Sunday, 19 May 2013

Mommy! My bike had a boo boo!

So, your bike's running along working fine and zipping through the streets. The wind's in your hair, your nose is filled with the beautiful smell of the BMC dump-truck next to you and a pothole just turned one of your vertebrae into rice crispies.

This is the everyday scenario of a city-slicking-biker. Many people have faced one little problem of their bike suddenly conking off at some point or the other. A problem that will be a road-side mechanic's wet dream on account of the soon to arrive monsoons (pun intended). So here's are the two most common issues bikes face. You may not know how to fix it or have the tools for it, but a little knowledge goes a long way.


My bike suddenly stopped working and none of my electrical parts work.
Possible diagnosis= A fuse gone bad. See if your neutral light, headlight indicator etc are working on the display if they aren’t/come on and off, this could be the cause.
> Make sure your ignition is SWITCHED OFF!
> Open up your panel to reveal the battery box.
> Inspect your fuse and see which one is broken. It's a little hard to understand since it's small, but you can spot it.

 >If the fuse has snapped, replace it, you will have at least one spare fuse along with the one in use.
> Make sure the rubber padding on the positive and negative points are fit properly i.e. covering the battery points.
> Don’t put the panel on just yet. See if the electrics work and if the bike starts.
> If it does, great! You just fixed your ride. Pat yourself on the back and ride safe. Get a mechanic to have a look at it later just to be sure.
> If it doesn’t, remove the fuse, put the points you placed the fuse in together like you did with the fuse and ride to the closest mechanic.

Note: Let your first solution always be a mechanic. Fix it yourself only if you’re sure how to or if help is too far away.


My bike is coughing, choking not responding properly to the accelerator.
Possible diagnosis=

1. Water in the fuel tank
> Remove fuel from fuel line into an empty dry bottle.
> The petrol will float on top of water owing to its lower density.
> Put in fresh fuel.
> Start the bike and crank it a few times to remove what water is left until the bike responds normally

2. Carburetor gone bad.
> Get to a mechanic. This could be for a variety of reasons. Your jet may not be working properly, you could have a fuel overflow etc. Don’t do anything yourself unless you’re trained for it or have to get to your girlfriend who’s finally in the mood for some role playing.

3. Fuel line off.
> Stupid as it may seem, people often forget to switch on their fuel line. If your bike chokes, it’s because it isn’t getting the fuel it needs. So always make sure you’ve switched it on before running to a mechanic or trying some black magic yourself.

Note: This is applicable only for carbureted vehicles. Fuel injectors are governed by ECUs and require professional work.

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