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Back On The Saddle

The COVID-19 lockdown has been hard on all of us. Although this article was written keeping in mind that the 3rd of May was the date the lockdown was to be lifted, there is every possibility that it might continue. If that happens, please maintain the lockdown as per the stipulations of the government and only carry out the following instructions post the lifting of the curfew.

Please note that every precaution must be taken to sanitize yourself before entering your home to prevent exposing your family members to the virus. Thus, please wash your hands, and preferably have a shower, as soon as you re-enter your home after carrying out the following tips.

  • Wash the bike yourself with water and some clean cotton rags. Look out for any fluid leaks and the like. After the bike is dry, clean and lube the chain.
  • Check the fluid levels. Only if all are within spec, start the bike and let it idle.
  • While it is idling and getting up to operating temperature, gently pump the clutch lever and the front and rear brake levers. If any of the levers feel limp, there is a cause for attention and it must be rectified before the bike is ridden.
  • Check whether all the electricals are functional.
  • Get the tyre pressures checked and inflated if found to be lower than what the manufacturer recommends.
  • Kit up and go for a slow ride. Before you go mental, ride around your house, paying attention to look out for any strange sounds emanating from your bike. If all is well, you’re ready to rock and roll on your motorcycle.
  • After the bike has cooled down enough to touch the silencers, cover the bike up and return home. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you touch anything at home which your family members may come in contact with.

Dead In The Water
Sagar Gada writes:

My name is Sagar and I own a Royal Enfield Classic 350. I parked the bike two weeks before the lockdown and haven’t started it since. The other day, I tried to start it but it refused to do so. The electric starter won’t engage and even when I tried kicking it several times, it didn’t start. What could be the problem?
Sagar Gada

Hi Sagar,
I suspect that the battery of your motorcycle is dead. That being said, make sure you check if all the fuses are unburnt. Try push starting the bike. Engage the second gear, turn on the ignition and have a friend push you while you pull in the clutch. When the bike gets rolling to about 8kph, release the clutch and it should turn the motor over fast enough to get it started. Try this a few times and if it still doesn’t start, you’ll need to take off the battery and have it charged at the shop. When you reconnect it, make sure that you don’t get the polarities wrong because that could prove costly!

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[The article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Motoring World]