Yamaha – Passion for motorcycle design. Part 1: The Process

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“A designer has to be an artist, an engineer and a craftsman at the same time”, designer Olivier Béboux tells us enthusiastically.

“You have to understand the technical issues, you have to be able to sculpt something from nothing, and you have to be able to build everything yourself, as a craftsman. And that is what makes the job so exciting.”

Artists
“You are an artist because you have to sketch, express yourself, to draw, to paint, to sculpt. Sometimes in magazines, we see this kind of ‘photo montages’ of new models. These are very nice illustrations, made by picking up parts of existing bikes and pasting them together. But no matter how nice they may look, we do not consider them real ‘design’.

In reality, you need a three-dimensional mind to sketch and model a motorcycle and to make everything fit together in a proper way.”

This three-dimensional thinking is a key issue for the designers. Even when they sketch on two-dimensional paper, they are thinking and imagining how it will look like in three dimensions.

Sensitivity
The artistic side however, has to survive in a business environment and that makes things tough for them. “Because you put your heart and soul in a design, it is sometimes very difficult to accept comments and criticism. By definition, you cannot please everybody. During a presentation of a new design, you stand in front of fellow designers, product planning people, marketing people and sales people and they all have a different perspective.”

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Process

How does the whole design process go, from idea to final motorcycle? “It always starts with the concept, the idea behind the new bike. Usually we have a meeting with product planning people to discuss what type of bike it should be, what ideal usage it has and what kind of dream it should represent. We always develop “key words” to describe it: what should the bike say to you, what personality does it have?”

“Then we continue with sketches. We create the first ideas in our minds and then express them with rough sketches on paper. These sketches are presented and discussed, and the best directions are then selected, and based on those, we continue. More stages like this follow, so we narrow down more and more until we have a final sketch.”

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Technical issues
“At the same time during the sketching process we have to consider the technical factors: what is the wheelbase, the tyre size, what kind of frame can we have, where and how big is the engine, the airbox, how much fuel capacity is needed etcetera. All those things together form a ‘technical package’ that represents the limits within which we have to work. Of course we always try to push those limits in order to get a real innovative design!”

“Then based on the sketch and the technical layout, we start to build a fullscale clay model, that shows all the shapes the final production bike should have.”

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Clay or CAD
The first mockup of a new motorcycle is always made in clay. Isn’t that strange in a time of CAD (computer aided design) and computer animations? “You always feel the three-dimensional shape better with a real and tangible clay model. The shape generated by the computer is a two-dimensions image projected on a flat screen. For this reason it is difficult to get any real three-dimensional feeling. Also the lighting conditions that you have in real life, are not there in the computer.

It is simulated by a thing called shading, but that doesn’t show the detailed nuance you have in reality. So with computers, you have a virtual and cold barrier between you and the product, which makes it far from what the customer will feel in front in the motorcycle.”

“For structural parts and items such as footrests we sometimes use CAD from the beginning but not for body parts. CAD programs are fantastic tools, but in the end the computer is a tool, not a creator. To create the best design, we feel that a clay model is a must. It is tactile, you can see the whole thing in front of you, see all proportions, sit on it, touch it. So for the whole sculpture of the bike, and the body parts, we create everything in three-dimensional clay.”

Blisters

The clay is a special one for this type of modelling design, also used in the automotive industry. It is heated to around 40 degrees Celsius, to make it soft.

“Because there may be bubbles inside, you have to apply it with your thumbs and push hard. Sometimes you get blisters from that, but that doesn’t matter because creating the clay is really a fun part of the job, you get a very quick first result in a short time.” After the clay is applied by hand, it is left to cool off, so that it hardens and can be shaped by tools for the finer adjustments. “The finishing work and symmetry can be long and difficult, though. But if you are not happy with the shape you can always heat it again on the surface and adjust it. Clay is very versatile. You can even re-use it over and over again, you don’t have to throw away anything!”

Heavy
Indeed, usually during this clay stage, the shape is continuously being modified and improved until it is finally approved.

