Maintaining your motorcycle is an essential part of being a safe, responsible rider. Ensure your motorcycle is in optimal condition before setting out on a road trip. There are a few basic items that should be checked and maintained regularly. These are the tires, battery, oil, brakes, fuel, and drive system.
Your tires are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle. A flat tire is one of the most common causes of a breakdown, and can also create a dangerous situation if a tire blows at higher speeds. Inspect your tires every time you fill up at the gas station.
Check your tire pressure every time you fill up and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal PSI for your tires. Proper inflation puts more of the tire in contact with the road surface and keeps your motorcycle stable.
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Inspect your tires’ treads for unusual wear and the amount of tread left. Legally, you must replace a tire when it has 2/32 of an inch of tread left. This can be measured by placing a penny into the grooves between the tread and seeing if the tread touches the top of Lincoln’s head. If it’s a close call, replace your tires. Also remember to check for broken belts, bulges, flat spots, and uneven wear before every ride.
Clean the battery cables and connections at least once a month, and refill the demonized water levels as needed. You can use a voltmeter to check the status of your battery and recharge or replace it when it begins to weaken.
One of the best ways to prolong the engine life of your motorcycle is to change the oil regularly. Be sure to use the type of oil recommended by the bike’s manufacturer and follow the maintenance schedule outlined in your user manual. If your motorcycle calls for synthetic oil, keep in mind that you may be paying a little more for each oil change, but following the recommendations is better for the overall longevity of your motorcycle. Change your filter every time you change your oil, and don’t forget to check the oil level before you start the engine for a ride.
Your brakes can take a real beating, especially if you do a lot of driving around town. Be sure to inspect your brake pads every time you plan a ride, and change the pads when you notice significant visible wear or squeaking. In addition, you should change your brake fluid once a year and check it once a month to make sure your brakes are working at the optimal level.
If your motorcycle sits for more than six months, you will need to drain and refill the gas tank. Check your fuel lines for wear and damage, and change the fuel filter every two years, or more often if you buy lower-grade gasoline.
A motorcycle’s drive system requires regular maintenance to operate properly. Check your belt drive for wear, change the oil in a shaft driven bike, or oil your chain every month if applicable. Inspect the drive system of your motorcycle for damage, debris, or wear and consult a service technician if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Maintaining your motorcycle regularly ensures that your bike will continue to provide hours and hours of riding enjoyment for many years to come.
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