Does anyone recognize that silver-looking thing in the middle of the picture? If you ride a motorcycle, you should. It is the second most important part on a motorcycle. More important than the engine, clutch, tires, turning signals, you-name-it...
The only thing more important is the front brake. Ladies and gentleman, this is the rear brake of a 2004 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom.
Why post a picture of Athena's rear brake? Because we almost had an issue.
Sunday morning I awoke early, made coffee and decided to tidy up Athena. One thing that was demanding attention, was the drooping leather saddlebags. So, first things first. I remove the seat and adjust the saddle bags so that they no longer droop.
After securing the seat, I grab my cleaner and a rag and start cleaning the swing arm. Then there came a "What The..." moment. With moist cloth in hand I grabbed the brake mechanism to clean it and the darned thing was loose! Not loose, as in a 'little wiggle.' I mean loose as in 'I am jumping off this motorcycle pretty darned soon!'
A quick check of the service manual, few twists of the wrench and all was good.
Normally I do prescribe to the concept that a dirty bike is a happy bike. BUT, sometimes going over your ride as you clean it can potentially save your butt.