How To Maintain Your Bike
Whether you ride a motorcycle as a mode of daily transportation around town or you choose to hit the trails for sport, there are some things you can do to maintain the life of your bike. It is important to perform regular maintenance on your bike and make sure that all repairs are properly completed to help ensure your safety while riding and to keep your bike performing at its best.
Regular maintenance that should be performed on your bike every time that you ride include the following:
1. When purchasing your bike, make sure that you read your owner’s manual on how to maintain your bike. Make sure you thoroughly and understand what specific requirements are necessary for your particular motorcycle.
2. Check the tread on your bike tires each time that ride your motorcycle. If you notice any type of cuts or scrapes on your tires, this is a warning sign that you could experience a blowout should you continue to ride it in this condition. Check the air pressure in your tires. Again, low air pressure in your motorcycle’s tires can lead to a blowout occurring while you are driving. Add the necessary air pressure needed to get the level back to the recommended pressure level by the manufacturer of the tires.
3. Check the wheels on your bike for missing, bent or loses spokes. Inspect the rims for any signs of dents, cracks or bends.
4. Lifting your wheel off the ground, manually spin it to make sure that is no noises that that it moves freely. If you notice that it is loose, make the necessary adjustments.
5. Starting at the handlebars, follow the cables through to the end. Inspect for any broken strands or kinks in the cables. Lubricate the cable mechanisms at each end of the cable.
6. Inspect the sprocket teeth for any worn spots. You will also want to check for bent teeth, as this can cause your chain to fall off. Make sure that you oil the chain as necessary.
7. Try to keep your bike as clean as possible, by wiping down any mud, dirt or debris that can make it difficult to inspect. Look for any bolts, cotter pins or nuts that may be loose or missing. Fix these issues by making the necessary adjustments and replacing missing parts before driving your bike.
8. Make sure that your brakes are working properly and the wheel locks correctly when the brakes are applied. If your brakes are not working correctly, make sure that you adjust them accordingly per the instructions of your owner’s manual in the area that explains how to maintain your bike.
9. Prior to driving your motorcycle, inspect all of the fluid levels. This includes the oil, coolant and brake fluid. Fluid levels that are consistently low may be a sign of a more serious problem with your motorcycle. If this occurs, you should have your bike inspected by a professional mechanic before driving it. Even if there is nothing seriously wrong with your bike, it is better to be safe than to have to pay for more costly repairs later on.
There are some other maintenance practices you can use to keep your motorcycle running and operating at its peak. The following maintenance practices do not need to be completed as often as the previous tasks mentioned, however, this is dependant on how you maintain your bike. This includes:
1. Once a year it is necessary to check the wheel bearings on your motorcycle. If you use your bike more than just occasionally, you should do this twice a year.
2. Just like any other motor vehicle, you should get routine oil changes when necessary. For a motorcycle it is recommended to have your bike’s motor oil and filter changed every 1,000 to 2,000 miles.
3. Change the coolant in your motorcycle every two years.
4. You should manually measure the thickness of your brake pads and shoes every month. The brake fluid should be changed every two years.
5. The swing arm bearing on your motorcycle should be checked and lubricated every month.
6. Fork oil in your bike should be changed every two years.
7. Your motorcycle’s spark plugs should be changed every year. The spark plug wires should be changed every two years.
8. All of the valves in the engine should be checked and adjusted as necessary every year.
9. The air filter installed on your bike should be changed every year.
When you know how to maintain your bike, you will save yourself from very costly repairs that other bike owners experience.