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Maintaining Your Machine

Tips on Bike Preparation

By Allen Kenward L1 Coach



Having a well set-up bike not only makes it safer, but adds to the enjoyment of riding it.

The following is a list of set-up tips, some are statuary requirements (Competition use), and others that are aimed at safety

& reliability.

Before any motorcycling event your child’s bike will have to pass through scrutineering (Machine Examination). The term

scrutineering refers to having you’re bike inspected by a suitably experienced person.

The reason for this is to ensure that the bike is in a safe condition, so as not to injure the rider or any other riders.

Scrutineers check the following areas:

  • Helmet – helmets must carry the Standards Association of Australia (SAA) Approved label for AS1698 OR any F.I.M approved standard, as listed in the F.I.M Technical Rules, be in good condition & fit correctly. Helmet Cameras and helmet wraps are not permitted. Please refer HERE for further information.

  • Throttle snaps closed when released.

  • Front & rear brake levers return freely.

  • Front & rear brakes work effectively & have sufficient free-play.

  • No broken or sharp ends on brake or clutch levers.

  • Handle bar ends are plugged.

  • Handle bar crash pad fitted.

  • Steering head bearings - free play.

  • Wheel bearings – wear/movement.

  • Wheel spoke tension.

  • Swing arm – wear/movement.

  • Chain adjustment.

  • General condition i.e. missing bolts, sharp objects, fluid leaks.

It is important to realise that it is your responsibility to make sure your bike is in a safe and reliable condition. Don’t rely upon the scrutineer to carry out an inspection and find any problems.

The best time to check your bike is after you have just cleaned it. If it’s covered in mud or dust it can be difficult to notice faults e.g. cracks in frame/swingarm/rims, oil leaks.

A common problem is bolts coming loose due to vibration, particularly on kick-starters & gearshift levers, to prevent this occurring use a thread locking product such as Loctite 222.

Ensure fuel containers & funnels are kept clean, dirt & dust can block the fine jets/air bleeds in carburettors and also lead to an increase in piston & valve seat wear.

Environmental considerations:

  • Noise – It is recommended that you repack the muffler after every 10 rides.

  • Mud – Clean off after each ride. Mud can transfer plant diseases i.e. Dieback, is a real problem in our State forests.
     

Finally, if you have any questions/queries on bike set-up or anything to do with riding, don’t hesitate to ask the Scrutineers or any of the Coaching staff, at the Junior events.