MC Garage Video: 4 Ways To Revitalize Your Ride

Breathe new life into your older motorcycle with these four easy ideas.

Is your motorcycle feeling a little shabby? Tempted to spring for a new bike? Don't take out a loan just yet, because I've got four easy ways to breath new life into your old ride. I'm not talking about silly accessories here, but stuff that will result in your bike looking, riding, and performing better.

First up, give your motorcycle a proper tune up. Clean and lube the chain, change the oil and filter, lube the cables and control pivots, clean or replace the air filter, adjust your clutch and throttle slack, throw in some fresh spark plugs, and maybe even check the valve clearances and steering head bearings.

We’re talking about a day’s worth of work and maybe $75 in parts, and you’ll end up with a bike that runs better, makes more power, has better throttle response, is more fuel efficient, and shifts better. Seriously, the value and benefit of a thorough tune up can’t be overstated, and it’s a great way to spend some time with your bike while it’s laid up for the winter. Plus, we’ve got in-depth videos for all of those maintenance procedures, so you don’t have any excuses!

After all that work you probably want something simple to do, so here you go: Make your bike feel better by replacing old, worn, gooey grips with fresh ones.The grips are your primary point of contact with the bike, and you're going to see and feel the difference every time you ride. Grips are cheap, and swapping them is easy. Just slice off the old ones with a sharp blade, then slide on freshies with compressed air or hand sanitizer. Done deal.

The next best way to spiff up your ride is to attend to the finish. A wash, wax, and polish is always good for some style points, but if you've got paint damage, that's going to be a constant eyesore. So if your bike has scratches or chips on the tank, bodywork, frame, or wheels, fix them.

You don't need to take the bike to a body shop, you just need to order up some paint pens. ColorRite is the go-to for factory matched paint, and their paint pens are perfect for touching up the small stuff that's making your bike look ratty.

To use the pens to fix small scratches, just clean the area with some ColorRite 4638 wax and grease remover (acetone will work here but remember that it's a more aggressive solvent), shake up your paint pen, and draw on the paint. If you’re fixing damage that’s down to the metal you’ll need to build up the area with a primer pen, and it’s a good idea to practice on something disposable before you work on your bike.

Paint pens are super handy, pretty cheap, and if you’ve got bigger paint projects, ColorRite supplies factory-matched paint in spray cans too. You can get really good results with these products, but you need to follow the instructions. As with any painting project, surface prep and patience are key.

Last but not least, the single most effective way to revitalize your ride is to replace your worn-out tires with fresh rubber.

Hardened, squared-off tires will make your bike's handling heavy and limit grip. And here’s the thing—tire wear is gradual so you’re probably not going to notice that your bike’s steering has gotten worse, until you put new tires on and it suddenly feels like you’re riding a way more agile bike. New tires with a nice round profile will restore your bike's handling so it goes, stops, and steers better.

If we're aiming for better handling, you might think that hypersport tires are the way to go. But, if you saw my tire types explained video, then you know that sport-touring tires are the kind of buns I prefer for streetbikes since they warm up quick, work well in the wet and in the dry, and they last a lot longer than sport tires.

So there you have it, four fairly easy ways to revitalize your ride and make your bike look, feel, and perform better. Hopefully this article helps you get more mileage and enjoyment of your motorcycle.

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