Bull! Beast! Bullet! RE! What not we call our bike. But trust me no matter how poetic our heart cries, at the end of the day it’s just a marvellous machine full of mechanical parts in it. I am not trying to be too realistic or sarcastic, I like those honorifics all too well – I too had christened mine as GARUTMAAN (the most powerful). It’s a name taken from among the twelve holy names of the Garuda. Since my bike is a Thunderbird, I thought this name suits it well.
My point is we need to take care of our bike, we all love our bike and it’s like an extension of us. I am sure every biker agrees with me on this.
Here are a few things I would like to share depending on the experiences I had with my bike in the past one year.
- Keep your bike clean. Give a wash yourself, when you do so you connect more with your bike, the love and respect grow. It’s always better when you do that once a week. Once in a month take your bike to an authorised service station where they can inspect the vehicle thoroughly, this way your bike remains in good condition. Royal Enfield bikes vibrate a lot, which also depends on the roads we ride. The chances of those minute yet all-important nuts and bolts getting loose are always persistent.
- Spending 200 rupees per month for a good wash and check-up is always better than paying thousands of rupees later; the choice is yours.
- Before altering the design of your bike (handle bar being the most common among RE enthusiasts), check the bike manual for your model. The manual from the company always is the starting point to know why specific design was intended. Give a good thought before modelling your bike along custom fancies and whims. I myself am not confident with the exhaust remodelling I had done on mine.
- Be alert all the time. If you ever find there is some unwanted noise coming from your vehicle, get it checked immediately. Do not go on long rides when the chains are loose or some problems with brakes, this can lead to complications.
- When you cross 500 kilometres spray your bike chain with a good quality chain lube. Also, make sure your clutch cables are in good condition. The bike and the biker should be in proper synchronisation all the time. Once your mechanic does the job for you, try on the bike yourself to see whether you are fully satisfied. It’s just like you are tweaking with your music instrument for fine tuning, after the service. Whatever the mechanic has done you, you are the rider and you should be happy that it is tuned to your satisfaction.
- While going on a long ride, Boots and Helmets are compulsory. My personal choice is always a full-face helmet, especially on a long ride. There are stylish half-face helmets available in the market, but when we try them with stylish goggles, it looks cool but safety is always better than style. If you can spend more than for a good riding jacket, gloves and a knee pad are always a worthy investment.
- Many Royal Enfield service centres arrange workshops to the vehicle owners so that they can be familiar with the nuances of understanding the vehicle better. Attend those, and you will learn a lot there. Knowledge is power. Join a good WhatsApp group where there are many experienced riders. Always ask doubts and be open to learning.
- Leave your bike for service on time. This is one thing we should never neglect if we truly love our bike. It’s not a fantasy when someone refers to his bike as his girlfriend, it’s just a metaphor used to let you know that your bike also needs your undivided attention, care, and utmost love. Treat thy bike the way thou would treat thy girlfriend.
All the best, keep riding and be free.