In our last article, we briefly discussed the primaries of setting up your own motorcycle. While levers, suspensions and handlebars do play an important role in comfort as well as the quality of your ride, the job is only halfway done.
While most riders might think that cable slack is a stated measurement in most service manuals, there is a reason why they are adjustable. Personally, I would prefer no free play in my throttle cables. You can normally see me adjust the cables back to the factory-recommended free play, as it doesn’t do much to affect the feel.
On the contrary, excess slop can – and will – manifest itself a jerky throttle. However, a little slack must be left. Let’s face it, an unintended throttle is detrimental to bikes as well as riders.
While many bikes do not have the luxury of an adjustable brake pedal, most of the bikes are likely to have splined shift lever and shaft. The levers should be adjusted so your foot can sit naturally while shifting gears. Surprisingly, this is one of the most neglected adjustment. To understand the importance of adjusting your foot pedals, imagine the hindrance that too-tall boots can make while shifting.
In my motorcycle, I have marked the original orientation with a permanent marker so I can “come back” to a setting that works, just like we mentioned with handlebars in the previous article. It’s easier than trying to “reclock” by one tooth at a time because remembering which teeth you had matched up is nearly impossible after you pull the shift lever completely off the shift shaft
Yes, ancillaries are important too. The effects of adjusting the seat by a few millimetres can evidently reflect on your riding. Most of the bikes today come with the option of adjustable seats. Hence, along with the aforementioned tweaks, make sure you make the necessary changes in your seats as well.
Just as the seat, you might not realise the importance of that front windscreen unless you touch 150kph or more. Most of these are adjustable, some are powered, and some are manually adjusted. Some can be tweaked on the fly, others require the rider to stop before adjusting anything on the bike. These items are adjustable so they will fit you.