Forum Replies Created
The Best Cruisers For New Riders [2022 Edition]
Ninja 250 on the freeway, probably fine (never ridden one but its top speed would suggest this).
Honda Rebel or Nighthawk 250 on the freeway is marginal though. Although capable of 80 mph flat out, down hill and with a wind behind you, it’s very buzzy at high speed and you’ll soon have to change down a gear just to maintain an indicated 65 mph when you encounter a long uphill slope.
Same is probably true of most other non sport-bike 250 c.c four strokes (which is most 250s).
Trialsrider is correct, engine displacement is not a good indicator of speed, acceleration, power, etc. as there are other variables which come into play.
I’d recommend Olympia Motosports Airglide pants. I’ve been wearing a pair as over-pants for 2 hours of commuting, 4-5 days a week for years. I’ve crashed in them twice and they’re still okay!
They’re cordura with mesh panels and have removable windproof/waterproof liner pants, so can be used year round.
They zip all the way up the leg, although I usually only zip/un-zip them to the knee.
They’re more expensive than some others, but they’ve been money well spent as far as I’m concerned.
Well… it does rain in the Winter here in NorCal
I don’t have any recommendations for a GPS to use on a bike but I use an inexpensive little “Nexstar” unit in the mini-van; works great! I reckon the mounting of a GPS unit (on a bike) is probably the main issue.
I did use the Nexstar once on the bike (in my tank bag map pocket), but it’s too dangerous to look at it (in that position) or to operate it while moving. This left me reliant on the unit’s voice instructions which were very difficult to hear at over 50 mph with the cheap and nasty earbuds I was using.
Something like these:
…would probably work better though as they are combinantion earplugs and ear-phones.
GPS is a God-send for me; provided that you also apply common sense when it doesn’t know about that newly-built bridge and wants to take you 65 miles out of your way to go around it instead
The wonderful thing about my Nexstar (maybe all GPS units) is that you can miss (or ignore) a turn and it will always re-calculate the directions to get you from where you are at any point in (two-dimensional) space to where you want to go.
Much easier than trying to follow maps on the move, and no more arguments with your navigator (well, no more arguments about missed turns at least).
Basically, you need to get the back wheel off the ground using the bike’s center stand (if it has one) or a paddock (rear) stand (http://t-rex-racing.com/catalog.php?category=45&page=all).
If you use a paddock (rear) stand, leave your bike’s side-stand (kick-stand) in the down position the whole time. This is in readiness for lowering the bike back to the ground when you’ve finished. If you don’t do this, the bike may fall over when you lower it back to the ground if you’ve forgotten to put the side-stand in the down position.
WARNING: Paddock (rear) stands can be tricky to use on your own and are better used with two people. Person #1 raises/lowers (slowly) the bike’s back-end using the paddock stand (holding the stand’s handle firmly with two hands and lifting both feet off the ground to raise the bike works for me). Person #2 stands the bike upright prior to person #1 raising the bike’s back-end in the air with the paddock (rear) stand; person #2 also steadies the bike and rests the bike onto its side-stand once the back-end has been lowered back down to the ground. You can also use a solid wooden block under the side-stand which makes it easier to use the stand solo. Search You-Tube for videos showing how to use a paddock (rear) stand.
Anyway, once the back wheel is securely off the ground, put an old pizza box/old newspapers under the “work area” (i.e. under the whole length of the chain loop). This is to catch the drips.
Next, with you kneeling on the floor on the the left side of the bike, spray an “O-ring safe” (it’ll say that on the can if it is) chain cleaning product (available from your dealer, mail order or “Cycle Gear” etc.) all over the chain while you or an assistant slowly rotates the rear wheel.
If you’re on your own, you can either do it as a continuous motion with two hands (the left spraying and the right rotating the wheel simultaneously), or spray a little of the chain, rotate the wheel a little, spray a little more chain, and so on. Which ever way you do it, you’re aiming to ensure that the whole length of the chain gets sprayed.
