One of the most important and basic parts of bike maintainance is the proper cleaning of your TM Racing machine.
Off-Road machines are subjected to some of the worst conditions possible as far as the care of mechanical components go and although your TM Racing machine is designed to withstand these vigours you can help prolong the life of your machines components by cleaning your TM Racing machine thoroughly using TM UK's guide to Pre-wash, wash and post-wash care which can be found on this section of the site.
Proper cleaning and preparation ensures your TM Racing machine stay looking its best, performs at it's best and keeps your maintainance costs lower by increasing component life. A clean machine is also much easier to work on and any problems that may be rearing can be identified and rectified much sooner if you can see them occuring.
Please look after your TM Racing machine correctly, please click on the following link to go to the TM UK User Advice section on cleaning your TM Racing machine...
CHECK visually over of your freshly cleaned TM Racing machine, this will give you chance to easily identify any damaged components or possible issues that may lead to problems ahead, any damage components or issues should be rectified immediately. For any parts you may require for your TM Racing machine please contact your TM dealer, it may be useful for you to know any part codes or descriptions to help with your order, please click on the following link to see the technical section which contains parts manuals, user manuals and set-up advice on all models manufactured in the last 10 years.
CHECK all of the control levers are functioning correctly, check the throttle operation at all steering angles to be certain that the throttle cable has not been trapped when re-fitting the fuel tank.
CHECK the front and rear brake systems for correct operation and inspect the brake pads for wear and the brake discs for any damage or misalignment, check the hydraulic hoses for any signs of damage or possible leakage and check the hose fixing bolts (banjo bolts) for tightness, check the caliper mounting bolts are tight and the condition of the control levers and pivot points, repair as required and do not attempt to ride the machine until the repairs are completed.
CHECK that you have fitted a clean and freshly oiled air filter and that you have drained and cleaned the carburettor, replaced it correctly and have tightened the fastenings.
CHECK the coolant levels, the radiators for leaks and all of the hose connections for the cooling system, if any coolant losses are noted try to find out why this has occured, is there a leak in the system?, is the machine running excessively hot ?, has the radiator cap been disturbed losing coolant from the filler neck ?. Finding the answer to these questions now could save futher problems later on and ensure the correct operating temperatures of you TM Racing machine are maintained correctly.
CHECK the tightness of all plastics and seat fastenings, engine mounting bolts, wheels spindles, swinging arm spindle and suspension linkage components, triple clamp bolts and steering stem nuts, handlebar mountings and control lever fixings, all ancillery components fixings, exhaust system mountings and do not forget to replace your exhaust packing regularly, not only to reduce noise but also to aid performance and allow your TM Racing machine to work as it was intended.
CHECK the tyres for wear and for any damage to the carcass, check the bead of the tyre is fully seated onto the rim and that the pressures are correct for your application. Remedy or replace any defective parts immediately and do not attempt to ride the machine until the rectifications have taken place.
CHECK the wheel rims for visible damage and the spokes for tightness, replace any damaged spokes immediately, check the wheels bearings for any excessive 'play' and replace immediately if worn, also check the fastenings for the brake discs and sprocket retaining bolts. Replace any defective parts immediately before commencing the next ride of your TM Racing motorcycle.
CHECK the chain and sprocket for excessive wear, any sprockets worn to the point of looking 'hooked' should be replaced immediately. It is advised that the chain and sprockets be replaced together, the replacing of individual components (new with old) will only shorten their serviceable life as wear 'patterns' are transferred.
CHECK the condition of the footrests, their return springs and the fixing pins and fastenersAny defective parts must be replaced immediately.
CHECK that your TM Racing machine is has been filled with fresh Super-Unleaded 98 octane fuel. As with any machine that runs a 'vented' fuel system fuel deterioration will occur if the machine is left standing for any period, the effective 'burn' capabilites of the fuel will be reduced and this can lead to poor starting, bad engine running, poor performance and possibly engine component damage in the form detonation (pinking). On 2- stroke engine powered machines some premix oils also have a tendency to 'separate' from the fuel, ensure that any fuel is well mixed (shaken) to agitiate and re-distribute the premix oil, poor lubrication will shorten engine component life and could lead to engine damage.
CHECK the oils levels on 4-stroke machines prior to starting, once the engine has been run and has come up to working temperature re-check the levels as per the user guide.
CHECK the operation of the engine and that it is running correctly, avoid high rpm's on any machine whilst it is sat on the stand with no load on the engine, if you can hear any adverse noises, feel excessive vibrations, the machine seems to be running hot, etc these should be investigated, if a fault is suspected the machine should be examined and repaired immediately before further damage occurs.
