Look after your bike and it will look after you. Here are ten top tweaks, from the Castrol-backed San Carlo Honda Gresini MotoGP team:
1. Clean your bike: a clean bike is a safe one. Do you ever see a dirty MotoGP bike? No. And there’s a reason, getting up-close and personal with a rag can tell you a lot. When you clean your road bike you’ll be able to see if the chain needs adjusting, if the brake pads need changing or if your oil level is a little low.
2. Replace or upgrade the suspension parts: some sport bikes have a hard life, so it makes sense to upgrade your suspension to suit you. Consider having the forks and shock stripped, serviced and re-valved. Castrol has a range of synthetic and mineral fork oils which can help rejuvenate tired and soggy forks.
3. Strip and clean your brake calipers: another often overlooked job. Continuous use of brakes leaves brake dust as well as road grime and grit in your brakes. At least once a year you should remove your calipers, strip and clean them. Also regularly change your brake fluid using Castrol Motorcycle Brake Fluid.
4. Use Castrol Power RS Racing 4T oil in your motorcycle: Castrol Power RS Racing 4T is a full synthetic four-stroke engine oil for high-performance sport bikes. Its race-derived technology comes directly from Castrol’s experience with teams like San Carlo Honda Gresini, ensuring optimum engine performance and increased acceleration.
5. Install a Power Commander: either on its own or with an exhaust or end-can, this electronic device works with your engine’s ECU and alters fueling, smoothing out the power curve, giving the best overall performance and fuel economy for your bike.*
6. Check your tire pressures DAILY. This is the one, biggest thing that affects the handling of your bike. So check your handbook and the tire manufacturer’s recommendations and stick to them.
7. Adjust your chain: your chain is vital to how power is transmitted to the road. Too slack and it will jump, too tight and it could snap. Incorrectly adjusted chains can also speed up sprocket wear.
8. Upgrade your tires: there are many different types of tires out there for your bike. On a sports machine like a CBR600RR it can help to match the tires to your riding style. Honda Gresini run Bridgestones in MotoGP. If you’re a track-day addict then Bridgestone’s Battlax BT002 Racing Street is a good compromise between track grip and road usability. If your bike never leaves the road then Bridgestone’s Battlax BT016 is better suited.
9. Fit an aftermarket silencer on your bike: motorcycles are built to a standard and also to fit the various emission and sound laws of the country they’re intended for. So, fitting a freer-breathing end-can or full exhaust system will not only liberate a few more horsepower but can also help to cancel out any dips in the power curve.*
10. Make sure your bike fits you: bikes are made to fit a wide-range of people. Which is why adjusting yours to fit you is vital. Most machines have adjustable levers and some even have different seat positions and foot-pegs so spend ten minutes adjusting yours. You can even go further by putting new footpegs on your bike, new bars or a new screen.*
* Always consult your insurer before making any modifications to your bike