8 Things a motorbiker can do during the covid-19 quarantine
Due to the pandemic decreed by the World Health Organization, what each of us should do whenever possible is to stay indoors. The fight against coronavirus or covid-19 must be done by each one of us, complying with the instructions of the competent authorities.
But in this quarantine period that we must comply with and when we are unable to drive our bikes with the usual freedom, take that ride to our favorite terrace to join with friends, there are several things that we can do as bikers and that we don’t they have to leave the house, or else they have the garage where we keep our bike as a backdrop.
1) How to clean and lubricate the motorcycle chain
2) Five signs you need to change your engine oil
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1 How to clean and lubricate
The motorcycle chain
Step # 1 – Cleaning the chainPut on your gloves, grab a cloth and the WD-40. Spray the cloth with the WD-40, this product that works miracles and seems to work on everything. In the rack area, start by rubbing the cloth more vigorously on the chain. Turn the rear wheel and clean all the chain. The WD-40 has two effects: it cleans dirt and protects it by lubricating. Continue rubbing until you see that there is no dirt inside the chain links.Some people use a brush at this stage to clean the inside of the chain links. If you do, our recommendation is to use a brush with soft hair. A “low cost” option will be a toothbrush, but there are specific options on the market, with brushes inside boxes, which allow you to clean the chain, with the dirt remaining in the box.
Step # 2 – Remove excess WD40After cleaning, we must remove the excess WD-40After cleaning, use a little kitchen paper to absorb and remove excess WD-40 in the chain. This is the moment when you can also see if the chain is actually clean, or if it still needs to be cleaned. If the kitchen paper has black marks of dirty oil, repeat step # 1.
Step # 3 – Chain lubricationAfter removing the excess WD-40, and because the normal WD-40 is not the right product to properly lubricate the transmission chain of a motorcycle, we must then use a specific chain spray. In this particular there are several options on the market, from the most varied brands, each with its pros and cons.
For example, I prefer to use wax or gel chain sprays on my bikes. These sprays have a thicker consistency, hold on to the chain better, and make the bike less dirty when riding it. The downside is that these sprays cannot penetrate the links of the chain as well.
The most liquid sprays easily splash the wheels and the entire rear of the bike. However, they penetrate the links much better and guarantee more detailed lubrication. Some people use a combination of these two types of spray, using the most liquid first and then using the thickest to finish. To be honest, I have no objective data to suggest that this option of using both types of spray has more benefits.
So how do you apply the spray? It is common to see our friends needing to lubricate the chain of the motorcycle, stop at any place, and give a “spray” of spray on the chain that covers the rack by the outside of the chain. Now, with the centrifugal force exerted on the chain while the motorcycle is running, this spray will bounce off the chain more easily, which not only reduces lubrication but also dirty the motorcycle.
The most correct way, although it takes more work, is to put a piece of cardboard behind the chain, between the chain and the wheel, and then apply the spray inside the chain, turning the wheel to apply the spray along the entire chain. the current. This way we protect the tire and other components from being sprayed with lubricant. This way when the motorcycle is riding, the centrifugal force will “push” the lubricant spray from the inside to the outside of the chain, which not only leads to better lubrication, but also does not get so dirty.
Beware of excesses!
When placing the spray on the chain keep in mind that the excess spray that is placed will be bad for you in two ways. The first aspect is at the monetary level. A can of chain lubricant spray is not too expensive, but if you use too much at a time, the can will not last long. Bearing in mind that we must clean and lubricate the chain every 3 to 5 fuel tanks (it varies according to the conditions of use of the motorcycle), this can mean a “leak” in our budget at the end of the year.
The second aspect, and this one is much more important, is in terms of security. Excessive chain spray will splash the rim and tire, as you can see in the photo. Obviously, spray on the tire is what we don’t want, as the rear tire will slip. Use enough spray to cover the chain. There is no point in letting the chain “drip”.
Step # 4 – Final cleaning
After the chain is lubricated, my advice is to wait a while before doing this step. I usually wait at least 12 hours between step # 3 and step # 4. This allows the spray to dry and grip the chain better as it cools down overnight.
Regarding the final cleaning, what we intend to do here is to remove some of the excess lubricant spray that is outside the chain. Take the second cloth (which is not dirty) and apply some WD-40. It doesn’t take much. The objective is to pass the cloth along the entire length of the chain, without making much effort, in order to clean the chain “lightly”. Do not clean the inside of the chain!
At the end you can see that the inside of the chain, and even the rack, will be sprayed with lubricant, while the outside of the chain links will be shining like new.
But if the chain is important to transmit power from the engine to the rear wheel, then it is even more relevant to check that your engine is in good condition. Namely engine oil.
A healthy engine needs to be well lubricated, and the oil you use on your motorcycle’s engine is not eternal. It is therefore necessary to check the oil level and its quality. Only then can you guarantee that the engine will be operating at 100% of its capacity for your pleasure.
you need to change
your engine oil
Although it is important to regularly check your motorcycle’s engine oil level, it is also important to use the type of engine oil indicated for your motorcycle. In the instruction manual the manufacturer of the motorcycle indicates which type of oil is indicated by several variants, and it is this indication that the dear reader must follow.
There is no point in searching for “tips” on Google or on forums, because many times the answers we find, although they seem correct, may be wrong and in the end cause serious damage to the engine or, even worse, irreparable damage!
Engine oil is important for several reasons. It is this liquid that the manufacturer uses to lubricate the internal components of the engine. At the same time, the oil has the function of cooling the internal components.
