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Does it hurt the bike to only ride it for short distances?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Opal, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. With my car, the exhaust fell off due to rust. The mechanic said the problem was caused by only using the car for short trips, something about the exhaust getting wet but never drying out, so it eventually rusted.

    Are there any similar issues with bikes?

    I'm trying to ride more but there are times when I might only be able to go out for (or only feel like going out for) a short time eg. 10 - 15 minutes (or less). It is all good practice, but not if I'm doing harm to the bike.

  2. Exhausts are now pretty bullet proof (and they get hotter, faster than car exhausts) but in the early 80s rusting exhausts were epidemic.... spawning a huge aftermarket industry in 4 into 1 pipes.

    But any engine will not like constant cold running: the combustion chambers will 'gum up' with unburnt carbon. This is a very slow, insidious process that can be very much reduced with quality oil, fuel, a bit of warming up, and regular fast rides.
  3. IMO this is the best part of rountine maintenance. :twisted: :grin: :grin:
  4. The battery will suffer over time if it doesn't get some decent runs.
  5. Regular short runs are also bad as far as engine wear is concerned too - since the majority of wear occurs in the first few minutes after starting (when the oil is still cold and doesn't work fully). If the bike is only being used for short runs then it'd be a good idea to shorten the time/distance between oil and filter changes if you want the bike to last as long as possible.
  6. Thanks for the replies. Haven't progressed as far as "regular fast rides" as yet, so will just try to warm up the bike and perhaps try to increase the length of my rides.
  7. Most mechanics will tell you that it is best to get the engine up to proper operating temperature, which will not only get the engine oil circulating properly, but will blow any condensation out of the exhaust system. Don't forget things like tyres which can go "off" if the bike is just sitting around doing nothing. Try for one decent ride per week and your bike will love you.
  8. ... and even if you CAN'T get it out for a regular longer ride, at least start it up in the garage once a week, let it get up to operating temperature and give it a few 'blips' to keep the juices flowing.....
  9. As long as you keep up regular engine maintenance it wont cause any damage to the engine itself as long as you warm the bike up using minimal rpm (1200-1500 rpm) to a warm enough temperature (I like 60-70 celsius) before you ride it doesn't matter how short the ride is. This includes minimal choke on start up. Many people put the choke on full or close to it on start up and I think the using the choke on full making the bike (some of them) rev to 4-5000 rpm continuous on a cold bore isnt good for the engine. If you knew what you were doing starting a car up cold you wouldnt rev it to 4-5000 rpm continuous when cold so why do it to a bike? Theres so much more friction in cold engines thats the reason why you warm an engine before abusing it to have the right clearances between the bore, piston and rings. The engine is just to tight when cold, to do so will increasing frictional wear.

    Re your condensation build up in the exhaust query, I've heard mechanics say condensation build in the exhaust from short drives causes mufflers rusting. I think that is a load of crap. Simply, condensation is caused from an object (any object) cooling over a period of time including our planet hense moisture on the grass in the morning or just about anything else left outside overnight. The amount of time an object has been warm has no bearing on condensation build up when cooling. As long as that object has hit a certain temperature and its cooling down to a certain temperature over several hours with the surrounding temperature also decreasing that causes condensation. Go leave a room temperatured spoon outside over night on the grass on a cold enough night, you will find condensation on it in the morning irrespective of how hot or how long the heat was in the spoon when you left it out there. Engines will always be left unstarted frequently enough for condensation to eventually form rust in rustable exhausts. Im tired and have carried on again.
  10. ...... and dont stack it.... thatll really learn it. :grin:
  11. You can go as fast or slow as you like- but keep the engine turning fast with lower gears/holding on to the gear for longer.
  12. One of the by products of combustion is water. That is what your mechanic is referring to. An engine that never gets truly hot and warmed through leaves water residue in the exhaust. This water residue contains other nasty by products that aid corrosion. In a car this is a serious problem as the tail pipes and muffler can take a while to get fully hot.

    Continual cold starts can also create problems where oil is washed off the bores by unburnt fuel due to a rich fuel mixture.

    Bikes tend to warm quicker than cars and I believe that even a reasonably short trip is enough to ensure you don't get the problems from corrosion and oil wash off.

    As regards starting a bike in the garage and leaving to warm up for a period of time, there have been plenty of threads on that. Personally, I'd prefer to take a bike for a run, even 10 or 20 mins than leave it idling in the garage. That ensures that everything gets nice and warm, gearbox worked, suspension moved, seals kept lubricated.
  13. :WStupid:

    Normal atmospheric condensation will take along time before any visual rust occurs on any exhaust system.
    BUT The water as a byproduct from the comsbustion process is just a bee's dick short of being acid, therefore if the exhaust dont get up to running temperatures to fully evaporate the 'water' it becomes hot 'acid' and everyone knows that hot 'acid' is 500% more nasty than cold.
    And by the time you see 'rust' on the outside surfaces of your exhaust its TOO late as it has rusted through from the inside out.

    If you cant give your bike a 10/20 ride every now and then, its best to either leave it till you can ride it or if you do run it in the garage, run it till you cant see any water vapor from the exhausts at the very least.
  14. 20 minutes for bikes
  15. Dude in ur time of plight where u cant seem to ride ur bike , I will offer my serrvices to make sure ur bike gets a decent workout,

    Just let me know when u want me to come around
  16. LoL i will also offer my services free of charge :p
  17. I'm not sure, but I think this may be Vogon poetry.
  18. Hmm no PM yet

    I tell u what just cause ur starting out, in this wounderfull world of motor cycling, for no aditional cost ill even tell u what ur top speed is, and wether ur bike can stopiie/wheelie