’Tis The Season

Tis the season for Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And an abundance of cooking and eating. And Christmas banquets. And Christmas decorating. And Christmas shopping. And wrapping gifts. And exchanging gifts. And traveling in cases. And…….

It is a very busy time of year. However, with a few exceptions for those fortunate enough to live in a climate conducive to year round riding, there aren’t many opportunities to enjoy two / three wheel therapy in this season for most of us. With that thought in mind, what do we do as part of the Azuza StreetRiders when we are unable to ride?

I want to encourage each of us to think “outside of the box”. Please remember that the focus of Azuza StreetRiders is to be witnesses and soul winners for our Savior. It is very easy to recognize our motorcycles as being one of our best tools to “break the ice” with other motorcyclists, but the motorcycle isn’t our only tool. I would encourage each of us to discover and implement other approaches to reach lives while not on our motorcycles. This season brings the perfect “excuse” to take an extra step and consciously go out of our way to show ourselves friendly, caring, and loving. May we be reminded of John 3:35. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is imperative that we reflect the love of God to those outside of our church buildings AND to those within. I have recognized that people may or may not remember what we ride. They may or may not remember our name. They may or may not even remember the name of the motorcycle ministry that we are a part of. However, they WILL remember how they are treated and any emotions that we stir within them. Our words and actions will also reveal to them our true being. Beyond that, our words and actions show them who, or even what, we serve. So, once again; “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

While Azuza StreetRiders is certainly the “Apostolic Motorcycle Ministry of Jesus Christ”, please remember that we are called to be witnesses even beyond the motorcycle community. We must reach EVERYONE within “our world”; even those who don’t have the slightest interest in motorcycles. While we continue to put forth efforts to reach those within the motorcycle community, we must not lose sight of the “big picture”. Luke 14:23 instructs us to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” This instruction certainly includes but is not limited to motorcyclists. Although our motorcycles may not be our most effective tool during the winter months (for most of us anyway), we can ill afford to take time off from attempting to pull souls out of the grasps of Hell. We must continue to work while it is day.

I am confident that we have all heard and are hopefully making a conscious decision to be thankful every day and not just on Thanksgiving. Hopefully, we all recognize that the true meaning of Christmas is to set aside a day in each year to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ even though we continue to put Him first in our lives 365 days a year. However, I want to encourage each of us to remember that we are called to be witnesses year around; not just during “riding season”. With this in mind, I have been reminded that even during ’Tis The Season, I must be busy for the Kingdom.

Merry Christmas!!
Michael Luttrell
Secretary
Azusa StreetRiders International

Ten Steps to Winterize your Motorcycle

If your idea of storing your bike for winter is just throwing a cover over it, you may be in for some nasty surprises come spring time. The last thing you want to find out when riding season starts is that your bike won’t, so use these tips to make sure your bike is as ready as you are when it’s time to ride!

We may not want to admit it, but winter is just around the corner. And as the air cools off and the snow starts falling, most of us begrudgingly store our bikes and impatiently wait for spring to ride again. I try to ride in the winter if conditions are good for riding.

But storing your bike in the winter isn’t as simple and just throwing a cover over it and hopping in the car. In order to keep your motorcycle in top running condition, there is some work that needs to be done before storing it for several months (talk about adding insult to the injury of not being able to ride!)

However, if you properly get your bike ready for winter storage, it’ll make getting it running again when the riding season begins a whole lot easier, and prevent any unwanted surprises such as dead batteries, corrosion, and rust spots (or worse.)

Depending on what kind of motorcycle you ride there may be different things that will need to be addressed, but there is some general wisdom on how to get it ready to be stored for the winter. Your main enemy during winter storage is damage from moisture, so most of our winterizing efforts will be aimed at keeping that away from your bike. In addition, well give some love to your fuel system, battery, tires, and all your moving parts as well.

With just a little prep work using these ten simple steps, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle come spring time, and your bike will be ready to hit the road as soon as you are!

1) Surface Prep

Washing your bike when nobody will see it for a few months anyway can be a drag, but giving your bike a thorough cleaning before storage is important; letting bug guts or water spots sit on your paint can corrode the finish permanently. Wash your bike and dry it completely to get all the moisture off the surfaces (an electric leaf blower is a great way to get all the nooks and crannies really dry.)

Add a coat of wax, which will act as a barrier against moisture and rust. Finally, spray exposed metal surface with WD-40 to displace all moisture (fun fact: the WD in “WD-40” stands for water displacement) and to give them a protective coating against corrosion.

2) Change Oil and Filter

Change your oil and filter. It’s better for your lubrication system to have fresh oil sitting in it for several months than to have used, broken down oil in it, not to mention the last thing you’ll want to do when riding season begins is change the oil before you can go ride. Using a winter weight oil like 5W30 can help it start up easier come spring time as well.

If you’re going to be storing your bike for a long time (4-6 months or more) you will want to protect your engine’s internals against moisture by coating them lightly with oil. You may not be able to see it with your naked eye, but the cold winter air is perfect for moisture to gather in your engine and cause rust to form on your pistons and cylinder walls.

In order to do this, remove the spark plugs and put a little squirt (about a tablespoon) of engine oil into the holes, then turn your engine over a few times to coat the cylinder walls by spinning the rear wheel with the bike in gear. Once everything is coated, replace the spark plugs.

3) Lube Moving Parts

Keeping moving parts lubed during the winter will help keep moisture from building up on them and causing any rusting or binding. Any part of your motorcycle that needs to be lubed at any point should be lubed again before storage. Some parts to check are: chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and any other pivot points.

4) Prep Fuel System

Gas tanks have a tendency to rust when not in use, and untreated pump gas breaks down and becomes gummy over time. To prevent rusting and make sure your fuel is ready to run after a few months in storage, you’ll want to fill your tank completely with fuel treated with a product like Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer.

