Answers to Your Motorcycle Mechanical Questions
Mechanic Matt has set aside his wrench for a keyboard and has chosen 5 questions to answer. As per our promise to give away a Free pair of Fingerless Leather Gloves, If you see your question answered below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “Motorcycle Question Free Fingerless Gloves Winner” along with your full name and address.
1. I have a 2002 Fatboy with a custom front rim and at times when I let off of the gas and the handle bars the front end kind of shakes a little.
We had a scenario like this a while back with a Kawasaki. We swapped out the wheel and it stopped. Most often it’s the wheel, which should be warrantied by the manufacturer, unfortunately Kawasaki wouldn’t warranty it even though it was obviously a problem from their factory. Their solution: don’t let go of the handlebars! Sometimes it can be the bearings as well though. It’s probably your wheel though.
2. Is it always necessary to change the air filter/induction system, when the exhaust is updated? Is the engine management update also required?
No, it’s not always necessary. Usually the pipe manufacturer will have recommendations for this, they’ll tell you if there are modifications to the EFI chip or different settings that are required for their pipes. Check with the specific pipe manufacturers for more details.
3. I’ve just purchased an old motorcycle. What are the first steps to getting it running well again?
I’m not sure which exact bike this is, but there are some general things that will apply to all bikes. I would start with your carburetor. Carburetor work will do lot in the way of getting it running well, it’s a great place to start for any bike.
4. I have a 06 H-D Ultra. I have replaced the front tire once and am in need to do it again. The problem is that the right side of the tire is almost skin bald. The left side has good tread left. It changes right at the center line of th tire. What would cause this. It was the reason that I replaced the first tire. They are being replaced at 35K on the tire.
Take a look at your forks. When there’s consistent wearing like that, it can be because there are different air pressures in one side than the other. There could also be different oil levels in each fork that is causing it to ride to one side.
5. How do I adjust my clutch cable on my 2009 Hertiage Softail?
This is a little too specific to answer without actually seeing the bike, however, after some research online, we found the following very specific answer by a HD motorcycle mechanic.
- 1. Remove five TORX screws with captive washers to detach clutch inspection cover from primary chain case cover.
- 2. Remove and discard seal.
- 3. Add free play to cable.
- a. Slide rubber boot (1) off cable adjuster.
- b. Holding cable adjuster (2) with 1/2 in. wrench, loosen jam nut (3) using a 9/16 in. wrench.
- c. Turn cable adjuster (2) until there is a large amount of free play at clutch hand lever.
- 4. Loosen jam nut on clutch adjuster screw to take up all free play, turn screw inward (clockwise) until lightly seated. Activate the clutch lever to verify the balls are seated in the ramps.
- 5. Back out adjusting screw (counterclockwise) 1/2 to 1 full turn.Tighten jam nut to 72-120 in-lbs (8.1-13.6 Nm), while holding adjusting screw with an Allen wrench.
- 6. Squeeze clutch lever to maximum limit three times, to set ball and ramp release mechanism.
- 7. Check free play.
- a. Turn cable adjuster away from jam nut until slack is eliminated at hand lever.
- b. Pull clutch cable ferrule away from clutch lever bracket to check free play. Turn cable adjuster as necessary to obtain 1/16-1/8 in. (1.6-3.2 mm) free play between end of cable ferrule and clutch lever bracket.
- 8. Hold adjuster with 1/2 in. wrench. Using 9/16 in. wrench, tighten jam nut against cable adjuster to 120 in-lbs (13.6 Nm). Cover cable adjuster mechanism with rubber boot
And thanks again to Mechanic Matt at Jones Motorsports for taking time out of his busy schedule to put down his tools and answer your questions regarding any mechanical issues about your bike, trike or quad. We will choose a few questions each week from the ones submitted. To add your question, enter a comment here on our blog. A good way to get your question chosen is to submit a video comment showing your mechanical issues.
Thanks again to the great guys at Jones Motorsports for helping us bring you this motorcycle related mechanical Q & A forum:
Owner: Matt Jones
3145 N Yellowstone Hwy, Idaho Falls, ID 83401