Every enthusiast needs to know 10 motorcycle preventative maintenance tips. Most motorcycling enthusiasts enjoy ‘tinkering” with their motorcycle nearly as much as they enjoy riding it. They also know that by doing preventative maintenance, their bike will look good and be mechanically sound for many years to come. You do not have to be a motorcycle mechanic, nor a professional detailer, you just have to know some of the tips that they know!
For Appearance Sake
- Keep the motorcycle clean to safeguard the paint and chrome. The elements are hard on paint and chrome. The motorcycle will pick up dirt and grime every time it is ridden. This tip is especially important if you live in an area where there is sand or an ocean. Sand and salt water will cause the chrome to pit and possibly peel. Sand can become lodged in the chains or driving gears.
- Wax the motorcycle to protect the paint. Sun will fade the paint over time. Applying a good coat of wax will insure that the paint stays bright and shiny. Waxing will also help remove any dead paint or embedded dirt that remains behind after a good hand washing. Don’t forget to apply a chrome polish if your motorcycle sports a lot of add on chrome.
- Keep the seats soft and supple by using a quality leather cleaner and conditioner. Without treatment the motorcycle seats will become dry and brittle due to the sun and the elements. Keeping the seat maintained will avoid the expense of having to replace it.
For Safety Preventative Maintenance
- Prevent an accident by checking to make sure all of the lights on the motorcycle work. Look for cracks or loose screws in all of the lens covers. Headlights, tail lights, break lights and turn signals make you more visible to those you share the road with. If a light does not work, replace it before you ride.
- Check the air pressure in the front and back tire. Refer to the owner’s manual or the tire manufacturer for the suggested amount of air. Driving a motorcycle with the wrong tire pressure will not only cause excess wear on the tire, it is dangerous. A low tire does not grip the road well and it will affect the way the motorcycle handles.
- Adjust the headlight beam if necessary. The headlight should not shine to the left or right. The headlight should not shine onto the ground directly in front of the motorcycle. You can prevent an accident by making sure you can see the other vehicles and they can see you.
For Mechanical Preventative Maintenance
- Keep the chain and sprocket clean and adjusted. Check the chain for excess slack and look for any signs that the chain has been slipping on the sprocket. This is much like you did to your bicycle when you were a child…you just can not flip the motorcycle over! Put the bike on the belly stand and spin the back wheel. Look at the teeth on the sprocket to make sure none of them are broken or wore down.
- Check all of the motorcycle’s wiring for any signs of wearing thin. Some wires will rub on the frame and may become pinched or broken. Simple preventative maintenance can save them from getting to that condition.
- Look the engine over for any signs of an oil or gas leak. You can do this by checking the ground beneath the motorcycle every time you park it somewhere. Make sure the spot you park in is clean. If there is oil or gas under the bike when you leave then it is from your motorcycle and you will need to determine where it is leaking.
- Remove the motorcycle seat, or side cover to access the battery. Make sure that all connections are tight and that there is no corrosion. Follow the cables with your hand as far as possible to search for any visible kinks or fraying of the battery cables.
Using these preventative maintenance tips will help insure that your motorcycle looks and runs as good as possible. It will also save money from costly repairs and body work.