“Actually, to judge a bike when it is made of clay needs a lot of experience. It is a brown colour, not shiny, and that makes the shapes look less pronounced than when it would be painted and shiny. And some items that are normally transparent, such as the windscreen or the headlamp, are also made of clay. That makes the bike look heavier than it would be in reality. So you need to adjust all those things in your mind.”

After the model is finished, it is measured three-dimensionally and all surface data are transferred to the computer.

Based on that, the engineers can start to create real ‘parts’, which is again a very challenging job because they have to consider all the mounting points and attachments behind it, the production possibilities of the materials, the strength it finally should have.

Show models

The biggest challenge starts when the designer has to prepare a so-called ‘show model’, a one-off proto machine that is to be shown on motorshows when there is no production planned yet. In that situation, the bike has to have a perfect finishing, and all parts have to be made by the designers themselves. Clay as a material is too fragile to use, so all body parts have to be made separately.

This is usually done with the so-called ‘fast prototyping’, for instance through stereo lithography, where (after a clay model is measured into the computer) computer data is used to create the parts out of liquid resin, utilising laser beams.

Also the structural parts such as chassis, swingarm, triple clamps etc. are hand crafted. Here, specialist crafters come into play because the designers don’t have the time, the machines or the specialist skill to create everything by themselves.

Credit: Yamaha-Motor.edu

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Hare & Hound Desert Racing

In the United States, a Hare & Hound is a type of off-road racing event where the entrants compete on dirt bikes over a marked course of natural rugged terrain. Hare and Hounds events are made up of two separate race courses with each course averaging 40 miles in length. The break between each course (or loop) is used for refueling and bike maintenance. The first racer to cross the finish line after the second “loop” is considered the winner of the event. Hare and Hounds are typically held in the desertic regions of California, Nevada, and Idaho.

A Hare & Hound is different from a Hare Scramble because it does not repeat the same loop twice. Pre-running the course is not allowed, and many sections are brand new, so that the first rider only has a series of arrowed stakes to lead the way, making that person the “hare” and everyone else is the “hound” following the newly created path. It is a start-to-finish race, so the midpoint pitstop is made as quickly as possible in order to minimize downtime.

- National Hare & Hound Site -

13HH3__506 11658642-largeFor more information about bikes, personal watercrafts, atvs, parts, accessories, or maintenance tips please see our sponsor at: PartsPitStop.com .
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Do it right: The How-To’s of Winterizing ATVs, Motorcycles, and Personal Watercrafts.

0Hawkey

- atv -

Some of us ride our ATVs all year round, but many of us – especially those residing in the northern regions — do not.  Ice can damage the engine, road salt corrodes the undercarriage, and extreme conditions can XXX your finely tuned machine. If you are a rider that stores your ATV during the cold winter months, taking the time to properly maintain and prepare for storage can help avoid costly shop repairs and extend the life of your machine.  Below are a few steps you can take to make sure your ATV is in peak shape for next riding season.

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 -Hook a friend Up or Yourself with this S100 Cycle Care Gift Set -

 

Thoroughly wash your ATV.  Good ATV maintenance involves washing your machine after every use, however before storage be sure to give it an extra-thorough cleaning.  Scrub every inch and use an old toothbrush to reach those tight areas.  Mud and oil can eat away at exposed surfaces over time.  Once it is dry, give it a good hand wax for added protection.

Change the oil and oil filter.  Old oil contains acid from the combustion process, which over time, can attack internal components and cause corrosion.  Changing the oil and filter before storage will also keep excess dirt from settling in your engine.

Grease suspension and drive components.  An often-ignored item is the greasing of the pivot points in the suspension and steering systems.  No manufacturer uses enough grease in the pivots to keep them trouble free for very long.  A-arm bushings, swing arm pivots, and shock bushing/bearings all need to be lubricated to keep them working and prevent corrosion.

