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H.O.R.S.E. Sense with Coach Jas

Greetings fellow H.O.G® ROUTE 77 KUALA LUMPUR CHAPTER members and to our muslim friends we wish you Ramadan Kareem.

To many of us, it's been a challenging year to get on the bike and go for a ride due to Covid19 restrictions. Some have probably left their Harleys “hibernating” the whole year round. But now as we dust the cobwebs off and chomp at the bit to get the Harley out for a ride again, it’s important to make sure your Harley is as ready to go as you are. 

Here i will share a few tips and pointers to help ensure your Harley’s readiness before you hit that ride safely again. 

1.)Battery – The battery is always a good place to start after your Harley has been left unridden for a while especially if you didn’t have a smart charger on it. Newer Harleys have a lot of electronics that won’t function properly if theright amount of voltage is not given thus making sure the battery is fully charged and giving a good voltage is crucial. A fully charged 12 volt battery at rest should begiving 12.8 volts and running with a high idle at 14.2 volts. Anything less would indicate the battery is not at optimum. 

2.)Leaks– Check underneath the bike on the ground where your Harley was parked for any signs of leaks. Gaskets and seals can sometimes shrink or crack during storage so you’ll want to make sure the oil drain plugs seals are not leaking. 

3.)Oils – If it's been some time since  the last oil change on your Harley, even if you have not pulled much miles on it, it's time for an oil check. EngineOil is the most important component of the bike to keep the engine running smoother, cooler and last longer. Engine oil acts as a lubricant for all moving parts of the engine. It's advisable to change the engine oil at 8,000 km (depending on the type of oil) or not more than a year even if the milage is not reached. Primary oil change is at 16,000 km, and transmission fluid at 32,000 km. If your motorcycle is running low or runs out of oil, or is running on oxidised oil,it could lead to a very expensive repair job, or you may need an entirely new engine because of the damage done. NEVER neglect the oil change intervals of your Harley. 

4.)Tires– Check the tire pressure to make sure the tires are properly inflated and that you don’t have any leaks. The right tyre pressure depends on the model and tyre size being used.  Check to ensure there are no cracks, bulges or other deformities and that there is a good amount of tread left. If yourHarley has been stored for an extended period of time in the same position,the tires may have developed a flat spots.Make sure that the tires roll smoothly and that they haven’t developed any flat spots in them. Also  all tyres have a lifespan of about 5 years. If your tyre is older than that, it's time for a tyre change to avoid any mishap on your next ride. 

5.)Brakes & Brake Fluid – Inspect the brakes and brake lines for wear. Roll the bike back and forth and test the brakes to make sure both the front and rear breaks works properly when engaged. Check thecallipers and discs for wear as well. Also if the brake fluid had not been changed for the last 2 years, it's time for a fluid change. Overused brake fluid can cause brake failure as it would loose  viscosity when it heats up especially during downhill riding and not engage the brakes when needed. Some newer models come with hydraulic clutch and this oil needs to be changed every 2 years as well the same time brake fluid is changed. 

6.)Lights & Signal– Be sure to test all your lights and signals. You don’t want to discover that you’ve a dead bulb by getting into an accident or being stranded at night without a headlight.

7.)Throttle and Clutch– Without starting your Harley open the throttle all the way and then release it making sure it snaps back into place. Inspect all the throttle and clutch cables for wear or damage. It is extremely important to check the clutch before riding as clutch plates have been known to stick after long periods of storage. Before cranking the engine to start, pull back your clutch, shift your bike into gear and make sure it rolls back and forth freely. If your bike is not rolling try rocking your bike back and forth with the clutch released and your bike in gear. This should hopefully get them apart.

8.)Fuel– Gasoline can become stale overtime and will cause all sorts of problems with your engine if you try running it so it’s best to drain it if it was left with a full tank for a long period or if there wasn't much fuel left during storage, you could just fill the tank with a higher octane fuel to mix the old one. 

9.)Go Time! – Alright so it’s the time you’ve been waiting for, the time to start your engine. There is a tendency amongst motorcycle riders to rev the engine after first starting, but you’ll want to avoid this at all costs after starting your bike for the first time after bringing it out of storage as the oil tents to drip down and settle in your engine and you’ll want to give it time to begin circulating oil before running into higher RPMs.

In conclusion, always be aware of the things you have to do to your Harley to get a safe and enjoyable ride every time you’re out for the greatest pleasure on 2 wheels. 

Alternatively, If you’re needing assistance looking into these areas of your Harley, for the month of Ramadan, R77 Harley Davidson of Kuala Lumpur is running a FREE 10 point check for the first 99 bikes to register for the FREE Health Check offer exclusively for its members. Members will also enjoy a complete health record of your Harley recorded in the system for easy reminders on service intervals. 

For an appointment, you may contact R77 HDKL @ 03 4266 807

We wish you a safe and fun riding season!