Maintaining your Motorcycle
The old saying prevention is better than a cure, when referring to motorcycle maintenance, carrying out proper regular checks will prevent things going wrong before they happen and will also prevent putting yourself in jeopardy as well. Firstly before setting out or at least once a week, check out the following –
Tyre Pressure: Check your owner’s manual to find out the correct pressures, and over or under inflated tyre can render instability and poor handling.
Check the brakes, gear shift, clutch and the throttle to make sure they function correctly.
Make sure all the electronics operate, including lights, horn and turning signals.
Dip the oil level after the bike has warmed up and top up if required. Ensure the bike in placed on level ground and be in the upright position.
If your bike doesn’t have a fuel gauge, remove the filler cap to check especially if setting out on a long journey.
If your bike is chain driven, check for wear and lubrication, tension settings and alignment of the rear wheel.
Make sure the handlebars move freely and smoothly through full lock, while inspecting the cables to make sure they are not stretched or wedged.
Fuel does expand, so leave an air gap when refueling, which should be carried out slowly, without overfilling it. Oil will only get to the surfaces it needs to lubricate after the engine has warmed up, so don’t be tempted to keep revving up from a cold start. Make sure you are in neutral, when starting this will avoid unnecessary movement and possible injury to yourself.
A few maintenance basics:
1. Tyres – Make sure to check the tyres regularly, as they will need replacing at some point. Depending on the amount of riding you do, ensure you have the correct pressure on a regular basis. Having either too much or too little pressure, will increase the wear of the tyre, and your bike won’t handle as well. Don’t forget about the legal depth of tread, which should be at least 1mm across at least three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and also go around the entire perimeter.
2. Oil – Change the oil when directed by your service manual, or at least every six months. If you use your bike for commuting, consider changing it more often. Check and top up when the engine is warm.
3. The Fuel – Again stick to the service manual, with reference to changing and or cleaning the fuel filter on a regular basis, ideally it should be replaced at least every two years.
4. The Battery – Periodically check all the clamps and cables to make sure they work freely and easily. Even if you very rarely use the horn, give it a check now and then and be vigilant for any decreases in lighting operation. If you do, its time to get the battery replaced.
5. The Brake Fluid - should be topped up and checked regularly for both the front and wheels, the reservoirs are in different locations refer to your manual. Take extreme care not to spill it, the fluid is corrosive.
6. Coolant Level – Try to make sure there is always a 50/50 split of water and antifreeze. It’s the antifreeze that helps the hoses from corroding.
7. Try to keep your bike under cover, if it throws it down with rain, you don’t want water infiltrating the tank.
8. Filters – Change them on a regular basis, your bike will run smoother and longer.
9 Inspect The Wiring – To see its not catching anywhere, too loose or is there any fraying, this will cause problems and short circuits.
10. The Swinging Arm – Raise the wheels off the ground, grip them firmly and move from side to side, there should not be any movement sideways, upwards or downwards if there is; the swinging arm bearings should be replaced.
This list could go on forever, this is just a small insight and we hope it helps you.