Whether you’re doing something as easy as changing your air filter or something as complex as doing an engine overhaul, there are a couple of things you could do to increase productivity in your workshop area. These tips could save you from mild annoyance – and in some cases, could even save your life.
Prefer to get this information in podcast form? Listen to the 30 Minute Motorcycling Podcast episode about the 6 good motorcycle workshop habits:
Tip #1: Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
In case it wasn’t already obvious, let me state it again – you’re going to come into contact with flammable chemicals like petroleum and engine oil. Therefore, a fire extinguisher is worth having around. If a fire should break out, you’re more than prepared to handle it. Of course, that’s assuming that you know where it is – in a fire, there’s no time to “look for the extinguisher.” And on a final note – you should also enforce a strict “no smoking” policy in your workshop.
In a mechanical brake system, there’s no liquid whatsoever.
Instead, power is delivered through a metal cable that tensions as you squeeze the brake lever - similar to how many motorcycle clutches work.
Although not so much on modern motorcycles, these brakes are highly common on bicycles and e-bikes.
Tip #2: Have a First Aid Kit Nearby
Hopefully, nothing will happen to you while you work but have a first aid kit within reach if it does. And similar to the fire extinguisher, remember that if you should scrape your knees or cut yourself, there’s no time to look for the first aid kit.
Tip #3: Keep a Tidy Workspace
If you scatter tools, screws, nuts, and bolts all over the place, it’s only a question of time before you or someone else trips on one of them. Not only that, but time spent looking for missing tools is time wasted. Therefore, keep your tools organized and put them back in the toolbox or tool chest whenever you’re not using them.
But that’s not all…In addition to keeping your workspace tidy, you also want to allow plenty of space around your workspace – i.e., that space you work in. Don’t make a job needlessly tricky because you’ve put yourself in a place where you have little to no arm and/or leg movement. Bottom line – get rid of the clutter and give yourself a wide-open space.
Tip #4: ALWAYS Unplug Batteries When You Work On Them
Many motorcycle batteries are lead-acid, which, as the name suggests, contains acid – something which froths your skin away if you come into contact with it. And let’s not forget about the risk of an electrical shock. Therefore, make sure you unplug the battery before you start working on it.
If you’d like to know more about disconnecting a motorcycle or scooter battery properly, check out the blog post on the Dual Wheel Journey.
Tip #5: Always Wear Eye Protection When Working with Batteries, Drills, or Grinders
I can’t stress the “always” part of this tip enough – whether you’re working on batteries or using any kind of drill or grinding tool, remember to ALWAYS wear eye protection. And it’s not hard to see why – drills and grinders throw sparks and debris all over the place – neither of which is something you’ll want to get in your eyes. And for batteries, remember the acid? If you thought it was unpleasant to get on your hand, getting it in your eyes is 10 times worse. So, I’ll say it again – remember to ALWAYS wear eye protection if you’re working with batteries or using drills or grinding tools.
Tip #6: Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Finish a Task
I saved arguably the most crucial workshop tip for last – always give yourself plenty of time to finish every mechanical job you start. It doesn’t matter if you’re changing your oil or balancing your tires – don’t rush through it. If you rush through a job, the end results could be catastrophic. Just imagine what could happen if your front or rear wheel comes loose while you’re riding – simply because you didn’t tighten that bolt properly.