Just thinking about some of the things we should all do before taking our bikes out for a long ride, especially if you're going to be riding with us this weekend. One troublesome bike can really complicate or cancel a group ride and that would be unfair to the group if you could have or should have done some preventative maintenance before you left home. We will certainly try to help you repair whatever minor problems you are having with your bike at the meet, but, can't replace tires, brakes, wiring systems (unless minor) because we just don't have parts and the tools necessary to do these big jobs, not to mention the time involved. We usually do carb synching if someone has a synchronizer and we try to fix many small issues because it's fun to help out folks who are just learning about their bikes. Following is a list of things you can do to check your bike over before hitting the highway.
First and foremost check your tires carefully looking for wear, cuts, dry rot and foreign objects in your tires. If your tires are worn out or seriously damaged then maybe you should reschedule taking a trip with your bike until you have new tires installed. Check the air pressure, 36 - 40 in front and up to 41 psi in the rear tire., depends on your loaded weight and desired comfort. Softer tires use more fuel and lessen handling quality while firm means a stiffer ride and better handling, but, better gas mileage.
Check your battery connections, make sure they are clean and tight. Have you got spare fuses? Do all your lights work?
Are the 3 master cylinders clean and full of DOT4 brake fluid. If the fluid is black then it's time for a flush and bleed. Also, check the front and rear of each brake pad to make certain that there is enough brake material to get you through the trip and back home safely. If any part of the pad is less than 1/8" material then maybe it's time to replace them. It's very important to check both front and back sides of the pads because if a piston is sticking it can cause the pad to wear uneven giving you a false good reading if you only check the side with low wear showing. This happened to me at a meet a few years ago and that's how I know, so check both sides.
Also, do a careful walk around your bike looking and feeling things to determine if everything is tight and in proper working order. A looose peg, or a dry brake pivot arm can really cause annoying problems if you don't tend to them at home and a peg falls off while you're riding or the rear brake arm is seizing and causing the brake lights to stay on all the time. A little shot of lube all moving parts such as levers and pivots will go a long way toward giving you a reliable bike to ride. Many times I hear squeaky brake and clutch levers and a simple drop of oil fixes the problem and helps the parts last longer.
Make sure you have the correct amount and type of coolant in the engine and change your oil and filter if it hasn't been done recently and don't forget to check the final drive oil level.
I know you folks love your GL1200's so much that you would not overlook routine maintenance items as I have mentioned above, but, just in case anyone figured GL1200's never need any maintenance then I hope this list helps you learn that all machines require routine maintenance.
See you guys at Judy and Lorne's place this weekend and I am looking forward to great, fun filled weekend that is destined to be a fantastic meet. Have a great time getting there.
If you don't know about the meet then here is the link: http://gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=10804