Kelly’s Korner: Hot Weather Means Resorting to Motorcycle Maintenance

July 5, 2017 Tags: , , ,
Kelly Checks Tire Pressure with Moto

Kelly’s Korner: Hot Weather Means Resorting to Motorcycle Maintenance

Kelly Checking Brake Light Operation on her Triumph Street Triple
Kelly Checking Brake Light Operation on her Triumph Street Triple

This heat is stultifying. I’m barely getting to the gym much less getting on a bike. People who are riding — more power to you. No idea how you are doing it. For this lesser mortal, summer can’t entirely interfere with riding. At some point soon there will be early, early morning dirt biking but for now, tinkering in the garage will have to suffice. But to be able to work on the bikes without passing out, we had to finally install air conditioning.

Talk about a game changer. Now we can spend as much time taking care of our rides as we want, keeping them in top condition, at any hour of the day.

So let’s talk about what bike maintenance during downtime looks like. Start with the Motorcycle Owners Manual (M.O.M.).  It will possess a maintenance schedule for you to follow.  In fact, when’s the last time you opened yours?

I like to dig a little bit deeper so I possess service manuals for each vehicle I own.  They’re absolutely worth the investment.  Some service manuals can be found online in PDF form provided by the manufacturer; others can be purchased through a local dealership.  I use the service manual to help me better understand my vehicle.  It allows me to identify any areas I might have overlooked during prime riding season this past winter and spring. Sadly, my Triumph is overdue in a number of areas, mostly in checking for various leaks and inspecting cables. And, as it turns out, so is the Honda dirt bike. Embarrassing. But I definitely have time to remedy that.

Motorcycle Pre Ride Inspection from MSF and TEAM ArizonaPart of how I will accomplish this is by following the T-CLOCS methodology introduced in the Basic Rider Course:
T = tires and wheels
C = controls
L = lights and electrics
O = oil and other fluids
C = chassis
S = stands

This checklist acronym helps me perform quick and easy pre-ride inspections.  While I’ve performed prudent, pre-ride maintenance on both bikes, this list gives me an in-depth project to stretch out over the next few weeks. (What can I say? It’s stupid-hot and I’m a delicate flower.) In the meantime, the Triumph is hooked up to a battery tender because this bike is notorious for eating batteries — I’ve lost track of how many I’ve had to replace in the seven years I’ve owned it, and long stretches without riding worsen an already precarious situation. If it has been more than one week since you started or rode your motorcycle, it’s best to connect it to a tender. Speaking of which, the Honda is next in line for a little battery tender love.

I have my work cut out for me, and thankfully and gratefully with cool air in the process. What are your plans for tinkering with and maintaining your bike during this unbearable heat? Let me know in the comments.

Kelly Teal Signature


  1. R. Reuth 3 months Reply

    I’d like to work on the bikes in my garage but it is oven hot out there. I have the same garage door insulation as in your photos! Please advise, what a/c unit do you use for garage cooling? It is nice to hear about the importance of TCLOCS again and revisit the checklist. Thanks!

    • Bill Seltzer 3 months Reply

      Hey R. Reuth,

      Thanks for the comment. Both Kelly and Tealdo recommend highly the Mr. Cool 24k unit they purchased from Amazon. Tealdo says it really was a do-it-yourself project that he completed in less than half a day.


      Hope that helps!