Troubleshooting Uncontrolled Side Drifting on Your Motorcycle

13 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

The normal wear and tear from getting thousands of miles on your motorcycle can takes its toll if you don't keep up on maintenance. From tire and rim weakness to slight steering failure, you may notice a slight drift to the side that isn't easily explained by road fatigue or getting distracted. Before riding out for a big trip or hitting a difficult road, take a look at a few motorcycle inspection points that could keep you from rolling off the road unexpectedly.

Tire Condition Could Extend To The Rim

If your motorcycle is leaning to the side and you're sure it's not your hands doing the turning, the tires should be the first place you look. Poor inflation or uneven bald spots on the treads may cause your vehicle to slightly coast to the side. Uneven tire wear happens when only one part of the tire is subjected to stress. This can happen from spinning your tires in place, hitting a curb while the tire is still spinning, or driving across rough terrain for long periods of time.

The first course of action is to replace the tire. Take your normal and expected driving routes into consideration and speak with a motorcycle dealer to find a tire type that best fits the terrain you're driving on.

While you're there, a motorcycle repair technician can inspect your rims for damage. If you've been rough out on the road, you could have had some rough landings or unexpected sideswipes that could have damaged the rim. Dents in the rim can lead to faster tire damage, bumpy rides, and the obnoxious drifting problem. Rim replacement is more expensive, but ignoring the problem can lead to higher costs as future tires are worn out and ripped by the dents and rough driving conditions caused by rim damage.

Engine Wobble May Be To Blame

Motorcycles are compact, precision vehicles that can make amazing movements with very subtle changes. Unfortunately, if there's too much movement with the engine, you could be at the mercy of its movement with every mile you drive.

Fuel intake problems are the usual culprit when it comes to strange shaking. With fuel intake issues, the engine may shudder and come close to failure, since there isn't enough fuel making it to the combustion chamber. You'll want to visit a motorcycle repair technician as soon as possible to take a look at your fuel system and perform a cleaning, as continued failure or even near failure may lead to permanent damage.

A new fuel filter is a common fix, but not the end of your troubles. You'll want to keep an eye out on which gas stations you visit and consider inspecting the fuel quality. If you're getting dirty fuel, let the owner (and the fuel corporation) know as soon as possible. It isn't just you getting the bad fuel; other riders on the road could be suffering the same problem.

You may want to talk with a motorcycle repair technician, like Thunderbird Harley-Davidson. A motorcycle dealer can assess your motorcycle's condition and get the repairs and upgrades you need.