Technical Tip

New Bike Prep Tips - By Eric Schettler


You just picked up a new bike.  Well, don’t go ride it just yet.  Here are some of the things I do to all of my new bikes before I ever ride them.  It is just so much easier without a spec of dirt around.

  • Remove the chain adjuster bolts and coat the threads with an anti-seize grease.
  • Add additional grease to suspension linkage, swingarm pivot, and steering head bearings.  Be sure to torque these items upon reassembly.  On the steering head, I like to mark the lower spanner style nut with a sharpie and count the number of turns to ensure that I get the adjustment on the bearings back to where it was.  Usually these are a tad loose from the factory in my opinion so I tighten about 1/8 turn extra. Torque the toptriple clamp nut to OEM spec.
  • Tighten all bodywork bolts, engine cover bolts, and torque drain plugs.
  • Check your fluid levels and check that the air filter is well oiled.  Do not assume that the dealer has done this.  I always use Maxima FFT.
  • I always recommend installing Heavy Duty tubes, adding lube to the chain, and lubing all cables and control lever pivots.
  • Engine break-in, in my opinion, is a little overrated.  I like to simply run it through a couple heat cycles but letting it warm up, riding it around for a couple minutes, and then letting it cool completely (at least 4 hrs).  I do this 2 times. Then for the first real ride in the dirt I ride it somewhat normally but going a little easy on it (no over-revving, no heavy clutch use, no hard shifts etc).  I usually make this ride only about 1 hour so I can then change the oil & filter and let it cool one last time.  Then I think it is good to go.  Just let it rip!
  • On 4-strokes you should check the engine valve clearance after 10 hrs but after that, if you are good with your air filters, you shouldn’t really ever have to adjust them.

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