How to do Motorcycle Maintenance on your Own?
Motorcycles are exciting and fun. The thrill of riding one and looking cool at the same time can make your adrenaline go up fast. However, just like a car, your motorcycle will require some maintenance. Without maintenance, it could lose its speed and appeal. That is why it’s important to check your bike to make sure that it has the proper oil, air filter, tire pressure, coolant, and a clean chain. If you feel that there is something wrong with your bike, it’s essential to bring it to the repair shop to have it fixed. After all, when you ride on it, you put your life on this vehicle.
If you want to be impressive, you can do the maintenance on your own. Keep in mind that the requirement for each of these tasks often varies depending on the type of motorcycle you have. If you’re up for the challenge, Here are some tips and strategies to show you how you can do motorcycle maintenance on your own.
Change the oil
Just like a car, your motorcycle will need to have an oil change after several thousand miles. This is very imperative to ensure that the engines are running smoothly. It’s best to check the owner’s manual to find out how often you would need the oil change. Before you begin, it’s important to ride the bike for about five minutes to warm it up. This will help decrease the thickness of the oil so it can drain easily. Once the engines are turned off, ensure that the bike is standing upright, then remove the drain plug to let the oil flow to the pan. Keep in mind that you might have to remove some fairing in order to reach the drain plug. Afterward, you would need to take out the oil filter; this might be a messy task, so try to cover the engine to protect against any oil drippage. After all the oil is drained out, you can install a new oil filter, and place all the parts that you have removed and filled the funnel with the proper amount of oil. You might have to replace the oil fill cap, and recycle any used oil at your local bike shop.
Replace air filter
If the air filter on your bike is clogged or dirty, then it’s time to replace your air filter. This is not a hard task, but it could be very time-consuming. Usually, the air filters are easy to assess, but you might have to remove the gas tank and other parts to reach it. Once you enter the airbox, then it’s time to take it out and replace the filter. Afterward, put everything back where it belongs and reinstall it.
In order to check the tire pressure, you will have to locate the valve stem which is inside of the wheel. The first thing to do is to apply pressure on the valve system. Compare that pressure to what a normal pressure should be. You can get the normal pressure that is written on the side of the tire. After that, you can use an air compressor which can be found in any gas station to fill the tire to the proper amount. If you over inflate, you can let out some air. After that, replace the valve stem cap, and check on your tread. In order to see how the tread is doing, you would have to check the tire indicator which is a rubber knob that is adjacent to the tire. If the knob is at the equivalent level to the road, then it’s time to replace the tire which will require a professional mechanic.
Change the coolant
The important part about the coolant is to prevent your engine from overheating or freezing. The first thing to do is to remove any body parts of the motorcycle to gain access to the coolant. Then place a pan under the engine and remove the volt. You will have to remove the radiator cap to ensure that everything drains properly. Once you have completed this process, you can put the right drain volt back to where it belongs. Then use a funnel to refill the system with the proper amount of coolant. After that, reinstalled the radiator cap, and place all the bodywork in the proper location. Then start the engine and allow it to warm up for a couple of minutes before starting the ignition. When your engine cools down, you can remove the radiator cap to check the coolant. This will let you know if your coolant is at the proper level or not. If you need more, then add more coolant to reach the appropriate level that is indicated on the owner’s manual.
Clean the chain
The newer motorcycle models often utilized the O-ring chain which requires less cleaning. When your chain gets dirty or rusted, you would need to clean it. It’s best to check your owner’s manual for any recommendation. When you start cleaning your chain, it’s important to elevate the rear end of your wheels, and put the transmission in neutral. This will allow a smooth and easy chain movement. Then use a bristle brush to scrub out all the dirt out. After that, you should lubricate your chain and rotate the wheel as you go along. The goal of this is to distribute the lubrication thoroughly throughout the whole chain, so it can run smoothly when you turn on your motorcycle. Once this process is completed, let the chain sit for five minutes, and wipe off any excess lubrication with a towel.
With all the information above, you will be able to perform your own motorcycle maintenance and looking like a professional as you do that. Keep in mind that if there are things that you’re not able to do or repair, it’s best to have a mechanic to look at it. Luckily, with all this information, you can save yourself some money and do your own maintenance. At the end of the day, the important thing is to make sure that your motorcycle is running smoothly and efficiently, that way, you can enjoy a safe ride down your neighborhood.