I travelled 13,000 miles over the last three weeks, sharing my story at two different motorcycle events. After checking out my high mileage Tenere 700 at the Yamaha display, I get asked many questions about reliability and my maintenance schedule. There are different types of maintenance schedules, there is preventative maintenance, there is following the factory recommended maintenance, there is maintenance that you do because you have to, and then there are repairs; some expected and some. not so expected.
Looking at my motorcycle, one would bet it had never been washed, never mind serviced!
It ain’t pretty, but it is rock solid and dependable, it has to be, as I trust t to take me across the entire country multiple times a month all summer long! (For the record, I did wash it with soap twice this year already.)
Because of the miles I ride every year, following the factory schedule would be overkill and very costly, but I do take care to listen to the bike and fix whatever needs fixing. I do everything myself; from accessorizing to repairs and maintenance. I know my bike and all it’s parts almost as well as the engineers who built it. I really have no choice, because if something were to break while I’m traveling, those engineers or factory trained mechanics won’t be there with me when I need to get back on the road!
Because the bike is ridden daily by one rider, I can tell when something is worn or in need of attention. While the factory recommends changing the spark plugs every 8,000 miles which is every two or three years for the average rider, I have found them to be within specs even after three times that, and now only change them about every 25,000 miles, or twice a year. The tires, brakes and chain all let me know when they need to be changed without even looking at them. The oil and filter get changed almost every time I get back home, which could be anywhere from six to ten thousand miles. I don’t worry about oil much, as I do use synthetic and it gets replaced almost every month. I know where all the electrical plugs are located in the wiring harness and which ones will need to be cleaned after a winter of salt coats the connectors. I can tell when the bearings are getting worn by how they spin on the axles because I change my tires about every 5 weeks.
When you live with a chronic illness or disease, it is easy for health care providers to dismiss those new aches and pains as just another symptom or progression of the illness, but sometimes it is just our bodies calling for a bit more maintenance. A good diet and exercise tune-up can sometimes do wonders, and has nothing to do with our disease!
Much like a motorcycle, our bodies need more than just food for fuel and air to operate. Learning to listen to our body’s subtle warnings and cry for service is important as we add miles and years to our intricate human machines. Knowing when something is not working as it should and addressing the issue before it gets worse is extremely important. Listening and looking for signs that something isn’t quite right is a skill we can master over the years that no doctor’s visit could match. Fixing an issue before it gets worse or falls off is just as important when it pertains to our bodies. Unlike a motorcycle, we only get one!
Just because my motorcycle looks like it’s neglected and beat to hell, doesn’t mean it is. My bike is a well-oiled machine and quite possibly the most reliable bike I have ever owned.
Just like my Yamaha, time and circumstance will transform our body’s appearance but keeping up on that maintenance will help keep us rolling down the road for many years to come!