Why maintain your motorcycle?
No matter how humanely you treat your motorcycle, it is essentially a machine. And like all machines, your motorcycle needs some maintenance too.
But the truth is, a lot of riders are aware of some of motorcycle maintenance tips.
Yes! Not even some beginner level tips that could help them in keeping their motorcycle well.
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 is just for your help.
12 Easy Motorcycle Maintenance Tips. »
Tip 1» For the first 1000 km, don’t go beyond 55 kph.
If your bike is all news, the first 1000 kilometres are the most crucial ones. This period in also known as Break-in period. In this period, the brand new engine parts wear and polish themselves for adjusting to an operating state.
After you’ve crossed 1000 km, ride your motorcycle in varying conditions. Go faster at some time, go slower at other times. Ride on loose roads, ride on smooth roads.
The idea is to make your bike’s engine function properly since the beginning, with the least amount of friction.
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.
Hot tyres 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 cold.
After starting your engine, 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 damage to the engine.
I see people just fire up their cold engine and start accelerating hard. But it’s shouldn’t be done. Do you see these rings in the image above? They all get worn out.
Results: Better Engine Performance and longevity.
Tip 4» Keep the chain cleaned & lubed.
The chain transfers the energy from the engine to the tyres. It 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.
Results: Gives a longer life to the sprockets and the chain.
Tip 5» Check the spark plug for soot.
Spark Plug collects 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.
The colour of your spark plug should be light brown. If it’s black, your engine is running a thick oil & air mixture. If it’s white, the oil-air mixture is too lean. In both cases, you need to get your fuel injection or carburettor checked.
Results: Better combustion of fuel and improved acceleration.
Tip 6» Air filter should be cleaned or changed.
The air filter helps in filtering the air before it comes to the engine. Over time, the air filter gets clogged with dust 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 these can last forever. You never have to change them.
Results: Proper combustion of oil and increase a slight increase in power.
Tip 7» Know which engine oil is best and change it regularly.
Different engines need different grades of oil. Most beginner riders just go by whatever their mechanics recommend. But pouring the wrong grade of engine oil can hurt your engine in many ways.
Different engines need different grades of oil. Most beginner riders just go by whatever their mechanics recommend. But pouring the wrong grade of engine oil can hurt your engine in many ways. So first know which engine oil is recommended in your user manual and then make sure you change it regularly.
Benefits: Keeps the motorcycle running smoothly. More life of engine parts.
Tip 8» Check the tyre rims for cracks and dents.
If you live in a place where you have to run over potholes and deal with bad road every day, your bike’s rim must be taking a solid beating. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not cracked.
Benefits: Helps in avoiding fatality.
Tip 9» Check disc plate & brake pads 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.
Same goes with the brake pads, if they’re wearing off, you need 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 the chain is important for better ride quality and fewer vibrations.
Benefits: Increased chain and sprocket life and better ride quality.
Tip 11» Keep the battery corrosion free.
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 » Have some machine sympathy.
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.
So have some machine sympathy and keep your bike well covered.
Keeping your bike in covered parking will add more years to your motorcycle.
Also, ride your motorcycle with the least amount of friction a be a better rider.