If you own a motorcycle, you know how important it is to keep it running good. This means regular maintenance checks throughout the year. For new bike owners, this may be intimidating, but it really isn't that difficult and the little bit of time it takes to complete may save you a lot of time, money, and future issues. Bikes that aren't routinely checked may result in malfunctioning motorcycles or injuries to the driver. This guide is a good checklist to follow each time your bike is due for routine maintenance, which should be done no less than twice a year.
1. Check Your Tires
Good tires are essential for a safe trip on your motorcycle. Make sure to check the tires before you have ridden it and when the tires aren't heated up from driving since this will alter the actual pressure of the tire. Complete the following steps:
- Check tire treads for signs of wear, like dry cracks, uneven wear, nails, screws, punctures, or bulges—then replace the tire if it shows any of the earlier signs.
- Check air pressure and make sure it's at the recommended PSI.
- Look at spokes and tighten if needed.
2. Check Your Brakes
You definitely do not want to skip the brakes on your checklist. It is vital that your brakes are in the best condition possible to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Follow these steps to check your bike brakes:
- Look at the front and rear brake pads—there is an indicator line on the pads that lets you know when to replace the pads, and you should replace them if it's on the line.
- Give your brake lever a few squeezes and make sure it has normal pressure. If it feels less responsive than normal, you will need to bleed the brakes and replenish the bike with fresh fluid.
- Check your brake fluid levels; your bike manual will instruct you on which type of fluid you need—DOT 3 or DOT 4.
3. Maintain Your Engine
While you are checking the brake fluid levels, go ahead and check the oil levels, too. You should always change your oil level as needed. Here's how to check the engine:
- Remove the dipstick from the oil and see what level it is at—if it is low, fill it up to the required amount.
- Check the engine for any signs of leaks or dripping oil.
- Check the fluid levels for transmission and coolant, then fill as needed.
- Make sure all nuts and bolts are tight; if they are loose, secure them.
- Clean oil cooler and radiator with a brush if they are grimy.
Now that you know some of the basics of maintenance for your bike, you should follow this list every few months. If you still feel like you need help, any motorcycle services can complete the maintenance for you.