Before even hopping on a motorcycle, it’s a smart decision to ride about the mechanics of the machine and familiarize yourself with key concepts. Having an idea in your head is going to come in handy when you’re faced with common beginner problems or later on when you’re on the road.
That’s how you really get a handle on the motorcycle. Let’s get started.
Motorcycle Basic Controls
Most motorcycles have the same controls; but you should always check the owner’s manual since the locations and shapes of some features will vary between makes and models.
Motorcycle basic parts:
- Electric start button – usually yellow or white.
- Engine cut-off switch – above the electric start button. Usually red.
- Above the right throttle is the front brake lever.
- Indicators (blinkers)
- Headlight dip switch (high beams/low)
- Clutch lever.
Between the handlebars, you find the ignition key. Ahead of the handlebars, you will also see the speedometer, odometer, and the tachometer.
Older Styles and Off-Road Bikes
Here’s some special considerations if you are on an older model or have an off-road bike:
Fuel petcock – these are usually attached to the left near the carburetor. You can lean down to switch the gas tank when the fuel is getting low and you need to get to the gas station ASAP.
Kick starter – off-road bikes have kick starters more commonly than street bikes. The kick starter works when you push down on the lever, turning the engine crank and causing the pistons to put pressure against the spark plug. Fuel ignites to start the engine.
What To Check Before Your Ride Every Time
Professional schools throughout the country use the acronym T-CLOCs to help you remember what you should check before heading on your bike. These checks should be done at least once a year, depending on how often you are riding your bike. If you ride every single day, you will have to use T-CLOCs much more often.
- T – Tires
- C – (Main) Controls
- L – Lights & other controls
- O – Oil & other fluids
- C – Chassis
- S – Stands
Check the air pressure and look at the condition of the tires. Are they worn down? Cracking? What is the condition of the spokes? Do you note any air leakage?
Next, look at the rims, bearings, seals, and casts. Does each brake work as it should? Does the bike fight you when turning or slowing down?
The main controls include the handlebars, cables, hoses, levels, pedals, and throttle. Make sure the condition of the hoses is good and that everything is properly lubricated. The bars should be straight, and the throttle should move without resistance. Ensure the hoses aren’t cut or leaking. Any bulges, chafing, cracks or fraying of control cables needs to be repaired.
Lights & Other Controls
This includes the battery, wiring, tail and signal lights, switches, blinkers, headlight, and reflectors. Is everything illuminating? Do the blinkers flash right? Is fraying or kinks in the wiring? Are the beams strong enough in the dark?
Oil & Other Fluids
Check the gaskets and seals for any leaks. Ensure the oil level is good, along with other fluid levels. Check for sediment in the coolant reservoir.
The chassis is made up of the frame, suspension, chains, belts, and fasteners. Nothing should rattle. Nothing should be frayed, cracking, peeling, or chipping. Ensure that everything is tight and that there is tension in the belts and chains.
Check for cracks or bends in the stands. Springs should hold their position without looseness.
Basic Mechanics of a Motorcycle
Being that a motorcycle rides on two wheels, it is designed to lean to either side. Through balance and input from the ride, the motorcycle maintains an upright position. Many beginners are afraid that the bike is going to fall over if they lean too far, but that’s not the case. Through the forces of physics, such as friction, momentum, and gravity, it’s nearly impossible for a bike that’s going to straight to fall over.
Another reason the motorcycle stays upright is the force of the pistons in the engine. These pistons move up and down, creating a force that helps the moving bike maintain it’s upward position.
The tires of motorcycles are designed to be rounded, ensuring that as the bike rounds a corner, the same surface area of the tire remains on the ground.
For the beginner, all you need to know about the chassis is how to sit properly. When positioned properly on the bike, your wrists, knees, and back will be comfortable. You should also be able to engage your core and thigh muscles when using your body to maneuver.
Most bikes are manual transmission. The clutch keeps the bike moving but also controls the speed by using friction. Clutches are usually bathed in the same oiled the engine uses, so if you ride the clutch for a while, you won’t cause damage. However, some bikes are different, so refer to the owner’s manual.
Wrapping It Up
For the new rider, your focus should be memorizing where the controls are and what certain parts of the bike do. By learning the general location, you can drive much more safely (and not while staring at the handlebars).
Remember, the everything takes practice. In the same way you learned to ride a bicycle, you need some patience with riding a motorcycle. With that, you’re ready to begin!
Liked this article? Want more beginner’s tips? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notifications about the latest videos and never miss out.
