Motorcycle Maintenance - The Must-Follow Tips for Every Rider
Good and regular motorcycle maintenance can save you a lot of problems and money. There are some items that everyone knows and also others that require some motorcycle maintenance knowledge. We need all of them not only to extend the life of your vehicle but also for safety. We will go through them and add a handy checklist for you to go through your bike basics. Finally, I will tell you about a couple of ground-breaking accessories that I stumbled upon and are great. Read on and keep your bike safe and sound at all times with these excellent motorcycle maintenance tips.
Regular motorcycle maintenance items
These are the basics you can go through to make sure that your bike is in its best shape always. If you neglect these items and don´t take care of regular maintenance, some parts in your bike will suffer a lot. This can lead to malfunctioning and also to broken parts. Motorcycle maintenance is money well spent that will save you money in the long run. Motorcycle maintenance is also the best precaution to take when you are going on a long trip. Protect your life and your bike.
The oil change is something that takes a little work but is crucial to your bike´s correct functioning. First of all, if your bike has some aluminium parts like the exhaust, you need to cover them. You can use aluminium foil or anything that resembles it. Once this first step is done, start the bike and let it run for five minutes. After this time, you will realise that the oil inside the engine reduced its viscosity and drains easier. Turn off the bike and while it is standing straight find and remove the drain plug. You might need to remove other parts before reaching it; fetch that manual you thought you´d never use. Put something down beneath the cap to recollect the used oil. At the moment also reach for the oil filter, which is another essential motorcycle maintenance item.
Once the bike has no oil, it is time to install a brand-new filter and put the new oil. For this, make sure you are using a funnel, or you will make a mess. Also, make sure you are pouring in the correct type of oil your bike needs. Some people like to replace the oil cap at this moment; that is up to you. Finally, take that used oil to recycle at your local town´s government.
This is a motorcycle maintenance item that has a direct effect on your bike´s performance. The air filter is the one in charge of maintaining your engine utterly free of any debris and dirt. If it is clogged, then you will feel the throttle is less responsive, and reaction diminishes greatly. The only drawback of changing the air filter is that you might have to remove important pieces to get to it.
In some cases, you might even have to get beneath the gas tank to reach it. Once you get to it, the replacement part is the easiest one. The fresh air filter will make your bike work better. You will realise the difference between the before and the after, especially in the reaction and the throttle.
Tire Pressure and Tread
Checking the tire pressure is something you should do very often. It is a motorcycle maintenance item that affects the way your bike grips to the asphalt. Also, every time you go to check the air, check on the valve that regulates the air. Making sure no air comes out is a sure-fire way to go longer with the bike without inflating them. This is especially important if you are about to go on a long trip. In these cases, steady pressure all the way is an absolute must.
Also, another crucial motorcycle maintenance tip is checking the tread of the tires. To do this, just put a coin in between the lines and check the height is ok. This makes a big difference when it comes to grip, and grip makes driving a different experience.
The coolant is for the engine not to overheat or freeze in summer and winter. The tricky part is once again, getting to the place where to replace it. This receptacle is behind the radiator, so you need to remove it to replace the liquid inside. As with the oil, this motorcycle maintenance item has a draining bolt. After draining the receptacle completely, make sure you remove the radiator cap. This is the moment to put the drain bolt back to its place and then pour in the new coolant liquid. I recommend the use of a funnel if you don´t want to make a big mess. Also, for this one, get the driver´s manual and check which the correct liquid that your bike needs is.
Put everything back together, start the engine and let it run for some minutes. When it is warm, then cut the ignition and remove the radiator again. If the coolant liquid is at the level the owner´s manual instructs, then it´s OK; if it´s not, add more.
Keeping the chain clean
A clean chain makes your bike run better for a longer time. This is one important item in motorcycle maintenance. The new chains are all O-ring chains, so the chain is not so exposed. Cleaning the chain is not an everyday thing, but it does need cleansing when it gets too dirty with mud or dirt. Also, some owner´s manual in motorbikes will tell you which the correct mileage to perform this task is.
The procedure is not at all hard; in fact, it is way easier than the rest of the items in the list. Lift the back wheel and set the gears in neutral. Doing this with the transmission will make it easier to work on the chain. The first thing to do is to clean all the grit and grime that might have piled up in the chain. For this, you need a gentle bristle brush that will not damage the chain but can wipe deeply-rooted grime.
Once the chain is completely clean, you have to lubricate it. This lubrication process is also crucial for motorcycle maintenance and will be creating a coat over the chain. This way, the chain is lubricated and protected Since most of the chains today have o-rings, you need to put the oil in such a way that it penetrates to the joints. Be careful and always use specially-designed chain lube to clean it. Finally, leave the chain to rest for five minutes and then wipe the excess with a paper towel.
