Why do we need to know about motorcycle maintenance? Imagine that you have just hit the road, the weather is perfect, the road is clear, and you’re powering down the freeway on your bike. It sounds great, doesn’t it? Every motorcycle enthusiast lives for that freedom! Now imagine that your bike broke down and you are stranded on the side of the road. It ruins the image, doesn’t it?
No one wants to consider the likelihood of this happening, but it’s imperative that you think about it, or else it might happen. Routine maintenance helps prevent this from happening! We put this guide together to help motorcycle enthusiasts like yourself keep their bikes healthier for longer. We go over several tips to handle motorcycle maintenance.
What Is Motorcycle Maintenance?
Motorcycle maintenance is self-explanatory. For instance, replacing your brakes when they go bad or changing your oil. Motorcycle maintenance is a little simpler than car maintenance but just as important. Taking care of your vehicle will keep it healthy for years to come. It keeps you from having to worry about a random breakdown when you’re in the middle of a long trip. We all know those stories of vehicles that break down right when their owner needs them the most. At the very least, maintenance allows you to know the health of your vehicle and it can help you avoid those moments.
Now, you may be trying to decide whether motorcycle maintenance is something that you can handle on your own or if you need a mechanic’s help. The answer is up to you. If you have the skillset to handle the mechanics of a vehicle, then there are a lot of repairs and maintenance that you can take care of on your own. Some forms of maintenance are trickier than others are. Not to mention, not all bikes require the same type of maintenance. You need to keep in mind how often you ride, what type of ride you have, and what maintenance is required. If you are ever unsure about how to handle a motorcycle repair, consult a professional.
The amount of money that goes into purchasing and caring for a motorcycle is nothing to ignore. Add to it the amount of time and energy that you spend putting into your enthusiasm for riding, and it’s no surprise that you and other enthusiasts don’t want it to be wasted. A good motorcycle can last you for decades. On the other hand, if you don’t take care of it, you can run it straight into the ground. Then, repairs may be too expensive or near impossible.
There are going to be problems with any vehicle as it ages. Car owners and bikers alike can testify to this reality. However, that does not mean that you are bound to have expensive repairs done every time that you turn your head. For instance, if your tires aren’t holding air, you could end up damaging the rims and wind up having to pay more money out of pocket. Additionally, you could risk an accident if your tires aren’t up to the right standard.
Some people may ignore noisemaking or oil changes, and in the end, they have to pay more for extensive repair work because the problem only got worse over time. Some maintenance is preventative. If you can stop the problem from happening, you are going to spend less money and have less worry as time goes on.
10 Tips on Motorcycle Maintenance
Keep Your Tires Inflated
If your bike’s tires aren’t inflated properly, you’re going to notice a difference in your ride. Properly inflated tires run better. This isn’t the only issue, however. Improper inflation adds stress to your tires. This goes for tires that are too full or that aren’t filled enough. Use a pressure gauge to test your tires regularly.
There are two brake fluid reservoirs in motorcycles. You need to make sure that you keep an eye on both. Make sure that you always buy a new bottle of brake fluid when it comes time to add some more. Brake fluid will absorb moisture while not in use.
Check Your Brake Pads
In addition to brake fluid, you need to pay close attention to your brake pads. The thickness of your brake pads matters. When you let the brake pads wear down all the way to the metal, then you will end up damaging your brake disc. This is an even more expensive repair.
Your chain needs lubrication. You can lubricate them every time that you fill up for gas. With a chain spray, you can use it on the right and left-hand side of the chain. One tip that we can give you is to put a newspaper so that you protect the rear wheel rim. You can also use newspaper on the floor to stop it from dripping on the cement. Once you are done, wait several minutes before you wipe off the excess oil. The best time to lubricate your chain is when the chain is still warm.
Replace Shaft Drive
The shaft drive doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. However, you should consider changing it every time that you change your oil. This will keep it healthy and you should never have problems with it.
You should check the belt regularly and adjust the tension, as you need to. You should also check the cleanliness of your belt. Make sure that it stays clean; this will keep your belt around a lot longer.
Check and Replace Fuel Filter
Fuel is one of the most important parts of motorcycle maintenance. If you have a fuel filter, check it often. It should never look clogged. Instead, it should be clean. In addition, you should make sure that you replace your fuel filter every two years, at least. In addition, you can also check your fuel lines. Make sure that there isn’t any damage or cracking. If there is, you need to replace them right away.
Change Your Oil and Filter
Most people know that regular oil changes are important. However, just like car owners, motorcycle owners try to get the most out of their filter. This isn’t always a good idea. You should check your oil level often and make sure that it’s always quality. You won’t have to change your oil filter every time that you change your oil, but you should change it every other time.
Without your battery, your ride isn’t going to be going anywhere. Oftentimes, the battery is the reason behind most breakdowns. Now, this is generally because the battery isn’t as easy to get to and most people don’t think about checking it. You only need to perform monthly maintenance on the battery to keep it running well. Make sure that it is charged and only recharge when the starter sounds weak or the lights are dim.
You can also keep the battery clean, clean the terminals and connectors, check the electrolyte level, and top up with distilled or deionized water. Regular maintenance will keep your battery lasting longer. In addition, make sure to check it with a hydrometer or voltmeter often.
If your chain’s tension is incorrect, you can end up with premature wear on the sprocket and gearbox. Not to mention it might limit the longevity of your drive chain. When it comes to chain maintenance, every motorcycle is going to be different. Check your bike’s manual and find out what the correct tension you should have and how you should adjust it. In addition, have a friend help you when testing the tension. The bike will tense up when there is a rider on board, so tighten the chain with a rider on top.
All of these tips should help you get the most out of your motorcycle. Keep in mind that improper maintenance often leads to problems down the road. A lot of the time, a breakdown might not have been so bad if you performed proper maintenance on the bike.
Keep Track of Motorcycle Maintenance
At the end of the day, the health of your motorcycle is going to keep your hobby alive without any big disruptions. If you’re willing to invest in a motorcycle, then you’re not going to want to tear it apart because you didn’t have proper maintenance performed. Always keep track of the maintenance that you have done. If you don’t keep a log of the repairs, you aren’t going to know when the next repairs are due.
If motorcycles are your life, then you don’t want to be left without a bike for days or weeks because it needs repairs. Equally, you aren’t going to like the charges to your bank account that comes with more serious repair work. While accidents may happen and sometimes even the best maintenance can’t defend you against a problem, you can lessen your chance of future problems if you take care of your bike now.