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Hot Weather Motorcycle Maintenance

17 July 2019

Hot Weather Motorcycle Maintenance

With the soaring temperatures, taking a ride on your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle can get a bit complicated. Luckily though, there are many ways to take care of your machine and ensure that the heat doesn’t damage it.

At Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson, we love to ride our motorcycles in all kinds of weather and have learned a thing or two during our trips. Read on to learn about some tips and tricks for performing hot weather motorcycle maintenance. To find out more or to get yourself a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle, come to our dealership in Union City, Tennessee.

Pay Attention To The Fluids

It should be part of every rider’s pre-ride checklist to make sure the fluids are clean and topped up, but it becomes even more important to do so during the summer heat. The high temperatures along with the sheer power of your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle can end up producing a lot of engine heat and stress. Overheating can be extremely damaging for your bike’s engine - liquid-cooled engines especially depend on an effective cooling circulation.

Ensure that you’re using a good quality coolant that was likely recommended by the manufacturer. When riding in hot weather, you should top off the coolant to its optimal level to prevent any damage to your engine because of the excessive heat. Also, keep your air filters clean because they work with the bike’s fluids to keep it running clean and cool.

The other fluids in your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle don’t keep your bike cool but they can be negatively affected by the hot weather. Every liquid sloshing around in your bike will evaporate faster in high heat environments. Ensure that there is enough fluid to keep your bike working well and prevent a breakdown.

Protect Heat-Sensitive Components

The hoses, belts and other rubber or plastic components of your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle are more susceptible to damage in high heat. If you park your bike under the blazing sun, you may come back to find some melted mess. Plastic has the tendency to partially melt when left outside in high temperatures, while rubber will crack or split. This can lead to leaks, blowouts or even accidents. 

Some protective steps are pretty simple and require a little bit of thought. When parking your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle, choose a shady spot and don’t leave your bike out in the sun for hours. Pay attention to the plastic and rubber components when you use your bike to see how the hot weather is affecting them. Don’t ignore any potential problems, like cracking, melting or brittleness. 

Another part of your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle that can be adversely affected by high temperatures is the chain that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. This chain can get coated with dust and grime and dry up fast in the heat. Clean and lubricate it more often than you would in cooler months. 

Lower Tire Pressure

When manufacturers set the PSI recommendations for tires, they do so keeping in mind the average temperature, not the extreme ones we witness during peak summer days. As you learned in school, heat makes things expand. The air in your tires will also expand in high heat. When air expands in a restricted space, it builds up pressure and can cause your tires to burst. 

You can check for over-inflation in the summer by taking a PSI reading when your bike is hot. Also pay attention to the rubber and plastic parts of the tires and ensure they’re in good shape.

Use Polish Or Wax

If you plan to ride around in the high heat, we really recommend using polish or wax to buff your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Even if you aren’t after the gleaming shine that a good wax or polish job can provide, it should be a matter of pride to keep your machine clean. Good polish will reflect UV rays off your bike and you’ll find many brands that specifically provide UV protection. 

We hope these tips will make it easier for you to maintain your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle during the summer months. Fortunately, autumn is around the corner and these hot days will be behind us soon. If you’d like to get your bike professionally serviced, come to Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson in Union City, Tennessee and let our trained staff whip it into shape for you. You can also take a tour of our inventory and see if you’d like to take home a new Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. We proudly serve the good people of Union City and near Jackson!