Why is Motorcycle Maintenance Important?
No matter how humanely you treat your motorcycle, it is essentially a machine. And like all machine, your motorcycle needs some maintenance too.
But the truth is, not many riders are aware of some of the essential motorcycle maintenance tips. Yes! Not even some beginner tips that could help them. This is especially true for people who are new to the riding world.
Seasoned Riders learn a lot about their motorcycle through experience, but for beginners, motorcycle maintenance can be a bit intimidating. But fear not, this article on motorcycle maintenance tips is just for your help.
If you start reading the owner’s manual, you will learn a lot about your motorcycle. And then, things will start sounding less intimidating. Most riders never even look at the owner’s manual, which holds a ton of information about the motorcycle and its maintenance.
If you haven’t read your motorcycle’s owners manual, my advise to you to read it. AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Take out an hour or two from your schedule and go through all the information about your motorcycle. You will thank us in the long run and also remain safe while riding on the roads.
12 Easy Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Beginners.
Tip 1 – For the first 1000 km, don’t go beyond 55 kph. (Break in period may vary)
The first 1000 kilometres are the most crucial ones for a new motorcycle. This period is also known as the break-in period. In this period the brand new engine parts wear and polish themselves for adjusting to an operating state.
Note – The speed limits for a new motorcycle may vary for different manufacturers and motorcycles. Read the owner’s manual for accurate information on break in period.
Results: Better Mileage, More performance from the engine.
Tip 2 – Fill the tyres with air when they are cold.
When the tyres are cold, they show accurate air pressure and can be filled with the right amount of air.
You should not fill the tyres hot because – When the tyres are hot, they show a bump in the air pressure due to the increased heat inside them. The increase in heat is because of the friction. Invest in a tyre pressure gauge and an air pump, so that you can inflate them properly at home, when they are cold
Results: Better Traction while riding, and Increased longevity of tyres.
Tip 3 – Don’t rev the engine hard when it is cold.
Before starting the ride, start your engine and keep it idling for 30 seconds. Never take out a motorcycle and start ripping the throttle when the engine is cold. It can cause severe engine issues.
This is one of the easiest motorcycle maintenance tip which you can follow as a beginner to keep your motorcycle running smoothly.
Results: Better Engine Performance and longevity.
Tip 4 – Keep the chain clean and lubed.
The chain transfers the energy from the engine to the tyres and is the main link between the tyre and the engine. Regularly clean your chain and use a lubricant on it. A well-lubed chain will make your ride smoother.
The best chain lube available in the market is the Motul C2 chain lube.
Results: Gives a longer life to the sprockets and the chain.
Tip 5 – Check the spark plug for soot.
Spark Plug collects a lot soot after being used for too long. Check the spark plug every time you get your motorcycle serviced and replace it if it looks weary and dated.
Results: Better combustion of fuel and improved acceleration.
Tip 6 – Clean the Air Filter.
The air filter helps in filtering the air before it comes to the engine. Over the time, the air filter gets clogged with dust from the air which results in improper combustion. Ensure that you get your air filter cleaned at every service. It is even advisable that you change the air filter after a good 10,000 km if you live in a polluted city. Air filters like this can last forever.
Results: Proper combustion of oil and increase a slight increase in power.
Tip 7 – Engine Oil matters a lot.
We’ve heard everybody’s advice on when you should change the engine oil. Different people, different motorcycles, and different experiences. Whose advice should you listen to?
We ’d say you check your owner’s manual. It will tell you about the intervals at which you should change the oil. Also, use the proper grade of oil for your motorcycle. It is always given in the owner’s manual.
Benefits: Keeps the motorcycle running smoothly. More life of engine parts.
Tip 8 – Check the rims for cracks and dents.
If you live in a place where you have to run over potholes and deal with bad road conditions every day, the rim of your tyres must have to take a solid beating. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not cracked.
Benefits: Helps in avoiding fatality.
Tip 9 – Check the disc plate for thickness.
Disc plates wear off with time like most of the other parts on a motorcycle. The more hard you use the brakes, the faster the disc plates shrink. Minimum thickness is stamped on the disc plates itself, so if they have reached the minimum level of thickness, it’s time to change them.
Tip 10 – Make sure the chain is not slacking nor too stiff.
A slacking chain can reduce the power decrease the power being transferred by the engine to the tyres. In some cases, the chain may even come out of the sprocket and cause a fatality to happen.
On the other hand, if the chain is too tight, it will wear off faster and make the sprockets wear out too. The optimum slack is mentioned in the owner’s manual. Maintaining of the chain is important for a better ride quality.
Benefits: Increased chain and sprocket life and better ride quality.
Tip 11 – Keep the battery corrosion free and charged.
Most of the new motorcycles today come with a zero maintenance battery but you must clean the corrosion on the terminals. Batteries power all the electronics on a motorcycle and you must replace it after it gets weary and discharged. Taking care of your motorcycle’s battery can increase its life.
Benefits: You won’t have to get stuck in the middle of the highway because your motorcycle won’t start.
Tip 12 – Cover Your Motorcycle or keep it in a covered parking.
When you park your motorcycle in the open, the surface is prone to dust, sunlight, and water which contaminates the surface of your bike and make it look older. Keeping your bike in covered parking will add more years to the life of your motorcycle. Use parking covered parking spaces whenever you can, and you will have to wash your motorcycle less often.
Benefits: All shiny and new motorcycle when you take it out for a spin.
All Images Courtesy – The most generous photographers in the whole world found on Unsplash.
ALSO READ: Tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain