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FAQ's motorcycle servicing

FAQ's servicing

What happens if my motorcycle fails it MOT

If your motorcycle fails it’s test, you have to have it repaired to an acceptable standard before it can be re-tested and passed.

How do I check motorcycle wheel alignment

Checking the wheel alignment on a bike is a really useful skill, especially when you’re out there looking to buy a new machine and you want to make sure the frame isn’t bent and the forks are still straight.

The first thing you need is a straight edge and an eight foot fluorescent tube will give you that.

Next, clamp your straight edge against the front tyre, then very gently move the steering until the straight edge is touching the front edge of the rear tyre and measure the distance between the straight edge and the rear of the tyre, it’ll probably be about 10mm.

Now repeat the process on the other side and use the chain tensioners to set the gap so it’s equal.

Don’t use the chain adjuster marks to align the wheels. Instead, use this method, then turn the adjustment bolts equal turns, maybe a flat at a time to get the chain tension right.

Once the wheels are aligned, crouch down at the back of the bike and look down the chain run, if it’s out, then there’s something wrong with the chassis.

What do I do if I lose my motorcycle key

These days a lot of bikes have their ignition keys coded to the ECU to make it harder for thieves to get them going.

But that means you have to take extra special care of those keys because if you are unlucky enough to lose both keys you could need a new ECU at up to £1000.

The reason is that it’s often the case that two different companies make the ECUs and ignition system and the system is designed so that once it’s fired into life for the first time in the factory, it can’t be overwritten with a new code for obvious reasons.

However the systems do have a facility to introduce a new key to the system, providing you still have one key, but if they are both lost you’ve had it, so make sure you’ve always got a spare safe.

How to cure a vibrating wheel

If you have some harsh vibrations or the steering feels loose or wobbly then your front wheel could be out of balance.

Those vibes will stress wheel bearings, make the tyre run hotter and could loosen various fasteners around your bike. A fitter can do it, or you can balance your tyres at home.

You want to counteract the weight causing an imbalance by adding weight directly opposite the heaviest point of the wheel.

These weights come in 5g or 10g sizes and are sticky-backed to keep them in place. Static balancers are widely available.

What do I do if my bike won't start

If your bike is cutting out mysteriously, especially when you try to select a gear or pull away for the first time, check out the sidestand cut-out switch.

It sits in a very exposed position low on the left and can often get crudded up or corroded with bad connections.

Strange squeaking noises from a new motorcycle

If your new bike is making an odd sound like a sort of squeaking noise, or rubbing sound, that comes and goes, check the relative positions of the footpeg and rear brake pedal.

It's all too easy to rest your foot on the rear brake pedal and ride the brake so much that the pads wear down to the metal. It may be intermittent because it depends when you use the brake.

If it is a grinding sound you need to get some new pads in pronto as the hard metal backing plate of the pads is grinding your disc down.

How can your suspension and tyres cause a slide

The rear end of a bike can slide for a number of reasons. Over-firm suspension dials out compliance and suppleness, making a bike's tyre do more work than the suspension itself.

This can cause the tyre to slide, through a loss of grip. Over-inflated tyres are also more prone to sliding because they have a smaller contact patch than they should.

Most manufacturers play it safe and recommend moderately high tyre pressures to account for a heavy rider and passenger a combination that places great strain on the sidewalls of under-inflated tyres.

Most riders, however, can get away with dropping the pressures a few psi. The rubber will wear out quicker, but you get more grip.

Why do tyres have wire in them

The high-tensile steel wire is also known as the bead and runs circumferationally around the inner part of the tyre.

Its job is to anchor the tyre on the rim so that the tyre can't creep on the wheel and also help to make it airtight. It's the reason why tyres are so hard to get onto the rim and seated corrected.

Do you service/repair Triumphs

Yes we service and repair nearly all bikes.

Can you check my suspension

Yes we can do it all from basic settings to complete overhauls including oils and re-gas.

Do you do insurance repairs

Yes we repair for most leading insurers and independent consulting engineers.