While there’s something special about owning a motorcycle, yours will need regular maintenance just like any other type of vehicle. It’s extremely important that you keep yours in top shape; not just to get the most value for your money, but to also keep you as safe as possible. Even a slight malfunction could result in a very serious problem, so don’t overlook this very important aspect of bike ownership.
Cleanliness is Key
Keeping a regular cleaning routine will not only keep your bike looking its best, it will also help you spot small problems before they become major issues. For example, you could find loose components or other parts that need to be replaced.
Motorcycles are similar to automobiles in that they need oil changes at regular intervals to help keep your engine and other parts working reliably. You should typically have your oil changed every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. While certain manufacturers recommend that you use non-synthetic brands, other experts believe there is virtually no difference between motorcycle and automobile oil. Your best bet would be to follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Check Your Chain
It’s extremely important that the chain has the proper amount of tension and lubrication. If there is too much tension, it will wear out much too quickly. On the other hand, if it is too loose, it can lead to performance problems or even a breakdown. Make a plan to check the tension every 600 miles and follow manufacturer’s recommendations when adjusting.
It’s also a good idea to lubricate the chain before every ride, as this will also give you the chance to look at it closely for any signs of trouble, such as cracks on the rollers or issues with the sprocket. You can use a special wax lubricant or simply use gear oil.
Before every ride, look over your tires very carefully and check for uneven wear, abrasions or cuts of any kind. Also, check for loose or damaged spokes. Then, inspect the rim to make sure there aren’t any cracks or dents. The most important thing you should do, however, is to make sure your tires have the right amount of pressure – you can find a high-quality gauge at your local hardware store. You’ll also want to have an air compressor on hand; a reliable one will typically run around $75 and could very well save your life.
Don’t Forget the Cables and Hardware
Your cables are extremely important to making sure your motorcycle works as smoothly as possible. Replace your cables if you notice any fraying, because that could cause a major problem when you’re on the road. Check your owner’s manual to see how often you need to lubricate them. There are several other things that you also need to check on a regular basis, such as nuts, bolts and cotter pins as well as your battery.
Taking some time to perform regular maintenance will not only extend the life of your ride, it could extend your own life as well.