The aerosol spray head should be held inside the chain loop (between the sprockets) and should be pointing downwards onto the lower chain run as you’re doing it.
Once the whole chain has been sprayed, leave it for 5 minutes to work it’s magic. Then brush the chain with a suitably adjusted “grunge brush” (http://pitposse.com/grchbr.html).
Rotate the back wheel for at least a whole chain-length with the brush on the inside of the chain loop (open end of brush pointing down) and again for at least a whole chain-length with the brush on the outside of the chain loop e.g. on the outside of the chain on the rear sprocket; the rear sprocket is the big cog wheel in the middle of the back wheel that the chain goes around. You may also want to do both actions again with the wheel rotating in the opposite direction (for a more thorough cleaning).
Spray the chain all over with chain cleaner again to remove the loosened dirt solution. Note that *some* chain cleaners (“green” soya oil based ones) require you to wash them off with a stream of water instead.
Once “rinsed” as above, wipe the chain down with shop towel or a rag and allow the chain to dry for ~20 minutes before lubing it.
IMPORTANT: You *must* lube the chain after cleaning it; see my earlier post (above).
Note: If the sprocket also has a greasy, dirty build-up on the teeth, *carefully* clean the sprocket teeth with the grunge brush, “shop towel” (from a car accessory store) or a rag, then spray it to remove the dirt solution. Be careful not to spray the brake disk(s) or tire. Sprocket cleaning should, of course, be done while cleaning the chain and prior to lubing the chain.
Once the chain has been lubed, and with the bike’s back-end still off the ground, take this opportunity to check the tire wear indicators, then rotate your back tire and look for (and remove) embedded nails, sharp stones, bits of glass, look for tire bulges, etc. Clean the back wheel rim while you’re at it and check for broken or loose spokes if you have wire wheels; or for cracks if you have cast wheels. You should check your tire pressures and brake pad wear too (shine a flashlight into the brake callipers).
Then you can clean up the messy newspapers, clean your hands with Boraxo, Gojo, Swarfega, etc. put your cleaning materials away then lower your bike back to the ground and safely onto its side stand.
With the bike on the side-stand on the ground, check the chain slack. There should be about 1 inch total of up/down movement of the chain’s lower chain run mid-way between the sprockets; check your bike’s manual for your bike’s exact specifications. If there’s more or less movement than there should be, you need to adjust your chain; that’s a topic for another article. If the chain’s too tight, it can break, get caught and and jam your rear wheel (not good!). If it’s too slack, it could jump off (and get caught and jam your rear wheel).
Don’t forget to check the front tires, wheels and brake pads too.
Assuming all’s well, you’re done!
And yes… it is a lot of work, but you’ll be confident that your bike is as safe as it can be.
TIP: After cleaning and before lubricating the chain, paint a small colored dot on a side-plate of your chain so that you will know where to start and stop spraying lube/cleaner next time. This ensures that you cover the whole chain (with cleaner or lube) without wastage. The paint dot should last for quite a few lubings/cleanings before needing to be re-applied.
If you’re buying a paddock (rear) stand instead of a center stand, you should be aware that there are three types of paddock (rear) stands.
What I’m calling:
Type 1 can be used on pretty much any bike with a “swing-arm” on each side of the rear wheel (most bikes) as it has “rests” that you can adjust to fit under the swing-arms. You lift the rear-end of the bike by raising the swing-arms using the paddock (rear) stand.
Type 2 is for bikes with “spools”. Spools or “swingarm sliders” are inexpensive bolt-on accessories that screw into the rear swing-arms of a bike. These allows you to lift the bike with a paddock (rear) stand by the spools. Most (sport) bikes come with pre-threaded holes near the ends of the swing-arms that are there for you to install spools if you so wish. Spools allow for a safer and more precise lift than “rests”.
