All motorcycles consist of a few essential bike parts. Once you understand the assembly, it’ll be much easier to troubleshoot, upgrade, and consider new purchases. Gaining an overview of the basics is always beneficial, clearing away much of the confusion that often leads to problems. Here’s a complete overview of most motorcycle products you’ll find, as well as the answers to all your pressure questions.
Overview of Motorcycle Parts
Here’s a breakdown of the fundamental bike parts and what each does in your motorcycle.
A motorcycle battery is smaller than a car battery. It supplies the power needed to start your motorbike and sustain it running. Basic bike batteries are 12-volt and are ultimately six cells encased in a plastic housing. Within each of the battery cells, there is a very mild solution of sulphuric acid surrounding a pair of square plates. These are either coated with sponge lead on the negative end and lead dioxide on the positive end. The plates themselves are typically made from calcium, lead, or lead-antimony.
Depending on your bike, your brakes will either be drum or disc brakes. You can expect to find disc brakes in professional riding and on larger bikes. They give stopping power that is far superior to drum brakes and also perform better in wet weather. Older or inexpensive bikes built for affordability typically have drum brakes. The most expensive bikes available at the upper end of the scale (500CC and above) can come with an antilock braking system (ABS) to prevent skidding and slipping.
Your bike’s carburetor combines air and fuel, allowing combustion to occur inside the engine. A carburetor consists of a metal alloy, with chambers, valves, and connectors. Carbs are classified according to how it allows air to flow and its mounting position. Almost every single motorcycle carburetor is a side draft unit made up of a detachable bowl with a needle held by a slide or throttle disc. Some carbs also have a choke flap.
A clutch is a mechanical coupling that allows the rotational energy of your bike to engage and disengage. When this happens, the engine is temporarily isolated from the rest of the components of your driveline. With the clutch lever pulled, your bike’s engine can spin with the transmission unmoving, whereby both spin together when it ‘sits out. Most bikes use a cable or hydraulic system to operate the clutch. As you pull the clutch, coil springs within clutch compress and the stacked clutch plates are then independently mobile of each other. There are two necessary stacks of clutch plates. One type uses splines to connect to the crankshaft while the other attaches via an outer basket to your transmission’s input shaft.
Your chain connects your transmission to the rear wheel of your bike. This, in turn, converts power from your engine into direct motion. In certain configurations, a belt can take the place of a chain.
A motorcycle’s chassis comprises out of the frame, suspension and front fork. It is the mainframe that supports the rest of your bike’s parts.
The drivetrain is made up of multiple parts. It consists of an engine, the carb or fuel injector, transmission, clutch & shift lever, and the chain. Combined, these parts make up the drivetrain and supply power to your bike.
A motorcycle engine has a head that is very similar to a car engine. Within the head, there is a valve train and a block filled with between one and six cylinders and pistons. Depending on the design of your engine, its cylinders are either arranged in a parallel array or a V-shape. Four-cylinder motors are most familiar to the average bike. All motorcycle motors convert reciprocating motion from their pistons into rotary motion powering your bike and turning its wheels.
The air filter of your bike has multiple layers to filter out dust and other foreign particles. It stops their unwanted materials from entering the engine. Air filters are relatively inexpensive to replace.
An oil filter prevents waste and foreign debris from entering the oil supply of your bike. This accordion-like filter typically has a plastic cover and is replaceable at a relatively low cost.
A radiator cools the internal combustion engine of your bike. It typically requires engine coolant. Not all bikes need a radiator. Air-cooled bikes don’t have a radiator as the power of the bike is low enough for the engine to remain at a safe temperature without dedicated cooling. Oil cooled radiators are in use by many mid-power bikes, while liquid-cooled radiators are generally found on bigger bikes.
Master cylinders convert the force that’s generated as your press your brake pedal into hydraulic pressure upon your brake calipers. Efficient braking relies upon a fully functional master cylinder. It guarantees that you have got the right pressure concerning the rest of your braking components and other factors like the weight of your vehicle.
Dirt Bike Products
Several parts will be specific to dirt bike users. Heat shields are available for your exhaust, lowering the risk of burning yourself while negotiating corners and navigating uneven terrain. Bash plates protect the undercarriage of your bike, preventing severe damage from occurring should you strike a rock or other large object. Skid plates are another similar option. Pivot levers are highly recommended as they won’t snap or distort when impacting the ground.
Commonly Asked Questions About Motorcycle Parts
Here are a few commonly asked questions that normally arise for new bike owners. At some point, this insight will help you get the most from your bike without any hassles.
What causes a leaky radiator hose?
A leaky radiator hose can arise from several causes. All hoses will eventually degrade over time. Standard wear and tear is usually the fault. Small cracks and abrasions grow larger over time, allowing coolant to leak out. Be on the lookout for kinks in your hoses. They weaken your hoses early, thanks to the increased constant pressure. Another commonly occurring issue is too little clamp torque due to damage connectors. Replacing the clamp is simple enough solving the problem.
There aren’t usually any other cracks when there is a clamp at fault. Specific hoses are susceptible to electrochemical discharge resulting from the coolant itself. If your hose has developed soft ends to your hoses around the clamp area, then you’ll probably have to replace the hose. A common issue that damages radiator hoses most frequent is engine heat resulting from coolant levels that are too low. None of your components should touch each other, so check that your hoses don’t rub against any part of the engine. It’s a sure-fire way to mess up your radiator hoses.
How much pressure does a master cylinder make?
Every bike has a different maximum pressure from the master cylinder. When you’ve got the right master cylinder in place, it’ll be easy to reach the right pedal pressure ratio. You’re looking to reach a pedal ratio great enough to create 1200 PSI of pressure even under severe braking conditions. The minimum pressure is reaching 1000 PSI quickly.
Is the heat shield on an exhaust necessary?
A heat shield is not essential, but it is highly recommended. The excess heat not only poses a burn-risk, but it also wears down all the nearby components of your bike much quicker. Heat shields also add a great customizable aesthetic, often making all the difference between a stylish personalized bike and a factory-standard ride.
Does my bike need both number plates?
Front number plates are entirely optional, but back number plates ‘aren’t. Number plates for bikes always need to be displayed across two lines, but if you go to any reputable outlet, this won’t ever be a concern.
Is fitting a pipe guard supposed to be difficult?
A pipe guard can be tricky to fit, especially if you’ve opted for a cheaper universal design. At times the savings in price can result in a pipe guard that is almost impossible to fit even when you use a propane torch and hammer. Ultimately, even a good pipe guard can be difficult to fit.