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By RunThaCity — 4 years ago
What Is A Motovlog?
Simply put, motovlogging is when you attach a camera to yourself or your motorcycle and record your ride. Wikipedia defines it as:
A motovlog is a type of video log recorded by a person while riding a motorcycle. The word is a neologism and portmanteau derived from “motorcycle”, “video” and “log”. A rider who creates video blogs known as a moto blogger, and the action of making motovlogs is called motovlogging. Most motovloggers upload their videos on YouTube, and the network of motovloggers here is known as the motovloggers community.
Are you looking for motovloggers to follow?
Since then the motovolgging community has exploded. Each rider has a different style of riding, a different sense of humor, and a different style of teaching.
While I’m positive this isn’t a complete list, I’m sure you’ll find a channel here that will peak your interest. Make sure you check back frequently because I’ll be adding to this list.
Post Views: 32,790
- The Ultimate List Of Female Motovloggers
- The Ultimate List Of Instagram Motovloggers
By RunThaCity — 4 years ago
If you have made the decision to buy a motorcycle, you have probably set your budget and decided what bike is best for your needs. For many people, the cost of a brand-new motorcycle is out of their price range so they decide to go with a used bike. However, you want to be sure you purchase a bike that is in good condition, mechanically sound and will last you a long time.
With so many options available to find used bikes, it can be difficult to decide the best place to go to purchase yours. These are some of the best places to find used motorcycles and some tips on what to watch for when you use these services. If you’re wondering how to buy a motorcycle, here is another great article.
Where Can I Buy Used Motorcycles Online?
Get Cheap Used Motorcycles On Craigslist
You can find almost any type of bike available on Craigslist but there are some precautions you should take. Many people who sell on Craigslist are unaware of the true value of what they are selling, so it is possible to get good bargains there.
However, there are also many people who believe the old bike they refurbished is worth much more than it actually is, so it is important to do your homework before you answer an ad. Also remember that Craigslist is a true “buyer beware” option. If the motorcycle fails mechanically in a few months, you have no recourse against the seller.
Buy Cheap Used Motorcycles On Ebay
If you are searching for a hard-to-find bike, Ebay may be your best option. The biggest benefit to Ebay is that you don’t have to talk to the seller until you are ready to buy. Questions can be answered through the Ebay message system. Even when you are ready to buy, you don’t need to talk to the seller. Simply purchase the bike, pay online and it will arrive at your door.
This means you never get to test drive the bike nor do you get to have it checked out mechanically before you purchase. Although Ebay does have buyer protections, it can be a difficult process to manage. The bikes on Ebay are historically more expensive and there could be shipping costs involved which could drive the cost up significantly.
Find “Motorcycles For Sale Near Me” In The Classifieds
Fewer people check classified advertisements as newspapers slowly fade into the background and are replaced with online news sources. One of the benefits to checking the classifieds is that anyone who places an ad for a bike is motivated to sell.
Classifieds require the seller to pay an up-front fee to place the ad, unlike Ebay, where you only pay if the bike sells, or Craigslist, where you don’t pay at all. There are often small, local companies that publish nothing but classifieds in flyers and booklets where you may find bargains on used bikes.
Buy Used Motorcycles From Local Dealers
Dealerships take trade-in bikes all the time, so they often have a large inventory of motorcycles available. Many dealers also offer limited warranties on used bikes so if there is a problem, you may not be left with the bill to repair it. Dealers also have a reputation to uphold, and although there are some bad dealerships, the majority work to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.
Dealers can also help guide newer riders to bikes that are suited for them. Although dealership bikes may be more expensive due to the overhead the company must pay, having a dealer back the used bike is worth the added cost in the long run.
Cheap Motorcycles For Sale On Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace has become really popular for buying and selling motorcycles and motorcycle parts. You can discover bikes for sale near you. Easy to use on your phone or your desktop, and most people already have a Facebook account. In fact that is how I found my 2004 Yamaha YZF-R6 (Second Generation). With Facebook Marketplace you can search by brand, model, year, price, and distance from your location. Once you find a bike you’re interested in simply message the seller.
Bonus Buyer’s Tip: Depending on the sellers Facebook settings, you may be able to see a few extra pics of the motorcycle and its condition by checking out the sellers profile. Most motorcycle lovers are proud of our rides and will have multiple pics posted. Simply click on the sellers profile and view images.
