General Tips for Motorcycle Frame Repair

spinning tool throwing sparks while working on an old motorcycle frame

Motorcycle frames can be the difference between a classy ride and a ramshackle contraption. There are many types and models of these frames, and they have to stay in great shape for the bike to be safe. Some damage can be fixed without the consultation of a professional, others require the attention of an expert.

Perform Assessment

The above step will determine whether you require the services of that professional or not. In the case where your sub-frame has acquired some damage, you WILL need professional assistance, otherwise, negligence will bring about another accident, and this time you may not be so lucky. Ensure also to have suitable tools and equipment to cater for the repair of the bike’s components, using your model’s manufacturer for instructions on how to do so.

Test Alignment

If you need to determine whether your bike frame is aligned properly or not, here is a simple exercise. Place your bike on even ground. On a firm object (like a boulder), tie a piece of thin rope and then wrap it all the way to the rear wheel of your bike and then back again to the boulder. If the rope touches anything but the rear tire, then your motorcycle is in need of realignment. Alignment should always be tested after every accident. If you are riding your bike and notice a wobble, poor alignment is usually the first culprit.

Adjust the Jig

This can be found in most garages that accommodate motorcycle repair and is used to straighten out bent motorcycle frames. This process will sometimes demand that you strip the motorcycle to cater to the alignment (recommended). The motorcycle frame will be set in place in the jig and after specific adjustments are made to your model, the jig makes the necessary alignment.

Inspect the Frame

The most common metals used in the manufacture of motorcycle frames are titanium and aluminum. Titanium is the superior option as scratches can be simply eradicated with the brushing strokes of steel wool. Aluminum on the other hand is more dangerous as a simple hairline crack can lead to the disintegration of the bike when in motion and when other factors are involved. Constantly inspect your frame in this case and make the necessary repairs.

Scan for Cracks

Where metal joints are, cracks are inevitable. These should be taken seriously, especially cracks that appear on the underside of the down tube. Cracked paint should also be touched up as these will expose the affected metal to corrosion.

Test for Corrosion

Motorcycles are inclined to rust, caused by corrosion from the elements and the sweat of the rider. Ensure that all the metallic parts on your frame are well cared for and are traded in for new ones every so often in the name of repair.

To check for corrosion, remove your bike’s seat and use a rag to swipe the seat tube. If it is caked by a bright brown color then your frame is rusted. A garage can, fortunately, fix this problem if it's not too bad. To prevent rusting, hang your bike upside down for it to dry when it's been rained on.