Maintaining a motorcycle is admittedly less work than maintaining a car, but it still needs a fair bit of work, especially after you put it through a few thousand miles. The key to successful maintenance is, of course, regularity above all else, just as it is with cars. In case you are a new biker who just bought his first ride, you can probably use some of these tips on how to keep that new bike shining for years to come.
Check Your Tyres
The thing about tyres is that, unlike most other parts of the bike, they can develop a leak on the very first day that you bought the motorcycle if it happens to run over something sharp and strong enough, like a nail. Then there’s the matter of usual wear and tear, which will eventually flatten the treads without notice if you don’t check on them regularly. Keep the air-pressure in your tyres at optimum level and always check the wheel balance and alignment once before you start your bike.
Motorcycle batteries need to be checked every once in a while for leakage. While checking with your hydrometer, if you find the water levels have dropped significantly in proportion to the sulphuric acid, it’s time to get things back in line by adding some distilled water. Be careful not to use anything else but distilled water because the impurities in regular water will inevitably damage your battery in the long run. In case it has been a few years and your battery is repeatedly failing to hold or receive a charge, it might be time that you thought about getting it replaced with one of these Hardwarexpress motorcycle batteries.
Brake Checks and Maintenance
Your brakes need a change of brake fluid if you hear a screeching noise, but if it persists even after that, the brake pads may need to be replaced. Also, it’s necessary that you check often to ensure that the brakes have not become too tight or too loose because it is something that will definitely happen over time.
Changing the Spark Plugs
Spark plugs transfer the electricity generated in the ignition system to the combustion chamber for fuel ignition. To keep your bike in top condition, they will need to be changed every 10,000 miles or so. When changing ignition plugs, make sure that the new ones are made for your bike’s model because getting the grade or type wrong is a recipe for disaster.
Keep the Tyre Chain Lubricated
There are two main points to keep in mind while maintaining tyre chains:
1. Lubrication is of the utmost importance and how well you keep it lubricated will decide whether your tyre chain will last for 25,000 – 30,000 miles
2. A slightly loose chain is better than a very tight chain
Although a chain that’s too tight is more likely to snap and cause accidents, ensure that it isn’t too loose either because that may cause the chain to simply slide off the sprockets.
Changing the Engine Oil
The functions of engine oil mainly include lubrication and cooling, but for it to do its job properly, it is necessary to change the oil periodically. If you don’t change the oil in time, the fluid will become thicker with carbon particles and that’s damaging for two reasons.
1. Using dirty engine oil will inevitably lower your bike’s engine life expectancy by years.
2. As dirty oil interferes with the lubrication and the impurities make the engine work extra hard for everything, your motorcycle will become less and less fuel-efficient with time.
Cleaning and Changing Air Filters
If you happen to live in the city or in a particularly dusty region, your air filter will get clogged up with dust and other pollutants pretty fast. Clean them every few days and install a new one immediately after the specified lifetime of the filter is over. A clogged air filter will interfere with your bike’s acceleration.
Wash Your Bike
A well-maintained bike must also look the part and that’s why you need to wash it regularly with lukewarm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid, especially after a long ride. Cover your bike up properly during the night and always park it in the shade to preserve the colour and the shine.
Now that you know these eight points, you are already better equipped to maintain your bike than most people. The next step is putting these points into practice for as long as you own a motorcycle. It isn’t uncommon to see people eventually losing interest and starting to neglect bike maintenance as their ride get older. Ironically enough, the older a bike gets, the more maintenance and care it requires to remain in optimum condition. Aside from factors such as safety and general quality, a well-maintained motorcycle also fetches a better price should you decide to sell or exchange your motorcycle at some point.