5 Must-do routine checks after your motorcycle braves a flood

Ignoring these will cost you
by Aris Ilagan | Aug 3, 2018


You’re grateful that lady luck was on your side.

You must be feeling so relieved after enduring gutter-deep floods on your way home from the office, and all you want to do is rest. Soaked after riding through a heavy downpour and wading through floodwaters, you now deserve a cup of hot coffee and a warm, relaxing bath before you rush to your bedroom and succumb to a coma-like sleep. Tomorrow you live another day.

Many riders think that after experiencing an ordeal like this, their task is over and they can just ride to their next destination as if nothing happened. This is when another disaster is waiting to unfold. Before kicking up the stand, it’s important that the rider first inspects the motorcycle parts that were submerged in the flood before firing up the engine.

When left unchecked, there are parts of a motorbike that can cause engine, brake, or electrical problems if they were soaked or submerged. Even worse, these problems might also endanger the life of the rider when parts malfunction.

Do not think that your problems are over simply because the spark plugs did not conk out. Your bike might have survived today, but tomorrow it might begin to show symptoms of impending trouble. Avoid headaches by considering these five maintenance-routine checks for your motorbike after being exposed to floodwater. However, please note that before you start with the routine check, it makes sense to wash the motorcycle first to make it easier to spot the debris on it and the damage it got from the flood.

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1) Tire care

When riding in a flood, we can assume that the rider cannot see what’s on the road surface. Having a passive attitude, a rider will likely assume that his bike is still in perfect shape the next day. But there is always a chance that a nail or a tiny piece of broken glass is embedded on the tire's contact patch.

By not removing these sharp objects, the rider faces the risk of having a flat tire as he piles on more kilometers. Use long-nose pliers to pluck them out. And then check if there’s air coming out from where the sharp objects were embedded to determine if the tire needs to be repaired in a vulcanizing shop.

2) Lubrication helps

If the clutch and brakes are cable operated, it is also important to check if there’s corrosion on the cable strands. Poorly lubricated brake and clutch cables are more susceptible to rust. A rusty cable results to heavier pull on the brake and clutch levers.

3) Rusty attitude

If you think that the motorbike’s chain won’t break because it’s made of metal, you’re wrong. We have witnessed snapped motorcycle chains due to corrosion and poor maintenance. Rust also hampers the flexibility of the chain link, and that may affect its rotation on the sprockets. So, it’s important to lubricate it with a chain wax or oil after being submerged in floodwater.

4) Untangle the towel

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With all sorts of debris left floating on floodwaters, it’s not a remote possibility that a rope, plastic bag, a piece of towel or a strand of wire can get entangled on the front or rear axle of your motorbike. If this happens, these objects can adversely affect the rotation of the wheels. Trust your instincts and bend over. You might find a piece of clothing snagged on the axle. Removing it right away will surely save your day.

5) Saving sensors

If you own a high-end bike that has all the advanced technological features like ABS, cornering ABS, traction control, riding modes, electronically adjustable suspension, and the like. Think not only two times, but several times over, before you ride your stallion through the flood.

Keep in mind that not all motorbikes are ‘waterproof,’ meaning that its sensors were sealed tight against exposure to liquid. In case the situation forces you through to ride through a flooded area, don’t ignore the warning lights on the instrument panel, because your bike is already crying for a quick checkup at the dealership.

Remember the old adage: Prevention is always better than cure. You don’t want to ruin your day by ending up pushing your bike to a service shop several kilometers away after it stalled along the road this rainy season.

Take care of your motorbike and it will take care of you.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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