As we know, the motor of a motorcycle reaches very high revs and the temperature increases, and for this reason the oil used in lubrication also has the function of lowering the temperature of the various metallic components. If the temperature rises too much, either because the oil does not reach where it is supposed to lubricate, or because it is no longer in good condition, the result can be a motor for waste.
But engine oil doesn’t last forever! Although engine oil manufacturers use various chemicals to manufacture oils for specific applications, extending the life of the engine oil, the reality is that over kilometers the oil loses its qualities.
Each oil has a number of kilometers in which it can be used, after which it must be changed. Your motorcycle’s instruction manual should indicate when you need to change the oil.
Currently we find motorcycles where the oil change must be done every 5000 km, but there are also other motorcycles where the oil change is carried out every 15,000 km. Whatever the mileage, there are certain signs that can help us understand the state of the motorcycle’s engine oil.
So Riding a Motorcycle leaves here five signs that your motorcycle may be in need of new oil. And don’t forget: every time you change the oil, also change the oil filter!
Signal # 1 - See if the oil is black and has a sandy texture
Some bikes still have a dipstick, others already have a small window to check the oil level. Whatever the case for your motorcycle, you should check the color of the engine oil. In the beginning the engine oil is translucent and golden / brown. But over time it will turn black and it will also get thicker.
To check if it is thick, put some oil on the tip of your finger, and rub the oil with another finger. If the oil is good, it should be smooth. If you feel that the oil has a sandy texture, as if it has grains of sand, it means that the oil is contaminated and must be changed.
Regarding the black color of the oil, there is no time for the oil to start changing from the original color to black. However, it is possible to control the color change. If you check the oil every month, you will be able to see if the oil is blacker than it should be. If it is really black, the oil should be changed.
Signal # 2 - The engine is making more noise than usual?
This is one of those things that the dear reader will know to recognize on his bike better than anyone else. It’s your bike, you ride it often, and any unusual noise will echo in your ear and trigger an alarm signal.
New oil that is added to the engine allows a “fresh” layer of protection to be created between metal parts inside the engine. Don’t you love the sound of a brand new engine? Over time and kilometers the oil will lose this property, and the metal parts will stay in contact without so much lubrication, creating unusual noises.
If you hear unusual noises and at a higher than usual volume, this is a sign that it may be time to change the engine oil.
Signal # 3 - Engine trouble indicator light does not go away?
Modern motorcycles have sensors on the engine that let you know, via lights on the motorcycle’s instrument panel, if the oil level in the engine is sufficient or if the engine is low on oil.
Whenever the warning light appears, you should check the oil level. If the oil level is slightly below usual, it may just be necessary to add a little oil to restore the level. The light should go out. If the “check engine” warning light remains on, this is a sign of a more serious problem and the motorcycle must be checked by a qualified mechanic.
Signal # 4 - Oil level is below the minimum mark?
You have already added oil to restore the level, verified through the dipstick or window that the oil is at the maximum indicated by the motorcycle manufacturer, but the oil level continues to drop. This is a sign of a problem!
If there is no leak in the engine, this means that the problem may be that the oil is already overused. When the oil loses its chemical characteristics it also loses its lubricating capacity. The engine will use more oil to ensure that all components are properly lubricated.
That is why, no matter how much you reset the oil level, the oil level will always drop more than normal. In this case, it is necessary to change the oil.
Signal # 5 - Don't remember the last time you changed the oil?
Although the manufacturers say in the motorcycle’s instruction manual that the engine oil should be changed every X kilometers, in reality you should pay attention to the time the oil is being used.
It is best to change the engine oil every 12 months if you do not follow the kilometers defined by the motorcycle manufacturer.
If you don’t remember the last time your motorcycle’s engine oil was changed, then this is a good sign that it’s time to change the oil! It is important to make sure that the next time you do not get lost with the time / kilometers that the engine oil has. Write on the paper the date and kilometers of the motorcycle when you change each oil.
It is also important to pay attention to the type of use you give your motorcycle. For example, it is normal for motorcycles going to the track for owners to change the engine oil more often than what is described in the instruction manual. In these cases the engine will be subjected to a greater effort, which is why it is advisable to always have the oil in the best possible conditions.
How to choose your
Before leaving with your motorcycle, it is essential to make the right choice with regard to tires. Take note of the following things to consider
1 The type of driving
First of all, you should check what type of driving you practice. If you like speeds, or even off-road adventures, you should opt for stiffer tires. However, if you like to corner and need the bike to answer you immediately, soft tires are the best option, and the most effective.
2 The type of motorcycle
The choice of tires is related to the type of motorcycle you have, as each tire model has been tested and designed for each model. In the case of having an all-terrain motorcycle, the tires for this model are the most appropriate for use in this vehicle, as they guarantee the best performance. However, if in doubt you should always consult the manufacturer’s manual
3 The surface where you will drive
This aspect must always be taken into account, as the motorcycle is designed for a specific terrain, so are the tires.
4 Technical specifications of a tire
You should check the technical specifications of a tire to see if it is in accordance with the driving license, with the type of motorcycle you have, with the type of terrain and the way of use.
5 Interpretation of numbers
On the side of a motorcycle tire are described the main codes that help motorcyclists to identify whether the tire they are going to purchase for their motorcycle is really ideal for that model.
6 Weather conditions
The weather conditions are a factor that determines the choice of a tire for the motorcycle. There are tires suitable for dry weather, which guarantee the best performance of the bike in good weather, and others that are designed for wet weather and which guarantee greater efficiency when the weather conditions are unfavorable.