Type 3 is a “universal stand”. These have “rests” for lifting the bike by the the swing-arms and also “forks” for lifting the bike by the spools (if you’ve installed spools). Universal stands are reversible so you can use either method.
The reason I have included links to the T-Rex line of products is that they offered the best value for money I could find when looking into this myself a few years back. The spools and stand I purchased a couple of years back are still looking and working just fine.
That said, it requires quite an effort to raise the rear-end of my (~550lb) bike with a T-Rex stand and there may be other (taller) choices which offer better leverage thus making the lift easier.
As I said in an earlier post, once I’ve engaged the spools, I hold the stand’s handle firmly with both hands and lift both feet off the ground. This will usually result in the rear-end of my bike moving skyward. Put the handle (gently) all the way to the ground and you’re good to go. Lowering the bike is simply a matter of *slowly* lowering the bike (which also requires some strength).
You can also buy a similar stand to raise the front wheel off the ground too, but I haven’t found the need to do that.
As well as preventing corrosion in steel chains, another reason to lubricate an O-Ring chain is to keep the chain’s O-rings supple and flexible.
If the O-rings are allowed to dry and harden (due to non lubriication) or to perish (due to the use of a non O-ring safe lubricant), they will fail to do their job as seals and will allow the sealed-in chain lubricant to escape. Un-lubricated chain links will rapidly wear thus facilitating chain stretch.
1. O-rings are seals intended to keep factory sealed-in lubricant inside the chain. Almost all modern street bikes have O-ring (or X-ring) chains. Current production (1950s design) Royal Enfield’s may be an exception; check the bike’s specifications to be sure.
2. Some chains (modern Triumph’s for one) are called X-ring chains. X-ring is just a variation on a theme and X-rings perform the same function as O-rings.
I lube my chain with heavy gear oil, 80 or 90 weight and apply it with a paint brush (with the rear wheel off the ground on a paddock stand). In Winter (when it rains here), I use DuPont Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant (sprayed-on) as it’s harder for the rain to wash it off than the oil.
You’re supposed to lube the chain about every 500 miles (600 per my Suzuki manual), after you’ve been out in the rain, and any time it feels dry.
Clean (and lube) it any time it’s obviously dirty. I clean mine every 2nd lube, but I do ~320 miles a week, so it gets lubed every other week, cleaned (and lubed) about once a month.
If you don’t clean and lube your chain, it will prematurely stretch and need replaced (and they’re expensive; especially if you also replace the sprockets like you’re supposed to).
Another even easier offering from the Lockitt company is Oxford Hot Hands.
These just wrap around your grips with velcro and connect via a handlebar-mounted switch and fuse to your battery.
1. Very easy install.
2. You can remove them in warmer weather to reduce wear or if you sell the bike.
1. They add a little bulk to your existing grips.
2. They are made of fabric, so they eventually wear through to the wiring (I got 2 years out of mine (10 hours riding a week) before they wore through).
3. They don’t switch themselves off, so if you forget to switch them off, you come out to a flat battery.
See the review here:
These are some things I like in a glove:
1. Hard Knuckles.
2. Gauntlet style.
3. Wrist strap as well as end of gauntlet closure (stops them coming off in a crash).
No, not dumb, you’ve just learned something you didn’t know, that’s all.
Congrats on the new bike and don’t be shy to ask more questions, That’s why this forum exists.
If it has a mechanical odometer, you do know that the right-most number is tenths of a mile… Yes?
I think it matters very much how it happened, who did it and why.
Otherwise, I agree with your sentiments.
Which you can optionally add saddle-bags to.
or this one:
or this one:
You can find them cheaper if you search around.
I’ve got the Tourmaster/Cortech Sport Tail Pack and the Mini Tank Bag; they work just fine for me.
The stitching holding the carrying handle on the mini tank bag (inexplicably) unravelled but they sent me a brand new one under warranty cover. No problems with the replacement.