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How to prepare your motorcycle for hot Philippine weather

Feeling the summer heat? Here’s what you can do to make sure your motorcycle doesn’t.

Triumph Tiger on Beach Sand

Riding a motorcycle in the Philippines can sometimes be like taking a two-wheeler through a big oven—it can get very hot. With ambient temperatures north of 33 degrees celsius for many months of the year, preparing for a ride can often feel a bit daunting. Apart from having to regulate one’s own health and energy during the heat, having to worry about your motorcycle’s health can also be a bit anxiety-inducing. Is the engine overheating? Is my engine oil too hot? Why is my radiator fan perpetually on?

If you’re worried about having to commute and ride through hot weather, giving yourself fewer things to worry about can be a big help for your daily rides. If you’ve got a bit of time to spare, there certainly are a few things you can do to reduce a bit of ride anxiety. This is how you can prepare your motorcycle for rides through hot local weather.

Engine cleaning

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Radiator and Engine

Think about the last time you conducted a thorough cleaning of the engine and engine components. Chances are, it may have been a while since these components were checked and thoroughly cleaned, if at all. When preparing for hot weather rides, cleaning the engine and accessory components can play a huge role in managing engine temperature. Make sure to inspect and meticulously clean the engine head, block, and crankcase, the coolant radiator or oil coolers, and the radiator fan. Using a soft toothbrush, car shampoo or engine degreaser, and a bit of water can go far when it comes to hot weather preparations.

Replace fluids

KTM 390 Duke Engine

If you’re due for a fluid change in a few hundred more kilometers, choosing to fast-track the process in order to prepare for hot weather will surely do your motorcycle some good. Fresh and high quality engine oil will not deteriorate quickly when engine temperatures get high, allowing for maximum engine protection through hot weather. If your motorcycle has a radiator, replacing your coolant with new and high quality coolant will also do your engine a lot of good when it comes to temperature management. Lastly, make sure to use coolant and engine oil that is within the recommended specification of your manufacturer for best results.

Engine tune up

Honda XR150L Racing Carburetor

Another big contributing factor to engine heat would be your air-fuel mixture. Too much fuel, and your engine will flood and struggle to produce power. Too little, and your engine will ping or knock and create excess heat. Achieving the optimal air-fuel mixture will not just provide you with peak performance, but will also ensure that your engine is within optimal combustion temperatures. This can help prevent engine overheat during even the hottest of days. Owners of carbureted motorcycles can opt for a carburetor tune up to solve this issue, while owners of electronic fuel-injected (EFI) motorcycles can opt for a fuel system and injector cleaning service.

Tire pressure

Shinko E705 and Pirelli Scorpion

Hot weather often means hot pavement—and protecting the only part of your motorcycle meant to touch the ground can do wonders for maximizing tire life on hot pavement. Tires that are too hard can quickly overheat and lose grip from the road, while tires that are too soft will deteriorate and wear out extremely quickly on hot tarmac. If you’re looking to maximize your tire’s tread life, your best course of action would be to keep your tire pressure within the recommended specification of your motorcycle or tire manufacturer, which is usually between 22 to 30 psi for tubed tires, and 29 to 35 psi tubeless tires. Remember to check and adjust your motorcycle’s tire pressure frequently if you’re looking to maximize grip and tread life.

Bonus: Motorcycle inspection

KTM 390 Duke on Paddock Stand

While directly related to hot weather, in particular, our last tip for making your trips a bit smoother on hot days would be to conduct a full inspection on your motorcycle prior to your trip out. Reducing the number of things to worry about during a hot ride will do wonders for your energy and focus during your ride, and a full inspection of your motorcycle parts can easily lead you towards specific parts that may need repair or replacement before your hot ride out. Inspect for wear on the brake pads, fluid levels on your brake reservoirs, tire wear, suspension fluid leaks, engine oil leaks, and more. A full inspection will surely bring your lovable two-wheeled machine some good, whether that’s for your next ride out under the sun or for every succeeding ride afterward.

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