If you own a Motor Bike, you’ll want it to enjoy it for as long as possible. Try these six basic maintenance tips to keep your bike at its peak performance.
If you’ve bought a new bike it will have break in period, after which you should change the oil. Your factory manual should then recommend when you should do future oil and filter changes. What’s best for you? Well, if you use your bike off road in dusty conditions, if you ride in heavy, stop and go traffic, or if you do a series of short trips, you should consider a shorter oil change schedule. If you do mostly highway riding, then your oil should last longer. In any case, you should always change your oil prior to storing your bike for the winter. View this oil and filter change instruction video.
Maintaining tires is a little simpler but just as important. You should check your tires once a week to be sure that you have sufficient tread depth and that the tires are wearing evenly. You also need to keep the tire pressure at the recommended PSI, as listed in the owner’s manual or on the tire itself. You can lose traction if your tires are underinflated or if the inflation is uneven. Remember to check this more often in extreme temperatures because these extremes can effect tire pressure.
Your bike chain needs to be lubed and adjusted regularly. The chain will wear and become loose over time, leading to handling difficulty and accidents. First, you should clean the chain drive using a small brush and a solvent like kerosene. Then, oil the chain with a reputable lube product. Finally, you should tighten the chain to the manufacturer’s specifications. You can do this using a ruler to measure the amount of slack, and a wrench to tighten the unit.
Your brake and clutch systems contain hydraulic fluids. These need to be changed regularly to ensure safe and optimum performance. Over a period of time, these fluids absorb water which causes them to boil and become thick and viscous. This makes the brake and clutch slower to respond. It also overheats the seals and hoses, causing them to crack, split, and leak fluid.
Valve clearances need to be adequate so that they can breathe. Otherwise they will overheat and actually melt. Valves tighten naturally as you add miles so they need to be checked in the first 500 miles and then every 6000 thereafter. Check the owner’s manual for proper clearances for your vehicle.
Customize your controls
It may seem less important but being uncomfortable or needing to over-reach for controls while riding is dangerous. Clutch, brake, and shift levers all need to be adjusted to accommodate your riding posture and height. You should also adjust your mirrors for maximum visibility.
Remember, your bike will continue to work for you as long as you take care of it. Just do the basics, and have fun!