Disconnect and pull out the battery. Top off the electrolytes clean the terminals and charge it if necessary. Store the battery in a location where it cannot freeze. It’s important to keep the battery stored out of the reach of children. Battery acid is dangerously corrosive. Store your ATV’s battery on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet. Do not store it directly on concrete. Concrete causes power drain in batteries.  Instead place the battery on top of a couple of 2×4 to keep it off the cement.

Clean and prep the air filter and wipe out the air filter box.  Add some fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and top off with fresh fuel.  This reduces the surface area inside the fuel tank that can form condensation.  For best results, use premium gasoline and run the engine a few minutes to allow the stabilizer to work its way through the fuel system.  Shut off the engine, and turn off the gas valve.  On carbureted ATVs, turn off the petcock and restart the engine and run until it dies.  This will remove the fuel from the carburetor float bowl.

Lubricate all levers and cables to prevent corrosion and keep them moving smoothly.

Check your ATV for loose hardware, lug nuts, steering linkage, suspension and motor mounts.  Adjust and tighten as needed.

Remove the spark plugs and put a drop of motor oil into the spark plug hole and reinstall the spark plug to the manufacturers specification.

Pressurize the tires to the proper psi to keep them from weather cracking.

Cap the exhaust to keep critters out.

Do not store ATV’s outside in winter climates.   Push the ATV into a shed or garage and place the ATV up on blocks.   Expensive jack stands aren’t necessary; cinder blocks or heavy plastic milk crates work just fine

Place a tarp over the ATV to keep excess dust and vermin away. If desired, leave an open can of auto wax on the floor under the tarp. The smell repels mice, chipmunks and other small pests.

Now that your ATV is prepared for storage, remove tarp from your snow machine and get ready to ride.  The snow is about to fly!

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- Stay Strong, Stay Secure: Find Aftermarket ATV covers above  -

- motorcycle – 

Outside a single white snowflake falls… Disbelief falls on your face as another snowflake falls… Then you realize, another riding year over and it’s time to put the bike away for the winter. This is the time to get in that last few riding days and put our bikes properly away for the winter so they are ready for the next riding season to start again.

Storing your bike for winter
This would be the wrong way to store your bike for the winter, you might need to visit here if so..

 

Storing your bike for winter

Well, it’s that time of year again! Soon the snow will be falling and the motorcycles will be tucked away for the winter

And each spring your dealer’s phone will ring off the wall with customers who did not store the ol’ bike properly and now wonder why it won’t run.

Some preparation now will ensure that you are out riding in the spring instead of waiting in the dealer’s lineup.


1. Location – where are you going to put it?

One solution may be to ask your dealer if he offers a storage program. This is ideal because he will often prep, store, and have the bike ready to ride when you are ready again. If you decide to store it yourself, you will need a place that is dry and out of harm’s way.

When possible. Chose a location away from windows. The ultraviolet light can fade paint and plastic parts. Direct sunlight can raise the ambient temperature of the storage area which will promote condensation when the sun goes down, so cover plain glass with some sort of opaque material. Also, cover your bike with a specially designed bike cover not a sheet or a tarp. Why? Because a sheet absorbs moisture and hold it against metal surfaces and then rust forms. Also, damp fabric will breed mildew and this may attack the seat material. A tarp prevents moisture from getting in but it also prevents it from getting out. Moisture trapped will condense on the bike and then the rust monster is back!

A specially designed motorcycle cover is made of a mildew resistant material. The material is slightly porous, so it can breathe.

2. Change The Oil

Tip: Just like cars a colder winter grade oil will allow your bike to start easier in colder weather. If your motorcycle runs ok with a cold winter grade oil (5w30) then changing the oil to this grade will help startup and running in spring.

Even if the oil is not due for a change, byproducts of combustion produce acids in the oil which will harm the inner metal surfaces. Warm the engine to its normal operating temperature, as warm oil drains much faster and more completely.

While you are at it, why not change the filter too? Add fresh motorcycle grade oil. Remember to dispose of the drained oil and old filter in a responsible manner. What to do with the old oil? Recycle it. Most stores you have purchased the oil from will take it back free of change to be recycled.

