Preventative maintenance. I'm OCD.

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by The Tourist, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned

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    Back when the first Super Glide came out, I worked as a mechanic for a local dealership. I noticed the overall condition of motorcycles from guys who claimed to love them. I once had to remove baked on manure to find an oil drain plug.

    You can do only so much work on these new computer driven bikes, I sometimes don't even own the tool to take them apart. I have developed system with my mechanic.

    In short, "Don't take things apart twice. If it's black, replace it with chrome, if it's chrome replace it with CVO, and when in doubt, yank it out."

    We say this in humor, but the idea still stands. As many of you know, I found out the sad truth that "new" tires on bikes might have had years of storage. I came to the shop one day and found a new tire on my Dyna, Black Betty. My mechanic informed me that he found cracks in the sidewall, and checked the actual manufacturing date. The tire came off, and he checked stock for one of modern manufacture.

    Now, technically, he broke all of the rules. In Wisconsin, and probably most of the country, you don't phutz with a bike without permission. I shook his hand, thanked him for saving my life and gladly paid the bill.

    In short, I feel our unique relationship fits my expectations. Right now--due to my wife's recent retirement--I found myself a little cash poor and I'm staving off immediately installing an oil cooler.

    While that is not necessarily a matter of life or death, I do not like making those decisions. Every time I return from a ride I wipe the bike down with a micro-fiber cloth. Takes five minutes, and not only leaves me with a clean bike, but alerts me to developing problems. A few weeks ago I found a leaking oil pressure gauge. I own my own air compressor and I make sure I check cold tires.

    More to the point, in 44 years I have only been left standing by the side of the road twice. Once for a snapped throttle cable, minor. However, the other time I fragged a complete Gold Wing motor and blew most of the entire engine right out of the frame!

    Those few seconds of not knowing if the bike was to remain upright have changed my view of breakage. And it's nice to take longer jaunts without worrying if minor stuff is going to let you down. Every day I am amazed by the quality of modern bikes, but I still wipe them down.
     
  2. wilks3

    wilks3 Junior Member

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    I do same thing. Ride, have fun. Return, let cool down. Wipe off entire bike.
    Looking and checking as I clean. Takes 10-15 mins tops. If you keep it clean, its easy to keep clean! Just me...too.
    wilks3
    :USA
     
  3. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned

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    That's what I think! There's an added benefit. If a leak or other trouble appears, you know exactly where to do your trace. Besides, nothing looks as good as a sparkling Harley!
     
  4. wilks3

    wilks3 Junior Member

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    When people squint or ask if you even ride it...I know its clean & done right.
    And...A Big Compliment, stated or not!!!
    wilks3
    :USA
     
  5. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned

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    LOL. I just flip on the odometer.

    It's also nice to meet another OCD long distance rider!:cheers
     
  6. Mongo1958

    Mongo1958 Junior Member

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    Good advice for sure. BTW, what year GW was it?

    Thanks
     
  7. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

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    While that is not necessarily a matter of life or death, I do not like making those decisions. Every time I return from a ride I wipe the bike down with a micro-fiber cloth. Takes five minutes, and not only leaves me with a clean bike, but alerts me to developing problems.



    Don't forget the Pledge!!!
     
  8. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned

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    It was a 1979 Wing. Bought it new.

    After going inactive from the club, my riding changed. During that period I met a Dane County Sheriff Deputy who was a member of The Blue Knights. He was a long distance rider with a 1976 Wing, in bright comic book yellow.

    I originally bought a 1978 Wing, but I thought it was butt ugly. I traded it off for the 1979 model. At only 1,400 miles, the armature flew through the back of the engine. It appeared that the engine blew up from the inside!

    Ultimately the Honda engineers wanted the bike. I was given a 1979 Honda CBX. Nice summer, never had to stop at a yellow light. But the bike was expensive to run and the chain needed constant attention. I wanted a smaller v-twin style engine, and actually rode a Honda CX-500 for a few months.

    I quit fighting the urge, went back to Harley, and bought a Sportster.

    Since I'm new here, I should state this up front. I've probably had more Super Glides (and spent more money on them) than Sportsters. I've only had four Sportsters in my whole life. But when I was a kid, the Sportster design got me. To this day I always turn my head to watch one go by.

    I'm a Sportster guy. I come from an age when you bought a dresser like you bought a walnut. You'd crack it open to see if you could find the motorcyle underneath. At my age, money isn't the problem it was when I was in my twenties, so I added the 48 to the Dyna. I bought that 48 because to me it's all a bike should be.

    But that early age also had some real mechanical issues. Tightening bolts and watching for oil leaks was a part of my culture. I might not have to do that now, but I wipe bikes down every night.
     
  9. Two Lane Tramp

    Two Lane Tramp Member

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    My girlfriend makes fun of me for keeping my bike so clean. I rode 700 miles this weekend and cleaned and waxed it twice. She does not get it, but thats ok. I do have a primary leak thats driving me nuts, but it's August and I'm not gonna tear down anything until riding season is over. I keep a close eye on oil level and wipe down the rear tire. I just hope it's an easy fix.
     
  10. Studds

    Studds Member

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    Everyone comments on how clean I keep my bike. I do the same as you mentioned, every time I ride it I let it cool off and then I wipe it down.
    To me, " Life's too short to ride a dirty Harley (EDIT)

    Please read this...
    [note]
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community[/note]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2011