Maintaining the motorcycle once in a while is a must activity that every biker’s keep in mind. It is definitely not an easy task to do for the beginners and some of the maintenance needs to be done by the professionals. If you want the motorcycle to perform in the long run, it is mandatory to maintain the bike.
In this article, I will break down the simple steps to maintain your motorcycle all on your own. There are some complicated tasks, which need to be maintained to keep the rider safe while driving. The maintenance schedule may vary for different motorbike brands.
In general, I will guide you with the basic procedures and measures that you can take to keep your motorcycle fit. Although, the cost may vary according to your chosen motorcycle brands. You will definitely get a clear idea about the basic maintenance schedule after reading this article.
So, let’s get started:
7 Important Things You Need To Know About Motorcycle Maintenance:
Motorcycle maintenance is something that you should probably do once every two weeks. While maintaining your motorcycle, make sure it is in a perfectly working condition.
Here are the 7 important things you need to know about motorcycle maintenance:
1. Check Your Tires:
Tires are the most important part of your motorbike. Do a visual inspection of the tires of your motorbike and look carefully if you can find any cracks, screws or nails sticking out that can cause your tires to go flat while you are riding.
It can be very risky if there are any such flaws while you are driving and can cause serious accidents. Also make sure the depth of the tread on your tires are in good condition. There’s an easy way to find out the condition of the tires. You can take a coin and put them into the tread of your tires.
If you see the coin is ⅓ pressed down into the tread, that means it is time for you to change the tires. If you travel or commute a lot with your motorbikes, you will eventually see the center of your tire will wear down a lot then the side portion of your tire.
Check your bike’s tire pressure at least once every week and especially when the weather starts turning colder. Due to the cold temperature, the pressure drops out and always make sure to double-check your tire pressure during the winter season.
2. Chain Maintenance:
Maintaining the chain of your motorbike is also an important activity that should be done once in a while. Before you check thoroughly, do a visual check and inspect if the chains are moving swiftly or not. Make sure the chains are properly lubed and are adjusted properly.
Once again a lot of bikes are different from one to another, check the owner’s manual to find out about the chain adjustment. Usually, it is recommended keeping the chain adjusted to 35mm( 1 ⅜ inches) freeplay. But the adjustments are different according to the size and shape of the bikes.
In the user manual, you will find the proper specifications of how much tension is needed in the chain. In order to adjust the chain, you will see a bolt at the back of the swing arm. Although the bolt location may differ from bike to bike. Either turn the bolt in or out to loosen the axle bolt to adjust the chain of your bike.
If you are commuting a lot and travelling outside the city and into the muds, it is mandatory for you to clean your chains after each long ride. There is a motorcycle brush available both in stores and online which is a smart tool to clean your chains with very little effort. There are different cleaning products you can use to polish the chain and your motorbike.
3. Regularly Change Your Oil:
You should regularly schedule your oil change according to the instructions given in the manual of your motorbike. It is recommended following the exact time given in the manual, because looking up on the internet will give you different times according to the type of bike.
If you cannot find the manual or the instructions, seek a professional’s advice to find the timing to change the oil of your bike. Some bikes have side level oil lines and some bikes come with dipsticks.
Now the important part is while checking your oil level do not lean onto the bike and check the oil level. Always stay upright and try to check the oil level otherwise you will get a false reading of the oil level. This might lead to an overflow of oil level, because of the extra oil you will put based on your false reading.
While checking the oil level, make sure the engine is running cold. Do not check the oil just after riding the bike as the engine was on and hot for some time which will give you a false reading again. It is recommended to change the oil of your engine once a year.
In the manual, it is usually instructed to change the oil of your engine after travelling for 4000 km. Motorcycle oil is not that expensive, so even if you do not travel 3000-4000km, change the oil once every year.
4. Maintain Your Motorbike’s Battery:
Batteries in motorcycles are relatively maintenance free and if you are driving on a regular basis make sure the batteries are charged properly before your ride. Always make sure the battery connections are tight, otherwise it will create havoc to your modern motorcycle systems.
Check the water level of your battery, add distilled water if the level falls down. It is also important to clean the battery once in a while with water and baking soda to keep grease free.
5. Check Your Brakes Before Every Ride:
Before every motorcycle ride make sure the brakes are working fine to prevent unnecessary trouble and accidents. If you have a bike with rear brake drums on it, there is nothing much you can do about it except putting your phone or equivalent gadget to find out the brakes can still take the pressure.
