I will be crossing America (LA-NYC) with a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 and I am curious to know if I must abide by the periodic mainteneance chart 100%. i.e : I will be doing about 4000 miles so should I lube the chain every 600 miles? Even if I dont ride when its wet? Other things as well such as changing the oil every 2-3000 miles, adjusting chain slack, changing/cleaning the air filter, adjusting clutch? I am a beginner so I really must know how to maintan her so she rides through all those 4000 miles. I usually have it serviced so I only have a manual as a reference on how to take care of the bike. I bought the bike 4 months ago with 8000 miles on it and its in great shape ,currently 10 0000miles on it. And I also wonder if she might need a new chain before I go on the trip or during the trip due to the fact that I am an idiot who did not clean or lube the chain for just over 2000 miles...(sunny weather but still). How often does a chain need to be replaced? Anyway, this question isnt just about chains but any advice I can get for this trip will be greatly appreciated. And I am wondering.... will I breakdown at least once during this trip? ...hmmmm... Thanks for any help!
Make sure you got a new set of tires, check all your PM stuff before you leave. Make sure your bags are secure, and enjoy the ride... I did Northeast ohio to Vermont and back one week in the end of september of '09. I did it on a 2001 CBR 1100... Make sure you have some cash on you for gas, as your credit card company will likely put a hold on your card for travelling at some point, and until they can call to confirm the charges are valid, your card will be no good. check all your fluids and stuff when you get back home. If your bike is fairly modern, and you have done your proper preventative maintenence, your bike should NOT break down... That was the ONLY thing i did not worry about 1 iota was the reliability of my bike. Getting lost worried me, getting stranded in the desert if i ran out of fuel worried me, my bike's reliability was one thing i could always count on.
You should be able to find 'Genuine Kawasaki' service at the appropriate intervals all the way across, if that's what you want to do. That said, you really should be able to lube and adjust your own chain. It is as much part of owning a chain driven bike as filling gas. There is lots of information on the internet on how to do this properly, and you CAN learn to do so. I lube my chain at least every 500 miles with a Teflon product. I keep the chain adjusted, and expect over 20,000 miles out of a set. I would start this trip with a fresh chain, sprockets and tires. If you want, you could have tires changed most anyplace on the way, though it might cost you a day or two.
PUT NEW CHAINS & SPROCKETS ON THE BIKE.. & get it serviced before you go.. if you lube the chain every morning before you start off... will last 5 times longer ...you can do 1000 MILES in a day... but shouldn't need to re-lube the bike chain until the next morning.. new chains should be re-tensioned after the first 1000 miles... but other than that you shouldn't need to do any work on the bike whilst on your trip... just lube the chain & check fluids first thing every day & it will be fine..
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