Six Things You Didn’t Know Are Hurting Your Motorbike

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via | Six Things You Didn’t Know Are Hurting Your Motorbike | Many new motorcycle owners are hurting their two-wheel vehicles without knowing. Here are some common mistakes that can cost riders thousands in repairs.

Using ethanol-based fuel

Using the right fuel for your motorbike is essential to its longevity.

Avoid ethanol-based fuels. Ethanol has a chemical attraction to water that will absorb water from the air and pull it into the fuel. When water mixes with gasoline, the gasoline is stripped of its octane rating.

Gas blended with ethanol can give you less efficiency. You’ll get three to five per cent less MPG (miles per gallon) when you use gas with 10 per cent ethanol.

Most motorcycle manufacturers recommend owners to use pure gasoline in their motorbikes. Unleaded fuel can provide the best performance.

Overworking the engine

Your motorbike’s engine is made to cover specific distances. 

The size of an engine is measured in cc (cubic centimetres). A larger engine can ingest more air and fuel, thus generating more power.

Under 750cc – This is a suitable engine size for daily commutes and occasional long drives. If you want a motorbike purely to get you to and from work, settle for a 250cc engine. However, this engine can struggle when going at highway speeds.

Over 750cc – This engine is made for cruising at highway speeds. This has a large enough capacity for long journeys.

Read this helpful guide to ensure your motorcycle is in tip-top condition before your next road trip

Going off-road with the wrong bike

Going off-road means traversing through mud, sand, rocks and other off-road obstacles. 

Many street bikes don’t have enough suspension capacity to absorb shocks brought by uneven terrain. Before buying a bike, make sure you know what it’s going to be for.

Most street bikes aren’t fit for off-road drives. If you want a bike solely for off-road driving, go for off-road motorbikes

Forgetting to tune the carburettor

A badly tuned carburettor can lead to hard starts because the bike’s pedal fails to meets the metal. Also, the exhaust can emit dirty, black smoke.

Tuning the carburettor should be done every two years and can cost an average of $90.

Carrying heavy cargo

How much weight can a motorcycle carry? Generally, a motorcycle can carry between 160 to 200 kg. Use this to calculate your motorcycle’s weight carrying capacity: Take your bike’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (maximum operating weight specified by the manufacturer), then minus the weight of the bike. 

You can find your bike’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating in the following places:

  • Owner’s manual, service manual or repair manual
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN), found on the steering head

Not changing the oil regularly

Old oil can lose its lubrication properties over time, therefore becoming less effective in lubricating the bike’s engine. Also, an unlubricated chain causes a higher risk of breaking.

An oil change, as well as chain lubrication, should be done every six months, or every time the bike accumulates 4,000 miles of mileage. An oil change can cost anywhere between $50 to $80 while chain maintenance can cost between $50 to $100.

Just like other vehicles, motorbikes need periodic maintenance to keep it in good shape and safe to ride.

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