On Road Maintenance

Simple fixes to get you to the mechanic

There's nothing more frustrating than breaking down while you’re enjoying a ride. If you are unable to call the RAA, there are some simple emergency fixes to common problems that will get you back on the road again and on your way to your nearest qualified motorcycle repairer.

Flat tyres

What happens when your repair kit has run out of patches, or you haven't got another tube or pump? The answer is to pry off the tyre and start filling it with anything you can find, like newspapers, rags, hay etc and to stuff in as much as you can. You’ll need to ride slowly because you won't have much traction, but you will save your rim and may even save your tyre as well.

Handle bars

Over time, your handle bars can become loose. If they start slipping in the clamps while you're on the road you can fix it easily with an aluminium can. Simply remove the clamps, cut a strip from the can and place it between the bar and the clamp. You can then replace and retighten the clamps. Aluminium is soft and will grip both the bar and clamp tightly.

Radiator holes

Epoxy works well, but black pepper, a plug of potato or a couple of raw eggs can also close the hole and get you riding again. If you've lost water, use your canteen and if that's empty, let's hope your bladder is full!

Cracked case

Dirt bike riders will know this problem. The solution is to lay the bike on the side, clean the crack with petrol and patch the hole with two-part epoxy. If you're not carrying epoxy, some tree resin mixed with charcoal will do the trick. Failing that, there's always good old duct tape.

A spares and repairs kit for roadside emergencies is a great idea. Make sure the kit is waterproof and include essential items like fuses, chain master link, tyre tubes and/or puncture kit, headlight bulb, instrument bulbs, a bit of wire, two part epoxy, spare nuts, duct tape, etc.

Also include some basic tools like a small wrench or multi grips, screwdrivers, allen keys, tyre lever and anything else you might need.

You also might need to do some running repairs on yourself, so make sure you have a good first aid kit on board as well.

The key here is to try and be prepared for any situation. Having a well stocked emergency spares and repair kit is always a good idea. Remember that these tips are only short-term solutions and can become dangerous if you don’t head to a qualified motorcycle repairer as soon as possible.

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