Ten maintenance needs your motorcycle requires – to maintain that showroom look, all it takes is investing in some decent tools and common sense to keep the motorcycle looking new.
Ten maintenance jobs to do, when caring for your motorcycle
Checking the tyres of the motorcycle – should be done weekly. Under-inflated tyres will affect the handling of the bike’s breaking. Over-inflation can affect the grip upon the road. Both can result in an accident so it is vital to keep a check on these. When you are to check the pressure, make sure this is done when the tyres are cold.
- Chain Tension
Refer to motorcycle manuals to confirm the correct setting for each bolt when checking the chain tension. Also, make sure you do this with a rider on – weight makes the chain tension tighten and finally, lubricate the chain to prolong its life.
Most batteries are located beneath the motorcycle seat or petrol tank. Before carrying out any maintenance work remove the battery (carefully) as all batteries contain acid, which is harmful to the skin. Grease battery terminals before replacing the battery – this helps avoid any corrosions, but do not touch both terminals at the same time.
Carry any maintenance work out on the coolant only when the engine is cold. When ready to change coolant refer back to the motorcycle’s manual to locate the coolant – that is if it has one. Once drained make a new batch, containing 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and de-ironised water.
- Oil and filter change
With the engine warm, place a tray underneath to catch any unwanted oil. Remove the sump plug – make sure you’re removing the correct bolt. Refer to the motorcycle manual or have someone experienced overseeing this. Once drained, remove the filter and replace sump plug, put in a new filter and refill oil with the recommended amount. Start the motorcycle to check for any leaks – add or remove oil if necessary.
The ten maintenance list continues.
- Oil & adjust cables
Doing this will make a smoother and more responsive drive – adjust cables by taking any unwanted slack off. Always test your motorcycle before doing any journey.
- Spark Plugs
Before starting, make sure you have the correct plugs that you will be replacing with. These do not need doing regular, just as and when they go. Remove one at a time to avoid mixing up the plug – avoid overtightening when replaced.
Spray grease regularly on: foot rests, hinges, levers, locks, stand hinges and cables. Do not spray near the breaks.
- Brake pads
Access the pads by removing a plate on the caliper, then retaining a pin through the pads. Do one side at a time – some motorcycles have two calipers set up on the front. Before making a journey, check the motorcycle making sure the breaks are working correctly.
- Clean it
Washing the motorcycle after every use, keeping the new look feeling – especially in Winter, when corrosive salt is on the road. Cleaning the motorcycle on a regular basis gives you the best chance to visually spot anything mechanically wrong.
Cleaning your motorcycle.
Soap your bike down – using motorcycle shampoo, avoid using washing up liquid as it can be corrosive to the motorbike. Thoroughly rinse the bike with warm water before spraying cleaner on, leave it a few minutes – then using a cloth or sponge avoiding any scourers, again warm water to wash the whole motorcycle. For the chain use the chain cleaner.
Finally – Always get your bike serviced, this is to avoid any mechanical failures.