Sunday, 30 June 2013

Royal Enfield Monsoon Maintenance Tips 2014

“If you don’t ride in rain, you don’t ride.” – This quote that has that much inspiration to make every Bulleteer ride into the rain once. But before riding in rain are you sure that your Bullet will bear the rain or would it be a safe ride???

In rain your Bullet needs as much as maintenance as you take of yourself. Monsoon time care is very important as far as Bullet is concerned. As we all want our Bulls in good working condition and moreover rough ‘n’ tough. So here are some Monsoon Maintenance Tips for Royal Enfield which will help you to get rid of minor issues caused by rain and dirt.


Let’s start with 
TYRES:
Keeping your tyres in good shape is very important during monsoons. Tyres play a very important role during monsoons as it saves you from fatal injuries preventing slipping of the bike in wet areas and making you not to fall off from your bullet. If the tyres are worn out or grip is poor , make sure to replace the tyres before hitting the wet road during monsoon. 


To check the tread depth of the tyre use any thin component or coin to check the depth as front tyre must have 2mm tread depth and rear tyre must have 2-3 mm tread depth which is fair enough to provide you a good grip on wet roads. Depth less than the above mentioned range will lead to slipping of bullet due to sudden braking or cornering.

 Tyre pressure has a huge effect on the grip you get on wet road. Tyre pressure should be few psi below the recommended tyre pressure.The recommended tyre pressure for 18” tyres is 20psi front and 30psi rear while in 19” tyres 22psi front and 32 psi rear. Check the tyre pressure regularly.

While changing or checking your tyres, go through your spokes. If they are broken or missing one or two, replace them. Check both the wheels for alignment as  an out of alignment wheel will make riding much more dangerous on wet roads, even more so when cornering. Paint the inner area of the rims with red oxide primer to prevent rims from rusting. Tubes with more than 2 punctures should be replaced with new one as you can keep the old tube as backup.



BRAKES:
Make one thing clear that braking hard on wet roads will increase the chances of slipping tyres on wet road. Always apply brakes softly to avoid any mishap.

Lets first talk about the drum brakes-
Drum brakes once water filled into it does not work at all. If your bike was standing into rain there are chances that your front brakes will not work until you ride few meters and water gets out of the drum. There are also chances of front drum brakes getting jammed not because of the brake shoes or brake cable but because of the cam that drives them. 

Running your bike on old worn out pads or liners, or a brake that is not very effective and can lead to disaster. To avoid jamming dismantle the from brake assembly replace the brake shoes if worn out, clean up cam with petrol and after that apply grease properly so that it moves properly. Replace the cable if it is too old as effort of brake cable also increases on wet roads. Get the whole drum cleaned up with the sand paper properly so that brake shoes will get more traction with drum and let friction does her work properly.
Same applies for the rear brake also. Dismantle the rear wheel and hub and follow the same instructions.

Disc Brakes-
Disc Brakes does not need that much maintenance as that of Drum Brakes.  Make sure that your disc pads aren’t worn out and brake oil is at level.



CHAIN:
Chain is a very important part of any motorcycle as if there is no chain there is no ride. In Royal Enfield Unlike other bikes the chain is exposed to dirt and air. In rain chain gets really messy as all the dirt from rain gets sticked to it. To clean the chain and make it work properly you have to do some effort. Remove the chain from the machine and dip it in clean 

petrol/diesel for 2-3 hrs. Then use the plastic bristle brush for cleaning the mud out of it, and then again dip it in petrol/diesel for few minutes and re-wash it in clean petrol/diesel. You can either use grease or chain spray to re-lubricate it for its better function. Grease is economical as spray is a bit costly but isn’t if 4 riders buying one. Lubricate the chain properly as all the joints get greased properly. Now install the chain properly and give a last lubrication to it. 

Once the above process you can re-lubricate the chain without removing it from bullet. Keep the chain a bit loose to avoid damage to your sprockets. There should be tension of about 1/2 an inch to 3/4th of an inch. Clean and lubricate it twice a week during the monsoons as a lot of mud will accumulate on it.



CONTACT BREAKER POINT: 
Bulleteers having Cast Iron Engine Bullets with Contact Breaker Points make sure that you have a clean Contact Breaker points with properly greased up point plates. Adjust the gap as per the settings , don’t adjust it if you don’t know how much gap needs to be set. After greasing up close the cover.  Buy an after market Rubber cap for CB point unit. It plays very important role in rain as it prevents any drop of water entering into the CB point unit and not letting your Bullet - miss a beat.



