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May 12, 2011

Gearing up for your first ride

NRD’s Tips of the Trade: Gearing up for your first ride
By Nick DiCristofaro

Before we begin, let me (DanBro) introduce you to Nick DiCristofaro. A native of Toronto, Nick holds great passion for the sport of motocross. Like most of us, Nick wasn’t going to make money racing. Instead, he opted to keep other riders bikes in one piece. A talented, hard working fellow, Nick has wrenched for many of Canada’s top MX teams (and he spent a summer working for Yamaha’s road racing team). That experience, and the relationships made, helped Nick to become a Motorcycle Tech at Yamaha Motor Canada in winter 2009.

When he’s not working on motorcycles, Nick spends way too much of his time on a road bicycle or in the gym. He also likes small puppy dogs, although, he would never tell you that cause that would mean he’s “soft.” Dirt bikes, dumbells and puppies … yep, that’s Nick in a nutshell.

Take it away, Smiley Nick!

One serious dude: Yamaha Motorcycle Tech, “Smiley” Nick DiCristofaro.

Summer is here and that means it’s time to break out your motorcycle and hit the track, trail or road! It’s tempting to get out and ride on that first sunny day, but before you do, please take time to perform these simple maintenance checks:

1. Check your battery. Make sure that it is charged to capacity. The last thing you want is to be stuck at the side of the road with a dead battery.

2. Drain the fuel tank/carburetor float bowls. Stale gas can cause severe engine and component damage and may even prevent the unit from starting. This step is important with 2-stroke models, as the fuel-oil mixture is prone to going stale quickly. Re-fill your tank with fresh fuel.

3. Make sure your air filter is clean and oiled. An oiled filter that has been sitting for an extended period of time may become dry, due to the oil slowly seeping to the bottom of the airbox.

4. Check your tires and air pressure. Have a look at the tread and make sure there are no flat spots on the tire. Air pressure decreases over time. Topping up to specifications will deliver better handling and lessen the chance of a flat.

5. Inspect your drive train. Make sure it is lubed properly (chain) and tension meets specification (chain/belt). Also inspect sprocket teeth for any hooks or chips. Replace if necessary.

6. Check all fluid levels and top-up. Oil, coolant, brake fluid, final drive fluid, and transmission oil. If any fluids are low, check the floor around your bike for any leaks and repair before using. Visit your local Yamaha dealer if unsure. Now might be a good time to perform an oil and filter change, if you are near your mileage interval.

7. Inspect your brakes. Wipe down rotors with a clean rag and contact cleaner and look for any brake/suspension fluid leaks. Check pad/shoe thickness and replace as necessary. Well functioning braking systems are extremely important for safe vehicle operation.

8. Start the unit. Inspect the operation of all lights, signals, etc. and repair if necessary.

Once you’ve performed these inspections, and it meets your satisfaction, get out and RIDE!

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Posted @ 12:09 pm in Commuting   

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