Owning and riding motorcycles is a kind of crazy, outsiders will never grasp. I ventured into riding and falling flat for my 1st motorcycle simultaneously; to be honest I bought the bike then learned to ride. Don’t ask!! With zero knowledge of what ownership and maintenance costs entail, I was hopping happy to just ‘dare’ dream of being able to afford one. I am talking about the ye ol’ classic Bonneville. I was blissfully unaware of parts, utilities and all that jazz a good ol’ Parsi will always keep to buff up their prized possessions until they can see their reflection AND their future in 1 chrome surface. I’d say I got lucky I had good folks around me to help in that department.
Today my buying, riding, breaking, repairing or maintaining bikes comes after many an insightful exchange with people who have the know-how or have ‘been there done that’. Motoheads (colloquial term for motorcyclists who are passionate and knowledgeable enthusiasts) are all too happy to share if you are willing and able. I had my eyes and ears wide open to anyone ready to drop a worthy dime that would help me. Add to that was the massive benefit of having a partner who not only taught me to ride but quite cruelly turned me into the garage ‘chhotu’.
Being a motorcyclist comes with being messy. Your life is about dust, grime, mud, grease, stubborn stains, strewn spare parts, experiments and the works. Those shiny smooth travels come after a fair amount of your existence has been spent greasing, degreasing, lubing, repairing, replacing and fighting (with the bike and people). E-commerce sites and official dealers make it possible for us to source quality parts and must-haves to keep our ‘investments’ viable and running. Motousher is one such culprit that provides the ‘toys, accessories and the juice’.
Since I’ve had the 2014 Bonneville A3 and 2015 Bonneville T100, I’ll talk about these. Both machines are very versatile, easy to maintain and customizable. A fair bit of self-maintenance can save one a LOT of trouble and monies. Routine purchases included the triple threat ie, Maxima chain cleaner, MPPL and wax. Harsh climate and riding conditions meant keeping these on person at all times even while traveling – the lube was used every ~500 km (esp. in dry conditions). Regular maintenance has helped the stock chain and sprocket run as good as new with no wear/tear on both bikes. With a collective ODO of ~45k, following parts were sourced and used:
Maxima Racing Fork Oil: moved from a 10w to a 15w to stiffen up the suspension. Changed every 10k since both bikes were taken off road a lot
All Balls steering bearing: tapered steering bearings; changed at 25k
All Balls wheel bearing kits: changed at 25k
EBC Brake Pads: blindly trusted and ceremoniously changed at ~13k F and R
Bonnevilles are easy to play with. One can change and swap parts, customize it with an endless plethora of accessories and basically make it do what you want. I’ve swapped pipes between stock, free flows and the scrambler 2 in 1s. Played with the ergos, messed around and basically had a world of fun on these machines. Unlike its dainty classic façade, these machines can do ANYTHING. They’ve never failed me and have remained sturdy steeds. I guess the part Bawa in me has helped keep them in enviable condition and ready to roll when the dust comes a calling. But time must be spent working off saddle as much as on them. Whether it be chrome, plastic, carbon or good ol’ metal, investing in good quality maintenance is akin to a happy garage. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a grumpy, demanding garage boss shuttling you through each maintenance schedule.
I guess what I’m signing off with is, that this chhotu is content living with grease shade nail-polish, petrol fumes and stained overalls!!
About the Author:- Prianca
This late breaker into motorcycling is a medical professional by day and a greedy learner otherwise. Everything on 2 wheels not only catches her eye but invites a barage of questions and discussions. Most importantly, Prianca looks for trouble and absolutely enjoys it whilst being mudfaced.