3. Add Fuel Stabilizer And Drain Carbs

Tip: You only need to drain the carbs if your motorcycle will be stored more than 4 months. Otherwise just add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, run the bike for 10 minutes so it mixes and gets into the carbs.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel, but do not overfill. The correct level is when the fuel just touches the bottom of the filler neck. This gives enough room for the fuel to expand without overflowing the tank when temperature rises.

Shut off the fuel petcock and drain the carburetors and the fuel lines. Add winterizing fuel conditioner to prevent the fuel from going stale, and help prevent moisture accumulation. Stale fuel occurs when aromatics (the lighter additives) evaporate leaving a thicker, sour smelling liquid. If left long enough, it will turn into a gum, plugging the jets and passages inside your carbs!

 

4. Lube the cylinder(s)

Tip: You only need to do this if your motorcycle will be stored a very long time (6 months or more)

Because gasoline is an excellent solvent and the oil scraper ring has done its job, most of the oil from the cylinder walls have been removed since the last time the engine was run. If the cylinder wall is left unprotected for a long period of time, it will rust and cause premature piston and ring wear.

Remove the spark plugs and pour a tablespoon (5 cc) of clean engine oil or spray fogging oil into each cylinder. Be sure to switch off the fuel before you crank the engine or else you may refill the drained carbs! Also, ground the ignition leads to prevent sparks igniting any fuel residue. Turn the engine over several revolutions to spread the oil around and then reinstall the plugs. Refitting the plugs before cranking the engine could result in a hydraulic lock if too much oil was used in the cylinder.

 

5. Battery Storage

The battery must be removed from the motorcycle when it is in storage. Motorcycles often have a small current drain even when the ignition is switched off (dark current), and a discharged battery will sulfate and no longer be able to sustain a charge.

A conventional battery should be checked for electrolyte level. Add distilled water to any of the cells that are low and then charge the battery.

Battery charging should be performed at least every two weeks using a charger that has an output of 10% of the battery ampere hour rating. For example if the battery has an AH rating of 12 (e.g. 12N12A-4A-1 where the 12A is 12 amp hours), then the charge rate of that battery should not exceed 1.2 amps. A higher charge will cause the battery to overheat. Charge the battery away from open flame or sparks as the gas (hydrogen) given off a battery can be explosive. Elevate the battery and keep it from freezing. Exercise the proper caution appropriate to caustic substances.

 

6. Surface Preparation

Waxing and polishing the motorcycle might seem like a waste of time since you are putting it away and no one will see it. But applying wax is a very important part of storing a motorcycle.Wax will act as a barrier against rust and moisture.

Don’t forget to spray any other metal surfaces (such as the frame or engine) will a very light spray of WD-40. This will keep these areas shiny and protect from corrosion as well.

 

7. Exhaust and Mufflers

Exhausts/Mufflers are known to rust fast when they are not used. So making sure they are properly stored for the winter on your bike will save them from an early rusty death. Spray a light oil (such as WD40) into the muffler ends and drain holes. Lightly stick a plastic bag (shopping bag is fine) into the end of each muffler hole (to keep moisture from getting inside the exhaust). Then cover each muffler with another plastic bag to keep outside moisture off.

 

8. Tires

Check both front and rear tires with your air pressure gauge. Make sure each tire is properly inflated to the maximum recommend pressure. As it gets colder, air condenses in your tire so it is important to pump them up as to keep your tires healthy. Rubber is a flexible material and does not like to freeze (it cracks when it freezes). Placing 1/4″-1/2″ piece of cardboard or wood board under each tire will help keep the rubber raised up from a freezing floor.

DO NOT use a tire dressing on tires (such as Armor-All or tire cleaning foam) as this will make the tires hard and slippery.

 

9. Service all fluids

If the brake or clutch fluids haven’t been changed in the last two years or 18,000 km (11,000 miles), do it now. The fluids used In these system are “hygroscopic” which means that they absorb moisture. The contaminated fluid will cause corrosion inside the systems which may give problems when the motorcycle is used next spring. Be sure to use the correct fluids and note the warnings and instructions in the service manual. If you don’t have the experience to service these systems, contact your dealer, he will be happy to assist you.