Take a look at a few other places you can buy used sportbikes online:
The Best Apps to Buy Used Motorcycles
One option for selling your bike online, designed specifically for buying or selling motorcycles, is RumbleOn. The site is available as a mobile app that allows you to put in all the info about your bike, take photos and upload to the site. RumbleOn sends you a Cash Offer Voucher that is good for three days. If you agree, they come get the bike and handle all the paperwork.
CycleTrader is another app that allows you to sell motorcycles and also includes reviews cars available online.
These apps are available in the Apple or Google Play Store:
Google Play Store Apps
On Apple Itunes Apps
These are just a few places where you can find used motorcycles for sale. Word-of-mouth is another way to find bikes for sale. A friend may know a friend who wants to get rid of their bike or a co-worker may be looking at upgrading. If you want to learn more tips on buying used bikes, subscribe to my YouTube channel today.Post Views: 18,277
By RunThaCity — 2 years ago
One of the most heartbreaking situations any car or motorcycle lover will experience is when you have beautiful riding or driving weather, are excited to hit the road, and the engine doesn’t turnover. The reason? Low battery power.
If you have a nifty gadget called a Battery Tender®, you can recharge the battery and bring it back to life in no time. A Battery Tender® is a friendlier alternative to traditional battery charges because of the technology housed within the device that is designed to prolong battery life.
Before you decide to buy a Battery Tender®/Maintainer, though, let’s talk about what they are, what battery maintainters do, and why you should have a maintenance charger for your motorcycle.
What Is A Battery Tender®?
Also known as “float chargers” or “maintenance chargers,” Battery Tender® were first created by the U.S. company Deltran in 1965. What separates battery tenders from plain ol’ chargers is that these devices provide a constant voltage supply but also are controlled by processors. In other words, they are able to refrain from charging faulty batteries, use spark-free technology, and have green and red indicators that help you understand what’s happening in just a glimpse.
A Battery Tender® is the opposite of a trickle charger, an unsophisticated, less expensive option. Though the purpose is similar, a trickle charger doesn’t have microprocessor technology that prevents it from damaging the battery if you leave it charging for an extended period of time. Furthermore, you can use a battery tender when you plan on storing your motorcycle for several weeks on end, like over winter.
Keep in mind that a Battery Tender® is not able to jump-start a long-dead battery. When this happens, you need a trickle charger.
For this reason, you can think of a Battery Tender® as a trickle charge with a brain—the exact words of the original manufacturer, Deltran. Of course, there is more than one brand of Battery Tender® available on the market.
For example, the DieHard Battery Charger/Maintainer is similar to a Battery Tender that employs things like Float Mode Monitoring to charge more than just motorcycles. Whichever model you choose, just make sure they have features like auto-adjust amperage to help maintain the charge, easy-to-read indicator lights, and float mode monitoring.
Using A Battery Tender®
Operating a Battery Tender® is easy. To use a one of these devices, you just plug it into any standard AC outlet and use it to transfer power to the 12-volt battery in your motorcycle.
When preparing to use the battery tender, keep the AC and DC cords away from the vehicle. Keep the charger off until you have everything plugged in.
Depending on the motorcycle, the connections might differ, so refer to your owner manual. Once you have the battery tender connected to the correct posts on the battery, you can switch it on.
You should see indicator lights turn on, such as:
• Flashing red light – AC power and microprocessor is functioning properly. However, if the flashing continues, the voltage might be too low. Take a look to make sure the alligator clips are attached properly.
• Steady red light – The clamps are properly place and power is being transferred to your battery. The light will remain red until the battery is fully charged.
• Flashing green light – A flashing green light is often paired with a red light. This means the battery is about 80% charged and can be used.
• Steady green light – The charge is complete. You can keep the battery tender attached to the battery to help maintain the life of the battery if it will be sitting for an extended period of time.
Quick note: If your battery has less than 3 volts, the battery tender won’t start. The battery should produce at least 3 volts. On the same note, if you have a standard 12 volt battery that is defunct and is producing less than 9 volts, the battery tender won’t work properly.
Trickle chargers bring dead batteries back to life while battery tenders prevent batteries from losing power during periods of inactivity. Whether you use your bike every other day or less frequently, a battery tender will preserve the life of the battery to ensure your motorcycle is ready to ride whenever you need to hit the road. The straightforward usage makes it a wonderful investment for every motorcycle enthusiast.
Now that you’ve done you’re reading, it’s time to check out the motorcycle videos on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and receive notifications so you never miss an update!Post Views: 8,320