Getting to know you

Working on your bike can be as satisfying as a good ride, once you know how. We look at how to go through some basic maintenance to make sure your ride on a British bike isn’t a sour one.

In our modern world of cars that need for nothing but petrol in between 20,000 mile services, it may come as some surprise when you first get into classic bikes, just how much you’re expected to tinker. Even modern bikes need daily and weekly checks, but older models need so much more love.

Maintenance is an essential part of owning an old bike, but don’t look at it as a chore. More riders are coming to classic bikes with little experience of mechanics but it isn’t daunting – in fact, you get to know your bike more intimately, spot issues before they become a problem and it helps you to understand the workings better. Many people get addicted to it and spend more time working on their bikes than riding.

This month we are going to look at working on a British bike and the sort of basic jobs you would be looking at if starting out, or if you’ve just bought a bike. We’re using a 1954 BSA B31, a pretty traditional Brit classic, so most jobs on other marques or models should be similar.

Read more in the November issue of Classic Bike Guide – on sale now