If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, the coolant requires changing every two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles). Make sure that the engine is cool enough to rest your hand on it before draining the system and please dispose of the coolant responsibly. Coolant/antifreeze is available from your dealer and has been developed to provide the correct protection for your motorcycle engine. Mixed 50/50 with distilled water will ensure a clean system for the next two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles).

 

10. Cover it.

Now you can cover the bike with the cycle cover and look forward to the first warm day of spring.

 

Back On The Road

Before you head out onto the highway, there are a couple of things to do. First, remove the cover and put it where you can find it again. Talking of finding things, locate the (charged) battery and reinstall it connecting the positive (+) cable (red) before the (-) negative and covering the terminals with the plastic covers. Recheck all fluid levels and turn on the fuel. Check for anything wrong on the motorcycle (cracked tires, broken parts/plastic, leaking oil). Set the tire pressures back to riding specs and you are ready to fire up.

As you don your riding gear, remember that your riding skills will be a little rusty and the road surfaces will have changed a bit since the last ride, so go carefully. Sand/salt deposits on the edge of the road and especially at corners may be hazardous.

- personal watercraft – 


To properly winterize your personal watercraft, you need to start with washing the inside of the hull with degreaser and the outside with auto wash soap. Vacuum all remaining water from storage compartments and hull. Remove the drive shaft cover to access the grease fittings for the drive train. Grease the drive train with water resistant grease, and then reinstall cover. Replace the spark plugs with new. Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel according to the directions on product. Remove fuel filter, clean or replace. Remove the cooling hose on the head and blow compressed air through the line and the head. A wet/dry shop vac can also remove the water. Reinstall the line. Start and run engine for 15-20 seconds, this will circulate the fuel stabilizer through the fuel lines and carburetors. Let the engine cool for 30 minutes.

hoses

 

Top of the line Flush Hoses & Flush Kits, an easy way to stay prepared.

On Sea-Doo models, you will need to change the pump oil with new. Do not use just any gear oil. I use Slick 50 Gear oil or Sea-Doo pump oil. On some models of personal watercraft, there will be a removable plug on the flame arrestor to spray fogging oil through. Start the motor and spray fogging oil down in the carburetors through the access hole. Spraying for 10 seconds will be plenty of oil. Over kill will just make it hard to start in the spring.

Remove the battery and top it off with distilled water. Install your Battery Tender, Jr. to maintain your battery in off season. Install your cable lube adapter to the throttle cable and oil injection cable. Spray Cable Life to pressure lube the cables. Do not use WD40, its a solvent. Dress the motor with fogging oil and wipe it down. Now, you are finished with your winterizing.

Winterizing Personal Watercraft – Battery Storage & Battery Charging:

These are some general battery storage and charging guidelines to winterize your PWC battery. Always check your specific battery chargers instructions for further safety information.

Remove the battery from the PWC. Clean the terminals and battery case with a mixture of baking soda and water. Next, check the water level of each cell and add distilled water as necessary. Maintenance Free or Gel type batteries can skip this step.

Store your battery in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Make sure this location is out of the reach of children and curious pets. Do not store your battery where the temperature will drop below freezing (32F degrees). Although a fully charged lead acid battery can withstand extreme temperatures exceeding minus 40F degrees, a discharged battery can freeze at 32F degrees.

Attach your Battery Tender, Jr. trickle charger. Be sure to following manufactures instructions and safety tips. Finally, check the battery water level every month or so.

Note about storing batteries on concrete – According to the battery experts storing your battery on a concrete surface will NOT cause the battery to discharge prematurely. Apparently older hard rubber style battery cases did indeed conduct a current when placed on a concrete surface with a high moisture content. This commonly held (and often repeated) myth does not apply to modern plastic battery materials.

