by Pat Goss
PAT GOSS: No matter what you drive or ride, they all need preventive maintenance, and here to give us some motorcycle tips is Lyndon Abel, General Manager of Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, Virginia. Lyndon, welcome to the show.
LYNDON ABEL, GENERAL MANAGER, PATRIOT, HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Thank you Pat.
GOSS: All right, now let’s start with the basics, the tires.
ABEL: Yeah, nothing gets more basic than that. That’s what’s connecting you to the road. When you do change your tire whether because of wear or puncture, if you have a spoked wheel always replace the tube and always replace this rim strip. This is a very inexpensive piece and it protects the tube from damage that could be caused by the nipples on the spokes. You can see the indentations made on this one. Left without that protection the tube can easily see some damage which could cost you on the road.
GOSS: Now brakes, they need to be checked regularly but you’ve got to take it a step further.
ABEL: Yeah, you need to check both of them. You can see that the one you’re holding still has just a little bit of life left but its matching pad is shot, and that cost the customer a rotor which is certainly more expensive than new pads.
GOSS: All right, now lets talk about the engine and transmission. So over here we have some classic examples. What are we seeing here?
ABEL: A cam-chain-tensioner-shoe with wear needs to be inspected.
GOSS: Here’s a new one.
ABEL: Yeah, that’s what you would prefer that it look like. But you have to go another step further, it looks like this on the outside, this one is much easier to see, but you really need to go look at both of them. If you assume that the inside tensioner is going to look the same as the outside you could, like this customer, find yourself stranded.
GOSS: All right, now another thing of course, changing oil, vitally important. An oil pump can get prematurely destroyed.
ABEL: Yeah, in one case this was due to a customer that rode about 15,000 miles but changed their oil once. There was excessive scoring on the oil pump and that’s very expensive, regular oil changes are very cheap.
GOSS: Okay. An example of ham-fisted do-it-yourself repair…
ABEL: Yes, a customer decided to change their transmission fluid which is good but cross-threaded the steel bolt and destroyed this transmission case. Very expensive repair. Another mistake that people make is not using a new o-ring - this is less than a dollar. If you don’t use a new o-ring and properly seal the threads you’ll find yourself over-tightening the steel bolt and ripping out the aluminum threads.
GOSS: Thread-sealer on the threads as well?
ABEL: Yes sir!
GOSS: Okay now some really basic stuff here, air filters on cars they don’t have an effect on fuel economy, just performance. But on motorcycles it can affect both
ABEL: Mileage as well, yes. And not just mileage but keeping the dirt out of your motorcycle engine is absolutely a basic, you can see on the inside of this filter how the grime is starting to come through and that grit will act as a very effective abrasive on cylinder walls and other moving components.
GOSS: Okay now another thing that a lot of people overlook when they’re doing their own work, thread-lockers.
ABEL: Absolutely, use the appropriate stuff; use your factory service manual for guidance.
GOSS: Lyndon thank you so much.
ABEL: Thank you
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