General Car/Bike Maintenance tips for the Monsoon season

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by JD666, Jun 25, 2012.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Hi All,

    This article is directed at sharing some tips and tricks that can be done to ensure that your car/bike remains safe and operational during the monsoon season.

    Other than not taking it out, and keeping it covered for the whole season :p , here are some things that can be done to ensure that it lasts the monsoons well and continues giving you kilometer after kilometer of trouble free running.


    In no particular order, starting with Bikes first -


    1) Inspect everything -

    For starters, check everything on your bike. Inspect the tyres, the level of groove depth, the brakes, the cables ( Throttle, accelerator, brake ), everything.

    - Check the front and rear brakes and ensure that the drums have adequate amount of lining on the brake pads ( can be checked by viewing the brake wear indicator on the outside of the drum ).

    - On a bike with Disc brakes, ensure that the brake fluid is at the right mark, and no leaks are visible anywhere.

    - Check for signs of rusting on the bike frame/engine etc. Make a note of areas observed with rust.

    - The Airfilter hose to the carburettor should be secured properly, should not have any source of leakage or a loose fit.

    - Spark plug cap is a must must must inspection item. Should be in good condition and not cut or broken anywhere. Any amount of moisture can spoil the cap from functioning properly and will kill your bike's engine and leave you stranded.

    - Check the underside of the exhaust for rusting/rust holes ( More relevant on older bikes ).

    - Ensure that all lights/horns are functioning properly. Rear lights are very very important to ensure visibility. If your bike has a tendency to blow the rear bulbs frequently, I would suggest keeping a few spare. Remember visibility to others is also essential under heavy downpour.

    - Chain should be tight, no slackness and no muck on it.

    2) Actions to be taken -

    Invest in the following -

    1) a can of WD40
    2) a can of Rustlik or similar rust removal/protection spray
    3) a jar of Vaseline or industrial petroleum jelly.

    1) WD-40 - Spray WD40 liberally in the lock sets ( ignition, fuel filler and side lock ). This will ensure a smooth operation and also ensure that no water sets in and corrodes the lock.

    - Open the fuel filler and spray the same around and under the fuel filler. If you spray some on the tank mouth, no harm, it will keep water from collecting there.

    - Also areas to be sprayed

    - Front steering stem ( the bearings on either side of the neck )

    - Swing arm bushes

    - Axles ( F + R )

    - Chain ( However remember, this is not to lubricate, but to keep it clean and water free ).

    - Gear and brake levers ( both foot and hand ).


    Areas not to spray

    I say this once and I hope that everyone who attempts this, does not, I repeat does not spray WD40 on the brakes/brakepads/liners/drums in any way. This was create a loss of friction, and the bike will simply not stop.



    2) Rustlik -

    - Areas to be sprayed

    - Front and rear rims ( if you are still riding a spoked wheel motorcycle )

    - Exhaust assembly, especially the underside of the silencer

    - Stands ( main and side)

    - Under chassis.

    Basically any and all areas that are gong to be in direct contact with water, or will be submerged in it, require a coating of anti-rust spray. This will again keep water from collecting, but most importantly will keep rust from forming or spreading.


    3) Vaseline -

    - Apply liberally on the battery terminals and the rims, especially around the spokes and the hub. Again if you have spoked wheels on your motorcycle, ensure that you coat each and every spoke with it. This will keep rust from forming and keep the metal surface in pristine condition longer.



    3) Cover everything

    - But not everything all the time.

    - Remember water has a tendency to get into the tiniest of gaps/crevices.. Thats how mountains crumble ( when the water in the crevices freezes and turns to ice and expands and pushes the rock apart, though not a geology class, lets get back )

    - This creates an issue of keeping all the nooks and crannies clean in your bike.

    - Actions that can be done.

    1) Remove tank, seat and any and all panels that you can do so yourself easily.

    - Clean and cover everything with either WD40 or Rustlik. Again its about creating a protective layer between the metal and the water, so that it does no damage to the structure.

    However if you are from the south of the country, and have invested in one of those bike handlebar covers that covers the meters and the handlebars, and the tank cover that covers the side of the engine, this is for you.

    - From time to time, whenever the weather is dry and sunny, remove all covers and park bike in the open for all the hidden water to dry out. If you have already covered/protected everything with the coatings mentioned above, you will not have any issue drying your bike out.

