Maintenance and care is important to keep your motorcycle running smoothly and safely. You don’t have to be a professional mechanic to perform regular maintenance on your bike to prevent major issues down the road, either. There are many do-it-yourself updates and tuneups you can do to keep your bike in its best health. Of course, it is always smart to familiarize yourself with your motorcycle’s brand and manual before attempting any kind of self service or DIY work, so make sure you know the basics of your bike before attempting any major work.
Ride Smoothly With Regular Oil Changes
Changing the oil in your motorcycle every few thousand miles keeps it running right and prevents major problems from occurring down the line. Unlike cars, which can be more difficult, most bikes can be changed with a bike stand, socket set, funnel and drain pan.
Before attempting to change your oil, check your manual to make sure there aren’t special steps you need to take with your motorcycle model. This should only take a few minutes and is one of the best ways to ensure your bike is in its best shape.
Prevent Accidents With Tire Maintenance
Underinflated tires can affect your motorcycle’s handling, braking and gas mileage, making it dangerous if not properly maintained. Check your tire pressure every week, and during cold months when your bike sits more, check your tires before you take it out.
Besides air pressure, check the tread for wear and signs of cracking and dry rot. Remember that many motorcycles have different sized front and back tires, so rotating them is unnecessary.
Avoid Broken Parts With Chain Maintenance
One important piece to keeping your motorcycle running smoothly is chain tension and lubrication. If your chain is too loose, it can cause performance issues or a breakdown; however, if it is too tight, it can cause rapid wear on your bike.
A chain should have slack between an inch and an inch and three-eighths, but you should check your manual for your bike’s specifications. When you are cleaning and lubricating your chain, first check to see if your bike has an o-ring or non-sealed chain. Non-sealed chains need to be cleaned and lubricated more frequently than o-ring chains, according to TitleMax. O-ring chains should still be checked regularly for cracks and replaced when they show serious wear.
Stay Safe With Battery Maintenance
Your motorcycle’s battery should be checked every time you change the oil. Check your battery’s electrolyte level and compare it to what your manual suggests is the right level. Use distilled water to top it off if need be. Check for any cracks or issues caused by the vibrations. Also, check the cables and clamps to make sure there aren’t any loose connections, frayed cables or rust. When you store your bike or charge your battery, make sure it won’t be exposed to freezing temperatures or conductive surfaces.