 

Credit: totalmotorcycle, dalesjetsports, and barker’s blog

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YAMAHA SR500 BY EXESOR MOTORCYCLES

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Christian from ExesoR Motorcycles is one of those quietly talented custom bike builders who spends months at a time hammering a way in a shed, before rolling out a motorcycle so beautiful it stops even seasoned motorcycle critics in their tracks. The previous custom from ExesoR was featured here on Silodrome and it was one of those most well put together CB250s we’ve ever seen – so when Christian told us he was working on an SR500 we were all ears.

FIND THE BEST OEM YAMAHA PARTS HERE >>>

He found the bike in pieces, it was listed for sale at €200 (that’s about $256 USD) so money changed hands and the boxes of parts were loaded into the trunk. Most builds begin with a full teardown but in this case that was obviously unneeded, so Christian worked his way through the parts and created a list of what he had and what he was going to need to either find or fabricate.

An additional swing arm was picked up and chopped to extend the one that came with the bike (by 7cm), a new set of Hagon shock absorbers were then bolted into place and a new chain was made to fit the slightly longer distance to the rear hub.

In order to keep weight down an aluminium fuel tank was ordered and matched with a custom built aluminium half-fairing, a custom seat was then built to spec by well-known custom bike builder Bernhard Naumann (also known as BLECHMANN). In-keeping with the steam punk theme the original stainless steel bolts were replaced with brass and the seat was upholstered with aged brown leather.

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Perhaps the most interesting little feature on the bike is the lighting, the indicators on the rear end have been fitted inside the frame tubes and the stop light is fitted off centre – matching the asymmetrical light arrangement in the front fairing. The completed bike is a testament to functional aesthetics and has a look that’ll age gracefully, if you’d like to see more from ExesoR Motorcycles you can click here to visit the official website.

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Credit: silodrome.com

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Yamaha XJR 1300 BY KEINO CYCLES

The Yamaha XJR 1300 is what I like to imagine the Kraken would ride, if it rose from the ocean and decided that its campaign of terror would be a lot more fun if conducted from the saddle of a motorcycle.

The XJR series from Yamaha needs no introduction for fans of balls-to-the-wall, hairy-chested motorcycles that’ll peel the enamel off your teeth – for everyone else, here’s a brief catch up: The Yamaha XJR 1200 was originally released in 1994 and quickly developed a cult following in every country in which it was sold, in 1999 the model series was updated with the XJR 1300 – this was a further distilled version that separated the men from the boys, but still made them both cry.

The XJR 1300 you see here is the result of a collaboration between NYC based Japanese custom motorcycle builder Keinosuke “Keino” Sasaki and Yamaha as a part of their Yard Built project. Keino set about disassembling the bike before beginning the rebuild process, the first order of business was an entirely new front suspension set up with a custom, adjustable mono-springer, this was paired with a pair of adjustable rear springs to give the rider a high level of control over handling characteristics.

The front and rear brakes were replaced with Brembo units to improve stopping power and the stock fuel tank was removed and replaced with a lower and slimmer version, the rear sub-frame was then removed and replaced with a custom rear cowling and single seat.

Looking at the completed bike, it seems a shame that Yamaha doesn’t ship a version of the XJR 1300 that looks just like this – although to be fair it does look like the sort of thing that’d chew up and spit out any rider without the ability to wrangle its considerable brawn.

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Credit: silodrome.com

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PENTON: THE JOHN PENTON STORY

Penton: The John Penton Story is an upcoming film due to be screened at the NYC Motorcycle Film Festival (September 24th to the 27th in Brooklyn), the story of John Penton is a remarkable one but up until now it’s only really been known to motorcycle geeks and well informed KTM owners.

The full story of John Penton and his staggering ability to both ride and develop world-beating motorcycles is fascinating, realistically he’s a man who should be far more famous as one of America’s most successful sportsman/businessmen – he created a multi-million dollar motorcycle marque, a multi-million dollar apparel company and he travelled around the United States winning races and breaking records.

Click to visit the official Penton Movie website.