Battery checking and replacement
The effects of a dying battery can be disastrous for most people. This is the reason why it is so essential as a step-in motorcycle maintenance. I remember having to push my bike many times because of the battery running out in the old days. Also, if you have some accessories that require extra energy to work, you need your battery in full power. For example, I recently installed some amazing gadgets that make me feel way safer than I have ever been to.
Improve the safety and comfort of your motorcycle
The first is called the Smart Brake Module and engages the stoplight whenever my speed decreases. This is great for my cruiser since I like smooth transitions, and I rarely use the brakes.
The second one is called the Smart Turn System. This little gadget automatically disengages the turning lights in your bike. It is fantastic for those of us who also drive cars and wait for our ride to do it for us. For both these super handy accessories that are easy to install, I need my battery to be working adequately.
I would recommend to every rider to check these two amazing motorcycle accessories and if you are interested in checking if they are compatible with your motorcycle, enter your motorcycle details in the form below and the team will send you an email to confirm if it is compatible.
Last but not least, I have to mention the Vigo Smart Track, a new generation motorcycle tracker with advanced anti-theft and SOS notification in case of an accident. The Vigo Smart Track also comes with an app, that enables a 24/7 insight into the motorcycle’s geographical location. Knowing your bike is safe will keep your mind at peace. To point out, the best thing is, the Vigo Smart Track is compatible with every motorcycle out there, as well as with scooters.
In most of the bikes, the battery is not so easy to access, so you will have to remove some parts. While you do that, bear in mind just how important it is for motorcycle maintenance. Once you get it out, place it on a plane surface and check the levels. If it is low, you have to put de-ionised water into it to make it the correct level again. Once you are done with that, grease up the terminals to preserve it from corrosion. Always remember that when handling a battery, you are handling an acid-filled recipient. If acid touches your skin, it is going to hurt it badly. Also, some of the newer models have a seal, so you cannot refill them. If that is the case, you will have to replace it.
The ultimate motorcycle maintenance checklist
This is something you can perform to your bike regularly to make sure everything is working correctly. Motorcycle maintenance starts here.
Take a walk around your bike
This might seem like a straightforward thing, but it is not, it is crucial for motorcycle maintenance. Take the time to look at your bike from every angle regularly; you might surprise yourself. If you find something that is out of order with your sight, then you know where to aim. Always take a walk around your bike before riding it, you might discover from a flat tire to a broken exhaust.
Check the battery
Always check the battery by turning on all accessories that require it. What I do is to light the front lamp of my bikes every time I ride them before hitting the ignition. This will assure me that the battery still has its charge and I won´t be out of it in the middle of nowhere. This will alert you to change your battery as part of the motorcycle maintenance.
Check tires and wheels
This is something you can also do every day before jumping in. All it takes to check tires and wheels is to lean forward and put your thumb to check how much pressure they have. In the case of wheels and rims, you can check just how tight the insides are. Never forget that wheels are the basis of the movement.
Check the final drive
The chain in your bike is crucial. If you follow the maintenance as mentioned above with a proper schedule, you will never have any problems with it. Besides the regular maintenance, it is good to make the back-wheel turn and check it. For this, you should see from very close whether there is any link that is damaged or extremely dirty. If that is the case, it is time for a change or a cleaning.
Check your brakes
This is another important aspect of motorcycle maintenance. Your breaks need some regular checking from your side. Simply rotate the wheels and check the thickness of the discs and callipers. Also, you can check on warping to make sure the wheel is braking in an even way. Finally, look for rusty places and extreme dirt; if you find them, clean it before hitting the road.
Check all fluids
Checking oil, coolant and brake fluid is a definite must before taking on the road. If any of those is worn out or fails, you can have serious problems. Motorcycle maintenance is always about prevention. These problems can be either mechanical or safety issues. For example, if you run out of braking fluid, you are in for a lot of danger. If you run out of coolant, you can ride your motorbike to overheating and melt a crucial component.
Do a final check
The final check is very important before you turn it on. Get on the bike and test if the stoplight is engaging. Also, check if the breaks are too loose (which might mean lack of braking liquid). Finally, ride it slowly at first while checking all controls and if everything is in the correct order, then hit the streets. If your bike is not in order, don´t hesitate, do the maintenance steps to get it going.
Motorcycle Maintenance – Conclusion
Follow these simple steps of the checklist to make sure that your bike doesn´t show any malfunctioning symptoms. Also, be careful to address all the items in the maintenance when you need to. Always remember that money you invest in precautions is the money you spend in your safety and others. Keep that fantastic machine running like the first day and have endless fun on the roads.
What do you think about this maintenance guide? Do you follow the extra steps you didn´t find here? Feel free to leave us your comments and share this post with fellow riders.