There are many reasons why people love motorcycles. For one, they can go faster than cars. Not only that, but motorcycles are fun to ride and welcome a culture filled with other motorcycle enthusiasts.
But as a motorcycle owner, you have many responsibilities. One of them is motorcycle maintenance. Like any vehicle, motorcycle maintenance is vital. Even if you use a motorcycle maintenance service, there’s some basic information you should know.
If you’re a new motorcycle owner, you may not know much about motorcycle maintenance. Here are 8 motorcycle maintenance tips for the newbie.
1. Fill the Tires With Air
Like with any vehicle, motorcycles need to have the right amount of air in the tires. Without this, you risk getting a flat. There are other reasons to keep your tires filled with air. They will last longer and you’ll have better traction when riding.
How do you maintain your tire pressure? Invest in an air pressure gauge and air pump.
As an alternative, many gas stations offer air pumps with an air pressure gauge included. Just about any auto mechanic can fill your tires for you. Many of these services are free or cheap.
2. Drive at the Right Speed
Sure, motorcycles can go fast and joyriding sounds like fun. However, this not only puts your safety at risk but can also damage your bike. For example, you may have to brake often to accommodate the speed of the cars around you. This can wear down your brakes really quickly.
First, always follow the speed limit. If you can’t see a speed limit sign posted, drive 30-35 mph on two-lane roads and don’t drive faster than 55 on larger, multi-lane roads. Avoid driving on the interstate with your motorcycle.
3. Clean and Lubricate the Chain
Every motorcycle has a chain. This chain transfer energy from the engine to the tires. You should regularly clean and lubricate this chain. If you don’t, this creates more friction and your motorcycle won’t function as well — and no one wants to be fixing motorcycle damage.
Cleaning and lubricating the chain regularly has other benefits. Your sprockets will last longer, which is the wheel that the chain passes over.
You can find cleaning and lubrication kits at an affordable price. As an alternative, a mechanic can perform this simple maintenance task for you.
4. Don’t Rev the Engine Too Much
Sure, revving the engine is one of the best things about riding your motorcycle. But this cool effect does more damage than you think. Revving the engine will wear it out.
What do you do if you need to keep your bike still? Instead of continuously revving your engine, stay idle before accelerating. When you accelerate, don’t move too fast; slowly pick up your speed.
Doing this can help make your engine last longer and your engine will have better performance.
5. Clean and Change the Air Filter
Cleaning the air filter is a part of regular motorcycle maintenance. The air filter will filter the air before entering the engine, ensuring dust, dirt, and other particles don’t damage the engine. All of this will result in improper combustion.
Make sure you clean your air filter regularly. Most auto mechanics will do this for you when you take your bike in for servicing.
In addition, you should change your air filter regularly. Most bikes will need a new air filter after 6,000 miles. You may need to replace them more frequently if you drive your motorcycle often or if you live in a polluted city.
You can ask your mechanic for this part or you can replace it on your own. For example, if you have a Yamaha bike, you can get this part and more from a source such as the Yamaha Parts Warehouse.
6. Check the Spark Plug for Soot
Soot is a black powdery substance that consists of amorphous carbon. After some time, soot will build on your spark plug, which is one of the most common motorcycle issues. If there’s too much soot on the spark plug, your motorcycle can have many problems, such as ignition and acceleration problems.
Your mechanic will check your spark plug every time you get your bike serviced, but this is something you can do yourself.
How do you know if there’s too much soot on your spark plug? If the spark plug has a thick, black substance, then your spark plug is no longer good. If it’s light brown, it’s still okay.
If the spark plug has too much soot, replace it.
7. Check for Cracks in the Rims
While you have to maintain your tires, don’t forget about the rims. Your rims also get a beating, especially if you run over potholes or the roads in your area are just bad.
But riding with a cracked rim can cause many problems, such as a tire blowout. This can leave you vulnerable to an accident. If you notice a crack in the rim, immediately take your motorcycle in for maintenance.
8. Change Your Oil Regularly
As with a car, regular oil changes are necessary for motorcycles. If you take your car in for servicing, your mechanic can recommend a type of oil and how often to change it. But if you’re changing your oil yourself, you’ll have to find out this information.
Fortunately, you can get away with changing your oil fewer times on a motorcycle compared to a car. Motorcycles only need new oil every 8,000 miles.
However, the type of oil you need depends on your engine. You can usually find this information in your motorcycle’s manual.
Why is it important to use the right type of oil? Using the wrong type can end up hurting your engine. In addition, using the right type of oil ensures your engine will run smoothly.
Follow These Motorcycle Maintenance Tips
From checking your spark plug to filling your tires with air, owning a motorcycle comes with lots of maintenance requirements. As long as you follow these motorcycle maintenance tips, you’ll be able to ride your bike for years to come.
Continue reading our blog for more motorcycle and car maintenance tips.