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Some Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by nina, May 15, 2012.

  1. Sooo… I think it’s time I started to ask some questions. Hopefully without sounding too silly.

    First of all, should I use my bike’s manual as a bible or a guideline? As in if it tells me to use Kerosene to clean my chain, do I have to use Kerosene or can I use any chain-clean products?
    Should I rather trust the manual or the guy who sold me the bike? (Got it from Spot On Motorcycles, they’re the ones who got her roadworthy and fixed her after the accident, etc.)

    Now being just a silly little girl, would there be anybody out there, hopefully located not too far away from me (Coburg), who would like to show me some simple things I need to know in order to take care of my bike? Usually my Dad would have loved to show his daughter all those things. But with him being a 20 hour flight away, I’d really appreciate if somebody else could play that role instead (I am pretty good at baking cakes, if that helps as a motivation ;) ).
    I know you can learn a lot by reading, but I am more a hands-on learner. I need somebody to tell me what to do, then I do it while the other person corrects all the wrongs I am doing, and gives me tips on how to do it easier.

    Another question: since I started squeezing my bike with my legs while riding and holding her tight (thanks again Saturday morning people!) I found that my boots turned silver at the heels, they hadn’t shown any discolouring before. Does that mean I am holding her too tight? Or is there some special cleaning-stuff I should use in order to prevent that from happening? Or does that mean in general that my bike is dirty? :D

    Also since I have my new boots I started to be less comfortable with gear changes. I started to change to neutral instead of second, also sometimes not changing up at all. That didn’t happen to me before. I am now aware of it though and pay a bit more attention to my shifting so that it is already happening way less. Why is it though that different boots have such a big influence on whether I can shift easily or need to consciously think of what I am doing? Is that something that I just have to deal with and start getting used to after a while? I mean I really haven’t done many ks in the new boots, I just got them so maybe I should just be more patient…

    Ya I think that's enough questions for now :)
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  2. Manual was written by the people who designed the bike, not the guys who sold it secondhand......

    Marks on the boots will happen, boot polish will fix.

    Every time you change your footwear you will notice this problem to some degree, it will
    go away as you get used to the boots (and bike)

    I can freel a Sat Prac spanner day coming.......

    Ya I think that's enough answers for now.......lol
  3. If you post a pic of yourself, I'm sure there will be someone who won't mind being your "daddy".... :rofl:
  4. (fixed that for ya) :)
  5. Hawklord likes cakes.

    He's also a riding instructor, who gives up his free time to volunteer, as (you guessed it) a riding instructor, and the den mother of the netrider free and self-help riding school and clinic in melbourne. He's good people.
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  6. how dirty is the chain ?
  7. Your not going to get me on the ground undoing my NUTS are u Doug :D
  8. I'd say use it as a guideline and use your brain. If you're unsure about something it will often it will be simpler just to follow it. I wouldn't hesitate to use a product designed specifically for cleaning motorcycle chains, but
    kerosene is cheap, can be purchased from a supermarket, and has always worked well for me. Was the guy at Spot On Motorcycles trying to sell you something?

    Your old boots must have been bigger or more rigid in the area that makes contact with the shifting lever, so you didn't have to press as far up to shift.

    No, the easiest way to deal with this is to just adjust the lever to sit lower, which takes about thirty seconds.

    Might be possible, since I'm located only about 10-15 minutes away and pass through Coburg daily. Do you know specifically what you would like to know how to do?

  9. Kero is fine but if you want to spend a lot more money on fancier products they will probably do to. Rember when cleaning try not to splash kero all over your tyre. It's slippery. I use a piece of cardboard to shield the tyre.

    Next time you are due for a minor service line it up with Doug in advnace. He can organise a spanner day and show you how to do the work or better still let you do it under guidance, Usually others will come and watch so we spread the knowledge.
  10. I'd also love some pointers as to looking after my bike/general maintenance. Anybody going to be at Elwood on Saturday who could perhaps help a few people with this side of things?

    Would be greatly appreciated.

    Note.... I cannot bake or cook or do anything useful..... wait.... nope i'm useless.
  11. Pockets, Lots of people at Elwood can show you, If you want info, ask.

    And as said above if you need something specific done, e.g chain lube, chain tighten, oil/oilfilter change, again ask and we can set up a day to show you how.
  12. That would be brilliant!

    How about rather coming on Sat morning to see me life? :p

    I don't know... don't have much to compare it with -> very limited experience, that's why those questions.

    Thanks, that's what I thought. As the bike is from 89 I guess that some things/products might have changed since then. But I'd still tend to rather do what the manual says, as the authors should know the bike best.

    Yep, old boots were definitely a bit wider in the toe area. Got also trouble with getting my sidestand out with the new boots.

    - Well as in for example adjust the shifter lever?
    - Also my gauges are 'sticky'. They tend to sometimes take a while until they pop up from the zero position and start showing me what they are supposed to. I don't really care about the revs, but I like to know my speed. So far the speedo always started to work after max a couple of km. It still annoys me and I'd like to fix it.
    - I'm not sure whether my headlight is adjusted properly. When just on lowbeam I can't really see much, would therefore love to have them pointing a bit further up.
    - Tips on how to clean and lube the chain best :D
    - Don't want to think about oil change yet... have a few more km's to go ;)