Another thing you need to find out is the brake masters on your front brake. It has a little side plug window and makes sure it has enough fluid on that side plug out there. If you ever notice the color of your brake fluid is getting dark, then it is time for you to flush your brake.
6. Air Filter:
It is very important and essential to maintain your engine air filter. On some bikes, it is very difficult to figure out the air filter of your bike’s engine. Read out the manual carefully and find out how often it needs to be replaced or cleaned. Sometimes it is necessary for you to take the bike to your dealer and check them out with professionals. It is almost impossible for a beginner to check out the air filter of the engine so if you cannot find out and sort by reading out the manuals, go to the nearest motorbike service center.
Before you start the ride, make sure to check your headlights, tail lights and your turn signals are all working. You can easily do that on your own. Never go out and drive if your lights are not working out properly. It may result in a serious accident and you may find yourself under the laws of riding a motorbike without proper functioning lights.
When Should You Change the Gear Of Your Motorcycle? (A Complete Chart)
You should change each and every part of your motorcycle according to the kilometers you have travelled or the amount of time you are riding your motorcycle. Although it may vary from brand to brand, there is a general time schedule like 6 months to 18months for changing the parts and gears of your motorcycle.
Here is a table given below for your better understanding of the exact motorcycle maintenance schedule:
|Distance Travelled||5,000 KM||15,000 KM||20,000 + KM|
|Tires||Inspect||Must Change||Must Change|
|Motorcycle Engine Oil||Examine And Change||Must Change||Must Change|
|Chain||Examine||Change If needed||Change If Needed|
|Air Filter||Recommended To change||Recommended To change||Recommended To Change|
Some Commonly Asked Questions:
What Regular Maintenance Should Be Done On A MotorCycle?
You should regularly maintain your motorcycle before every ride. Although there are some basic things that you should maintain after riding 5000 kms. Always change the oil in order to experience a smooth ride and maintain your bike’s engine properly for the long run.
Some other maintenance includes changing the air filler and cleaning the brakes after every long ride with a brush. It is also essential for the riders to check the tire pressure before every ride to avoid accidents and flat tires in the middle of the ride.
What Is The Average Maintenance Cost For A MotorCycle?
The average maintenance cost of a motorcycle will depend and vary on the chosen brands of your motorcycle. In order to change the basic kits and gears, a biker needs to spend around $1000- $1200 + dollars each year. Like I have already explained, it is mandatory to change the kits after traveling 5000 km which is equivalent to 6 months to 10 months of riding.
Other expenses include the insurance cost of your motorcycle and it is necessary to plan ahead and do the right research otherwise your motorcycle insurance expense may turn out very costly. In general, the insurance may vary from state to state.
There are mainly two types of insurance coverage: the liability expenses and the comprehensive expenses. You have to pay the full comprehensive expenses if you are paying the full amount for your motorbike. It also gives you a peace of mind as the full amount is paid by you and no third party is liable for your insurance coverage.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bike?
It all depends on the biker, where the biker is riding the motorcycle and the amount of kilometers the riders have traveled. It is recommended that one should wash and clean the entire bike after every two weeks. One of the most common mistakes we make while attempting to wash a two-wheeler is to throw a bucket full of water.
The stains and dirt in your bike which are difficult to reach, requires a proper wash. You can keep two buckets while cleaning the motorbike. Keep a bucket full of clean water and a bucket full of soap water. Take a microfibre cloth and dip in the bucket with soap water and start cleaning the bike.
Use the microfibre cloth and dip into the regular water to get rid of the dirt. Keep repeating this method until your bike is neat and clean. Make sure to clean the chains and all the parts which are difficult to reach to get rid of the dirt stains.
Another method is not commonly used, but you can try only if you have a pressure washer. The pressure of the portable washer will clear away all the dirt from your motorbike which in turn will reduce your work. The pressure washer will blow away the dirt from places which are not reachable with your hands.
How Often Should A MotorCycle Be Started?
It all depends on which part of the state you are living in. For a cold region, it is recommended starting the engine of a motorcycle once every week for about 10 to 20 minutes. You should start your motorcycle at least ⅔ times a week to maintain the engine and other parts. However, you should charge your motorcycle battery once a month even if you do not ride your bike.
Maintaining a motorbike is not a rocket science or something that you cannot do. However, if you are facing some serious difficulties, always seek a professional service to solve your motorbike problems.
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