NOTE: For 4-Stroke machines featuring and electrical starter device it is advised that when starting the engine from cold the manual kickstarter be used to lessen the stresses on the starter system and battery, a cold (tight) engine will take more power to turn over than a warm engine and increase the demands on the starter motor and its power supply. It is also advised that a 'intelligent' battery charger that monitors, conditions and charges your battery be purchased, a feature of these charging systems is a connector system that can be permantly fixed to the battery of your TM Racing motorcycle allowing a quick and easy hook-up to the charger unit without the need to remove the seat. This type of charger will ensure your battery gives you the longest serviceable life and will also tell you if your battery is not holding its 'charge' correctly and is likely to fail, a very valuable tool for the competition motorcyclist.
Battery designation - Yuasa YTX7L-BS.
During a busy race day schedule the actual aspect of simple bike maintainance can be overlooked and the machine can be neglected aside from being filled with fuel between races, this should not be the case and time must be made for simple routine pre and/or post race examinations of your TM Racing machine. The correct procedures that should be adhered are identical to the 'Pre-Race Maintainance Schedule' listed above and most of these checks should be carried out almost immediately after the completion of the race and/or after washing the machine. There is no excuse for poor machine care and with a little time you can find your own unique routine which will allow you to check, condition and service all the areas of your machine covered in the maintainance schedule listed above between races with the minimum of fuss and use of time.
It is advised that you keep to the maintainance schedule of the machine components that require periodic maintainance, especially on chassis components that require cleaning, re-greasing or on serviceble items that will require replacing.
Steering head bearings will require inspection, cleaning and re-greasing, and damage or worn components must be changed.
Bearings and pivot bushes for the swinging arm and suspension linkage components will require strip down and inspection, paying special attention to the needle roller type bearings and the the working surfaces of the pivot bushings. Serviceable bearings can be cleaned and re-greased whereas any damaged or worn bearings must be replaced, likewise the surfaces of the pivot bushings should be smooth, clean and unmarked, any oxidixation or pitting on the these working faces indicate wear, any bushings showing these signs of wear should be replaced.
TM Racing use an O'ring sealing system on the swinging arm and suspension linkage components that is far more reliable than the conventional 'lipped' seal design which can be 'opened' during pressure washing, in some cases allowing more dirt and moisture to penetrate the bearing surfaces. However, even with this more resilliant sealing system the demands placed on an off road machine will eventually and inevitably see dirt ingress occuring, left unmaintained this dirt ingress will decrease the life span of these components.
Brake and clutch fluids should be changed as per the maintainance schedule, in Motocross, or with heavy clutch use applications, it is advised that the clutch fluid be changed more often and the clutch 'slave cylinder' hydraulic O'ring be changed more frequently too, the O'rings are easily replaced and are cheap to purchase. It is also advisable to replace the clutch master cylinder hydraulic piston assembly during the racing season, any seals working in the off-road enviroment are more likely to become damaged from dirt and debris and this factor should be accounted for in your maintainance routines.
Clutch assemblies should be checked regularly, especially for competiton use where the clutch is used more frequently under load and for high rpm standing starts.
Both the clutch fibre and steels plates should be checked for wear and for any abnormalaties, discolouration of the steels plates, indicating a heat build up, will mean that the plates require changing, excessive heat transfer can lead to distortion of the plates causing further clutch 'drag', excessive heat can also temper the steel plates limiting their ability to grip the fibre plate reducing clutch 'hook-up', this again leads to heat build up and only increases material stresses further.
Wheel bearings, dust seals and general wheel condition should be checked prior to every ride to ascertain they are in good, working and safe condition. Periodic maintaince of the wheel bearings is essential, a broken wheel bearing could not only lead to damage to other components such as the wheel hub, wheel spindles, brake discs, sprockets and more, but could also lead to complete wheel failure and injury, replace any defective parts immediately.
Fork seals and oil replacement is something that is often overlooked, a 'leaky' fork seal that has suddenly stopped leaking has more than likely not 'fixed itself', it has however allowed ALL of the oil to escape from the fork leg and is now empty. During routing bike cleaning the outer 'dust-seals' of the forks can be removed allowing access to the main oil seal area, this will allow you to clean and remove any particles of dirt or sand that have entered between the two seals to be removed incresing main fork oil seal life. A fork seal that is continously 'weeping' must be replaced as the sealing 'lip' of the component is obviously damaged.
The oil in the fork legs is also under continous working pressure and should be treated as a regular serviceable item, the properties of the oil and its working abilities will deteriorate over time leading to poor suspension performance, it is advised that the oil should be changed more frequently for a machine being used for off-road competition use.
Chain rollers, chain guide and chain sliders shoulde be replaced as and when required, a chain guide or chain slipper that is excessively worn could allow the chain to contact the metal surfaces of the machine, this will not only cause damage to the machine components but could also increase chain wear to the point of failure, a broken chain 'whipping' thorugh the air can cause serious damage to the machine and injury to the operator.
TM UK - 01249 715523