Provided here are some maintenance guidelines which if followed on a monthly basis, should keep your engine in optimum running condition. In a way these maintenance guidelines are mandatory, since if not carried out may harm your engine in many ways.
1) Battery check-up
The battery is pretty much the heart of performance for RDs which run on CB points. Firstly without a battery the bike will not run, so it is very important to see to it that the battery is in good shape. The average life span of a 12V battery is anywhere from 2 years to 2 1/2 years, provided regular maintenance is carried out. It is very essential that you check the level of the battery water, this can be done once in a month, however you might have to check this more frequently with increasing age of the battery. Please remember to top the battery water levels in all the cells of the battery. A popular misconception is that all the cells are interconnected, hence topping one means topping all the cells, this is not true, the cells are not interconnected, hence each cell has to topped up with battery water individually. Also see to it that the battery terminals are covered with Vaseline at all times, this will prevent deposits on the terminals which lead to a deterioration in the battery power output. Also pay utmost attention to the position of the battery, see to it that it remains upright at all times, for this the battery should be placed snug in the battery compartment.
The RDs which were sold in India were notorious for poor braking. The brakes provided on the Indian Rds were quite insufficient for the weight and the speed of this bike. However I won't say that these brakes are completely useless. The drums provided on the RD are the one of the biggest drums you will see on a bike, hence in city conditions they provide adequate braking. To keep your brakes in good shape, open the brake liners and have them sandpapered every month, but be careful not to sandpaper them too harshly. Also clean out the drums and sandpaper them too. Apply white grease to the springs and the positioners on the liner mount, this will ensure smooth movement of the liners, however refrain from applying too much grease as this may get on the liner surface during use. If these steps are carried out regularly on a monthly basis, your brakes should work very well, and should usually not give you any trouble.
3) Timing and Tuning
Ignition timing and carb tuning are two very important things for any engine as such.
Any engine that has wrong ignition timing will not make full power, added to that it will also be low on mileage. The ignition system on the RD is very dated (CB points), as a result of which it requires regular maintenance. Check the timing every month with a dial gauge, it is generally recommended at 2mm BTDC for the HTs and 2.4mm BTDC for the LTs. In case you don't have a dial gauge there are other ways to check the timing, however these methods are not really fool-proof. Depending on the condition of the points, the bike may need to be timed more often.
Due to the low quality of fuel that is available to us (in terms of octane rating as well as clean fuel), it becomes essential for us to see to it that the carbs remain clean all the time, which is why I recommend the use of good petrol filters, and a regular tank clean-up. Choked up or dirty carbs may lead to several problems, such as sticky slides, incorrect mixing of air and fuel, hence preventing the bike from developing full power and also a drop in mileage. Hence it is very important to keep the carbs as clean as possible. Carry out a thorough clean-up at least once a month, pay particular attention to the air-jet and make sure its not clogged. Don't fool around with the jetting unless you really need to, the stock jetting is the best setup for a stock RD and will also hold good for mild modifications.
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