TECH TIPS

Disclaimer:  Owning and maintaining motorcycles is a lifelong commitment to ensure your safety and the safety of others.  Always ride responsibly and wear a proper fitting helmet and gear.  All of the tips contained below are based on experience and knowledge learned from some of the best in the industry.  As you will be doing this maintenance yourself, you assume the risk contained therein.    Make sure you understand the instructions completely as I am unable to be with you personally to see that they are done correctly.  Use this page as a guide.  Seek the advice of a trained professional if you have ANY questions.

Bike Basics: 

Bikes will run on Unleaded, just make sure it is at least 89-92 octane, otherwise it will probably ping.  If you have a 4 stroke, run straight gas.  If you have a 2 stroke, you will need to mix gas and oil.  For 2 strokes, I like buying race gas to mix with the pump gas 50/50 or 60/40.  Your bike will run cooler and you will get less wear and tear on the parts so they will last longer.  

 
Premix on a 2 stroke engine is mandatory.  I like Maxima Premium 2 or Super M (castor based blend) My other favorite is Yamalube R.  I recommend 40/1 or one small bottle to 5 gal of gas.  Be conscious about whether you are using a castor based oil or synthetic.  Do not mix the two or you could end up with an engine failure.  Synthetics generally run at much leaner mixtures such as 50/1-100/1and have a shorter shelf life once mixed with the gas-about 2 weeks 
 
Gearlube-  Again recommend Maxima gear 75wt, or a 10/40 or 20/50 oil will work with other brands. 
 
Air filter oil-I like to use the spray on lubes.  They are so much easier to work with then dipping the filter in a pan of filter oil.  Uni has a good spray on as does Maxima.  Make sure you get a even coat.  Work it through the filter and squeeze (do not wring) out the extrta oil.  I like to use my fingers to buff out a smooth even finish.  Stay away from other oils that dry too thick or too sticky and gum up the filter and actually restrict air flow.
 
Chain Lube-Maxima Chain Wax-Spray on the inside of the chain as you rotate the tire.  You may also spray the outside of the chain, but let it soak into the rollers a bit before riding, otherwise the excess lube will spray all over your bike and boots. 

Air Filter: 

Axle, Pivots, Bolts:

Brakes: Buy the Service Manual. It contains essential information for doing the job right the first time. Getting Started: Put the bike on a lift stand and remove the wheel assembly. Check the Caliper: to see how much friction is on the rotor by turning it by hand. A small amount of drag is normal. Remove the caliper pins holding the brakes in place.  Inspect the pins for wear, replace as necessary if grooved.  When replacing pins place a very, very light coat of grease on the pins.  Replace the Brake Pads: If your brakes are squealing, the pads might need to be replaced. If your pads are worn down, replace. Simply align the new pads with the caliper pin locations and slide the pins into place and tighten using loctite on the bolts.  Check the Rotor: If your rotor is dirty or rusty, use your wire brush to clean it. If a rotor is suffering from lateral run out, (i.e., is warped) the rotor must be replaced with a new one. An easy way to check this is to lay the rotor down (off the wheel assembly) onto a piece of glass.  If it is slightly warped, setting it in the sun on the glass will sometimes flatten it back out.  When in doubt replace.  Lateral run-out tends to cause a shimmy and pulsation through your steering wheel when you apply the brakes.  If a rotor is badly worn, you may be able to notice pronounced grooves on its surface.   If you removed the rotor to repair, inspect or replace, attach rotor back onto the wheel assembly using loctite and tightening down the bolts in a star pattern in a uniform matter (not all at once).  Check the Wheel Bearings: If it has a tapered roller bearing you can remove the roller bearing from the hub assembly and inspect it. Look for evidence of pitting or scoring. If it has these conditions, it should be replaced.  Before replacing the bearing, it must be greased. Before handling the grease, take some hand cleaner and rub it onto your hands, especially concentrating on your fingernails, then wipe off the excess. Next, take a large portion of grease into the palm of one hand and the bearing in the other. Turn the bearing to its wider end and then press it into the grease, until the grease is completely through the holes in the bearing. Take some time to make sure that the grease is worked through the entire unit. Then, work some grease into the bearing race on the hub that holds the bearing and insert the bearing.  Next, you must apply the grease seal. Many people make the mistake of pounding the seal into place with a hammer. This usually destroys the seal, forcing you to buy another one. However, you can save time and money by using a seal driver, which you can purchase at an auto supply store. This tool fits over top of the seal, then you hammer the top of the tool, which pushes the seal into place. The money you save on seals should cover the cost of the tool.  I recommend using a Soft hammer to do this.  Put the assembly back together: Now, you have checked all the components of your brakes and have replaced or fixed any parts as needed, it is time to put them back on the bike. First, take the rotors and wash them with soap and water or contact cleaner to remove any grease that may be left from your hands.  Slide the rotor assembly through the brake pads.  Align with the fork tub axle holes and slide the freshly greased axle into place.  It's best to use a medium coat of waterproof grease.  I like to add moly (antiseize) lube to the grease to help keep the axle and bearings from seizing under high heat.  Use loctite on the threads before tightening the bolt. Very Important: Make sure you torque the bolts to the specifications outlined in the manual. Over- or under-tightening can cause major damage and/or could jeopardize your vehicle safety.  Remove the Bike from the stand and apply the brakes repeatedly to seat them into place. You will know if they are seated properly if you have good, consistent pressure on the levers when the brakes are applied. Failure to do this will result in a crash and/or injury.  Next, Bleed the brake fluid: Flush the old brake fluid from the master cylinder by removing the bottom bleed screw and pump the brakes.  As you do this continue to pour in the new fluid, making sure to keep fluid in the master cylinder at all times.  Go to the caliper and attach a rubber hose to the back of the bleeder screw and put the hose into a pan for it to drain. Have a partner pump the brakes while you open the nut to drain out the old fluid and bubbles in the line. After several times through, tighten the bleeder screw again.  When you have good pressure and the fluid come out clean with no air bubbles the brakes have been bled properly.  Be sure this is done correctly.  Failure to do so may result in brake failure.  Doing brake inspection and maintenance is a relatively simple task. However, brakes are essential to riding safety. Exercise the proper care in doing these procedures and don't forget to refer to your vehicle's manual as much as possible. If you don't feel comfortable doing any of the procedures above, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a trained professional.

