Well, it's another Beautiful Riding Season here in West Virginia and time to fire our powerbikes. First things first. Hopefully, you had a great time last fall cruising and checking out the leaves or "wildlife". Then you woke up that frosty morning and decided that it was getting just too cold to ride anymore. Well, there sat your mighty dependable steed in the building and forgotten for the winter. Before you know it you come crawling out from hibernation under all the gaming remotes,Christmas candy wrappers and thick blankets to discover the birds chirping, trees are blooming and it's warm enough to go for a ride. Ahh but, you failed to prep your bike for that long, cold, moisture laden winter.
As the fog in your head from "God of War" begins to clear; you realize: "Crap,I left 1/3 of a gallon of ethanol gas in the tank (some in the carb as well) and no Stabil™. Now the ethanol has sucked moisture into the tank and begun to rust above the fuel level. The gas in that poor little crappy NT carb is so gummed up that the throttle won't even twist. So you attempt to drag 'Ol Bessy out of the barn to clean the carb. Next you discover when you pull the clutch lever the rear wheel still won't turn because you left the clutch engaged all winter and the plate has seized to the pads. Oh,and let's not forget we failed to spray some lubricant down the clutch,brake and throttle cables. Isn't Spring just Grand?
So, as you clean the rats nest out of your handlebar tool pouch and as frustration mounts; you take pride in the fact that only the tire that went flat over the winter is dry rotted. As you return from the fridge with another cold one you say to yourself "Damn, I wish I had sprayed a little graphite lube on my chains."
As you gradually begin mending you baby's declining health;you attempt to fire her up for the first time. Thoughts of the wind blowing through your hair quickly disappear after the third mile of peddling, kick-starting...peddling, kick-starting...peddling, bike- kicking ...peddling throwing the bike to the ground or worse. Huffing and puffing you look down to discover that the same rats in your tool pouch are reason the ignition wires are chewed, Crap!
Pushing the bike back to the barn because you no longer have any energy left to peddle; it dawns on you the the rear wheel has a weird wobble caused by lack of grease in your hub bearings. Remember last Summer when you were blowing by and laughing at all those "peddlers" and you felt a little vibration but, chocked it up to engine vibes. Well, come to find out that wobbly sprocket mounted to your spokes with two pieces of old rubber truck tire had helped finish off those dry hub bearings as well as broke two spokes.
Ah, but, things are starting to look-up cause you bought a new rear rim and tire. You put in a new SmartTube. NOW, you're finally ready to get back to the REAL business of out-running the cops. So, it's once again: "peddling, kick-starting...peddling, kick-starting...peddling, bike kicking...peddling, throwing the bike to the ground or worse." Pushing the bike back home (again) and slamming poor "Bessy" to the ground notice water pouring out of the magneto cover. How in the heck could that have happened? Well,remember when received your shinny new "China Girl Kit"; it was just like Christmas in June. During all that giddiness of assembly on your $99 Walmart Cranbrook, you failed to pump silicone rubber into the magneto wiring port. While racing back in that torrential downpour;the front tire kicked rainwater into that port rusting and shorting out that magneto.
Well I think everyone gets my drift here...a little pre and post season maintenance goes a LONG way towards riding Bliss...Take care of your Baby and she'll ride ya anywhere.
Chuck "Cheech" Reed
Red Rock Cycles Motorbicycles