Regular Maintenance

2001 Triumph Legend: Photo taken on the day we met at the dealership

To get started lets talk about the condition I found my bike in. Its used, at the time it was 18 years old, and it hadn’t been ridden all that much. It had 18 thousand miles on the odometer and the story from the dealer was that I would be it’s 3rd owner. A long time customer of their’s had traded it in a couple years after buying it from the original owner who had stopped riding it years before that. You could say it was almost a bit of a barn find for that second owner. Aesthetically I would give the overall appearance; considering its age, a B-. The front fender had(and still does) a gnarly scratch from where it was dropped in a stationary position. The 2nd owner was moving it in the garage and tipped it over against the garage door track, resulting in a long, wide, scratch on the top of the front fender. This also broke the stalk of the front right turn signal which they remedied with some type of putty. There are a couple small dimples in the gas tank and a little scratching there too. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a motorcycle old enough to vote! The chrome on the silencers was starting to bubble and peal in places. The whole bike needed to be cleaned really well, chrome polished, etc. Bottom line, most all the aesthetic issues were unnoticeable from just a few feet away with the exception of the front fender. Mechanically; also considering its age, an A-. The carburetors clearly were out of sync so it’s idle was a little chunky, but that seemed to be its only real issue. So far the work I haven’t done myself is a thorough once over from a local mechanic who also synced the carburetors and changed the oil.

Items that I have taken care of myself are pretty basic. I check and fill the air in my tires pretty much weekly and I clean and lubricate my chain every 300-500 miles even when it doesn’t look like it needs it. Before putting it away for the winter I put some fuel stabilizer in the tank and installed the leads for a battery tender, quick connect plug, which makes it really fast and simple to hook up. I will put the battery tender on pretty much any time I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to ride for a couple weeks. The chain lube and cleaner I use is the Maxima brand “Ultimate Chain Care Aerosol Combo Kit” you can find online. It comes with a can of cleaner, penetrating lubricant and chain wax. I also use them in that order. Along with the cleaner I typically employ a piece of cardboard to catch any drips, a couple of clean rags and a chain brush. I bought a cheepo from that same online retailer that has a straight brush on one end with long bristles and a “C” shaped end with shorter bristles that fits over the chain. I also have a rear paddock stand so that I can remain stationary while doing this since space is a concern at my house. If you have a nice open driveway you can just move your bike around to rotate your chain but that sounds messy and who wants to do that if they don’t have to? Do you need to use wax and lube on your chain? Everything I’ve read says either or, but I like to add the wax over the lube because I think the wax offers a little more resiliency to moisture and I haven’t seen anything that says that using both in tandem will harm anything. There are a ton of forum posts, videos, blogs etc. all about how to clean and lubricate your chain and there are also a million products out there. And like most other things you will see about a million and one different opinions on methods, what products to use, why you’re an idiot for using the one you chose etc. The bottom line is its your chain, lube it how you want to. Whatever you are doing is probably better than doing nothing at all.

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