Basic motorbike maintenance can help your bike perform better and last longer. Motorbike maintenance is important because motorbikes are an ever more popular form of transport. Whether you use your motorbike for sport, or just to get from A to B, here you can find several tips to keep your bike in top shape at home.
These basic steps will not only increase the lifespan of your bike, but will also save you money on expensive repairs and, most importantly, keep you safe. Things like checking the oil level or tyre tread every month, or improving the condition of the chain by cleaning and lubricating are just some of the tasks you can easily do yourself.
Importance of maintenance
You need a suitable place for each of these check-ups, whether it’s a yard or a garage. Above all, remember that it is dirty work, so keep your cleaning supplies within reach. The extent and time for the maintenance will depend on the type of motorbike, but with these tips you can improve its performance and longevity.
General tyre inspection
There are several things to look for when inspecting tyres. First, look for cracks or punctures.You can also just look for chips, slashes or debris that, however small, can cause premature tyre wear. You should also evaluate the condition and depth of the tread. If it’s flat or warped, it’s best to change it immediately.
You should also inspect the air pressure every month. You need a pressure gauge – and be sure to take this measurement when the tyres are cold – which means that they have been stationary for at least three hours. The correct pressure reading for your tyre can usually be found in the manufacturer’s manual. Remember, that anything above or below the average is a bad sign.
Check the oil level regularly
You must do this at least once a month, but more often in summer because the heat can thicken the oil. If you live in extreme weather conditions, you might want to inspect it every week. This also depends on how often you use the bike. If you use it frequently, you should inspect the oil level weekly. If you use it only occasionally, you should check it before you ride.
Park the motorcycle on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area, and switch it on for a few minutes to allow the oil to warm up. Next, turn off the engine and check the oil level in the sight glass on the right side of the engine. Add more oil if the level is low and always check the type of oil your model requires. This way you can check for possible leaks and take a look at the colour of the oil. It should be similar to the colour in the bottle.
Cleaning and lubricating the chain
The chain is an essential part of the motorbike, so you should clean it from time to time.
Lift the rear wheel and put it in neutral to make it easier to move. After cleaning the entire length of the chain with a soft brush and removing dirt and dust, treat it with a chain lubricant. The lubricant must be applied as evenly as possible to the entire chain so that it does not drip. Be sure to use gloves to avoid skin contact. After finishing, let the chain rest for a few minutes and then check the tension. If it is too stretched or worn-out, then it’s time to replace it. Generally, it should be replaced about every 600-1000 miles.
Check lights, horn and battery
These are basic mechanisms, but they are as important as any other. It is therefore recommended to check them routinely in order to avoid fines and prevent accidents.
Clean the filters
It is important to change the oil and the filter every 2,000-10,000 miles, depending on whether you use mineral or synthetic oil. However, the air filter can be cleaned more frequently. This keeps the engine free of impurities by trapping the particles and dirt that can clog the filter.