Basic Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycles require special attention in order to keep them in the best possible condition. In this article, we’ll go over 10 motorcycle maintenance tips to keep your motorbike healthy:

1. Don’t ignore regular maintenance.

Just because most bikes are only used seasonally, doesn’t mean you can ignore regular maintenance checkups. It’s crucial to take your motorcycle for regular check-ups by a seasoned mechanic.

2. Never put your bike away wet.

You should dry your bike thoroughly before putting it away and lubricate any points that need it, such as brake pivots and gear linkages. A lot of steam is released when the bike is wet and the engine is hot, especially if it’s stored in a cold garage, creating the perfect conditions for corrosion to form. The warm steam can easily condense in certain areas and create water spots where you wouldn’t normally find them such as fuse boxes and electrical connections.

3. Take good care of your chain.

Though the chain is a very durable bike component, dirt can infiltrate links and increase friction  causing a grinding effect. It is important to remove all kinds of dirt, especially grit that gets stuck in the chain, and to scrub off any cleaning products that  leave grime on the chain.

After cleaning, you should lube your chain- doing so will increase the lifetime, stop friction and prevent corrosion. It’s important to clean chain before lubing otherwise you will seal in dirt and reduce the lube spray’s effectiveness.

It is also important to check the chain tension to prevent excessive wear and rough transmission and gear changes. Ask your mechanic to check the status of the chain during your annual check-up to see if it’s time to change or adjust it. If you’re checking the tension yourself, do so by placing a load or weight on the bike. When you’re on it, your weight makes the pressure greater.

5. Monitor your coolant.

The liquid coolant, which protects the engine of the motorcycle during the summer heat and winter frosts, should be replaced approximately every two years. If you ride your bike often and/or stay out for long distances, you should change the bike’s coolant more often than that.

6. Check your tires frequently.

Tires are essential to safety. Check tire pressures before every ride, when they are cold, and inflate them to the recommended pressure listed in the owner’s manual. Carry a quality air-pressure gauge because the ones at gas station pumps are often broken or inaccurate.

Replace tires before reaching the wear-bar indicators- tires deteriorate over time and even though the tread looks fine, aging, sunlight and ozone can cause cracks in the sidewalls. When the treads have flattened, it’s time for a replacement.

At V&F

From repairs to regular maintenance, we offer the best motorcycle services in Western Mass. V&F can help you create appropriate schedule that considers your bike’s age, your driving habits, and the manufacturer’s recommendation. Call us at (413)314-2280 to discuss preventative maintenance planning, or schedule an appointment online.

Written by Nicole Palange

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