Wednesday, November 04, 2015

5 Things to Check Before Calling the Tow Truck


Let's face it, if you ride a motorcycle, sooner or later you are going to find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Perhaps the only thing worse is watching your bike ride off on the back of a tow truck. So before you whip out your cell phone and make that expensive call for a wrecker, it's worthwhile to take a few minutes to make sure there is not an easy fix that will have you back on the road for free. This easy five item checklist will at least allow you to make a more informed decision before you have to make that dreaded call and if you've found yourself broken down without a phone, it may save you from a long walk.
Use Your Senses"Tastes like 50wt oil with just a hint of unleaded gas."

"Tastes like 50wt oil with just a hint of unleaded gas."
BatteryMany batteries are accessible from under the seat.
Many batteries are accessible from under the seat.
GasAvoid the temptation to stick something in your gas tank to check for gas.
Avoid the temptation to stick something in your gas tank to check for gas.
AirMy '33 uses a spring loaded J-slot air cleaner, no tools required.
My '33 uses a spring loaded J-slot air cleaner, no tools required for removal.
SparkWrecker06
Make sure you are holding the spark plug cable and not the spark plug when checking for spark.

One of the best diagnostic tools in your arsenal is your five senses, and the good thing is they don't take up any room in your tool roll. Before you even consider unpacking a single tool, take some time to give your bike a good "sensory diagnostic."
I usually start by thinking back to what happened just before I found myself sitting on the side of the road. Did the bike feel or sound different? Often major engine failures are announced by unusual vibrations or sounds and if your bike is making some horrible noises, then it's time to go for the phone. If not, take some time to carefully look over the entire motorcycle, paying careful attention for loose fasteners, leaking fluids or even missing parts.
Also note if anything smells bad. Plastic, oil, transmission fluid, and clutches all smell pretty bad when they burn, which can also help narrow down the problem. For the really hardcore rider, you can also take a taste of your oil to make sure it is not fouled with gas, water, or coolant. Not something I would personally recommend, but some old timers swear by it...
If your bike checked out ok with the sensory diagnostic, then the next thing to check is your battery. As motorcycles get more and more electronics, a properly maintained battery is essential for proper operation.
The easiest way to check your battery is to turn on the key and hit the starter button. If the starter spins over, then the battery is probably ok. If you just get a clicking noise or nothing at all, then it's time to start checking battery connections.
On some bikes, the battery is just not accessible and you may have to give in at this point, but if you can get to your battery, make sure that the connections are clean and tight. If possible, it's good to check both the connections at the battery and then trace the cables out to the ground point and the starter to make sure those connections are clean and tight too.
I recommend keeping a piece of emery cloth in your tool roll for cleaning up the battery terminals, but in a pinch you can scrap them clean with your pocket knife. Just make sure you don't accidentally ground your knife to anything metallic while you're cleaning the positive terminal.
So now that you've got a bike that is at least turning over, the next thing to check is gas. Usually just removing the gas cap and rocking the bike will let you hear if any gas is left in the tank.
Unless the gas is clearly at the top of the tank, I recommend switching to reserve just to be on the safe side. Many newer bikes no longer have manual petcocks, and instead have a gas light on the dash to warn you that your fuel is getting low. It doesn't hurt to turn on the ignition and make sure that you haven't been riding with the gas light on. If you don't hear any gas in the tank and/or your gas light is on, it's probably time to start walking to the nearest gas station.
If you're confident that you do have gas in the tank and the bike still won't start, you may not be getting fuel to your carburetor or injectors. On older bikes, it's usually easy enough to pull the fuel line to see if gas is reaching your carburetor, but this is not often the case with newer fuel injected machines. Without having to take apart your fuel system, you can make sure that gas is getting to your combustion chamber by removing one of your spark plugs. If you just spent the last few minutes turning over the engine without it starting, then it should be flooded and the spark plugs will be wet with fuel.
Besides gas, your bike also needs air to run. If possible, remove your air filter and visually inspect it for dirt or debris. Mice and other rodents are know to make nests in airboxes, which certainly can block off air flow faster than a few stray bugs or leaves.
Once the filter is removed, try starting the bike to see if it will run without the filter. It is not advisable to run your motorcycle without a filter, but if it's between walking five miles or riding five miles, I'd probably risk it.
Once you've verified that you're getting air and gas to the combustion chamber, the final piece of the 4-stroke puzzle is a spark to get things going.
Start by doing a visual check of the ignition system, looking for cuts or burns in the spark plug wires, cracked spark plug boots, or loose coil wires. Then move on to making sure that your spark plugs are screwed in tightly and make sure your spark plug boots are pushed securely on the spark plugs and onto the coil.
You can check the operation of your plugs by removing one of the plugs and holding the electrode against the engine block while hitting the starter button. You should see a nice blue spark on a properly working plug.
If after running through this checklist you still have a motorcycle that won't start, it's probably ok to go ahead and call that tow truck. At least you'll know that you've eliminated some of the basic problems and have a better idea what to tell your mechanic or where to get started when you get the bike home.