Credit: silodrome.com , pentonmovie.com

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6 Ways to Prepare Your ATV for Desert Season

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It’s that time of year again. The crisp smells of autumn, the trees shedding their summer green for hues of gold and crimson; and for those of us who love to shred sand, it’s time to pull that dusty ATV out from its spot in the garage, or perhaps (dare I say it) from its place under the tarp in the side yard (eek); and get ready for the greatest season of them all for those of us who make our home in the southwest… desert season.

But before you head out to your favorite riding destination, there are several basic tasks you will want to complete to ensure you don’t spend your first trip back to the sand lamenting how your machine isn’t running as smoothly as you remembered; or even worse, stuck at camp playing mechanic, trying to fix a broken quad during your limited amount of play time.

Here are a few tips for simple maintenance and preparation to ensure your ATV is running as fast and strong as it was when you hopped off of it.

1) Check Your Fuel:

An ATV’s fuel system is one of the 3 key components you need to make your internal combustion engine work. The other two are air and fire, or spark.

If the fuel is old or gets water in it you could have a poor running engine, or worse, a no running engine.

It may all seem very easy; you go to the gas station and get some gas in a can, take it home and top off the quad. Right?

Basically yes, that’s it. But there really is a lot more to it than just fillin’ her up, especially if your ATV has been sitting for any length of time.

Here are some do it yourself fuel maintenance tips for your ATV that will help you keep it in top shape for riding season, or work if that’s what you do with your quad.

2) Kick the Tires:

Your tires are your only connection to the ground. They not only allow your ATV to roll, they can also allow it to slide, which is important when riding offroad.

Tire pressure needs to be adjusted to match the conditions you will be riding in. The drier the sand, the lower you will want to set your tire pressure. Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time in the dunes will tell you that sand conditions shift and change every day.

What may have been the right pressure settings for your tires in March may not be right after a long dry summer in October. Best to check the weather forecast (and maybe how much rain the area you will be riding in received over the summer) and make your determinations accordingly.

Read more about ATV tire tips for sand before you head out to the dunes.

3) Clean Your Air Filter:

Your quad won’t run without a good supply of clean air. When you ride in the sand dunes it’s even more important because sand gets into everything.

In addition to being a potential hazard the accumulation of dirt and grime within your intake system robs you of horsepower that would be better spent on making the wheels spin really, really fast.

Taking a few minutes to remove and clean your air filter and air box at the beginning of a new season will go a long way to allowing your quad’s motor to reach its’ maximum potential.

Find out more about ATV air filter maintenance. You and your quad will be better for it.

4) Chain Reaction:

Your drive chain is what take power from the transmission and sends it to the rear wheel. It is just like the chain on a bicycle except it is a little thicker and stronger.

It also takes a lot more stress and is usually subjected to a lot more abuse. That’s why it’s important to maintain your drive chain more than you would on your bicycle. If your chain fails while your out in the middle of the desert or miles into a wooded trail it could be a long trip back.

I’ve put together some tips for ATV drive chain maintenance that might help you get a few extra seasons out of your chain.

5) Don’t Forget the Spark:

To check your spark plug (s) and oil levels before any and every trip. You won’t necessarily need to replace these at the start of every season. It all depends how much use your ride has endured since last replacement. If you’ve gone more than a full season, chances are your ATV could do with a few fresh quarts of oil and a new spark plug or two.

6) Don’t Trust, Do Test:

The only way to KNOW for certain your ATV is ready to go is to fire that sucker up and take a few test laps. Even if there were no issues the last time you rode, it’s a good idea to fire up your machine and take a quick little test ride to ensure everything’s working properly.

If your quad has a mechanical issue which needs to be dealt with, I PROMISE you it’s better to figure it out at home in your (relatively) clean garage surrounded by your tools than fixing it out on the trail when all your buddies are revved up and waiting to go ride. Fire it up at home and have that piece of mind that when she rolls off the trailer, your baby will be ready to go.

So there you have it, these few simple TLC chores before the season begins will have you ready to hit the trail with a ride ready to purr and growl. Often times a few hours of preemptive maintenance will save you a disappointing opening salvo to the desert season. It’s almost September now, so ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Now..Be careful out there!!!

Credit: 4wheeldrive.com

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