Bike Maintenance to think about before the Run

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    • #25869
      Redleg (aka. Sloke)

      Hey there RFTW family,

      I’ve been on the phone with CR Chase Team leader Two Chains talking about what they do and how bikes land on a trailer.  While I intend to do a full write up of our conversation for posting along with a CR SitRep during the Run, I wanted to highlight the three things that you can do now besides standard maintenance to be sure you don’t find yourself on the side of the road needing a tow.

      According to Two Chains, besides standard maintenance, these are the three things you should check, repair, or replace as needed prior to the run:

      1. Clutch and drive linkage. Clutch cables, shifters, and clutches themselves take a beating on the Run. Make sure they are in great working order. I can speak to this one myself. In 2016 I was on a trailer because the boot covering the linkage on my heal-toe shifter wasn’t put back on correctly. The linkage clogged with dust and dirt causing the bike to not be able to downshift out of 2nd gear.  We were about to go up the mountain into Eagle Nest and I wasn’t sure if I could ride up without 1st should the pack slow significantly on the twisties. So, I had the bike trailered up the mountain. The next day I rode into Pueblo out in front of the pack and had it repaired. Don’t be like me!

      2. Tires. Make very sure your tires have enough wear remaining to safely convey you from Ontario to DC. Many dealers do not carry the same stock as they have in the past. You could find yourself not just on a trailer but also awaiting a tire at a dealer and missing a portion of the Run. This happened to a friend of mine last year.  Hitchhiker had to work some magic in Colorado to get a new front tire carried from one dealer to another and then installed late in the day. He made it back to the Run in Limon very late into the evening after a solo run from Pueblo to Limon in the cold dark night.  Full disclosure, Hitchhiker was borrowing a bike from me so this situation was partly my fault. Again, don’t be like me!

      3. Drive Belts, chains, and shafts.  Two Chains says this issue is mostly related to drive belts, but I thought I’d toss in the chains and the drive shafts.  Be sure to check these before the Run.  Drive belts are different from model to model and sometimes from year to year. If your belt is showing signs of wear, it is best to have it replaced before the Run. Finding the right belt for your bike can be extremely challenging while on the road.

      Thank you Two Chains for the great input.  See you all in May!

      Daniel "Redleg" Slocum
      CR ATW 2016, Participant 2018
      Tail Gunner: Remember Our Fallen 2021
      CR Sitrep Writer 2022, 2023

    • #25870
      Doug Walker

      Thanks for posting this Sloke. Two chains is right-on.

      As a Chase Driver I’d like to add one more. Battery. Every run I have had to jump-start somebody who usually told me that they thought their battery was good “for one more run”. And more than once a replacement was hard to find. When in doubt please err on the side of caution.


      Doug Walker

      CR Chase Team 4

      CR Chase 4 in '14, '15, '18, '19, ('20*)('21*), '22
      Sgt USMC 62-66
      Chu Lai 65-66

    • #25879

      Battery Check:

      I had a new bike with a bad battery.  Dealer replaced it, but I learned a lesson worth sharing.  A trickle charger, or non-intelligent battery tender, can mask a failing or bad battery.  With a full charge, disconnect the charger/tender for 5-7 days and then attempt to engage the starter.  Better you experience the problem at your home base.

    • #25910
      Wally Gator

      I would also like to add to the list if you’re pulling a trailer make sure that you have chains from the trailer to the bike just about every year, we have someone that shows up the day we depart from Ontario with no chains on their trailer. The run require bike with trailer have chains.

      Retired city employee
      USN 76 to 80 USS Raleigh LPD 1
      USNR 80 to 91 USS Duncan FFG

      ATW 14,16,17.18,19 Tail gunner 17,18 and 19

    • #25934
      Tommy Cranford

      Well Mr. Wally that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. That’s not a breakdown I’m talking about situations once again that myself and my chase trucks have come across to end your day on a chase trucks trailer.

      Riders showing up to Ontario without chains hooking trailers to bikes or trikes is their responsibility. Not mine or my teams.

      Yes it’s a good point but doesn’t involve me or the chase team.

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