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ABR’s resident expert of all things two-wheeled answers your questions

Question

Hi Dave,

I’m looking to do some big trips with the wife on our CRF250s. One problem we are worried about is our lack of knowledge of how to fix these bikes if they go wrong (i.e. punctures, breakdowns, troubleshooting, adjusting chains etc.), as there might not be an AA man on the next corner. We have tried to find a course on basic stuff without success.

Can you help please?

Roy / Maxine

Answer

Hi, and thanks for the question. You’ve made a good choice of bike for your trips, as Honda knows how to build a good, reliable bike and this model is rider-friendly and very popular. The first thing that comes to mind is a workshop manual, either an official one or a Haynes version.

Read and digest it while sitting next to the bike, as that way you can see the parts you’re reading about. The manual will give you an idea of which toolkit you will need to carry to accomplish the servicing tasks.

Now you’ve absorbed the manual, carry out the simple servicing tasks in the comfort of your own workshop. If anything goes wrong you’ll be in the best place to put it right. Get on the internet and search for motorcycle maintenance workshops in your area. These are generally run at local colleges and can be really helpful. Also, it’s a good way of meeting like-minded people.

As the CRF is a very popular bike, internet forums are a fountain of knowledge, so check out owners forums or alternatively, our very own Adventure Bike Rider forum (www.adventurebikerider.com/forum), as members are only too willing to help out a fellow rider. There may even be a member with the same bike local to you who can give some help for the price of a pint.

Now, roadside punctures… I’ve left this one to last, as it’s the one task that can give the most grief.

Prevention is the best cure, and there are several puncture sealants on the market that can be added to your tyres. These can be very effective, but make a holy mess inside if the puncture is too severe. Aerosol cans that inject a sealant and inflate the tyre can also be effective and easily carried.

My advice is to get a wheel out at home and practice changing a tyre or tube in your shed. Practice really does help and will give you the confidence to tackle a roadside puncture. I hope this helps you enjoy the trips you have planned; keep in touch and take lots of pics.

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