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Newby questions (winter riding and maintenance)


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I have a couple of questions after passing mod2 this week. I’m obviously eager to get out on a bike as soon as possible. And I’m completely new to everything.

Firstly, it seems most people store their bike away for winter. Why? Is it safety due to the dangers of riding in the wet? Or that bikes rust in the rain? Or both? I don’t have storage, only a large drive so I can only really get a waterproof cover and park outside. Is that common? Will a bike suffer higher maintenance costs as a result of riding in winter? Just trying to understand and decide if getting my first bike now is worth it or should I wait till spring

Secondly I have no clue about maintaining a bike. Is it something you learn as you go along? Should I find someone to help teach me minor maintenance? I guess I would be ok with fluid top ups etc. But what kind of other maintenance should I be doing on my own and what should I get a garage to do? (Like chain tension adjustment and cleaning, lunricating chain) How often would I have to spend maintaining a bike? Or do some people use a service garage for everything?

This newby would appreciate your advice.

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If you have to ride or like riding in winter then go for it. It's not as fun as in summer though... You'll need to clean it more than in summer but cleaning is easy - hose, bucket, soap, dry. If it's a well made bike (I.e. not a bad Chinese one) it shouldn't rust if it's covered.

I clean and lube my chain every 300 miles or so - very easy if you have a centre stand, or a paddock stand (£30) and the appropriate bobbins on the rear swing arm to lift it (you'll get the hang of it eventually). It is doable without these things, but harder. I use muck off chain cleaner and then their all year lube cos it smells amazing.

I also top up my engine oil when it inevitably drops, and have tensioned my chain. For this I had to buy a breaker bar, specific socket and torque wrench which cost me £100. That's harder, but not impossible.

Haven't changed sprockets or my chain yet; might try it (but you need a master link breaker and riveter), might leave it to the dealers.

Oil change is relatively easy if you have the stands I mentioned, but I'm leaving that to the dealer as I want the service stamps for resale, and changes coincide with the intervals.

Took the rear wheel off as dealers charge way less to change the tyres if its a loose wheel (less work for em) than on the bike. Off was... Okay. Getting it back on was bloody hard.

Might try my own tyre change in future but it looks like a massive ballache and you need more tools, a trye balance machine and weights, just to save £20 a tyre change every year.

Tl;Dr? what you do yourself depends I guess on the bike (if its cheap then maybe do more yourself?), how much you ride it (if it's not a lot then maybe let the dealers tension chain etc cos it won't cost you much a year) and whether you like getting your hands dirty. Speaking of which buy rubber gloves.

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Welcome to TMBF mate. ......congrats on the MOD2 pass....... 8-)

When I first started biking it was my only transport, so I used them year round for many years.......These days I have a car for work, so the bike is now just a play thing for nice weather......but I keep it taxed and insured year round because a quick blast on a nice crisp, dry winters day can be very exhilarating. ..... 8-)

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I quite like riding in winter. Less people around and I like the winter countryside. Probably largely on my own with that though. But yeah wrap up warm. I try and figure that if I'm sweating like a glass blowers arse inside with bike gear on I'll be reasonably comfortable out on the bike.

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