Riding in Honor of America's Heroes

What To Do After We Crashed our Motorcycle

What To Do After We Crashed our Motorcycle

First, assuming you've had a man-sized crash, leap out of the road so you don't get squashed. Next, check that everything works and no bones are broken, run your hands over your entire body and see if any blood is showing on them.  Take your time to check, as you can be in some form of shock and not feel a thing. Still alive? Good. Providing you're okay and it's safe to do so, it's time to get the bike upright. Stand at the front of the machine and turn the bars so they're on full lock with the front of the front wheel pointing upwards.

Put your gloves on to protect your hands from any smashed metal surfaces, hot exhausts, blood and oil. Link your hands together to form a cradle, bend from the knees and keep your back straight. Put your linked hands under the end of the lower handlebar and lift the bike upright by straighting your legs.

Get the bike out of the way of traffic and somewhere safe. You'll need to give it a check over before you ride off. It may be damaged and unsafe in which case it's telephone time.

Broken clutch / brake levers can function if a stub's left in place. If you can, find a rough stone and run the edges of the break, they'll be sharp and can damage your gloves or even you if you fell off again. 30 seconds with a stone will smooth them off nicely. Gear and brake pedals can work with the nubbins broken off too, but it's not ideal.

Engines, particularly carburetor ones may be slow to start after a bike's been on its side. Don't rush it and flatten your battery. Short bursts with one minute intervals will get it going. Be especially vigilant for any dizziness, especially if you've knocked your head. Take your helmet off and check it for knocks, you might have bashed it and not realized. Any doubt about your own health, call a friend rather than risk riding. Friends with whom you regularly speak will hear if you are a bit off.
Riding your bike after being Stored away

Riding your bike after being Stored away

"We got some questions about, what to do if you stored your bike for the last few months, and kind of mechanical checks should be preformed before going for a ride."

Your motorcycle will need a good going over before your first ride. It's best to check it over for a few days before you want to go out, so there's time to deal with any problems that may show themselves.

If your motorcycle has been standing for a few months, the first place to start is the battery. Obviously, if it's dead you'll have nothing when your turn the key, but if there's some life in the battery check all the bulbs and make sure they're all working, or else get any duds replaced before your ride.

Even if there's power in the battery, it may have dropped its charge over the last few months, and that may be enough to make the bike reluctant to start, so, give it a try. If the battery's flat or down on power you'll need o take it out and charge it.   Check the terminals and clean them if needed.

If you're been periodically starting the bike through the past few months, running it for a few minutes and then shutting it down again, it may be a good idea to change your spark plugs before you ride. Run like this, modern unleaded fuel can coat the spark plugs with crap, so they'll resist the spark and make starting hard or running erratic.

Have a good look around the bike and check that fasteners are all still tight. Also check for leaks, not just oil leaks. It is possible that rubber hoses of the cooling system are cracked and leaking. Check the adjustment of the chain and give it a good lubrication. If it's dry, give it two of three soakings over the course of 24 hours.

Before you move the bike, check the forks. If they were pitted or dirty when you put the bike away, the fork seals could crack, even a dried fly can be enough to do the damage. Ensure the tubes are clean and pump the forks up and down to look for telltale traces of oil exposing damaged seals.

The brakes need to be carefully checked. They'll be stiff, but should free up with a few pimps of the lever. If they don't come back, it's as well to strip them down and clean them, to be on the safe side.

Last, but certainly not least, check the tires. They'll probably be a bit flat, so get them up to pressure and check the tread all the way round. Look out for cracks or splits in the sidewalls and stones stuck in the treads. Check them again the  next day,  before you go for a ride in case of slow punctures.

Struggling in Corners on Bumpy Roads

Struggling in Corners on Bumpy Roads

What if you struggling on bumpy roads to set a good corner speed. There are a number of things to think about here. Most important is probably how you are controlling and interacting with the bike itself. Most riders, cornering, immediately tense up and grip the bars tighter, which partially locks the elbows.

Unfortunately, this means all the pitching, twitching and weaving is passed through to the upper body, from where it's transmitted to the seat and feet, creating a feedback loop and making the rider feel even more insecure, so they grips even tighter.....

For the bike to remain stable in a bumpy turn the suspension, steering and chassis have to be allowed to work effectively. This means making the lightest inputs possible to turn the bike. If you hit a bump mid-corner, the forks will extend or compress, changing the steering geometry slightly, but the bike will compensate, if you let it, with a small twisting action about the headstock.

Moments later the rear wheel will hit the same bump, but as it's following the front end it gets a better deal. If there's no rider input and the suspension is set up properly, it should cope.

However, if your arms are tense, preventing the steering twisting around the headstock as it wants to, the bike will change its intended radius and generally feel like it wants to sit up mid-corner. The natural thing to want to do then is grip harder and try to force the bike back onto the tighter line, but the excessive grip will spoil your feel and is also likely to induce unintended throttle changes, both of which only exacerbate the problem.

The answer can be as simple as just to remain relaxed and that starts at the first contact point, the grip at the bars. If the grip is quite loose and the elbows have a good bend in them the arms can act a bit like shock absorbers and dampen or take out the forces before they reach the upper body.

With a relaxed grip there will also less chance of unintended throttle variation over the bumps. It can sometimes be worth sacrificing what may be the best road position for forward visibility or the radii of the corner since particularly bumpy sections of road are often created by the over-use of large heavy goods vehicles. Naturally these bumps follow the tracks of the vehicles tires, so repositioning more centrally in the lane may be an advantage due to the road being subject to less severe damage.

How do we Bump-start a bike

How do we Bump-start a bike
Friday, January 11 2008 @ 09:15 AM GMT+5
Contributed by: MotorcyclenMen


There There are loads of reasons you can get a flat battery. You can get any bike going by bump-starting it, but some are harder than others. The BMW G650 Xmoto of my girlfriend, 650cc single cylinder engine motorcycle is one of the harder once.

I have some pointers: A hill is your friend if you're bump-starting, don't say 'I know', it's incredible how many people know about the hill but still not use it. Even a slight gradient will make a difference. Point the bike down it to help you pick up speed. If there's no gradient, a mate can assist by pushing the bike. Grab a passer-by if necessary, they are for females easier to find then for men, but still.

If the bike's cold, set the choke to the normal start position. Test to see if the bike can be pushed while in gear, second gear is mostly the best, with the clutch in.

If not, you'll have to push it in neutral then flick it into gear as you're about to bump it.

Get the bike rolling as fast as possible. If you've got a hill or a helper, you can sit on the bike, otherwise you'll probably have to run along side it as you push to get enough speed up.

Once it's moving fast, jump on if you're not there already. As your bottom lands on the seat you need to dump the clutch with the bike in second gear. If you're sitting on the bike, stand up on the pegs and sit down hard as you drop the clutch. This helps stop the rear wheel locking up.

Single-cylinder four-stroke bikes can be a sod to bump-start. Prepare the bike by pushing it backwards with it in gear until the engine locks completely solid. You've then at the right point in the cycle to give you the best chance of getting the engine started.

The best technique, especially if you don't have a hill or helper, is to have the bike in second gear, clutch in and push by running alongside it. Then, rather than jumping right on to the bike, just drop your bum on side-saddle as you dump the clutch. It needs good balance but it means the bike's traveling as fast as possible when you try and start it. This technique is not advisable for newbies, or people that rented a unfamiliar bike.

Take care, if the bike fires up it may suddenly accelerate off. So pull the clutch in and give it plenty of revs until you're sure it's running OK. Turn off or disconnect the headlights and hopefully the battery will get enough charge to start the bike after riding for 10 to 30 minutes.