Monday, May 9, 2011

Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Recently I noticed that it was a bit diffiecult to shift gears on my motorcycle, so I took her in to the shop.  At my last visit a couple of months ago for my semi-annual oil change, they notified me that my rear brakes were completely gone, and I had warped my rotors because they were braking metal on metal.  In addition to changing the oil they gave me some new brake pads, and I quickly appreciated the stark difference in stopping ability.

This time, although they could find nothing wrong with the shifter, they informed me I needed new front pads and a rear tire.  The tire was no surprise, as they advised me of my need for a new tire the last time I was in.  I was a bit sceptical, as there was still tread along the sides (and isn't that where it's most important, for hugging the curves?).  The middle of the tire was perfectly smooth, but I assumed motorcycle tires are made that way, similar to racing bicycles that don't have any visible grooves for tread, but rely instead upon the rubber compound to grip the road.

Imagine my surprise when I got my bike back with the new rear tire (I decided to go ahead and follow their advice this time) and it was covered in tread all over!  Huh, guess that other tire was really bald.  I also noticed that I don't have to squeeze the right brake lever very hard to engage the brakes, whereas before I had to squeeze it all the way to the hand grip.

So needless to say I feel really fortunate to have not had an accident while riding a bike with limited braking capability and a rear tire probably on the verge of blowing out.  On the bright side, Bessy stops much quicker now.  I'm glad my mechanic is smarter than I am.  I knew there was a reason I paid him so much.