Tips for Two-Wheeler Maintenance and Care in Hot Weather / Summers

The infamous Indian summers are here, and quite a few of us wouldn’t probably be as keen to ride as we are during the cooler months. Irrespective of the weather or you willingness to ride, however, your bike should always be in top shape. The extreme heat and dust during the scorching summer months can take a toll on your two-wheeler’s well being. Your beloved ride needs special care during this period not just to stay fit, but also to thwart the degenerative effects of the harsh summer weather. Here in this article we share some simple, but useful tips to help you take good care of your two-wheeler during summers.

1. Replenish all vital fluids and keep them topped up

While it’s important to keep a watchful eye on fluid levels on your bike at all times, it becomes all the more important during summers. Temperatures may nudge fifty degree Celsius in some parts of the country, and during such times, your two-wheeler’s engine is enduring tremendous heat and stress. In such heat, if you ever get stuck in stop-start, bumper-to-bumper traffic, your two-wheeler engine may undergo serious damage owing to overheating. A liquid cooled engine would depend greatly on the efficacy of the coolant liquid circulating around it in such scenarios. Ensure that a manufacturer recommended good quality coolant is filled to the optimum level to prevent any damage to the engine owing to heat.

In addition to the coolant, every other fluid on a two-wheeler also evaporates at a much faster pace during summers. From the brake fluid to the engine oil, to the scooter gear oil – every fluid should be at its recommended level to ensure that your two-wheeler’s mechanicals keep performing optimally and don’t suffer a breakdown.

2. Check all the hoses, belts and other components made of rubber and plastic

Heat is one of the biggest enemies of rubber and plastic materials used on a two-wheeler. If you keep your vehicle parked under the hot summer sun for more than a couple of days, chances are that some of the hoses, belts or other plastic components may develop cracks or even partially melt. This may lead to leakages, breakdowns, and worse still, accidents. To ensure that these components don’t sustain damage owing to the extreme heat, do a more frequent check on all such components with the advent of the summers. Do not take even minor aberrations lightly and have any components which look or feel brittle or even with minor cracks replaced immediately to avoid any untoward incident.

3. Do not overinflate tyres, use nitrogen if possible

Tyre pressure recommended by automakers is meant for average ambient temperatures. Air, however, as we all know, expands when subjected to heat. The expanded air creates additional pressure from the inside on the tyre, and beyond a point may even explode its way out. With the temperatures hitting a half century on the Celsius scale, the inner pressure on a two-wheeler’s tyres increases substantially. Even if you keep your two-wheeler’s tyre pressure to the manufacturer recommended level, the actual pressure when you ride it on a hot summer would be much higher. The expanded air inside the tyre may find a way out by damaging the tyre and if the vehicle is in motion, it may lead to serious accidents. Never overinflate your two-wheeler’s tyres, especially during the summer months. Also, pure nitrogen is way more resistant to expansion as compared to the natural air that you usually fill in your tyres. While it’s not available everywhere, nitrogen gas, wherever available, should be preferred over your normal air during the summer months.

4. Try to keep your two-wheeler in shade and keep it covered

Almost all of your two-wheeler’s exposed body parts, including the paint, seat covers, chrome plating and plastics are prone to damage by exposure to sunrays and heat. Keep your two-wheeler out in the sun for too long and you’ll see that the paint will start fading, the chrome will start losing its lustre and the plastics will develop cracks and turn grey. This deteriorating effect is further amplified during summer months when the sunrays are far more direct and the heat way more intense. To avoid any damage to your motorcycle, ensure that it’s parked in a shaded area. Keep it covered with a good quality fabric cover. Make sure that you do not buy a dark coloured cover made of a material that doesn’t breathe. The cover should be of a light colour, so that it doesn’t absorb too much heat. A mesh weave would allow breathability and ensure that the heat inside keeps escaping out, and doesn’t get bottled up, which may cause even more damage.

5. Use a good quality polish or wax, a little more frequently

While cleaning and polishing your motorcycle frequently is always a good idea, using the polish or wax a little more frequently during the summer months helps matters. Some wax and polish brands offer protection from harmful rays to your motorcycle’s paint, and it’s advisable that you keep coating your bike’s surface with these products more often during the hot months. These products add an extra layer of protection over your bike’s paint, and prevent it from fading.

6. Check tyres for cracks

As mentioned before, heat is an enemy of all components made of rubber or plastic. So while you should always keep a check on your two-wheeler’s tyre health, you need to keep an even keener eye on your machine’s footwear during the hot months. Tyres may develop cracks, or may turn brittle if exposed to direct sun for too long. A partially cracked tyre is susceptible to bursting. Ensure that the tyre is free of any deformities, damage or cracks for safety and control.

Also Read: Tips to Keep Your Two-Wheeler Tyres in Good Health

7. Check air filter, replace if necessary

While summers bring along heat, the air also gets a lot dustier during the hot months. This holds especially true for the northern states like Rajasthan, UP and Gujarat, where the summer winds are loaded with fine dust particles. This puts stress on the air filter, and causes it to get clogged a lot earlier than it’s supposed to during normal weather. It is, thus, advisable to check your two-wheeler’s air filter and have it replaced if it’s not fit to use before the advent of summer.

8. Clean and lubricate the chain more often

Extreme heat along with the dust in the air causes the chain to get grimy and dry up much earlier than it usually does. It is, thus, advisable to clean and lubricate your two-wheeler’s chain a bit more frequently in the summer months as compared to the cooler months.

Also Read: Riding in a Group? Follow these rules for a safe journey

We hope the tips mentioned above equip you well to protect your two-wheeler from the harmful heat in the summers. If you think you have some tips or experiences of your own to add to the list, do share them with us. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, or give us a shout out on one of the social networks.

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