On your last ride of the season, stop in at the gas station nearest to where you will be storing your bike and add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer, then top off the tank. A full tank will keep moisture from building up on the tank walls, and adding the stabilizer before the short ride home will help mix the gas and stabilizer together and run it through your fuel system before storage.

Note: Another method that some advocate is to drain the tank and fuel system completely. This is more troublesome to do, and requires that you treat the inside of the tank with fogging oil to prevent rusting. This method may be preferred for very long-term storage (6 months or more), but for winter storage, a full tank of treated fuel is easier and completely safe to do for both carbureted and fuel-injected bikes.

5) Safeguard Battery

Batteries have a tendency to self-discharge when sitting over time, especially when they remain hooked up to the bike. The easiest way to combat this is to hook up a battery tender like the Battery Tender Super Smart Junior which uses smart technology to monitor the charge and keep the battery topped off without overcharging. Normally you should pull the battery from the bike for storage, but with a smart tender you can also connect the tender with the battery left in the bike. Before doing this, make sure the electrodes are clean and corrosion free; if necessary, clean them off and give them a light coating of grease.

6) Protect Tires

If your tires are left to sit in the same position all winter long, they could develop flat spots. Keeping the tires off of the ground will prevent this, so if you have Motorcycle Stands, put the bike up on them for storage. If you don’t have stands, try to get at least the rear tire off the ground, or you can rotate your tires by rolling your motorcycle slightly every few weeks. If you need to leave your tires down on concrete, put a piece of carpet or plywood under them to keep any moisture from seeping into them.

7) Check Coolant/Anti-freeze

If you’ll be storing your bike somewhere that gets below freezing, make sure you have adequate levels of anti-freeze in your coolant system. This is very important; if you run straight water in your coolant system and it freezes, you could come back to a cracked head in the spring!

8) Plug Out Pests

Mice and other rodents are notorious for hiding from the cold inside exhaust pipes and making homes out of air filters. If order to avoid any furry surprises when it’s time to ride again, plug up your pipes. You can also simply stuff your air intake and the ends of your exhaust with some plastic bags – but do use bright colored bags or tie something to them so you don’t forget take them out when you fire up the bike!

9) Keep it Covered

With your motorcycle fully prepped for winter, invest in a proper motorcycle cover. A quality motorcycle cover will not only keep dust off the bike, but will keep the moisture out so it doesn’t get trapped underneath it, and create corrosion or rust. If you’re storing it outside, be sure to get a cover with tie downs to prevent it from blowing loose in wind. If you’re storing it inside you’re in much better shape, but you should still use a cover to prevent dust from building up on it.

10) Theft Protection

If you’re storing your bike outside, bear in mind that being parked unattended for months at a time makes it an easy target for theft. In addition to protecting your bike from weather, using a cover will conceal it from view, and securing it with a heavy lock and chain can give you some peace of mind. If youll be storing your bike anywhere it can be accessed by others, consider investing in some security measures.

With your bike fully prepared for a few months of hibernation, you’ll find that the winter is the perfect time to get done any maintenance or upgrade projects that you’ve had on your mind.

Now There is an 11th step here.

This isn’t what  I meant by “winterizing your bike”  (but hey, This can work)

Michael Theodore
National Road Captain
 

 

Coping With a Skid

A skid – that’s when your heart leaps
up to your throat because your
tires have lost traction!
You might hit a patch of sand on a
mountain curve, or a puddle of oil as
you’re slowing for a stoplight. It’s a
frightening experience on a
motorcycle, but you can handle it.
In a highway-speed, sand-in-the corner
skid, steer slightly in the
direction of the skid. (If you’re leaned
to the left and skidding to the right,
turn those handlebars a bit towards the
right.) Chances are you will clear the
patch of sand, the tires will grip the
pavement again, the bike will stand up,
and you’ll continue on your way.
Should you hit a slippery bit while
you’re braking for a stop sign, and one
or both wheels lock up, you want to
get those wheels rolling right away.
Release the brakes for an instant, then
reapply a little more gently. You want
those tires to have traction.
At higher speeds, when traction is
good and the rear wheel skids when
braking hard, do not release the rear
brake.
If your back end is skidding sideways
because the tire is on a slick spot
and simply spinning, ease off on the
throttle. A spinning wheel provides no
more control than a locked wheel.
You might be in one of those two mile-
per-hour parking lot scenarios, a
mild, low-speed skid when your front
wheel starts to go out from under you.
A foot on the ground may keep the
bike upright and the rubber side down.
This is not an easy thing to do, and
should only be done if all else fails.
Michael Theodore
National Road Captain

 

End of Year Sale at the Azusa StreetRiders Store

Now through December 31st every item on the AzusaStreet Riders online store over $10 will have a 25% discount  applied at check out or before the credit card is processed.

Note: This is new for us so if there is any problem or for some reason the discount doesn’t apply please contact Sis Theodore via email at laureen.theodore@azusastreetriders.com and we’ll get it taken care of right away.

Thank you and God Bless
Brother Thompson

Welcome New Members

Newest Chapter – Kirbyville, TX

New Members:
Pastor Malcolm Hennigan
Brother James Odom III
Sister Charlotte Dawes
– Kirbyville, TX

Brother Christopher Gilbert
Brother Brian Murphy
– Oxford, CT

Pastor Tim Downs
– La Porte, IN

New International Member:
Peter John Lujan
– Yigo, Guam

Robert Thompson
President Azusa StreetRiders International
The Apostolic Motorcycle Ministry of Jesus Christ
email: robert.thompson@AzusaStreetRiders.com
Cell: 305-525-4877