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Shane Watts DirtWise Riding Tip: Bike Preparation - Part 2

Shane Watts

The air box on the modern motorcycle is very open to allow a lot of airflow through the filter and into the engine for maximum power. This is not so good though if we’re going to be riding through a lot of water in very wet conditions, or crossing rivers. This water has easy access into the air filter and to possibly get sucked into the engine. It’s beneficial is such conditions that we want to try and tape up as much of the airbox vents and seams as possible. Don’t cover up the whole thing so as to restrict air flow and cutting the engine out by starving it of air, but enough to help hopefully prevent water getting into the filter. With a little bit of duct tape you can seal those problem areas up and definitely prevent the water getting in. Now you are ready to go submerge your bike and keep the engine running.

When you are applying new grips to the handlebars you can either try to stick them in place by using some grip glue (hard to put the grip all the way on before it gets stuck) or you can spray some spray paint into the grip, and to the handlebar, and then slide it on quickly before it sets. You may want to use a rag on the grip for added strength. In a short amount of time the paint is going to dry up and get very very sticky and tacky. As an extra back up feature you need to wrap some quality tie wire around the grip to make it fully secure.

First off you need to cut the wire to a length of two wrap-arounds. We want to start the wire at the bottom of the grip, wrap it around twice, and get back to the starting point. From there you twist the ends and use some pliers to keep on twisting it tight - pull down on the wire ends every so often, and then release the pressure while twisting to make sure the wire digs down into the grip. Cut the excess ends off and bury the remaining portion into the grip. On the throttle side you don’t want to twist the wire quite as tight so as not to squish the throttle tube onto the handlebars. Wrap the wire around in three different spots on the grip – the inside, middle, and outside. There is definitely no chance of the grips coming off as you’re going through those muddy conditions now.


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