    Again, spanner day sounds great :D

    Thanks for the answers guys!
  13. Nina, sometimes a globe upgrade can help with projecting more light out of the headlights. Older bikes, I am not sure if they will handle a globe upgrade, something you can ask Hawklord about maybe?
    You can purchase a 'paddock stand' to help you with cleaning your chain, this stand lets you lift the back wheel off the ground allowing you to rotate the wheel. Theres a place in Tullamarine that sell them, actuall AMX on Keilor Park drive sell them too, mine cost me a little over $60 a while back, handy gizmo to have. Radium is the brand if you want to jump on their site and make some calls. Spanner day is great and worth attending!!
  14. The oil change was one of the first things I did on my spada. I think it might even be easier than chain cleaning because all you need to do is pull a few bolts out, change the filter, put them back into the bike and fill 'er up.
    Actually saying it like that makes it appear to be more work than cleaning the chain. :LOL:

    And on what goddie said, you can also try a roller stand. It doesn't lift the bike but it lets you rotate the rear wheel. It's good if you don't have much space but I'm sure a paddock stand is better. (I'll be investing in one soon)
  15. Lightbulbs go into the category of 'I have no idea' like so many other things. I'll have to ask hawklord about that then.
    I have been thinking about paddock stands as I don't have a centre stand. I can imagine it being quite annoying having to do the chain without being able to spin it free ;)

    Well as she just had all her fluids changed before I got her, changing the oil won't be the first thing I have to learn. Which doesn't mean that I won't miss out on the first chance I get of learning it :)

    So how do I best bribe hawklord to do a spanner day soon? :D
    I'm sure there are more that'll be interested too.
  16. And you will be shown how you can tilt your bike on it's side stand to rotate the wheel :) it cna be done when you know how.
  17. You could try asking me. (Just a thought).
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  18. You rang? :p

    Paddock stands are great. I got a Kaneg one and they work like a charm. I did wonder if I could lift the bike's rear solo, but soon found it was no problem at all. Afterall, they're designed so that girls and Asians can use them too, despite our tendency to be somewhat lacking in body weight.
  19. Hey Doug :) Would you consider doing a spanner day soon? *pretty please* :)

    Girls and Asians. Pffft... I'm not big, but most Asians are still just half my size :p
    It's not like you are 'lifting the bike's rear solo'. You have the swing arm of the stand to assist you. Using an arm in the right place, makes it possible to lift heavy things. It's all about physics... just need to know the right technique and then there is no need to be strong.
  20. The ZX14 is about 250kg wet, has no centre stand, and I'm no muscle man. I just oil the bit I can get to and then roll it forward a foot, and repeat. Just make sure the sidestand is still down when you put it back down, coz if it isn't, by the time you realise, it's a bit late to hold it up.

    I don't very often clean the chain, but when I do, I generally spray a generous amount of WD onto a rag, and then just cup the rag around the chain and give it a bit of a rub, roll forward a foot ...

    With chain lube, it's best to use a little, often, rather than to do a lot but rarely. A chain (the rollers) should never get dry and shiny. On a long trip, I oil the chain (lightly) every time I refuel. Around town, I probably do it about every 200k, depending on condition. I put a little on, and every time I get off the bike I have a quick look at the chain. If I can see a dry shiny spot on a roller starting to emerge, I do it again.

    In wet or dirty (dusty) conditions, you'll need to use more, and more often. It's quite amazing how quickly wet weather can strip all the lube off your chain. Inspect and relube as required.

    You can ride an awful long way on a dry chain. It's not the end of the world. It's not like riding around with a flat tyre, or no oil in the engine, but chains and sprockets (good ones) aren't cheap, and they will wear 5 or 6, maybe 10 times faster if they're not lubricated.

    Any lube is better than no lube. Cooking oil, margarine, Nivia hand cream... it's better than nothing. The problem with stuff that's not designed for chains, is that it flings off and makes the back of your bike all messy, and can get onto the tyre and become your own personal oil slick.

    I bought a pressure-can of castrol chainlube from Supercheap yesterday, for $10. It lives in the backpack. I expect to get about 4 ~ 6 months out of it. Many service stations carry some, although they may charge a bit more than supercheap.

    Fully half the bikes I see on the road (or parked) have dry chains. Many of the same bikes are covered in filthy thick fling off around the back, which says to me the owner is lazy. They don't do it often enough, and then they put way too much on when they do oil it.

    You can oil half the chain and then ride slowly around the block, and observe that most of the chain is now lightly oiled. The oil does spread itself around evenly, if you give it a chance. If you take off at 100 mph while the oil is still soft and heavy and not evenly distributed, then most of it will fling off and make a mess. If you oil the chain while cold, the oil will take a while to dry and set. If you do it when you first stop, while the chain is still warm from use, it will dry and set much faster.

    A lot of folklore remains from the days when chains were not sealed by 'O'-rings. Unsealed chains required that you not only got oil on the outside, but somehow convinced it to seep in between the rollers and the pins. Chains mostly get worn out and unusable when they stretch, which happens because of wear between the roller and the pin, and between the pins and the plates. O-ring chains are fully lubricated in those places and the lube is sealed in by the ring. All we have to do these days is keep the outside of the rollers lubed, which is much easier and simpler. O-ring chains are expensive, but they last maybe 10 times longer than an unsealed chain, while costing less than 10 times as much, and that doesn't even look at the cost of labour for a mechanic to change your chain and sprockets at $80 / hour.

    My 14 has 26k on it, on the original chain and sprockets, and I'd say they're about 50 ~ 60% worn. I ride gently for much of the time, but I didn't buy a 200hp bike so I could polish my nails and tell people about it. My son's 954 is about to turn 10 years old, it has 51k on it, and the chain & sp are about 80% worn. I don't know if they're the original set but I think so. That bike has not been ridden hard.
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