Getting a new bike is exciting, the only thing on your mind is to get out and ride.
Whether you have bought it from a dealer or second hand, it is always a good idea to set the bike up personally for you.
When you get the bike you may have been told that it has a long record or maintenance where it’s been looked after, whether this is true or not, if you carry out some checks first, it could save you money in the long run.
This in tails some dismantling of the bike but will save you regretting not doing it later. If you remove the air filter which will require you to remove a side panel or on some bike they can be un-clipped. Remove the filter and give it a good clean, if it has been used on a track it will more than likely be full of dust. The filter will need to be oiled to catch the dust which the bike will intake. Oiling the filter will catch the particles and stop them being carried into the cylinder.
The handle bars will need to be in a comfortable position for when you’re riding sitting down and standing up.
If you loosed the handle bars so they move and jump on the bike and act as though you are riding, you will be able to get a feel to where the handle bars sit best for you. You don’t want them too far forward but at the same time not too far back – remember this is what you use to control the bike and you want to be able to hold on when needed.
You will need the clutch leaver to be easy to get hold of, set it quite low so you can just push your fingers out and grab it, don’t have it too closes to the grips because you want to be able to use the lever and let it go easily.
The front brake lever wants to be set in a position where you don’t have to move your wrist too much to be able to use it, imagine you’re doing an emergency stop and you need to get on the brakes as soon as possible.
Check the sag suspension
Do all the checks with safety gear on.
The Sag – How much the shock compresses
Setting the sag on the bike will improve the way the bike handles when on the track for you. You will need to get all you ride gear on to get an exact weight of when you ride.
When the bike is stationary and off the stand you should measure the distance from the rear axle, to a point on the rear mudguard. Write the measurement down – let’s say its 75cm.
Then get the rider to sit on the bike in the riding position, maybe jump around a little to make sure it gets a true reading.
Now measure from the rear axle to the rear mudguard again, make sure you measure to the same position as before.
The difference should be around 10cm – let’s say its 68cm.
In this case the sag wouldn’t be enough, so you would want to release the spring to gain more of a gap. There are 2 nuts on a spring which one is the locking nut and the other will allow the spring to move. To gain the extra 2cm on the sag you will need to release the locking nut, made with some WD40 too.
Then move the closest nut to the spring ant-clockwise to release the spring. Don’t forget to also screw the lock nut back into position. It will be a fact of moving the net to release the spring and sitting on the bike to get it spot on.
Grease the linkages
Give the bike the once over with a grease gun, all the linkages and bearing will get dust and water in them, it just gets everywhere. This is the best way to ensure that every thing is moving as it should too.
Check the chain is not too tight or too slack, The chain should be able to move around 1 inch each way. Make sure the chain is well oiled too.
All these checks will help to learn how to maintain your bike and keep it in the best condition for when you hit the track. The worst feeling in the world is when you get up early all ready to go and get to only go round the track once, then spending the rest of the day watching your friends
If you have any questions or comments – Please ask