    - For areas that dont have adequate sunlight or are mostly wet only, invest in a good leaf blower, and every evening after riding in the rain, just make it a habit to blast all the water accumulated on the bike. This will help keep rust at bay.

    4) Ride sensibly


    Writers block. Will update in sometime.
     
  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Adding more information -

    4) Ride sensibly -

    - Keep away from puddles, however if you really have to go thru one, don't go thru it like a madman. Keep the engine revs high, and control with clutch. Remember, the bike cannot stall, untill the water enters the intake, not the exhaust.

    - If your engine is at a higher enough rpm, it will push the water out and not let it enter.

    Giving an example -





    - Keep the speed to a minimum. People freak out at the sight of a water pool. Keep your calm, and take the bike thru. Remember the faster you go, the higher are your chances of splashing water onto the engine/sparkplug/air intake.


    - Keep greater than usual distance - With slippery roads, the traction/grip of your vehicle goes down. So ensure that you space your bike out, farther behind than what you would usually keep it at.

    - Keep pumping your brakes from time to time to ensure they are dry and bite well. This is a must for those who have drum brakes.

    - Try and rely on both brakes, however ensure that your braking force is not more than what you would apply in the dry. Excessive braking force could cause a lock up of either wheels, and cause the bike to skid.


    5) Gear / Tips -

    - Be visible to everyone - Prefer a brighter rain jacket/rain gear like blue/red/orange rather than greys or blacks. During heavy rain you can merge into the backdrop and would ont be visible to a driver in a car or someone else on a bike.

    - Ride with the headlight on. Atleast it will get the other person's attention.

    - Use a good quality helmet - One that keeps the water out, and does not let you get wet. Also use some anti fog spray, or hand sanitizer even, to wipe and clean the visor. It will also ensure that water droplets do not remain on the visor to obscure your vision.

    - When cruising on the highway in the rain, you can turn your head from Left to right, to let the wind take the excessive droplets on the visor.

    - Keep a cloth handy, that you can reach for, and clean your visor from time to time.

    - A number of times, visors fog up when in slow moving traffic, due to the rider's breathing. Either use anti fog spray, or use a well ventilated helmet that allows your visor to remain clear.

    - Remember, - The better you see, the better you ride!


    - Use waterproof gloves/shoes - In areas of excessive/regular rain this is a must. Excessive exposure to wet conditions turn your skin sore and sensitive and swollen. Use vaseline effectively on your hands and feet to keep the moisture from damaging your skin. However waterproof gloves will go a long way in ensuring this. Also your hands and feet will be less sore when you need to operate the brakes or gears on the bike.




    Monsoon Survival kit -

    Some essentials that anyone who goes into the rain must have -

    1) A pair of socks/undies/T-shirt etc, compressed and packed in a waterproof plastic packet.

    2) Spare plastic packets to pack anything useful.

    3) packets for your cell phones ( which get damaged the most in the rain ).

    4) A spare spark plug and the tool to open it ( and the knowledge to do it! :D )

    5) Hand Sanitizer, Vaseline.

    6) Spare cloth to clean the bike/remove excessive muck.


    Will keep adding points as I remember them!
    --- Post Merged: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM ---
    Thanks ManISinJpr bhai, now am realizing that I should have completed this article earlier, Had you read it, then your unfortunate accident would not have happened ;) You know, so much of information!! :p
     
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  3. ManISinJpr

    ManISinJpr Want to resurrect.. !!!

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    I had already seen this wonderful post and liked it even before the tagging :D
    what happened with me was something different, I dis not go into a puddle or a hole, it was those cary guys who enjoying too much and racing with music blazing who went in the puddle, I think deliberately.
    the water thus splashed was all over me and mud even entered my helmet and all clothes.. as I couldn't see anything I, knowing full well that I would fall braked hard and saved myself ! but fell..
     
  4. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Idiots... No regard for anyone/anything else on the road! Feel like burning them inside their cars.

    :mad::mad::mad:
     
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  5. ManISinJpr

    ManISinJpr Want to resurrect.. !!!

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    LOLz.. yes.. if I had not fallen, they would be toast by now.. ;)
     
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  6. TheMightyS

    TheMightyS ActiveRAIDer

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    tx man fr the useful advice, as always
     
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  7. Fireblade

    Fireblade Trance@ddict

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    A bit from my end.. if you dont mind.

