Motorcycle Maintenance Tips Every Biker Needs to Know
What if a little bit of carelessness ended up costing you thousands of dollars?
If you ask them, most bikers will say they care about motorcycle maintenance, which is just as important to a good bike as the right motorcycle insurance. However, the blunt truth is that many owners overlook important maintenance steps. Over time, this threatens to damage the bike in a big way, resulting in a major repair bill from your mechanic.
Fortunately, the opposite holds true as well: By maintaining your ride like you should, you can keep it running great and spare yourself a frustrating bill. Just like other safety steps you take, such as choosing the right helmet, regular maintenance can keep you – and your passengers – safer on the road. Ready to protect your bike? Keep reading to discover the most important biker tips for taking care of your motorcycle.
Motorcycle Maintenance: Change the Oil Yourself
Many bikers, like most drivers, rely on someone else to change their oil. However, we think true motorcycle maintenance involves changing it yourself, both to better stay on top of your bike’s condition (especially if you bought it used) and to save you time and money compared to taking it to a mechanic.
Read your owner’s manual to verify how often you need to check your oil, and let the bike idle for about five minutes before you check it. This will make it easier for you to drain the oil into a pan. Once you get used to the mess, you’ll become an expert at removing the drain plug and filter, draining the oil, replacing the oil, and putting the filter and plug back.
As long as you do this regularly, you can keep your bike in peak condition (just make sure you’re keeping your well-maintained scooter away from thieves).
Regularly Check Brake Pads (and Replace as Needed)
While all of these biker tips for maintenance are important, regularly checking your brake pads is one of the most important safety steps you can take. That’s because these pads wear down over time, becoming less and less effective. Worst case, this can lead to a bad accident.
Your owner’s manual may give you a more precise number, but it’s generally good to inspect these brake pads every 7,500 miles or so. If your bike is new, you should inspect them around every 6,000 miles, as this will help you determine how much your driving habits and environment are wearing the pads down. By replacing them as needed, you can protect your life and potentially other lives on the road.
Clean and Lube Your Drive Chain
If you have an older bike, you may need to clean and lube your drive chain more often than not (some bikers do so after every ride). Newer bikes typically use O-ring chains that require less cleaning, but it’s still important for you to clean the chain at least as often as your owner’s manual recommends.
All you have to do is elevate the rear wheel, put the bike in neutral, and clean the bike chain with a brush. As for lubrication, just rotate your back wheel to evenly apply the chain lube, making sure it gets into the joints. After about five minutes, you can wipe the oil off, and you might be surprised at how much this impacts performance.
Visually Inspect Each Tire Before You Ride
If you’ve always taken your bike to the mechanic for maintenance, some of these tips may seem intimidating. It’s fine to start slow with doing your own preventative care. That means inspecting your tires before you go for a drive.
Some tire issues will be immediately obvious, including cracks, holes, tears, and so on. You can check these out before each drive, but we also recommend checking your tire pressure at least once per week. Underinflated tires will make your bike harder to ride and, more frighteningly, harder to stop. By keeping the pressure in the safe range and ensuring the tires are in good condition, you can stay safe on the road and prevent accidents.
Check the Fuel Filter and Fuel Lines
When it comes to vehicle filters, most people are familiar with the air filter and the need to replace it from time to time. However, it’s equally important for motorcycle owners to regularly inspect their fuel filter. This filter can easily get clogged and will need to be cleaned out so your bike will run in an optimal state.
While you’re at it, make sure to check your fuel lines for signs of any damage. If they appear to be cracked, then you need to replace the lines ASAP. Simply put, driving around with cracked fuel lines will put yourself and others in danger.
Preventative Care: Keep an Eye on Your Battery
Battery care is important for automobile drivers, of course, but it is particularly important for bikers. That’s because many bikers put their ride into storage for the winter. When you aren’t regularly driving the motorcycle around to keep it charged, the battery is likely going to need to be charged or even replaced before you ride again.
As with automobiles, it’s easy enough for you to check the battery life using a multimeter. If you want to avoid having to do this, though, consider investing in a trickle charger to keep your battery charged during the winter or when otherwise not in use. Finally, don’t forget that no matter how well you take care of your battery, you’ll need to replace it every two years or so.
Get the Best Motorcycle Insurance Today!
Now you know the best motorcycle maintenance tips to keep your ride in perfect condition. But do you know who is ready to help you take care of your bike with the insurance it deserves?
Here at InsureOne, we are experts at protecting awesome bikes just like yours. To discover motorcycle insurance at prices you didn’t think were possible, come get a quote online. Alternatively, you can pick up the phone and give us a quick call at 800-836-2240. Finally, feel free to come into one of our convenient nearby offices as soon as you need coverage!