Chain and Sprockets:

Gearing:

Handlebar Set up:

Spokes:

Suspension: 
 
As far as the suspension goes it should have 2" of free sag (just the weight of the bike), and about 3.5-4" of sag with his weight on it.  To get these measures:
 
1. Put the bike on a stand and measure the distance from a point on the fender to say the center of the axle nut.  Write down
 
2. Take the bike off the stand and let settle.  Push down on the suspension a few times, then release and measure the difference between the 2 points again.  Measurement #1 minus Measurement #2 = a sag difference of about 2" (this is your free sag)
 
3. With the bike on the ground, have him sit on it in the center of the seat and bounce a few times on it.  Let it settle with his full body weight on it.  Measure the distance between the 2 points again (Measurement #1 minus Measurement #3) = 3.5-4" of sag with him sitting on the bike. (actual sag)
 
Release the locking rings on the spring to adjust the spring tighter (stiffer) or looser (softer) to get the settings to 2" and 4" respectively.  If you are unable to get that ratio you will need a different spring.  If you are able to get the correct ratio and the bike won't adjust enough on the compression and rebound settings to get a smooth ride, have the oil changed in the shock. Tighten the locking rings.
 
Note:  Compression control how fast the shock compresses downward upon impacts, Rebound controls how fast it springs back.  If the bike feels stiff and deflects or bounces off items, it is too stiff and needs to be backed off.  If the bike kicks upward the rebound is too fast and needs to be slowed down.  If the bike wallows, you need to speed up the rebound.  Always mark down your starting suspension settings. 
 
Locate the compression knob on the shock body,  Insert a screwdriver into the clicker or turn the knob clockwise.  Count the number of clicks from your current setting to full stiff (where you have no clicks-do not force clicks) write down, Example: Turn clockwise and count the clicks till they stop.  Say the number you count is 6.  Then your suspension is set -6 from full stiff.  (C=  -6)  which equals where your shock compression is currently set at. Return the clicker back to its original setting.  First get the compression working properly, then adjust rebound settings, unless it is so far off it wants to pitch you off the bike.
 
Next do the same formula on your rebound.  Count the clicks and write down. Example: R= -10.  Remember:  Save these 2 measurements.  I like to write them down on the inside lid of my toolbox.  This way as you make changes, if you get confused, you can always return to your starting point and start over.    Turning the rebound clicker clockwise will slow the rebound down, counterclockwise will make it faster.  Ride the bike again and note if the change made the bike better or worse and make applicable changes as necessary. 
 
Never make more than 2-4 clicks change at a time.  Ride the bike with the standard settings and write down how the bike feels...Stiff, soft, bottoming, wallowing, etc.  Make an adjustment to the compression and/or rebound if necessary (plus or minus 2 clicks) to make the ride more ideal such as, too stiff,  turn the knob to the left (softer) or vise versa.  Ride the bike again and note if the change made the bike better or worse and make applicable changes as necessary by adding or removing clicks.   Once you have the bike where you want it, write down your final settings inside your toolbox lid, and get rid of the previous notes so you won't get confused.
 
Also make sure that the front end is balanced with the rear so that they work together.  Again, on the forks, change the oil and set the oil height to about 3-4" from the top of the fork tube with the forks fully compressed and no springs.  Once this is achieved, extend the fork, drop in the springs and spacer, screw the cap back on, slide the tube back into the triple clamps making sure both tubes are at the same height, clamp down the triple clamp bolts and go riding.

Suspension Linkage Maintenance:

Tire Compounds and what they Mean:

Tire Changing: