Guangzhou Bost Trading Co.,Ltd wish you Happy New Year. May all of our dear customer’s new year be filled with special moment, warmth, peace and happiness.
Guangzhou Bost Trading Co.,Ltd wish you Happy New Year. May all of our dear customer’s new year be filled with special moment, warmth, peace and happiness.
An engine is the heart of a motorcycle. It is the very force that endows a set of two wheels with the magical power to move and mesmerise. The ‘motor’ in a motorcycle – an engine is the centrepiece around which the rest of the componentry revolves. Keeping your motorcycle’s engine in top shape is one of the most important things to do if you wish to enjoy it for a long time. Here in this detailed article, we will share some simple but highly effective tips to increase your motorcycle engine’s longevity so that it functions optimally for years.
Be patient while breaking in
Modern motorcycle engines do not require breaking in as much as their older counterparts. It is still advisable to go slow initially and follow the instructions mentioned in the owner’s manual. Being careful while logging kilometers before a motorcycle’s first service will ensure the engine’s health. Follow the guidelines suggested by the manufacturer while using your motorcycles for its thousand kilometers. Do not rip the motor in its early days and keep the engine speed below the prescribed limits. Once the engine and transmission have correctly settled in, you can let the tachometer needle swing its way higher up the rev range.
Choose the correct engine oil grade
Engine oil is the most critical fluid for the longevity of your motorcycle’s engine. Every manufacturer recommends a specific engine oil grade for each one of their two-wheeler models. It is best for the engine to stick to the recommended grade and don’t experiment with this critical specification. You can take the liberty of choosing a higher quality oil for any given grade, and choose among mineral, semi-synthetic or synthetic engine oils based on manufacturer guidelines. However, using engine oil of a different grade than recommended or that of inferior quality can land a fatal blow to the heart of your motorcycle.
Get your bike serviced in a timely manner
Every two-wheeler manufacturer prescribes the ideal service interval for their motorcycles in terms of mileage logged or time elapsed between two consecutive services. It is recommended that you follow the suggested service routine at all costs. Regular service is essential, as several critical components and consumables are inspected and replaced if required during this time to ensure that the vehicle keeps running trouble-free. Read your two-wheeler’s owner’s manual and ensure that you follow its service routine religiously.
Don’t abuse the engine
Modern motorcycle engines are designed in such a manner that they can withstand long hours of high-performance use without brakes. However, there is a fine line between use and abuse. Inappropriate, abrupt downshifts, over-revving in low gears, not rev-matching, riding the clutch, stunt riding, and shifting gears unnecessarily are some of the things that qualify as abuse. Every vehicle is meant for a purpose – so while performance motorcycles can sustain higher engine speeds for longer durations, commuter motorcycles are designed for more moderate use. Apply common sense and ensure that you don’t push your two-wheeler beyond its limits.
Do not lug the engine
Opening the throttle and trying to accelerate at very low speeds while being in inappropriately higher gears, where the engine struggles to build revs is termed as lugging the engine. Lugging the engine puts it under extreme load and can be detrimental to its life. This malpractice, widespread among Indian riders, leads to engine knocking and sputtering, making it run hot and under immense load. The fuel efficiency of a vehicle is also adversely affected when you are lugging the engine. Understand your engine’s optimal rev range for various scenarios, and keep it within that band to extract the best performance or efficiency from it. Not only is it the correct and more enjoyable way of riding a bike, but it also adds years to an engine’s life.
Replace the air filter in a timely manner
Air-filter plays a crucial role in the efficient functioning of your motorcycle’s engine by feeding clean air to it. Riding a motorcycle with a clogged air filter chokes the engine and drastically reduces its air supply, resulting in long term damage. A clogged, unclean filter can also lead to dirty air entering the combustion chamber, which may cause damage to various critical components of the engine. Most modern two-wheeler air filters are designed to be replaced and not cleaned. Ensure that you replace the air filter on time or clean it if the manufacturer recommends it.
Adjust and lubricate the chain regularly
An overly loose or tight chain on a motorcycle is detrimental to its engine’s health. You should have your motorcycle’s chain inspected and adjusted regularly to avoid this. In terms of lubrication, most modern motorcycle chains are sealed with O-rings or X-rings to keep the grease packed inside the pins. However, budget-oriented motorcycles still come equipped with chains that need external lubrication. For such motorcycles, it is crucial that you clean and lubricate them from time to time and adjust them for slack.
Don’t overload the Motorcycle
Every motorcycle has its load-carrying capacity, which is the combined weight of the rider and pillion and some buffer for luggage. This is mentioned as payload in the owner’s manual. Loading a two-wheeler up more than its payload capacity puts excessive stress on the engine and can cause damage in the long term. Ensure that you never load your two-wheeler up beyond its prescribed payload limit.
Get genuine spares
No one knows a two-wheeler’s components better than its manufacturer. While there are cheaper, non-OEM spares available in the aftermarket for most two-wheelers, they are generally not as well-made as the originals. Using cheap spares from the aftermarket might save you some money in repairs, but it might also cause severe damage to your beloved two-wheeler. To extract the best performance and ensure longevity for your two-wheeler’s engine, always get your bike repaired from an authorised service centre and insist on genuine spares.
Idle the engine during cold starts
Engine oil plays a vital role in protecting your two-wheeler’s engine. If a two-wheeler is used frequently enough, its engine components are covered with a thin film of engine oil to mitigate the damage caused by friction when it is cranked up cold. However, if your two-wheeler has not been used for an extended period of time, you need to ensure that you let the engine idle for a minute or so before putting it under load. After long periods of dormancy, engine components lose their protective layer of lubrication as it dries up or settles down. Letting the engine idle for a couple of minutes allows the engine oil to spread to all the critical areas and brings the engine to its optimal working temperature. Cranking up and instantly driving away after a cold start can lead to engine damage. Give it a minute; it is worth it!
A stitch in time, saves nine – the adage rings true for motorcycle engines as well. Always keep a keen eye, and get minor faults fixed before they turn into problems of a larger magnitude. Follow the simple tips shared above, and your two-wheeler engine will not just last longer, but will deliver outstanding performance and fuel efficiency during its lifespan.
Honda have made some pretty exotic motorcycles over the years, but some of their humblest models have also been their biggest hits. Almost everyone knows about the legendary C90 Cub, but for many British bikers the equally modest CG125 brings equally rose tinted memories…
As a staple steed of British motorcycle training schools in the 1990s and 2000s, the Honda CG125 has done as much to get new riders on motorbikes as any other individual model ever to go on sale in the UK.
Introduced in 1976, the CG125 was a development of the CB125. With a focus on low maintenance and economy for commuters, particularly in developing countries, the CG125 featured valves operated by shirt pushrods, rather than the CB125’s overhead camshaft design, which was notorious for wearing out. Like the C90, the simple and durable CG125 also ran an enclosed rear chain, simple instrumentation and basic drum brakes. As a bike for the emerging markets, the CG125 was built in Brazil rather than Japan.
So far, so what? The CG125 was never a glamourous motorcycle and was never meant to be. The air-cooled, two-valve single was good for around 11bhp and a top speed of between 60 and 70mph, depending on how favourable road and weather conditions were. As a strong and simple means of transport for Asian markets it had few peers, but even here in the UK it became a legend, of sorts.
By 1983 the British Government changed licencing laws, meaning that learner riders would be limited to 125cc motorcycles (it was previously 250cc) and by the back end of 1990, the law was further changed to introduce Compulsory Basic Training (known as the CBT) for new riders.
The introduction of the CBT led to a growth in training schools. No longer could a 17 year old simply apply for a provisional licence, buy a 125 and chuck on some L plates. Now, at least, learners needed to do a few hours basic training in a closed car park before heading out into the big wide world.
The introduction of the CBT made the CG125 an icon. The CG125 has been developed to take on African deserts, so it was more than capable of handling anything the most ham fisted of learners could throw at it. The need for inexpensive, strong and simple four-strokes (at a time when most learner bikes were two-strokes) meant that pretty much anyone learning to ride in the 1990s would have taken their formative steps on a Honda CG125. Yamaha’s custom style SR125 was the only other real alternative to the ubiquitous Honda, and even that couldn’t compete with the CG on sales.
The riding experience wasn’t much to write home about. For riding around town at 30mph the performance and light handling was adequate enough, but the open road proved something of a struggle for the asthmatic engine, bouncy ride and weedy brakes. Later examples upgraded the electrics from a six volt to 12 volt system and a move from points style ignition to a CDI system. In 2004 a posher CG125 was introduced and had more modern styling, electric start, disc front brake and a fuel gauge, although they lacked the enclosed drive train, which was a major factor in the little Honda’s low maintenance running. The model ran through to 2008, by which time new emissions regulations and changing customer tastes meant that it was the end of the road.
Few will bestow true classic bike status on the Honda CG125, but we think that it fully deserves a place in our Iconic Bikes series. Any motorbike which has helped so many of us get onto two wheels has to be a bit special, and when you consider the miserly running costs – with a low insurance group, cheap tax, 100mpg capability and DIY servicing – you could consider that it more than achieved Honda’s original brief from the early Seventies. No one quite knows how many were made and sold but we do know that production peaked at over 250,000 units a year in its heyday. The design was also copied by Chinese manufacturers, who built clones by the million as well.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the vast numbers originally produced, there are still plenty of usable examples available on the second hand market. The bike’s unglamorous nature meant that very few were modified – a top box being the most common accessory – and even today they can be used as inexpensive daily transport.
With so many in good condition, we also wouldn’t be too surprised to see the CG picked up by the Shoreditch set for future customisation projects. Such a simple canvas seems perfect for modification, or maybe that’s just us!
German know-how from Bosch has been integral to the electronics and innovations seen on KTM machinery for over a decade, and some of the sophistication on the new 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S means milestones are still being set. It was time to get someone from the firm to talk about their involvement with the orange…
KTM’s alliance with Bosch has helped fashion the latest wizardry of algorithms and hardware seen on more and more Austrian machinery and especially for flagship motorcycles like the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R & the 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. Whether it’s for direct contributions to safety systems or rider assistance tools, the synergy has put energy into the tech that the KTMs now carry. Think of Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), Motorcycle Traction Control, Motor Slip regulation, Cornering ABS, the fresh generation of ride modes, WP Semi-Active suspension and the excellent ACC, the Adaptive Cruise Control fitted as standard on the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S.
Bosch’s tagline of ‘Invented for Life’ could be tweaked to ‘Invented for living’ if applied to the sensations of motorcycling and this is where KTM’s Bosch technician and KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S Project leader, Davide Olerni – a keen motorcyclist himself – comes into play. We grabbed some time with the engineer at the launch of the bike through the pouring rain on the island of Fuerteventura. The electronics were getting a thorough testing in the climate both for their effectiveness and their resistance.
We’d already heard from Dominik Bodner, the Chief Engineer of LC8 R&D, when he said “Bosch for us was the most competent partner for such a new project, and for years we have a very tight collaboration to get everything right. There was a lot of testing and approval steps together”, and we knew of the origins of the union for the KTM ADVENTURE bikes in particular with the ground-breaking MSC emerging on the 2014 models.
Olerni has been with Bosch for 15 years and between bases in both Italy and Germany. “I started on the engineering side and initially with cars,” he explains. “In the last three years I moved to the two wheels and Powersport department. I’m a rider myself, so I was happy to have this chance. As a supplier we deal with more customers. We have a dedicated team for each one and I work only for KTM. The relationship we have built is awesome and there is a big difference to the passenger car world. Motorbikes and powersports are much more intimate with very passionate people; they want to do a good job for a product that will really serve other people in the end. The relationship is day-to-day.”
How does the working relationship with KTM function exactly?
“I used to visit the factory a lot but that changed in the bizarre year that was 2020. We also have one of our team based full-time in Mattighofen; installed there to work on the radar topics and new technology. KTM are better served by having someone there.”
How many people do Bosch have in their two-wheel division?
“Difficult to say exactly. I don’t’ know a number but it is beyond hundreds. We have people for the development of systems, hardware development and hardware applications and software. It is spread across Japan, India and Germany. It’s a pretty big team.”
It would seem that motorcycling has become more important to Bosch in recent years…
“It has become more of a priority and the fact that the two-wheel and powersport department was set-up just over five years ago is an indication of how much Bosch are looking at this market. Bosch has always been an innovation leader for assistance systems and electronics: this was always our ‘bread-and-butter’. Maybe it wasn’t so focussed on motorcycles before, but our work derived from passenger cars and has grown a lot in five years. Traction control is a good example and how it developed to what it is today.”
Are bikes more limited for development or do they offer more challenge and variety compared to a car?
“You might think carrying a system from a car to a bike would be pretty easy in terms of the basics but it’s not always like that for obvious reasons. For instance, in the Adaptive Cruise Control and the RADAR sensor we implemented for the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S we had more of a challenge because of the lean, and you don’t have things like the angle of the steering wheel. You have to rely on the measurement from the 6-axis unit which is also one of the main innovations on the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. Overall the motorcycle world has some significant benefits and challenges.”
The 6D lean angle sensor was first seen on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. Are we talking about very advanced kit?
“The 6D lean angle sensor is the highest level of technology for an inertia measurement unit we have today. With the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R we were really able to take advantage of the additional information we gained for the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S ACC but also the traction control, which takes advantage of more detailed data and gave us a big benefit for this next version of the system. The end user might not necessarily have more options to choose but you can feel and appreciate that the controls are much better and smoother on the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S.”
How do you think people perceive your work at Bosch? Some might really appreciate all the safety and user-friendly systems. Others might be turned off by all the electronic assistance…
“First of all, we are all motorcycle riders in our division and personally – perhaps I can also speak for the other guys – we always think about safety first. It’s a big priority…while also trying to keep the fun spirit of the bike. Assist systems are important, and it’s important we have them. Many people might not agree. Some change their mind after using them or trying them for the first time, luckily, and people who don’t want them are able to switch them off or tone them down. I respect everyone’s opinion. Even the ABS and Cornering ABS was met with a lot of scepticism in the beginning and people ended up changing their mind.”
What about the future? Will it be about making existing systems better and cheaper or something totally new?
“I guess both. We think the innovative systems we see on the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S will gain more acceptance and they will start to be present on more bikes, maybe not only the high-end models. At the same time, it is important that we find new ways to support the riders actively or passively. There is much more still to go.”