Whether riders own dirt bikes, cruisers, or scooters, a little maintenance goes a long way towards keeping those motorbikes in good condition. While some types of repairs should be handled by expert mechanics, most riders can tackle routine maintenance processes at home. Read on to find out about the best ways to keep a motorbike in good condition before getting started.
1. Learn the Bike
Every motorbike is a little different, so even riders who have experience maintaining other types of vehicles should still take the time to learn everything they can about their new bikes. Read through the owner’s manual, find out what problems other riders have had with the same model, and check every part of the bike before installing a Husqvarna graphics kit from Senge Graphics or other mods. Joining a local motorbike club can also offer newbies an opportunity to network along with maintaining safety while driving, and learn from more experienced riders.
2. Stay on Top of Oil Changes
All modern vehicles, including motorbikes, need oil to keep their engines healthy. Manufacturers’ specifications vary, but most bikes need oil changes every 3,000 to 6,000 miles, plus once a year during the annual inspection. It’s also important to keep an eye on oil levels between changes since motorbikes of all types tend to burn more oil in the summer. Oil filters need to be changed regularly, as well, so make a point of replacing them whenever the oil is changed.
3. Clean Air Filters
Air filters are designed to keep dust and debris out of a motorbike’s engine. When filters get clogged, it can cause performance issues. Experts recommend cleaning air filters at least once every 6,000 miles, but environmental factors play a large role in determining how often this task really needs to be performed. Dirt bike riders, for example, sometimes clean their air filters as often as once a week, while people who ride motorcycles on paved streets in rural environments may find that the minimum is just fine.
4. Maintain the Tires
Riders should check their tires’ air pressure before any serious trip. Gas stations usually have air compressors that can be used to fill tires to the correct PSI, or pounds per square inch, level. While riders are already maintaining their tires, they may also want to check the tread wear indicators. This small rubber knob shows when it’s time to take the bike in for a tire replacement, which is always a job best left to the professionals.
5. Keep the Chain Clean
Most modern motorbikes have O-ring chains, which are sealed and require less-frequent cleaning than older, unsealed chains. People with older bikes will need to be more conscientious about keeping their chains clean, but everyone should at least clean chains per the manufacturer’s recommendation. After cleaning the chain, lubricate it and let it sit for five minutes before wiping off the excess chain lube.
Keeping a motorbike clean and in good shape isn’t just about maintaining its longevity. It’s also about keeping riders safe on the road. A bike that has worn tires, a dirty chain, or low fluid levels is more likely to break down and to cause serious accidents than one that is well-maintained throughout its lifespan. Performing motorbike maintenance at home is affordable and relatively easy, so there’s no excuse for neglecting the essentials.