Tech Tips for Summer Riding
Is Your Bike Ready For Summer Riding?
Well the heat is starting to hit... Some will park the bikes and take on those customising projects but for those that keep the bikes rolling here are a few hot weather thoughts that may keep you from being stranded on a hot side of a road or middle of the sand dunes!
1. Check Your Fork Seals
Watch for oil seeping around the seals or on inverted forks leaking down the sides. Once seals start to go they will go fast. A leaking seal will drop oil on your brake pads and rotors causing front brakes to lose 50% or more braking power. Also low or bad oil will impact the handling of the bike.
2. Check Your Lines
Brake lines are dated and should be replaced every five years. Check for cracking, splitting or dry rot. Summer heat puts stress on everything and it will find the weak spots.
3. Use a Battery Tender
We have addressed this issue before in our newsletters, if you’re parking the bike or reducing your riding, keep your battery charged with a trickle charger. A trickle charger will keep the battery fresh and your bike will be ready to ride when you are. If you have not changed your battery in some time you may consider it. Heat really stresses a battery & when they go they go.
The roads will get to very high temps and if you're thin on tread it will wear quickly. Check your tyre pressure regularly and watch out for "tar-snakes" on the road, these are very slick in the heat and very slippery.
5. Heat is the Enemy of Oil
The higher the temp the less the viscosity, more break down and more wear on your engine. Keep oil levels right and if it is old change it out to provide the best protection against the heat. Synthetic oil does provide better high temp protection than standard oil. Summer is not the time to push your oil change intervals, save that for the cooler months.
6. To Add an Oil Cooler or Not
An oil cooler does provide anywhere from 15 to 25 degrees cooling when you are running at speed. They provide very little advantage in stop and go conditions. Reducing the oil temp by 20 degrees increases the oil viscosity and provides better overall lubrication, again while you are running.
7. Hydrate and Carry Water
I know this last one we have heard a million times but many bikers do not follow through. Hydrate before the ride and take water with you. Yeah it will be hot, but if you do have a break down it will taste great.
Enjoy your summer and make sure you and your bike are prepared!