As we all know, winter is a time of year that doesn’t allow too many riding opportunities, so how do we spend our time? For starters it is a great time to do a mechanical assessment on your ride. A great habit to get into is using the “TCLOCKs” checklist, because it develops a pre-ride ritual that can even be applied in the off-season. So during your inspection, you discover your brake pads are on the skinny side and should be replaced. For all your Winter maintenance projects, head over to K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) for everything you need to complete the brake job. No matter what you ride, there are a few things you will want to have befroe starting this job.
1) Brake Pads/Shoes – You will want to make sure you have purchased the correct brake pads/shoes for your bike. Have all the information ready such as Make, Model, Year, ABS or Non-ABS, and any wheel/tire modifications you’ve done. Also you will want to make sure the correct brake pad compound was selected. Organic, Metallic, Semi-Metallic, Ceramic, and more offer a wide range of braking performance, designed with specific riding styles in mind. Brakes built for the track won’t do much good on a touring bike, as brakes built for a touring bike will not perform well when taken to the track.
2) Brake Fluid – Its is always a good idea to have a fresh bottle of brake fluid on hand when you start the job for a couple of reasons. It is never fun or a good idea to have to run and get parts midway through a job. You could easily lose track where you were and skip a step. That could lead to problems. Also there is nothing more frustrating than being just about finished and having to run out and get more supplies. Depending on what time of day it is, you may have to “settle” for inferior quality items. Before you start, check the reservoir caps to make sure you have the correct grade of brake fluid, if you install a different grade you could damage the whole system, with a possible end result of complete brake system replacement, lines, calipers, reservoirs and all. Having the correct brake fluid on hand will allow you to bleed the air out of the system after you’ve installed the new brakes. This is a vital step in the proper function of the motorcycles brake system.
3)Accessory Install – Now is a great time to install any brake/wheel/tire accessory or upgrade because in most situations, you will have the wheels removed. This will give you unlimited access to areas you couldn’t get to before. Some upgrades commonly seen are polished rotors and hardware, custom accent lighting, new wheels, even modified fenders. This is also the prime time to “Get away with it” so plan accordingly and have some fun. Accessories are what make the stock bike our own, and if we can find overlapping labor, we come out ahead because less downtime leads to more savings, more road time, and more time for others to admire our motorcycles.
Take the opportunity to inspect your motorcycle in the off-season for any maintenance that is needing to be done. It may lead to a chance for you to customize your bike with some of the great products available from K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com).