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Vehicle control BRAVOK

Feb 6, 2015


Before you begin the driving portion of your motorcycle practice exam , you will be asked some questions about the motorcycle. These are questions about safety before you ride and some technical issues.

The easiest way to remember it is via a mnemonic bridge namely BRAVOK.

BRAVOK stands for:

  1. Fires and fuel
  2. Brakes
  3. Battery
  4. Lighting and suspension
  5. Oil
  6. Chain – cooling and clutch

We will now detail the components one by one.

  • Profile . By law, this is at least 1 mm. This is not conducive when it rains. A motorcycle tire also has a wear indicator but it is better to replace the tire at 2.5 mm.
  • The tread around is worn off. Because most motorcyclists don’t really chamfer their bikes, the tire wears the hardest in the middle so the outside of the tread doesn’t wear. This gives you what is known as a “Square Band.” The disadvantage of this is that in turns you are pushed upright, so to speak, and therefore go almost straight through the turn. Also, the tread should not look like a wave , which indicates that the tire is not aligned or that the spring vibration dampers ( shock absorbers) are worn out so that the tire does not have optimal contact with the road surface ( it bounces as it were).
  • Do not exhibit dry sanding. This phenomenon occurs when you do not use the engine for a long time. This causes the rubber to dry up, so to speak.
  • Screws – spikes – glass or other sharp objects should not protrude into the tread.
  • Tire pressure. You can find these in the instruction book. Here the voltage is listed for solo riding and duo riding. You can buy a tire pressure gauge for a few euro`s that you always have in your pocket or suitcase. Tire pressure should be checked BEFORE driving. If you live near a gas station you can drive there. Do not go full throttle through corners right away because it takes 2 to 3 km for the tire to warm up.
  • Valve cap . The valve cap prevents dirt from entering the valve. Otherwise, when the tire is inflated, the dirt enters the tire causing damage from the inside, which is disastrous.
  • If you change the tire yourself, make sure the running direction ( driving direction) is in the right direction. You can tell this by an arrow on the side of the tire. If you mount the tire incorrectly it will come off your rim with all the consequences.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel in your tank before driving. On most modern engines, on your dashboard is a fuel gauge.
  • If it is not present, the best way is to open the tank opening and shine a flashlight into the tank ( if your bike is in your shed or in the winter morning/evening). NOT WITH A MATCH OR LIGHTER! The reason speaks for itself.
  • Older engines usually have a fuel tap with a reserve position. This type is found on engines with carburetors. It has three positions: Open – Close – Reserve.
  • Today, modern engines are equipped with electronic injection. With these engines, it is advisable to add a bottle of Injection Cleaner to the tank regularly after refueling. This ensures that the Injection System is cleaned which guarantees optimal operation.
  • The instruction book -and usually a sticker on your tank- will tell you what fuel to fill up with. Euro 95 or euro 98.
  • On motorcycles with a mechanical braking system ( drum brake at the rear wheel ), while depressing the foot brake, check that the indicator is not at the end ( this is a triangular metal spoon ). If it does, then the brake shoes are worn out. You can adjust the brake by using the adjusting screw on the brake rod. If you decide to replace the brake shoes yourself do clean the drum well and also pay attention to the running direction here.
  • The front brake is usually implemented through a hydraulic braking system. This is a closed system. If the bubble subsides it indicates worn brake lining and/or worn brake disc. Don’t continue driving for too long with brake linings that are running low. If you do then there is a pretty good chance that at some point you will be braking only with the eiser on the brake disc. All the small stones that get between brake lining and brake disc cause grooves and then you have to replace everything.
  • Also, change the brake disc if it develops a sharp edge at the top ( this denotes that the brake disc is getting thinner and there is a greater chance of a broken disc).
  • Check that the brake does not feel spongy while braking or that you can suddenly squeeze the handle down to your steering wheel. This indicates an air bubble in the system. You can get the air bubble out yourself ( requires sheet some experience) or go directly to an engine dealer to fix it. It is life-threatening to continue driving with such a braking system.
  • On most motorcycles, the battery located under the buddy seat.
  • Check at least once a week for oxidation on the poles
  • The battery is securely attached.
  • The clamps are tight.
