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There are several good reasons why your bike should be perfectly prepped for the Roof. Probably the most important is that a mechanical failure deep in the hills can mean an uncomfortable night in a kraal, and a long walk out. Less importantly, it would be a shame to waste all that training, money, time away from the family etc. because an otherwise insignificant component has let you down.

What follows are some pointers, by no means exhaustive, that may help your bike to survive an extremely tough race. A lot of the work detailed below will be outside the scope of the average weekend warrior, but it will enable that weekend warrior to speak coherently to their mechanic.

2- stroke motors

If the motor has done anything more than about 40 hours on its existing piston, I would recommend that a new piston kit and small-end bearing be fitted. While the top end of the motor is off, check the bottom end for wear and replace the con-rod kit and main bearings if necessary.

A new clutch should be fitted as a matter of course. The reed block must be stripped, and the reeds should be checked minutely. Any fraying of the edges means that the reeds must be replaced. Gear-shift and kick-start bolts should be removed and replaced with a drop of dis-assembly grade locktite. Check sprocket shaft oil seal for weeping and replace if necessary. Fresh oil and a new sparkplug complete the job.

4-stroke motors

Valve clearances should be checked, and if the shim height is approaching the valve wear limit, that valve should be replaced. While the head is off, replace the cam chain. Before removing the head the compression should be tested, and a decision made to leave the piston alone, or to replace piston and rings, or just new rings. Fit a new clutch, oil filters, fresh oil and a new spark plug. Again, the gear-shift and kick-start bolts should be locktited and the sprocket shaft oil seal checked.

Wheels and brakes

Check rims for cracks and replace if necessary. Check spoke tension and replace any broken spokes or seized nipples. Fit new wheel bearings and brake pads and bleed the brakes. If brake fluid is more than one year old it should be replaced. Discs must be straight, and if approaching wear limits, should be replaced. Check sprockets for hooking or missing teeth and replace both sprockets and the chain as a unit if necessary. Brembo brake pin R clips must be lock-wired.

Chassis and suspension

If the suspension has not been serviced for more than six months, it must be serviced, and oil, bushes, and seals replaced. Headstock and linkage bearings must be stripped, cleaned and re-greased if that task has not been done for a year. Heim joints should be checked and replaced if there is any discernable wear. Check radiator hoses and hose clamps, and replace anything that looks dodgy. If your grips are worn, replace them using grip glue and safety wire. Reverse footpeg pins so that the split pin is at the top and cannot be damaged by rocks. Fit lift straps to the front and rear of the bike.  The grap strap can be purchased from us (Enduro World) for R100. each.

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Electrics

Ensure that wires emerging from the ignition cover are not frayed. Unclip every connector, clean any corrosion off the terminals, and before re-assembly, spray the inside with an electrical component specific silicone, like Q8. On KTM two strokes, the connector between the voltage regulator and the main wiring harness should be removed entirely, and replaced with soldered links, as this connector is susceptible to failure.

Fan switch wires should be soldered and protected with heat shrink. Bare wires twisted together and wrapped with insulation tape have no place on a race bike. Ensure that the wiring harness cannot be trapped and damaged between frame and tank. Check the battery with a tester and replace if dodgy. KTM starter motors should be stripped, cleaned and re-built with new brushes and the starter gear train must be cleaned and greased.

If you have a headlight, ensure that it is focussed correctly, not shining into the trees, and that the spade connectors behind the globe are tight. Cable tie a spare fuse to the fan fuse holder and ensure that the spare solenoid fuse is in place.

Protection

Take a careful look at your protectors, and remove those that perform a purely cosmetic function, like swing-arm protectors. Make sure that all your protection is well secured. The fasteners on two part shark fins should be locktited.  Handguards must be tight and positioned so that they cannot interfere with the controls. Ensure that the chain guard is straight and tight, and that the bolt heads are in reasonable condition in case the guard has to be removed for some reason.

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General

Go through the whole bike and check all nuts and bolts. Note that this doesn’t mean you should over-tighten everything. Use a torque wrench and your manual to get this right.

Finally

Please download this check list and make sure you have everything on the list.    ENDURO WORLD – ROOFCHECKLIST

Good luck to all Roof riders and mechanics.

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