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What’s The First Things You Do To A New Bike?

DJ_MI

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Member Number
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I got back into riding last year after a few decade hiatus. I just brought it home and started riding it. I didn’t know any better. I soon learned that I should have done a few things right away.

Set the rear preload.
Adjust the headlight.
Adjust the levers.

What things do you experienced riders do when you get a new bike?
 
I like to flood out the cables and check the routing besides other adjustments and poking around. The clutch cable gets most of the attention. I like butter smooth clutch cables.
When it pukes out the other end...its good!
20221020_125511.jpg
 
Then paint it with bed liner? Hmm
Get crash bars powder coated orange to match the coolest adv site. Ha ha...
 
After initially adjusting the levers, seat height and suspension I usually add lights and go from there as to what is needed or just wanted. The needs do go before the wants however. Who doesn’t want a toilet made from solid gold right? :rofl
Over time I find that better suspension is the most significant thing one can do to a bike.. YMMV
 
Let's see.

For a DR,

  • Remove Snorkel
  • Shim Carb
  • Extended Mixture Screw
  • New Tires
  • New Seat
  • New Bars
  • ROX Risers
  • Luggage
  • Bigger Tank
  • LED Headlight
  • Cut/Lower Pegs
  • Remove Upper Chain Roller
  • 14T CS Sprocket
  • Inline Fuel Filter
  • Proper Handguards
  • Heated Grips
  • RAM Mount
  • Tail Rack
  • Tank Bag
  • Tach
  • Skid Plate
  • SAE Plugs
  • Disconnect Clutch Safety
  • Remove Kickstand Switch
  • Heavier Rear Spring
I think that's about it really.
 
Ohh ya load the rings leaving the dealership! I was a test rider and I made sure the rings got worked! We were instructed...that it better fail on the tech and not the owner. This was good times. I once prepped the gm's bike and smiled big time.."ya I set the rings" and almost got a look of horror in return. The service writer dropped his bike a day later. Ha ride it like ya stole it!
 
^^This

Engine, Suspension, Brakes, and Transmission all need time to settle in. Many bike reviews do an otherwise fine machine a disservice by complaining about items that need time and use before final judgement.
Another pet peeve of mine is not listing the height, weight, inseam, reach, etc. of the test rider. It just may be that "too soft" suspension would work a treat for my use.
 
Valves and Fluids (dependant on the miles and model year) also tires when they are older than 5 years old (why are they always so dry rotted and hard?)
 
DJ_MI You're talking new or used bike?
Here's a simple, free, thing you can do ... check the tire pressure. I've done test rides on new bikes and the handling was shite. Low and behold the tires were 10psi low.

Danno What are you using for lubricant there? Call me stupid, but I thought modern cables have teflon on the cable and housing, so not requiring lubrication.
 
DJ_MI You're talking new or used bike?
Here's a simple, free, thing you can do ... check the tire pressure. I've done test rides on new bikes and the handling was shite. Low and behold the tires were 10psi low.

Danno What are you using for lubricant there? Call me stupid, but I thought modern cables have teflon on the cable and housing, so not requiring lubrication.
Depends which bike and ambient temperature. 2022 kawi cables are course strand and course wound. This is the throttle and clutch cables. Vtwin heavy pull clutch cables get synthetic gear lube in the summer and evey thing else gets 20w50. Winter riding gets a thinner oil. I do not have any teflon coated cable motorcycles but have seen on a few bicycles I have messed with. The thicker viscosity does take way more pressure to push through the length of the cable. Old bikes get wd40 or kerosene flush followed by a lube flush. The housings are notorious for weeping in moisture when the housing is cold and the air is warm and humid. But its really a feel issue. I like a slick clutch control. Brake pins, slides and pedal/lever shaft bushings get the same attention for brake feel. And my throttle better have nice snap back.
 
+1 on the tire pressure, ha ha. I have yet to purchase a used bike that had even close to the correct tire pressure, some dangerously low.
The last new bike that I purchased had the drive chain adjusted tighter than a banjo string - had them fix it before we left the dealership.
 
Start it.
If all correct lights go out.
Ride it.
Test the brakes, stand up and bounce the suspension, then check the steering feeling before getting to high speed.
If all feels good.
Ride carefully until familiar with bike.
 
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