When it comes to traveling, motorcycles are now the more popular choice than cars. It gives the same benefit of traveling with ease and comfort minus of course the roof, air-conditioning, and stereo that cars offer. We also benefit from their slim body structure which gives bikers the chance to maneuver and squeeze themselves even in heavy traffics, in return, bikers tend to arrive faster than cars at their destination, especially the number of cars on roads that exponentially increasing day by day.

Thanks to the two German nationals who invented this wonderful two-wheeled piece of art, we can list where we are now using our bikes, here are some samples. First is long rides; ideally, these were the first reason why they invented such things. Bikers love this, this is where enthusiasts were made. They are arguably the most expert on motorcycles from the insides up to designs and third-party modifications.

The second is cruising, some may even crack a joke that cruising is just a long ride, but cruiser bikes are built differently. Next is sightseeing, this activity is freestyle, as the name suggests. This is when a rider just has a fun time looking around the local sights. The said activity is very soothing and relaxing.

Next is racing sports, this activity puts the engine to their absolute limit and some are even breaking. This sport is very dangerous and only played by pro players, this requires extreme precision and concentration, life is at stake here. Lastly on our list is the ones that are being used for their occupation, a good example here is trikes, which in some countries like the Philippines.

Filipinos used it for service for commuters for short distances, typically less than a kilometer, but can also go as far as 5 kilometers, payment depends on the distance traveled by the trike. They are also very popular for transporting goods, and other businesses’ logistics, they can carry quite a lot in terms of their size and they can also be cheap because it only requires at least displacement of 125cc. There are many more uses for these motorcycles.

Short trips, does it harm the motorcycle?

Asking this question on motorcycle riders has different answers but is also very interesting. Some riders think that riding it for short trips doesn’t harm their bike because of the fact that it is only some kilometers that have driven and never even heated that much. Some even may point out that they regularly rode short trips for years but never had any issues.

The only issue that they encounter is that batteries tend to lose more energy on short rides than on long rides, this is maybe because the battery loses more energy than it charges on its short rides. But however the case may be, they still don’t believe that riding short trips are harmful.

The majority of bikers who disagreed that short trips harm their bikes are those who are beginners to intermediate riders, which makes you think that maybe, they are just lacking experience or knowledge? This means pro riders have a different take on this, and the reason is actually very interesting. Expert bikers otherwise say differently; they say that short rides harm their bikes. The first reason is that the bike doesn’t reach the required heating cycle which is very unhealthy for the engine.

This is comparable to having your car on cold start and then immediately starting it to travel. While the engine is trying to reach its operating temperature, it suddenly turns back down, which could result in a weaker engine and sometimes failure. Every internal combustion vehicles also suffer from this, so be very careful always.

The second reason is that the carbon and water residues that are unburned are now starting to build upon the engine oil which could really mess up the internal parts like gears, clutch housing, and other parts that could reach the oil. If riding frequently, you might as well consider going for a long ride at least twice a week to counter those build-ups.

The third reason is that it is more likely to show more wear and tear than long rides. It is because it would be more frequent to start and kill the bike, for example, A bike that has been ridden 500 times at 10 miles each ride has shown more wear and tear than a bike that has been ridden 250 times at 20 miles each ride.

The last but a very minor one is the battery, bikes put a strain on them on the ride that is short enough that the battery wouldn’t have enough time to recover. The repeated practice may slowly deplete the battery which leads to drainage.

Some pro bikers also don’t think short rides would hurt their bikes and here’s why: First is they think that before water and carbon could build up onto the engine oil, the oil change schedule will be performed, thus building upon the engine will not be a problem. They say that if water builds up on your engine oil, the problem is the maintenance and not the short rides. The second is, that it won’t hurt the bike as long as you give it time to warm up and never drive it to a cold start.

This makes the engine oil warm-up, up and make its way to every little bit of holes and corners. Performing this practice would simulate the effects of a long ride which is having the engine and oils get warm and ready.

The third is that bikes should be just literally driven for a short period very frequently, this means that it doesn’t even get the engine to warm to its operational level, but for all we know, nobody does this to their bike and it would kind of makes no sense in buying the bike in the first place.

Keeping your bike constantly checked could save you from minor to major issues on road either traveling for a long or short distance. Get a visit every once in a while to your favorite mechanic and let them check for issues or soon to be issued. This gives you extra peace of mind and assurance that your bike would never break down anytime or sooner.

As have you read, different bikers have a different take on this, this makes it even more confusing but, problems could be prevented if you keep your bike healthy. Below is a list of how to make motorcycles healthy for either short or long rides.

Tips for having your bike to be healthy for long or short rides:

  1. Change oil regularly – The most important fluid on a motorcycle, so don’t let yourself lack on an oil change. Check your user’s manual on when you will need to perform it.
  2.  Checking your brake pads – make sure that your brake pads are fresh and still usable. This goes without saying that your brakes should be working at their best before hitting the road.
  3. Washing your bike – Washing and applying wax on your bike doesn’t only frees it from dirt but also gives it the feeling fresh look.
  4. Maintain air filter – Clean air filter means no dust and other particles that penetrate the engine’s delicate parts.
  5. Engine coolant maintenance – Replace them twice a year. Its job is to keep the engine’s temperature in control and prevents overheating. Keep its reservoir up to the upper limit.
  6. Chain should be clean and lubricated – it should be oiled but free of dirt. Make sure to adjust the chain on its recommended free play.
  7. Charge your bike’s battery – Batteries typically last for two years before dying. However, its life could be longer if you maintain its standard voltage.
  8. Take your motorcycle to check it regularly – this means even if you don’t feel any issue on your unit, something, somewhere might be starting to become an issue, as the saying says “prevention is better than cure” this makes you extra safe on-road and could save you from unnecessary hassle when your bike is seized on the road.

Conclusion

Your bike’s health all depends on how you treat it. The records and feedback of riders don’t always apply on your bike because of the simple fact that every rider has a different approach to how they treat their unit. This makes me believe that your way of handling your bike is the main reason for the longevity of your bike. Using them on either a long or short ride, if you are not careful enough, the lifespan would be shorter. This is true for every internal combustion engine. Whatever you feel safe for your bike, please do accordingly, however, please consider researching on issues and dive deeper if you need to. If you regularly check on your bike and never used it aggressively, it guarantees a long lifespan of your motorcycle. Be mindful always on your bike and always do a self-check before and after riding your bike.

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