  • Nowadays you have maintenance-free batteries. No need to add distilled water here. PLEASE NOTE: Out is Out! Then you need to put in a new battery.
  • If you put the bike in winter storage, make sure the battery is connected to a dripper. This discharges and recharges the battery.
  • Right by the battery you also have a main fuse. Make sure you carry a spare fuse.
  • The lighting front and rear fire
  • Big light does it ( also signaling)
  • All turn signals work properly ( front and rear)
  • The horn is working properly
  • Brake lights work when the front brake is squeezed and when the foot brake is applied
  • All indicator lights go out when engine is started
  • The Engine stop ( popularly called “Dead Man’s Button”) works. If you turn it over then the engine stops but the lights stay on. The may always be used to turn off your engine quickly. You also use this button when emergencies arise ( e.g. if the oil light comes on while riding – if you have gone down and the engine is still running – if your throttle is stuck in the highest position).
  • No visible leakage. If so, then the sealing rubbers are leaking. This forces the oil out of the cylinders. As a result, the wheel does not have good contact with the road surface which manifests itself especially in turns by the engine breaking out.
  • No scratches on the cylinders. This indicates that there are small stones between seal and spring brake cylinder. This corrodes the cylinder and also causes it to rust.
  • At the rear wheel, a mono suspension damper with coil spring is usually mounted. It can be adjusted with a special key or by means of a dial or electrically from your steering wheel ( as for example on the BMW 1200 GS or Honda Pan Europeen) . this depends on whether you will be riding Solo or Duo.
  • When contoling the spring vibration dampers, walk a bit and squeeze the front brake hard ( do keep the handlebars straight) . this causes the motor to drop into suspension – come up and return to its normal position. If the suspension keeps wobbling or sticks in the lower position or you hear a metallic click, then its operation is no longer 100%.
  • Engine oil. The engine must be horizontal and on level ground ( not up or down a hill).
  • There are 2 ways to check it: oil level and a sight glass. In all 2 ways, you have a minimum and maximum oil level.
  • Look in the instruction book to see if you need to gauge/check when the engine is cold/warm.
  • Use only engine oil prescribed by the manufacturer. Also note whether it should be mineral or synthetic oil, CAUTION! DON’T USE THEM INTERCHANGEABLY!
  • Do not turn the filler cap too tightly but not loosely either.
  • Chain . This should be well lubricated. If the chain is too dry you will hear it creak. For this you also have an automatic grease lubrication system.
  • The chain should have some slack. That is, you can move the chain at the longest part between 1 and 3 cm. If the chain is too tight, you run the risk of it breaking with all the consequences. If the chain is adjusted too slackly, there is a fairly good chance that it will run off the sprocket.
  • Wear and tear. With wear, the Chain Members will start to wear oval. It also increases the chances of the chain coming off the sprocket.
  • Check at least once a week.
  • At the sprocket, check that the teeth are not worn ( look like Shark fins)
  • You buy a total set with the chain ( front and rear sprocket).
  • Today, most engines are equipped in combination air/coolant.
  • At least once a week contol the level. If you have to refill compartment then you have a leak somewhere. If you see no external leakage pay attention to your oil level. Is it abnormally high and you see some kind of goo on the dipstick. If this is the case then you have an internal leakage. Then there is nothing left but a new engine block or trade-in.
  • Keep the radiator thoroughly clean. Always blow the radiator clean from back to front. Make sure the air pressure is not too hard or you will damage the fins and the cooling will not be optimal. Also, the fin gets damaged.
  • Also, do not use a high pressure washer to spray the radiator clean.
  • Only coolant according to manufacturer’s prescribed agent.
  • With the clutch, you have 2 systems: mechanical and hydraulic.
  • With the hydraulic system, you check the level as you do with the brake fluid. If it drops regularly then this indicates a leak. Disadvantage is that then you cannot start the engine( most modern engines you have to squeeze the clutch ).
  • With the mechanical system, you can determine the clutch engagement point by turning the wheel. Regularly spray the clutch cover with WD 40 at the lever and at the clutch connection. If you omit it, the cable wears out faster with a chance of breaking.
  • Check that the cable does not begin to fray. Again, you should then have the cable replaced as soon as possible.

Of course, an examiner will not ask everything but some points of this.

Good luck you the practical exam.

These tips are not only for exam candidates but for every motorcyclist.

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