This article was provided by Ride Apart.
Ashley Martin Web Developer

23 comments:

geometrydash said...

Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!
geometry dash pc| happy wheels game |happy wheels |five nights at freddy's |agario

slitherio said...

Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

Motorbike Trailers said...

Thanks for the recommend for keeping a piece of emery cloth in your tool roll for cleaning up the battery terminals, but in a pinch you can scrap them clean with your pocket knife. It's a very helpful post. Thanks for sharing.

jowdjbrown said...

It can be extremely frustrating to go out and find the perfect travel trailer or fifth wheel and then be told that you can't tow it. On the other hand it can be worse if you go to a less reputable RV dealer and the sales person tells you that you can tow it! This happens every day, and this is why you need to be armed with the right information before you buy. calgary towing companies

Tyra Mil said...

Although life has many problems, you still have to try, optimistic to solve these difficulties. You need an entertainment without knowing what to do, please try to play some games that I discovered in recent times, it is useful to dispel the tension.
play run 2 l geometry dash l retrica photo l b612 app l baixar musicas gratis l baixar snapchat

word cookies answers said...

It is a great website.. If you are games lover and love to play games word cookies game download is the most easiest way to get latest games hill climb racing 2 anytime you need to follow just few simple steps five nights at freddys 4 | hotmail login

Candy Sim said...

All the best blogs that is very useful for keeping me share the ideas of the future as well this is really what I was looking for, and I am very happy to come here. Thank you very much
animal jam codes | five nights at freddy's 4 | hotmail login

precisionbike said...

You have shared such a nice information and these tips are really helpful before the towing service. If you want to use any type of towing service for your motorcycle, then motorcycle towing service is one of the best option for you.

abcya said...

Thank your share! I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs.
happy wheels

Dung Maurice said...

I think you could find a lot of interesting information about gps locators in this
blog

Craft Mine said...

Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
minecraft 2 | baixar facebook | baixar whatsapp | facebook baixar

Yepi said...

Good. Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers
Game Ark | Gazo

slither io said...

Interesting article! Thank you for sharing them! I hope you will continue to have similar posts to share with everyone! I believe a lot of people will be surprised to read this article!
windows movie maker

Ann Lily said...

Very great, I think I've found good article. I will see and consult some information in your post. I need it, thanks. hotmail login | hotmail sign up | gmail login | gmail log out

truyen thong dai viet giao duc said...

Bạn chuẩn bị thi công chức, bạn cần chứng chỉ IC3 và tiếng anh A2, bạn đang phân vân chưa biết địa chỉ ôn thi uy tín để học, để được cấp chứng chỉ tin học văn phòng IC3 theo quy định của Bộ giáo dục và đào tạo, tiếng anh A2 chuẩn khung tham chiếu chung châu Âu và có giá trị trên toàn quốc. hãy truy cập vào trang web sau đây để có được những thứ bạn đang cần:
chứng chỉ tin học
đào tạo chứng chỉ tiếng anh bậc 2
chứng chỉ tiếng anh A2 đại học sư phạm hà nội
giáo dục truyền thông đại việt,
địa chỉ học tin uy tín ở hà nội

truyen thong dai viet giao duc said...

Sinh viên vẫn luôn truyền miệng nhau là “Nhất tiếng Anh, nhì tin học”. Đặc biệt, các bạn sinh viên khi ra trường càng thấm thía hơn với câu nói này. Rõ ràng, sinh viên hiện nay ý thức rất rõ vai trò quan trọng của hai môn “chìa khóa” này. Tuy nhiên, không ít các tân cử nhân vẫn sớm bị loại khỏi các cuộc tuyển dụng chỉ vì vốn tiếng Anh nghèo nàn và kỹ năng tin học yếu. Hãy cùng chúng tôi xây dựng một nền tảng tốt cho sinh viên có vốn tiếng anh và giỏi tin học khi xin việc.

chứng chỉ tin học,
chứng chỉ tiếng anh A2,
chứng chỉ tiếng anh A2 đại học sư phạm hà nội,
địa chỉ học tin uy tín ở hà nội
học tin ở đâu

Candy Sim said...

The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas of the future as this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.
animal jam | five nights at freddy's | hotmail login

happy wheels said...

Thanks for your article! I have been looking for quite a long time and fortunately I read this article! I wish you would continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!
abcya

Friv 100 said...

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work.
Friv1 Friv7 Friv 2 Friv20

bloons tower defense 5 said...

Thanks for your post! Through your pen I found the problem up interesting! I believe there are many other people who are interested in them just like me! Thanks your shared!...
slither io

Friv Games said...

I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again
Friv8 Friv9 Friv20 Www Friv Friv5 Friv6


edirne klima servisi said...

Even those banks that lend money bills you a really high rate of curiosity
Edirne Arçelik Servisi secured lenders
will most likely process your loan application as quickly as is possible.

vex 3 said...

Your article is awesome! How long does it take to complete this article? I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone!
io games