with the rear brake.
Oils - Engine oils, you could have a dipstick, window or separate oil tank if a 2 stroke; check you owners book for this one. Petrol - sounds silly but do you have enough fuel for the journey, this is 1 check that is often overlooked but will make a great story for your mates to take the micky out of you for years to come (was it 300 yards till you run out Graham???)
Lights & Electrics - Check the lights all round (not forgetting number plate and dash lights) are they working, are the lenses clean and un-broken? Check the horn is working (1 quick beep is enough...unless you don't like your neighbours!)
Tyres - Pressure, Check your owners book for the correct tyre pressure settings for the conditions you will be riding in i.e. high or low speed & with or without a pillion. Tread depth, the legal minimum on anything bigger than a 50cc is 1mm but that will give you very little grip on a wet road; most manufactures recommend a minimum of around 1.5mm to 2mm. Condition, look for any damage such as cuts, bulges and scrapes, any cracks in the sidewall and any foreign bodies (stones, nails, glass etc) between the tread.
Steering - Put the bike on the main stand, push down on the back of the seat to get the front wheel of the ground, when you turn the bars lock to lock you should have free and easy movement all over and watch out for any "catching" in the middle.
Chain - Check the tension (the correct setting will be in your book or sometimes on the chain guard) Make sure the chain is well "lubed" and in general good condition.
Hydraulic Fluids - Check the levels on any brake hydraulics, DO NOT top up if low, find out why it's low - it could be pads - this is a good one to get your local bike shop to check out.
Oil Leaks - Stand back a few feet from your bike and have a good look at it, especially underneath it looking for any oil that has leaked out.
This page is meant as a rough guide to some of the checks to do on your bike, for a complete list and methods refer to your owners book and/or your local dealer.