AIRFILTER: 
Before hitting the wet roads and rain falling all over make sure that your Bull is breathing properly and effectively. Old Air Filter must be full of dust and impurities so clean it up better get a new one. It took out all the dirt and impurities from air just to make your bullet alive now its time to pay attention to the caretaker or airtaker. Sorry got emotional….. lol ;)




CONTROL CABLES:
All Control Cables works really fine before they break-up in the middle of the road. So if Control Cables haven’t been changed for a while now it’s a good time to do it. But before replacing old cables a small effort need to be made, you should oil them before the installation . To oil the hold the cable upside down put some drops of oil into it and start moving the tail of cable and down so that oil applies to all the portion of cable and outer, this will help it work smoothly even if water enters the cable. Make sure doing it to every cable as will make a smooth operation of all cables in harsh conditions.



SPARK PLUGS: 
There is always a danger of a plug being short no matter how long or how short the ride is. Always keep a spare plug with you whenever you ride in rain. Make sure that the spark plug cap is properly tightened with the spark plug wire and spark plug cap gets completely attached to the spark plug. Always use a genuine spark plug cap to prevent water from entering into it.



ELECTICALS:
 Check all the wiring joints, check the battery electrolyte level, grease up the battery terminals. Clean all the copper terminals with sand paper (including battery terminals). Check all the connections or joints made after you installed horns or other accessories, rejoin them all and tape them properly. Check if all the Indicator bulbs, meter bulb, indicator indication bulb (in meter), high beam indication bulb, ammeter bulb and headlight bulb are working if not change the non-working bulbs. Tape all the terminals exposed i.e Horn relay and Horn terminals etc.

Create a mixture of oil and petrol and put a drop in kill switch, headlight/pilotlight switch, high/low beam switch and indicator switch for their smooth operation in rain.

Cover all the major electrical joints with plastic bags as ammeter connector (clearly visible when you tilt the handlebar towards left) and ignition switch connector (clearly visible when you tilt the handlebar right). Rectifier, Regulator and Flasher joints below the seat. Cover Rectifier, Regulator and Flasher as well to avoid any short circuit or failure.
Always keep an extra pair of fuse to replace the short ones.



CHROME: 
Chrome has been a very important part of Royal Enfield Bullets in India. As they say – “The Beauty of the Motorcycle lies in the Chrome”. There are numerous ways to protect chromed parts of Royal Enfield and number of anti rust sprays available online or after market spare part shops which works really well.

Let us make you one thing clear that Engine is not chromed, it is buffed and the process is called Buffing. And parts like Silencer, Bend Pipe, Head Lamp Ring, Leg guard etc. are the chromed parts and the process is called Nickel Electroplating.

Anti-rust sprays are for chromed parts of Royal Enfields as they gets corroded but buffed part gets dull, so there are different ways to protect them.

Keep in mind that the dirt is chrome’s enemy. Whenever you ride in rain lots of dirt gets stick to silencer and other parts like inner mudguards etc. After reaching home make sure that you remove all the dirt sticks to the chromed parts using wet cloth or water spray. Use nickel powder on engine as well as chromed parts to make them shine back at its best.

Those Bulleteers who are thinking of re-buffing or re-chrome the parts after monsoon should think twice as there is a lot of difference in Company and After Market process in terms of Quality. If you go for re-buffing or re-chrome it decreases the lifespan of the part effectively plus it won’t last longer as the genuine parts.



PAINT: 
In rain not some parts but whole bike gets affected as water reaches everywhere with dirt as its company. So do wash your bike properly after riding it in rain for few days. Use a decent shampoo with a high pressure water spray to remove excess dirt from the bike. If you think you had a really bad ride with dirt sticking all over the paint, wash it with plain water just to remove the dirt from the bull.

If you have Teflon coating on your bike you don’t have to worry much about it as won’t let rain damaging the paint as it could without the coating.



GENERAL TIPS:

·     Clean your carburetor to remove any impurities or water entered. Replace carburetor gasket and packing if worn out.
·     Keep the spark plug gap adjusted and clean for a smooth ride.
·     Keep the tyre pressure 2-3 psi below the normal pressure as mentioned above in Tyres section.
·     Make sure that all the nuts & bolts are tightened properly.
·     Oil or Grease each and every joint of Royal Enfield Bullet for its smooth movement.
·     Check that all the bulbs are working properly and always keep a spare headlight, brake light and indicator bulb.
·     Make sure that you have all the basic tools in your Bull to open up the parts if water enters in them.
·     Check all the air filter rubber hoses for any holes or wearing out issues and immediately replace them if worn out.
·     Tape all the electrical wiring joints or cover them with plastic bags.
·     Check the rear shocker and swing arm rubber bushes for any damages as if swing arm bush wears out it will result in shaky rear wheel.

Royal Enfield Bullet CLUB wishes you all the best for your future rides. These preventive measures will make your ride safer. Hope these tips could help the Bulleteers in anyway. Ride Safe Ride Hard.

As they say “if you don’t ride in rain, you don’t ride.
Cheers to Bulleteer Brotherhood.


Enjoy the rain.