The top reasons why individuals purchase motorcycles include obtaining better gas mileage, acquiring a new hobby, and saving on transportation costs. Owning a bike is cheaper than a car.
Nonetheless, motorcycles like cars require annual maintenance.
Regular maintenance is standard for most modes of transportation and big-ticket home appliances. When each remains at the manufacturer’s recommended settings, it’s more likely to reach its intended lifespan.
The item gives you less trouble, requires fewer repairs and replacement parts.
We outline seven steps on how to properly take care of your motorcycle.
1. Change the Oil
Motorcycle oil protects the bike:
Like a vehicle, the oil lubricates the running parts of the bike. It prevents overheating and damage.
When you check the oil level, assess the other fluid levels too. Ensure that no leaks exist. Then top them off. Bikes have:
- Transmission oil
- Fork oil
- Brake fluid
- Hydraulic clutch fluid
You never want to go on a long ride with low fluids. It can easily cause expensive motorcycle deterioration.
2. Insert a New Air Filter
Air filters trap dust, debris, and particulate matter. They function the same way in your home’s central heating and cooling unit. It’s a small component that completes a big job.
It’s also easy to replace and affordable.
If it builds up a layer of matter, the filter stops trapping it. The dust floats into other areas of the bike. Eventually, the bike can build up enough dust that causes its system to overheat.
Therefore, change the motorcycle air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
3. Check the Tire Pressure
Motorcyclists must practice extra caution when they hit the road. Properly caring for your ride means maintaining the right tire pressure.
For trips when you’re getting around locally, maintain a psi of 28 to 40. Thereafter, check the manufacturer’s recommended pressure for all other conditions.
Road conditions and the load you intended to place on the bike play a role.
On a bike, you feel everything. If you run over tiny rocks, debris, and loose asphalt, you feel it. Motorcycle tires are different from vehicle tires. A tire that requires more pressure becomes loose. Plus, it can come off the wheel bead.
There is no need to place yourself in additional danger. Before every ride, double-check every tire’s pressure. While on the road, stop by a gas station for refills.
4. Test the Brakes
Brakes help you stop your motorcycle at red lights. They also help you control it.
If the brakes don’t do their job, you can stop the bike in other ways. But, it’s going to hurt. Check the front and back brakes, especially after taking a long hiatus from riding.
When you hit the road for a leisurely ride, you share the road with others. By maintaining your bike, you help prevent an accident. The expectation is that others will maintain their modes of transportation too.
However, accidents still happen. For more information about motorcycle accidents, check out this guide from JT Legal Group.
5. Measure the Battery Life
Industry insiders estimate that motorcycle batteries last three to four years. Your job is to prevent corrosion and wire deterioration in the meantime.
Battery maintenance depends on the battery type. You can charge some at home. Others don’t require charging. Check your owner’s manual for the best information.
Before you go for a ride, ensure that the battery has a full charge.
6. Check the Chains and Belts
Motorcycles have chains, belts, and sprockets. During maintenance, ensure that the chains can remain taut. The same goes for the belts.
Industry insiders recommend lubricating the sprockets. Keep in mind that the chains and sprockets will need replacement despite thorough maintenance.
Several bike riders maintain their motorcycles themselves. It helps them spot wear and tear more easily. For example, you can spot worn-out sprockets by placing the bike in gear. Then measure the pins.
With practice, you can become your motorcycle mechanic.
7. Properly Fill the Gas Tank
When you fill-up your bike’s gas tank, fill to the recommended line. It’s always tempting to top it off. But you risk spilling gas while riding, which is a no-no.
A motorcycle gets far better mileage than most cars. Thus, you can go pretty far on a tank. Bike gas tanks range between three to six gallons. Most bikes get 35 to 45 miles per gallon.
While you enjoy your ride, keep an eye on your mileage to make the most out of your day.
If you ride a bike for the health benefits, to be a member of the community, or to make your way through traffic more easily, properly care for your motorcycle. Most bikers learn how to care for their rides. It helps you get a better feel for it. This way you can sense when something isn’t right with the bike. Plus, it’s a good hobby.