In order to keep my motorcycle in excellent shape, I always perform regular maintenance on it. After all, your bike is an investment and you want to keep it running at all times, not only to save you money, but to save you from any accidents while on the road. Regular maintenance will also keep your bike on the road much longer and allow you to spot problems before they become a large issue.
Modern bikes need a lot less maintenance than they once did, but that only means that they are also more complicated. At the very least, however, motorcycle owners should be able to do basic maintenance on their own. In fact, here are a few parts which I believe should be checked on a regular basis.
Every time you fill up with gas is a good time to check the tires. It is very important to keep the tires at a proper pressure at all times. Tires that are underinflated can create too much heat leading to a blowout. In addition, low tires can also create uneven wear and result in the need for new tires sooner rather than later.
I also think that brakes should be checked on a regular basis. This also includes the brake fluid which can usually be found in a reservoir on the front and also near the back. If you need to top off your brake fluid, only do so from a new bottle as the fluid will absorb moisture making it less effective.
The motorcycle’s chain should also be oiled on a regular basis and done so while the chain is hot so the oil is more easily absorbed and can flow into any tight spots. As I spray the oil on liberally, I like to use a piece of paper against the bike’s body so as to not get oil on the paint or chrome. In addition, it’s a good idea to put some paper on the ground as well. Once you have oiled both the left and right side of the chain, let it soak in before wiping off any excess.
An often overlooked part of bike maintenance is the fuel itself. Only use fuel from a reputable dealer and be sure to examine the fuel filter. I recommend changing it every two year. Next, check the fuel lines for any cracks and change them immediately if they show signs of wear.
Much like a car, the oil is the lifeblood of your motorcycle and it is important to check it often, but only when the bike is cool. I always check to make sure the oil level is at the top or near the top. When checking the oil, only do so if the bike is level and be sure to not let any dirt get in the oil reservoir. If you use your bike in more stop and go traffic, the oil will need to be changed more frequently than bikes mainly used on the open road as the short trips destroy the oil’s viscosity. While you can purchase oil especially made for motorcycles, you can also use the same oil that is found in car engines.
Finally, I like to test the bike’s battery each month by using either a hydrometer or voltmeter. Be sure to also keep it free of dirt or grim, tighten any loose cables and clean the terminals.