Heels & Horsepower Magazine


7 Basic DIY Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

Motorcycle maintenance can be intimidating, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up tinkering with bike engines. 

The thought that you could do something wrong such as not tighten a screw sufficiently or forgetting where a particular bolt came from can be a huge deterrent to DIY maintenance.   Although we highly recommend having your motorcycle looked over by a professional, there are a few basic things you can do to ensure a safe ride

Use this motorcycle maintenance checklist to help keep yourself (and those around you) safe on the road.

Change the oil
Just as you need clean fuel, you also need to change the oil and replace the oil filter before you take your bike out for your first ride. Neglecting this step can affect the performance and longevity of your motorcycle.

Check the battery life
Some riders disconnect their motorcycle batteries and only recharge them every month or so; but once you reconnect the battery, you’re probably ready to roll. However, if it’s been sitting for a few months, you might have a dead battery. If it’s a fairly new battery, charging it is fine, but if it’s three or four years old, you may find it doesn’t keep a charge, or you might have a hard time charging it. In that case, you’re probably better off purchasing a new battery and playing it safe.

Check your tyres
Tyres are an important part of any vehicle, so they deserve your time and full attention. Check their air pressure to make sure it’s at a safe level for riding. You’ll also want to check the tread to determine if the depth offers you sufficient traction. If your air pressure and tread are all set, then your next step is to look for any cracks or bulges in the sidewall of the tyres before straddling your metal horse and revving down the road.

Inspect your chain
Your bike’s chain is one of its most critical components, but constant exposure to the elements can cause it to deteriorate or become loose. Check to ensure it’s still tight and well-lubricated. You may need to clean the chain and reapply lubricant.

Get plenty of fluids
Oil and gas aren’t the only fluids your motorcycle depends on. Brake fluid and coolant are important for motorbike maintenance, but they can sometimes leak if your bike is left standing for a long period of time. Double-check your levels and refill or top them up. Or, flush out the old fluids and replace them with fresh fluids.

Don’t forget your cables
Oil and grease in your cable housing can dry up over time and that can affect the performance of your clutch and throttle. Inspect your clutch, brakes, throttle, choke, and any other cables to ensure they’re still responsive and not frayed.

Make your bike shine
As a final step, make sure you give your motorcycle a thorough cleaning. Not only does it protect your paint and make your bike look fantastic, but cleaning your bike frequently keeps it in better working condition.

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