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Essentials to Know

26 posts from 15 voices
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  1. MiniMom69

    So I'm plotting a road trip - solo road trip and I know my hubby will have some objections. I'm getting my ducks all in a row before hand. What mechanical repairs are considered the essential ones - ones everyone should know before taking off on a trip? Need some help here to see what exactly I need to learn first.


  2. yhoower

    I would hope you wouldn't need to make any repairs before you leave but there are some things you might want to do before you leave. Most of them are basic ongoing stuff you probably do all the time but might be worth a double check.

    check fluid levels and conditions
    check tires and pressure
    check nuts, bolts and screws in high vibration areas
    check brakes, including cables
    check clutch and cables
    etc etc etc

    Like I said normal maintenance stuff but well worth a double check before you leave.

  3. MiniMom69

    Thanks so much Jim. I was figuring on taking her into the local shop and having a thorough check over. I guess what I'm wondering more about is basic - if it's gonna go wrong this is what's most likely to go type of things. What kind of 'on the road' repair or tips would I need to know the most.

  4. yhoower

    I would guess the biggest risk on the road as far as repair would be a flat tire.

  5. LozdDok

    I agree, a flat is your most likely problem and now a days it's usually not too much of a problem.

    I would carry a small tire repair kit. I bought one at WalMart that had a plugger and CO2 cartridges.

    If you prefer a pump to the CO2 Slime makes a small pump but don't put Slime in a motorcycle tire use plugs.

    If you ever have to plug a mc tire I would suggest replacing the tire at the 1st opportunity.

  6. quicgmicg

    ...also check to see if you have any "roadside assistance" coverage through your insurance company or AAA or similar.

  7. Shebhertezz

    Awesome MiniMom69! I hope to do a solo trip one day too. So do tell...where are you long....etc. And don't forget the most important item - lip gloss to look good behind your helmet....

  8. shadowmib78

    ...also check to see if you have any "roadside assistance"...

    +1 on that... I had bought roadside assistance with my insurance, but when I got my AMA membership, it came with a roadside assistance. I can vouche for it coming in handy. I have had to be rescued by the AMA truck a couple times on my old bike. Saved me a couple hundred in tow fees.

    Preventive maintenance as they suggested, along with the tire patch kit.

    Some stuff i recommend bringing is "rescue tape". I talked about it in another thread. Great stuff for making small emergency repairs with.

    Also make sure the bike has a full tool kit, and bring some duct tape, some 16-18 guage wire, and some 550 cord for side of the road repairs. I can fix about anything with that.

  9. bkman

    Nylon tie-wraps (wire ties) are a good thing to have along, as well as an extra headlamp and taillamp. Other than that, tires are the only thing I ever really worry about. I can't remember reading what bike you have, but a bike with laced wheels carries a little more risk in terms of repair - you have to remove the wheel to re-tube if you have a flat.

  10. shadowmib78

    Nylon tie-wraps (wire ties) are a good thing to have...

    +1 on the ties wraps. I included the wire because it can tie up hot things that tie wraps can't (ie pipes). Lamps aren't something that would break you down on the side of the road, though if it suddenly goes out in the middle of the night you might need to put along the shoulder until you get somewhere that you can buy a replacement.

    For tube tires, I'd bring a bottle of slime and one of the CO2 inflaters. Usually if your pulling out a leaky tube, you are money ahead just to stick a new tube in anyway.

  11. LozdDok

    I have seen myself where Slime was NOT recommended for mc tires. I just looked the site over and couldn't find where it says that but they don't specifically mention motorcycles.

    Personally I would suggest this as a preventative;

  12. shadowmib78

    I have seen myself where Slime was NOT recommended for...

    It might not be RECOMMENDED, but I know a few people that run it in their tires without problems. In my case I meant to use it in case of a flat on the roadside if you have a tube tires, to be able to get to a shop.

    The WORST thing that could happen with the slime is if it clumped up in one spot inside the tire, it would throw the tire out of balance and cause a lot of vibration. I could see that possibly happening if your were ridding the bike in extremely cold termperatures.

    EDIT: I read the link you posted.. It's just another version of slime, sold by a competing company.

  13. MigejCojode

    I think I would opt for the road side assistance. With spoked rims and an inner tube a tire plugging kit and even the slime be of limited help with a flat. If you are mechanically inclined enough to change a tube carry a spare tube, spoons and the CO2 cartridge otherwise opt for the roadside assistance.

    If it's going to be a particularly long trip consider putting on fresh tires.

    The one thing the shop won't do is lube the splines on your final drive:

    Regardless ensure you put a few Local miles on after the maintenance or new tires. Big mistake many make is doing a bunch of work to the bike then taking off straight away, only to find the forgot to tighten a bolt and lost it somewhere in the last 150 miles.

    Other than that +1 to what everybody said and + a few more for the tie wraps.

  14. 4mrAkankmpr

    Also, carry one of those small bright flashlights ( with new batteries) . Leave an itinerary of your proposed trip with your hubbie or a trusted friend, and carry a fully charged cell phone. Sounds like we're having similar plans- I'm taking a week's vacation next week and planning on riding down to Fredericksburg and later on meet my sister and her husband at their Hill Country place near Blanco.

  15. Tuttle3

    -Small, basic tool kit.
    -Metric allen wrenches
    -14 and 17mm short wrenches
    -Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
    -Standard pliers

    If you're going on an extended trip, consider locating a dealer at your destination. Let's say you have only 2,000 mi. since your last oil change, but your destination is 2,000 mi. away. Changing your oil early is an option and won't hurt anything, but some like to keep their change schedule in sync and don't see spending extra money where it isn't necessary. Also, the dealer (or any shop experienced in Yamahas for that matter) can perform another once over to make sure things are GTG.

    If my wife and I were living in Texas again and depending on her destination, she'd have personal protection on her person....being Texas is a gunfriendly state. IMO, it's the absolute most important piece of safety equipment there is.

  16. yhoower

    Making mental note: Don't mess with Tuttle's wife!

  17. MiniMom69

    Wow, thanks everyone. I’ve got a two page word document full of suggestions. The first thing I have to do is find out if I have tube tires or not. I know my local bike shop, Scooter Peete’s, will be happy to help me with that. They have finally accepted that they are my in person portal to all things motorcycle. (it helps that I spend a lot of money there!)

    Sheperdess, I’m not sure yet where I’m going or when. I have to plan it all out and have everything done before I pitch it to my hubby because if I don’t he’ll attempt to nix it. (Usually once I’ve made my mind up - nothing changes it.) But the lip gloss already lives in my windshield bag!

    Tuttle3: great point! I’ve been thinking about getting legal on that anyway. Now I have more motivation. I’ll keep you all updated.

  18. einzdan

    +1 on what 4mrGM said about the itinerary and flashlight. I always keep a flashlight in my tank bag and have a tiny one that's quite bright on my key chain which I got from Eastern Mountain Sports.

    I also bring a portable first aid kit with me in case I need any minor fixing on the road.

    Have a great time!

  19. Shebhertezz

    Making mental note: Don't mess with Tuttle's wife!...

    Second mental note: When in Texas, don't piss off anyone...

  20. Tuttle3

    It's not what y'all think, guys and gals. Law abiding CCW holders don't just whip out our firearms because someone stoked our fur the wrong direction....

    Another item of essentials...sort of. If you change your own oil, be sure it's a brand and weight that is commonly carried where you're riding. In case your bike uses just a bit of oil, you can keep from taking up room/weight on your bike this way. You can stop anywhere to buy oil IF you need it instead of lugging extra in your luggage space.


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