Five Tips for Motorcycle Maintenance at Home

Certain basic motorcycle maintenance tips can help yours perform better and last longer. Just follow this simple set of guidelines at home!
Five Tips for Motorcycle Maintenance at Home

Last update: 17 September, 2021

Motorcycle maintenance is important, as motorcycles are an increasingly popular means of transportation. When your motorcycle is for sport or simply getting from point A to point B, today’s article will give you a series of steps to keep it in top shape at home.

These basic measures not only greatly increase the useful life of this kind of vehicle, but will also help you save money on costly repairs and, most importantly, keep you safe. Things like checking the oil once a month or the tread on a tire or improving the condition of the chain by cleaning and lubricating it are just some of the tasks you can easily take care of.

It’s important to refer to your owner’s manual whenever you do any type of mechanical work. This is because it’s a book created by the manufacturer that contains specific recommendations for a specific vehicle. In addition, don’t hesitate to turn to an expert if you detect a fault or a major problem that’s beyond your skills.

Simple inspections to keep a motorcycle in top shape

Getting a motorcycle to last longer and in good condition is something any user can do. All you need is a set of basic tools, the right clothes as you’ll get a little dirty, a container for waste oil, and a space to work.

You’ll probably need an experienced mechanic to help you with any performance problems. However, cleaning some parts, checking others, and changing certain fluids are easier tasks you can personally take care of. Just follow the tips listed below.

A person cleaning a tire.
Tires have a tread and you must check it regularly to find out if it’s time to change them.

1. Perform a general tire inspection

There are several things you must keep in mind when checking tires. To begin, look for cracks or breaks.

You can simply look for any chips, cuts, or particles that, however small, may cause tire wear. Another important task is to evaluate the condition and depth of the tread. Is it flat and beaten? Then it’s best to change it immediately.

In addition, try to check the pressure every month. You’ll need a barometer for that purpose — this is a device connected to the tire valve that marks its level.

Note that you must do this when the tire is cold. That is after the tires have been motionless for at least three hours. The specific pressure levels are usually in the manufacturer’s manual. Keep in mind that anything higher or below the average is bad news.

2. Check the oil level as a good motorcycle maintenance measure

You must do this at least once a month but more often during summer. This is because the heat might thicken it.

Thus, you might want to check it every week if you live under extreme weather conditions. It also depends on the frequency with which you use the motorcycle. Do check it weekly if you use it regularly. Similarly, check it before you use it if you only use it once in a while.

To do so, place the vehicle on a flat surface and then turn it on for a few minutes so that the liquid heats up. Then, turn it off and check the oil level in the sight glass on the right side of the engine.

Note that some motorcycles don’t have a sight glass, but have a dipstick in the cap. You must first wipe it clean and then place it back to soak it. The indicator must be between the maximum and minimum levels.

Add more oil if the level is low and always check the type of oil that your model requires. This makes it possible to detect possible leaks and look at the color of the liquid. It should be similar to the one in the bottle. You have a problem that requires a professional if the liquid is dark.

3. Cleaning and lubricating the chain

The chain is a fundamental part of a motorcycle so clean it from time to time.

To do so, raise the rear wheel and set the gear in neutral to make it easier to move. Then, clean any debris and dust with a soft brush along its entire length and then smear it with specialized lubricant.

The amount of lubricant must be as uniform as possible all around the chain so try not to overflow it. In addition, use gloves to prevent skin contact.

Let it rest for a few minutes once you finish and then evaluate the tension of the chain. Is it too stretched or worn? It’s time to change it then. You must check the tension approximately every 600 miles.

4. Test the lights, horn, and battery

These are basic mechanisms but as important as any other so it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically to avoid fines and prevent accidents.

This kind of intervention must be carried out by a person with electrical knowledge in case of a breakdown as it requires the manipulation of cables.

The same goes for the battery, especially if the motorcycle has been stopped for a long period of time. It may only need to recharge, depending on how old it is. However, its maintenance also involves changing the internal fluid or a total replacement sometimes.

A person checking the brakes on a motorcycle.
Motorcycle brakes require special care because they’re an important part of your safety.

5. Sanitizing the filters is an important part of motorcycle maintenance

It’s important to change the oil and its filter every three thousand miles. However, you can clean the air filter more often. This is because it keeps the engine free of impurities by trapping the particles and dirt from the environment that can clog them.

The air filter may be more or less accessible depending on the type of vehicle. It’s easier when it’s located on the side or under the fuel tank. Then, the next thing to do is verify what type it is.

Motorcycle maintenance is important to keep it in top shape

Each of these checks requires an appropriate space, be it a yard or a garage. Mainly, keep in mind it’s dirty work, so keep your cleaning supplies nearby. The amount and type of repairs depend on the type of vehicle, but these tips for home motorcycle maintenance can improve its performance and durability.

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