    Approaching standing water/wet roads/gravel roads.. the technique remains the same, just the levels of application and style varies subtly.
    1. Don't Panic if you suddenly see a wet pactch/gravel/standing water (not knee deep but a few mm's.. sufficient to coat just the surface of the road.
    2. Focus quickly but clearly on the shortest and safest route you can take to cross this stretch while you are still approaching it. Make a mental map.
    3. If you're not sure or you're too fast going into the stretch, the easiest thing to do is to keep the bike going STRAIGHT. I mean DEAD STRAIGHT. Keep your weight centered on the bike, correct any lean angle and don't bear down on the handlebars with a stiff grip or tight upper body. Trust me, this is the 1st instinctive reaction, but fight it & keep just the right amount of tension in your arms.
    4. Don't ! & I mean DONT SLAM THE BRAKES. Esp not the front brake. For that matter, the rear either... but i'll get to it in a bit. Remember, most bikes today come with some kind of brake bias (or COM Balance/Center of Mass).. it's inevitable and is usually a design characteristic. What i mean by that is, you need to know by your riding experience, which of the brakes (front or rear) bites more and is more efficient in bringing the bike to a halt.
    ex: On my P200, the stopping power of the bike almost entirely comes from the front discs. Such is the design characteristic of the P200's that the rears are as good as useless. They're ok for regular use, but not when you really want it to haul your a** down in a jiffy. That job is mostly done by the front discs.
    For most Indian bikes, this is the case. Usually, the Front end is always sharper and does most of the work in slowing you down for rapid braking and deceleration. This is also because your body weight and distribution shifts to the front under braking ensuring more pressure and load on the front suspension and consequently, contact area of the tyres with the road.
    5. Instead, brake EVENLY. Now this is not as difficult as it might sound. It might take getting used to.. but in essence, what it means is to simply ensure that the front and the rear brakes match each other as closely as possible in intensity. The easiest way to tell is simply by "feeling". When you brake evenly, you will find exactly how much your body weight and balance has shifted. You will feel yourself almost in line with the COM (Center of Mass) of your bike. Almost neutral bias, and when your at that position.. any movement your bike makes will be completely communicated to you and you will easily be able to understand the level of grip that the tyres are experiencing.
    6. The front is about CONTROL and the rear is about "CONTROL". Confused? Don't be. Basically, it's simple. The front is what is crucial for directional stability, it's more important for you to keep control of the bike. You lose the front.. you are going to get hurt much worse than if you were to lose the rear in a skid. The rear is all about controlling your slide/controlling power... If you've done it right so far, you will find that the rear will step out of line. It always will in slippery conditions when decelerating from higher speeds. Irrespective of the type of bike. That's why the 1st 4 steps are all about pre-empting a slide and even if you are to fall... falling the right way. Simply because when the rear steps out of line, you are already mentally prepared to understand what the rear is doing. Even when you fall.. you are allowing the rear to "sidestep" and slide away from you... this way you can almost slide the bike right into a gentle skid and have it move away from you without breaking your arms or causing much injury. To understand what I'm talking about... simply watch any normal motogp racing where the rear steps out of line and riders slide across a track... inside out.
    7. Don't downshift too soon ... and don't bring on the power.. If you're normal, you'd have approached the slick patch with the clutch depressed and with a tendency to downshift. The reason i said don't downshift too soon... is simple. If you did that, and you did not manage to slow enough or were still carrying enough speed with your body balance off.. then in attempting to "ride" over the slippery patch.. when accelerating or raising the throttle.. the lower gears give you much more direct acceleration, tighter torque resulting in too much power to the rear wheel which is already struggling for grip with the end result being wheelspin and a violent skid. You are almost definitely going to lose the bike here. Remember, what you want is not acceleration, what you need is "driveability/rideability" which means that you need the engine to give you just the right amount of thrust in a wide rpm range. If you are in a higher gear... the engine braking is not so rough & you have a much smoother ability to control wheelspin/acceleration than in lower gears. Once your speed is comfortable, you may shift down as appropriate to maintain movement.


    I hope that helps. It takes time to learn this.. and more often than not.. is always learnt from mistakes and a few falls :) it's almost like figure skating... on a bike ;)
     
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  8. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Great pointers there Fb. Will Rep as soon as I have a lappy close

    Sent from my XT910 using Tapatalk 2
     

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