People develop interests in motorcycles for all sorts of reasons, from the thrill of the open road to the community and culture that comes with them.
Biking has even proven popular as a COVID-safe transport option in the past year, with sales figures remaining surprisingly strong despite the pandemic. But for others, it’s all about the opportunity to maintain and modify a powerful machine.
Combined with having the right motorcycle insurance, a little mechanical knowhow can give you peace of mind when out riding and save money on basic repairs. So, with warmer weather and better road conditions on the horizon, read up on some general maintenance tasks worth doing yourself below.
Changing the engine oil
Changing your bike’s engine oil at recommended intervals will help to keep your engine running smoothly. Just be prepared to get a little messy!
Your owner’s manual should tell you how often your machine’s oil needs replacing. If time’s up, the process will likely involve draining the existing oil into a pan, replacing the oil filter, and refilling the oil with a funnel to a recommended level.
Looking after your tyres
You’ll want to keep your tires healthy too, given they’re the main point of contact between you and the road. Check their pressure regularly and pump them up if it falls below the PSI recommended by the manufacturer.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on their tread for signs of wear. Most tires feature a rubber knob in the grooves which, when at the same level as the rubber that meets the road, indicate it’s time for a replacement.
Replacing the air filter
Your bike’s air filter exists to keep harmful dirt and debris out of your engine. Over time it can become clogged however, so you’ll want to replace it relatively regularly – perhaps every time you change the oil.
This could involve removing a few parts to get to it, making the task a little fiddlier with some bikes.
Changing engine coolant
As the name suggests, your engine coolant prevents your bike’s engine from overheating. It also keeps it from freezing or corroding. Similar to replacing your engine oil, changing the coolant involves draining the existing liquid and refilling it to a recommended level.
Engine coolant deteriorates over time and is worth swapping out every other year or so.
Cleaning the chain
Another essential component, cleaning your motorcycle’s chain means propping your bike up by its rear wheel, brushing away grit and grime and lubricating the joints.
You could refer to your owner’s manual again to find out how often your chain needs cleaning, though you may want to do it more often if you’re riding in wet or dirty conditions.
Just like driving a car, riding a motorcycle will always come with an element of risk. But by maintaining your vehicle in the ways described above, you’ll have greater confidence that your machine is working as it should be.