Bike maintenance during the rains
Maintaining your bike in the monsoon isn’t difficult work, but can make a big difference to your ride over the long term. Here are seven small changes you can make this season.
Maintaining your two-wheeler regularly means a smoother ride today, will prove effective in increasing your bike’s life-span, and consequently lower your servicing costs later in its life. This holds true throughout the year, but is more crucial during the monsoon. Here’s how to maintain your bike during the rains.
Clean and lubricate the chain
Dirt on your chain can give you a rough feeling when riding and may even cause damage. If you plan to ride during the rains, make sure you wash your bike at least once a week to keep dirt and mud off the moving parts. You should also lubricate your chain more frequently if you use your bike during the rains.
Keep electrical covered
Moisture can seep in during the rains, causing temporary (and sometimes more serious) damage to your electricals. For example, dampness can make switches on your bike get stuck and a jammed electric starter can be bad for your engine. Make sure the electricals on your bike are kept covered and dry them off whenever you can.
Disconnect if not using
If you’re not riding for an extended period (even 10 days matters), you should disconnect the negative terminal of your battery. This will ensure the battery doesn’t get drained unnecessarily and you don’t have to jump start your bike when you need to use it again. You might need to take off a few panels, though, depending on the bike.
Invest in anti-rust lubricant
We all know what rust can do to a vehicle. It might be worth investing in an anti-rust lubricant such as WD-40 to repel water and keep everything smooth. As a preventive measure, use cotton swabs or a soft cloth to apply an anti-rust liquid to exposed areas such as chrome parts or where paint is coming off.
Lower your tyre pressure
When it’s wet, you should have your tyre pressure set a few PSI lower than the recommended value for dry conditions. It’s safer to have more traction on wet surfaces, even if it could cause your mileage to go down slightly.
Oil the keyhole
To prevent keyholes (such as those on the ignition and the fuel tank) getting jammed, you should put a drop of oil in them and turn the key a few times. A key that gets stuck isn’t such a serious issue, but it can be frustrating.
Don’t park under trees
As a final measure, avoid parking under a tree during the rains. Sometimes strong winds can dislodge loose branches or uproot trees. And if one falls on your bike, you’ll have to live with the damage or spend a lot to correct it. In some cases, your bike could be damaged beyond repair.