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CFMoto 650NK | Gassit Garage | Long Term

In between a full roster of quick spins here in the Melbourne office, the CFMoto long-termer has been powering on – and continuing to impress.

Next step will be to fit the slip-on Musarri muffler that recently arrived from Screaming Demon in Western Australia, but in the meantime I’ve been practising some basics of bike maintenance on the trusty NK.

These are the little things that for many readers of this magazine will be second nature – part of the daily or weekly bike check. But, especially when you’re new to the game, when you hop aboard a bike a lot of your headspace is taken up by thoughts about where you’re going to ride, and how you’re going to do it based on the conditions. And then there’s the excitement. Quite often the pre-ride POWDER or T-CLOCS checklist is reduced to a simple POQ.

So first up we decided it was time to wipe the thick layer of dust off the service manual and check the recommended tyre pressures: 36psi at the front and 40psi at the back. The service station pump indicated that both were down at 32, so a huff and a puff and a beep from the machine and we were off again…

…And feeling very ordinary. Where before there had been a reassuring sense of grip on the road, it now felt like I was riding on balloons. So much so that I stopped again and let the tyres down a bit. Later research revealed that servo tyre gauges can be quite inaccurate, and service manual recommendations may also be on the high side to reduce tyre wear. Moral of the story: it’s rarely as simple as a single number when it comes to bikes.

Next up,  I thought the CFMoto chain deserved a piece of the action. A rummage through the box of IPONE cleaning products yielded a can of Decrassor that will remove built-up grease.

On top of that, first gear seemed to have become a tiny bit clunkier over the past month, and one of our many resident bike experts counselled that tightening the chain a smidge might help.

The job was surprisingly simple – and the adjustment surprisingly subtle. A 180° turn of the bolt at the end of the swingarm was enough to make a difference to the slack in the chain. I also gave it a quick clean and lube, though was again advised by aforementioned expert that it doesn’t pay to go overboard with the lube. Adding too much just attracts road grit, which could actually increase chain wear. Moral of the story: Easy does it, tiger.

And the results? To be honest, even after adjusting the chain, first gear drops in pretty much the way it did before. But all of this has made me feel closer to the bike, and that makes it worthwhile.

by MARK VENDER